Jonathan Rosenbaum

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For 1,536 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 42% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 56% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jonathan Rosenbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Reversal of Fortune
Lowest review score: 0 Bad Boys
Score distribution:
1536 movie reviews
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Quentin Tarantino's lively and show-offy tribute to Asian martial-arts flicks, bloody anime, and spaghetti westerns he soaked up as a teenager is even more gory and adolescent than its models, which explains both the fun and the unpleasantness of this globe-trotting romp.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Provides an interesting introduction to a compelling figure in contemporary pop music.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Not quite a thriller and not quite a character study, though with elements of both, the film is limited by its ambiguous relation to history.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Slapdash but good-natured romantic comedy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Watchable if far-fetched movie is seriously marred by its three leads; only Garrel manages to suggest a person rather than a fashion model dutifully following instructions.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Considering that none of the characters is fresh or interesting, it's a commendable achievement that the quality of the storytelling alone keeps the movie watchable and likable.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Brad Pitt has fun with his secondary part as a pontificating lunatic, but I wish I'd enjoyed the rest of the cast more.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    There are times when this leisurely movie seems so much in love with its own virtue and nobility that there's not much room left for the spectator.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    There's some excellent comedy early on involving the mutual incomprehension of Africans and Americans, though this eventually gives way to solemn, ethnocentric mush about one African's reading of the story of Jesus, demonstrating as usual that sustained subtlety is hardly Spielberg's forte.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The cast is OK, and LaBute still has an eye, but the uses they're put to seem contrived and arty.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Coolidge directs as if the characters were believable human beings--at least until she gets to the end, when Hollywood and fairy-tale conventions have to triumph over humanity and common sense.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Full of high spirits and good vibes.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It has plenty of visual sweep, fine action sequences, and, thanks especially to Brad Pitt (as Achilles) and Peter O'Toole (as King Priam), a deeper sense of character than one might expect from a sword-and-sandal epic.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is fairly efficient if you can square efficiency with being twice as long as necessary and overly familiar to boot; at least Jackson and Spacey keep it afloat.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    There are still plenty of laughs and some inventiveness along the way...although some of the gags and contrived plot moves stumble over their own cuteness.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A pleasant, inoffensive, and (quite properly) mindless diversion.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The cast is good and the story affecting, though at times Michael Mayer's direction makes the production seem a little choked up over its own enlightenment. Sissy Spacek is memorable in a secondary role.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This held me, but I was grateful when it released me.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The overall feel is phantasmagoric--pitched, like most of Maddin's work, in the style of a half-remembered late silent feature or early talkie.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Well-acted drama.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Strictly routine as filmmaking, adhering fairly consistently to the sound-bite approach. But given the subject, there's still a great deal of interest here about the life, art, milieu, and political activity of Ginsberg. (Review of Original Release)
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The filmmakers have lovingly retained and expanded on that film's only flaws, some implausible plot details. But even without the same cultural significance, it's still a good story, and the interesting cast.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The tragic and highly "symbolic" death toward the end, which is supposed to illustrate the sins of the parents being visited upon their children, barely resonates at all, because most of the insights are strictly incidental. The film elicits guilty, lascivious chuckles, not analysis.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The results are watchable enough--sometimes funny, sometimes over the top--and fairly fresh, though also a bit calculated.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Mimi Leder directed Michael Schiffer's script, handling some of the action sequences deftly enough to promote the latent idea that people who don't speak English don't deserve to live.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Apart from some unexaggerated notations about American puritanism in the 1940s and '50s, this is more a work of exploration than a thesis, and Condon mainly avoids sensationalism.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Sacrifices compelling drama for gratuitous whimsy and big-budget spectacle.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The actors are brilliant, the dialogue extremely clever, and the direction assured. But by the end I couldn't have cared less about any of the characters.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's a story worth telling, though once the participants and the filmmakers start basking in their virtue, the material begins to feel overextended.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Noah Baumbach collaborated on the arch script, whose bittersweet weirdness leaves a residue even as the narrative disintegrates.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is mainly the girl's story, though the numerous southern archetypes out of Tennessee Williams and Carson McCullers (who's explicitly referenced) keep threatening to overwhelm her.