Jonathan Rosenbaum

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For 1,493 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 41% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 57% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jonathan Rosenbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Inland Empire
Lowest review score: 0 Good Luck Chuck
Score distribution:
1493 movie reviews
    • 99 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A great film but also one of the most upsetting films I know.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    An early voice-over segment about the Casbah itself, before Gabin makes an appearance, is so pungent you can almost taste the place, even though the filming was clearly done in a studio.
    • 98 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Unlike most horror movies, this chiller gives equal prominence to reality and fantasy, though the reality is far more frightening. The only precedent that comes to mind in terms of a lyrical treatment of a child's experience of terror is "The Night of the Hunter."
    • 97 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The opening half-hour--the burglary of a jewelry store, filmed in meticulous detail--is as good as its inspiration in The Asphalt Jungle, but the film turns moralistic and sour in the last half, when the thieves fall out.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Wong Kar-wai's idiosyncratic style first became apparent in this gorgeously moody second feature.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Ran
    A stunning achievement in epic cinema.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Yet some of the laughs come too easy and linger too long; for the film's message to have maximum impact, the laughter has to stick in your throat.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A veritable salad of mixed genres and emotional textures, this exciting black-and-white cold war thriller runs more than two hours and never flags for an instant...A powerful experience, alternately corrosive with dark parodic humor, suspenseful, moving, and terrifying.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Tarantino's mock-tough narrative--which derives most of its titillation from farcical mayhem, drugs, deadpan macho monologues, evocations of anal penetration, and terms of racial abuse--resembles a wet dream for 14-year-old male closet queens (or, perhaps more accurately, the 14-year-old male closet queen in each of us), and his command of this smart-alecky mode is so sure that this nervy movie sparkles throughout with canny twists and turns.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Shot on a year's worth of weekends on a minuscule budget (less than $20,000), this remarkable work--conceivably the best single feature about ghetto life that we have--was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry as one of the key works of the American cinema, an ironic and belated form of recognition for a film that has had virtually no distribution. It shouldn't be missed.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's one of the best movies about revolutionary and anticolonial activism ever made, convincing, balanced, passionate, and compulsively watchable as storytelling.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Payne's entertaining but familiar comedy lacks the insolence of his "Election" and the freshness of his work with Kathy Bates in "About Schmidt."
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Frightening, funny, profound, and mysterious.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The juxtaposition of liberal Jewish attorney Dershowitz (Silver) and von Bulow working together on the latter's defense makes for some engagingly offbeat drama, with some interesting insights into the legal process.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The first Ang Lee film I've seen that I've liked without qualification.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Spielberg does an uncommonly good job both of holding our interest over 185 minutes and of showing more of the nuts and bolts of the Holocaust than we usually get from fiction films. Despite some characteristic simplifications, he's generally scrupulous about both his source and the historical record.
    • 93 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Perhaps the most formally ravishing-as well as the most morally and ideologically problematic-film ever directed by Martin Scorsese. (Review of Original Release).
    • 93 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Zwigoff not only presents a complex human being and the range of his art but also guides us through a profound and unsettling consideration of what it means to be an American artist. Essential viewing.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Yang seems to miss nothing as he interweaves shifting viewpoints and poignant emotional refrains.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is truly a great film, recently celebrated at length in "My Voyage to Italy," Martin Scorsese's documentary about Italian cinema.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This has loads of swagger, but for stylistic audacity I prefer Anderson's more scattershot "Magnolia."
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios join forces on an entertaining computer-generated, hyperrealist animation feature that's also in effect a toy catalog.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's full of scenic splendors with a fine sense of scale, but its narrative thrust seems relatively pro forma, and I was bored by the battle scenes.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is a masterwork by Ousmane Sembene, the 81-year-old father of African cinema and one of Senegal's greatest novelists.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Exciting not as ethnography but as storytelling, as drama, and as filmmaking.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Roman Polanski's first film in English (1965, 105 min.) is still his scariest and most disturbing--not only for its evocations of sexual panic, but also because his masterful employment of sound puts the audience's imagination to work in numerous ways...As narrative this works only part of the time, and as case study it may occasionally seem too pat, but as subjective nightmare it's a stunning piece of filmmaking.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This 1985 film's absolute freedom from cliches is genuinely refreshing; looking at it again after Van Sant's subsequent "Drugstore Cowboy," I found it every bit as good and in some ways even more impressive than the later film. It shouldn't be missed.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Masterpiece.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is a powerful and persuasive look at an ethnic community and what makes it tick.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The acting is so strong--with Spall a particular standout--that you're carried along as by a tidal wave.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 30 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A very well-made genre exercise, but I can’t understand why it’s been accorded so much importance, unless it’s because it strokes some ideological impulse.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    An adroit piece of storytelling from Irish writer-director Neil Jordan that's ultimately less challenging to conventional notions about race and sexuality than it may at first seem... The three leads are first-rate.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Nothing that suggests an independent vision, unless you count seeing more limbs blown off than usual.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Better in certain ways than the original "Apocalypse Now," though the flaws are also magnified.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Tarkovsky's eerie mystic parable is given substance by the filmmaker's boldly original grasp of film language and the remarkable performances by all the principals.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The power and reach of this undertaking are formidable.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Thoroughly researched, unobtrusively upholstered, this beautifully assured entertainment about Victorian England is a string of delights.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This outrageous comic fantasy may not sustain its brilliance throughout all of its 112 minutes, but it keeps cooking for so much of that time that I don't have many complaints.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    One of the most perfect endings of any film that comes to mind.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This has much of the warmth and feeling for adolescence that Crowe displayed in his first feature ("Say Anything"), though the slick showboating of "Jerry Maguire" isn't entirely absent either.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    I can't say that this feature by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, about the life and art of Harvey Pekar, made me want to run out and buy his comic books, but it does offer a highly interesting and original introduction to them.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    There are even more characters of interest here than in "Nashville."