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Bridges and Allen are so bracingly good that you're encouraged to overlook how manipulative the proceedings are.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    As disposable fun, this is every bit as enjoyable and as forgettable as most Hollywood equivalents.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    DuBowski focuses on religious faith as much as sexual preference, which may be the most interesting aspect of the film.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This meticulous but ultimately rather pedestrian drama gradually won me over as a minor if watchable example of the "victory through defeat" brand of military heroism that John Ford specialized in.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    On a mindless exploitation level this is pretty good, but on other levels it seems to make promises that it fails to deliver on; none of the deaths carries any moral weight, and the climactic special-effects free-for-all tends to drown out all other interests.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The results are easy to watch, though awfully familiar and simpleminded.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Alas, most of the surprise and the wit to be found here ends with the title.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Brainlessly efficient action thriller.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    If one discounts the facile and unconvincing ending, this first feature by Guka Omarova, offers a convincingly bleak view of how a 15-year-old boy could get ahead in rural Kazakhstan in the early 90s.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    To call this "Farrelly brothers lite" may be a little redundant, but aside from the odd vomit gag, it goes relatively easy on their usual working-class taboo busting.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    I guess one out of three ain't bad.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Formulaic but fairly well-done.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Ron Howard, an exemplar of honorable mediocrity, reunites with actor Russell Crowe and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman of "A Beautiful Mind" for this epic treatment of a seven-year stretch (1928-'35) in the career of New Jersey boxer James J. Braddock.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    If you don't mind the telegraphed punches of Ruth Epstein's script and Harvey Kahn's direction, this should carry you along.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is brisk and fun to watch, thanks to the actors...But once you catch the main drift of the plot, it becomes awfully ho-hum.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    You won't be too bored.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    As soon as it became clear that this remake has nothing to do with real Georgia moonshiners and everything to do with car chases, smashups, and explosions, I could sit back and enjoy it as good, stupid fun.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Writer-director Alan Rudolph has been remaking his own romantic comedy-dramas for so long now that even when he gives us two couples instead of one or substitutes Montreal for Seattle--both of which he does here--the film still comes out feeling the same.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Falk throws himself into the part and almost single-handedly enables this comedy drama to transcend some of its sitcom limitations.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This thriller is effective if you can accept that--as with some of John Dickson Carr's locked-room mysteries--the trickiness counts more than any plausibility.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    If the Disney animated original (1961) -- adapted from Dodie Smith's novel -- tried to approximate live action, this 1996 Disney live-action remake often tries to evoke cartoon.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This obsessive movie, awarded the grand jury prize at the Sundance festival, may not quite live up to its advance billing; the subject is powerful, but the filmmaking often seems slapdash, and the final half hour dithers.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    If you don't care about such motivations, this is a pretty good thriller, though not one you're likely to remember for very long.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's too bad that Pakula allows this 1993 movie to dawdle after its climax, but prior to that he's adept at suggesting unseen menace and keeping things in motion.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Nora Ephron, who wrote and directed this, repeatedly alludes to the 1957 "An Affair to Remember" as her principal point of reference, yet at no point does she indicate any awareness of what makes that tragicomic love story sublime and this one merely cutesy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The characters' behavior isn't always believable, and the jerky rhythm takes some getting used to (there may be more attitude here than observation). But the defiant absence of any conventional plot has a cumulative charm.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's full of pain and quirky characters standing at oblique angles to one another, and while it doesn't add up it held me throughout.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is mildly entertaining, though like the puzzles themselves, it favors diversion over wisdom.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Given all the filmed memory pieces about screaming, violent Italian-American families in New York boroughs, I'm not especially thrilled by even a well-made example.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The performances are strong, but the spectator often feels adrift in an overly busy intrigue.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's a noble undertaking, and Eastwood is stylistically bold enough to create a view of combat based mainly on images that are clearly manufactured. (As with "Saving Private Ryan," the movie's principal source is "The Big Red One," whose director, Samuel Fuller, actually experienced the war.) But this is underimagined and so thesis ridden that it's nearly over before it starts.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The leads work overtime to make their characters and their relationships pungent, believable, and moving (though with regard to the rest of the cast, the movie seems less focused and confident).
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This arty and moody account of her formation as an artist, as its subtitle declares, is basically invented. Its nerviness only pays off in a few details and in Nicole Kidman's resourcefulness.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This curious ecological parable was directed by George Miller (Babe: Pig in the City), who still has an eye and a sense of humor but on this particular outing can't get the script he wrote with three others to make much sense.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This has its moments, but don't expect many fresh insights.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The main novelty of this conventional, slight, but charming youth picture is that it's English and therefore more class-conscious than most American equivalents.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A mainly routine Hong Kong action film from fleet and floppy-haired action hero Jackie Chan. It's light on plot and character, but the stunts are well staged.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    I enjoyed the invented trailers the directors fold into the mix, but despite the jokey "missing reels," these two full-length features are each 20 minutes longer than they need to be, and neither one makes much sense as narrative.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Like "The Hustler," this absorbing Las Vegas story about a professional poker player (Eric Bana) uses gambling to tell a tale of moral regeneration. But Bana can't carry a picture like Paul Newman, and poker proves less photogenic than pool.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Too bad the overreaching script has to go after effects recalling "Alien," but as a stylistic exercise this still has its chills.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Aiming at a microcosm of American life comparable in some ways to Do the Right Thing, Singleton can't quite justify or explicate his parting message ("unlearn"), but his passion is exemplary.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Director Jonathan Demme's farcical and broad 1988 comedy, written by Barry Strugatz and Mark R. Burns, doesn't really work, but there are plenty of enjoyable compensations.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The dissection of Edwardian repression never gets beyond the dutiful, tasteful obviousness of a BBC miniseries.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Given how bogus the movie is whenever it departs from formula, it's not surprising that the funniest bit (in which Peter Parker becomes a disco smoothie) is stolen from Jerry Lewis's "The Nutty Professor" or that the best special effects, involving a gigantic Sandman, dimly echo "King Kong."
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The efforts to plant this story in a contemporary vernacular are not always successful but the performances are uniformly fine in their adherence to the material, and consistently avoid any vulgarity or showboating.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Sam Raimi tries to do a Sergio Leone, and though this 1995 feature is highly enjoyable in spots, it doesn't come across as very convincing, perhaps because nothing can turn Sharon Stone into Charles Bronson.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The unvarnished quality of some of the acting limits this effort in spots, but the quirky originality of the story, characters, and filmmaking keeps one alert and curious.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The performances of both Schwarzenegger and O'Brien are labored, the pacing uneven, and maybe only half the gags work, but there's a certain amount of creative energy and audacity mixed in with all the confusion.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is stronger in terms of characters (male ones, that is) than in terms of story or mise en scene, but the actorskeep this pretty watchable.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Script and direction are both fairly slapdash, but the actors and the overall sweetness keep this chugging along on some level .
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    George Lucas produced and Jim Henson (of Muppets fame) directed this heftily budgeted 1986 fantasy, which seems to be a conscious attempt to play on the female coming-of-age themes of classic fairy tales.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Individually these elements are powerful, but they fail to mesh or collide with one another in any satisfying way, and the movie's score only exacerbates the problem.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Breillat may be serious about creating period ambience, but she also can't resist patterning her heroine after Marlene Dietrich's Concha in "The Devil Is a Woman" (even though Argento sometimes suggests Maria Montez in the pleasure she takes in her own company).
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    For torture and violence freaks, every clank and thud is duly and hyperbolically registered.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Juliette Lewis plays the out-of-town girl Depp takes a shine to once he starts getting tired of the married woman (Mary Steenburgen) he's involved with, and while the picture is too absentminded to explain what it is that makes Lewis move in and out of town, she and Depp make a swell couple. There are other rough edges as far as plot is concerned, but I liked this.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This isn't a major Dante effort, but his ability to make a good-natured satire that allows an audience to read it several ways at once is as strong as ever, and many of the sidelong genre notations are especially funny.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    If you like Ryan and Robbins as much as I do, you'll probably feel indulgent and even charmed in spots; if you don't, you'll probably run screaming out of the theater.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A quirky, lyrical independent feature by writer-director Michael Almereyda. It's shot in luscious, shimmering black and white.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Nichols is so astute at directing the actors (who also include Bill Nunn, Donald Moffat, and Nancy Marchand) that it's relatively easy to overlook the yuppie complacency, shameless devices (starting with an adorable puppy), and product plugs (especially Ritz crackers) that undermine the seriousness of the whole project.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Harlin's arsenal of conceits and visual effects--pirouetting overhead angles, dancing trigonometry formulas, a pizza flavored with tiny human heads, a lot of fancy play with a water bed, and much, much more--keeps it consistently watchable and inventive.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Pretty enjoyable as a piece of campy sleaze--especially for the first half hour, before the storytelling starts to dawdle.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Well crafted and mindless in the best Hollywood tradition.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The modeling of human figures and the sense of depth are both impressive; the characters themselves are mainly idiotic.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A talking bulldog named Frank steals the show.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Standard-issue liberal feel-good fodder.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Nobody seems to know quite what he's doing in this opulent but fairly empty period fashion show, apart from campy overactors like Christopher Walken and Jonathan Pryce who appear eager to fill the voids left by their colleagues.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    I could have done without all the pushy tactics of this romantic comedy.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Not very believable, even in relation to its own premises, but if you were charmed by "Somewhere in Time" and/or Jack Finney's novel "Time and Again," this might charm you as well.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This made-for-cable opus, halfway between documentary and docudrama, is willing to try anything and everything except for a consistent relationship to its material.

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