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Greengrass takes pains to keep events believable and relatively unrhetorical, rejecting entertainment for the sake of sober reflection, though one has to ask how edifying this is apart from its reduction of the standard myths.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    As absurd and as beautiful as a fairy tale, this chilling, nocturnal black-and-white masterpiece was originally released in this country dubbed and under the title "The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus," but it's much too elegant to warrant the usual "psychotronic" treatment.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Powerful and haunting.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Undeniably provocative and reasonably entertaining, The Truman Show is one of those high-concept movies whose concept is both clever and dumb.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Coppola does a fair job of capturing the fish-tank ambience of nocturnal, upscale Tokyo and showing how it feels to be a stranger in that world, and an excellent job of getting the most from her lead actors. Unfortunately, I'm not sure she accomplishes anything else.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The fictional story here, set between 1984 and 1991, focuses on the investigation of a popular and patriotic playwright (Sebastian Koch); that the captain assigned to his case (touchingly played by Ulrich Mühe) is mainly sympathetic and working surreptitiously on the playwright's behalf only makes this more disturbing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    There isn't an ounce of flab or hype, and the story it tells is profoundly affecting.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is the apotheosis of Classics Illustrated filmmaking, aiming at nothing more than tasteful reduction, and the fact that it's done so well here doesn't mean that it's necessarily worth doing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Stylistically, it's a remarkable effort -- with a continuous sense of gliding motion -- and the film is entertaining and gripping throughout.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A Chayefsky movie isn't hard to identify, but I think it's safe to say that these days a Charlie Kaufman movie is even more recognizable.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    "Sweetie" and "An Angel at My Table" have taught us to expect startling as well as beautiful things from Jane Campion, and this assured and provocative third feature offers yet another lush parable--albeit a bit more calculated and commercially minded--about the perils and paradoxes of female self-expression.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The grafting of 40s hard-boiled detective story with SF thriller creates some dysfunctional overlaps, and the movie loses some force whenever violence takes over, yet this remains a truly extraordinary, densely imagined version of both the future and the present, with a look and taste all its own.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This remarkable British silent (1929) is special in many ways.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Some of the results ring false, but the memorable theme song and some equally memorable character acting (by Thomas Mitchell and Lon Chaney Jr. more than Lloyd Bridges and Katy Jurado) help things along.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It has few stars familiar to Americans, and it shares with "Pan's Labyrinth" the rare distinction of being a mainstream commercial movie with subtitles.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    If, like me, you've been wondering how Terry Zwigoff, the brilliant documentary filmmaker who made "Crumb," would negotiate his shift to fiction filmmaking, here's your answer: brilliantly.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A genuine rarity: a sex comedy with brains.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The depictions of novelist Harper Lee (Catherine Keener) and editor William Shawn (Bob Balaban) aren't convincing, but Miller is mainly interested in Capote's identification and duplicitous relationship with Perry Smith, one of the murderers he was writing about, and that story rings true.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Powerful.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's hard to deny that Marlon Brando's performance as a dock worker and ex-fighter who finally decides to rat on his gangster brother (Rod Steiger) is pretty terrific.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Classic genre movies may be a scarce commodity, but this gutsy crime thriller and female buddy movie qualifies in spades.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Though it's a good half hour too long, this belated, overblown spin-off of the 60s TV show otherwise adds up to a pretty good suspense thriller.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Robert Redford's best and richest directorial effort.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Whether the title refers to the baby or the thief remains an open question, and the viewer is left to decide whether the theme of redemption should be perceived in Christian terms. This builds to a suspenseful climax, and as in Hitchcock's best work, that suspense is morally inflected.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The film has a fresh and imaginative feel for period detail that the talented cast - which also features Gabriel Byrne, Christian Bale, Eric Stoltz, John Neville, and Mary Wickes - obviously benefits from.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    For better and for worse, this is seductive storytelling as well as investigative journalism, and I wasn't always sure which mode I was in.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The depiction of her risky voyage and what happens afterward is highly suspenseful and entirely believable.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The film is watchable as well as informative...But I wish I had a better notion of what story he's trying to tell.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is the kind of tasteful tearjerker that's often overrated and smothered with prizes because it flatters our tolerance and sensitivity.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The high-powered drive of both the storytelling and the music is riveting.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's reasonably well told and well mounted but little more.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    For me it felt like a good many weeks at a politically correct summer camp, though the talented actors--including Cecilia Roth, Eloy Azorin, Marisa Paredes, Toni Canto, Antonia San Juan, and Penelope Cruz--certainly seem to enjoy the taste of the characters they're playing.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Cunningly scripted and acted, and talky in the best sense, the film is engrossing to watch but not especially interesting to ponder afterward; it's certainly an improvement on formulaic Hollywood, but on a thematic level there's still more windup than delivery.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Charting the ruthlessness of an ambitious bimbo telecaster in Little Hope, New Hampshire, this staccato black comedy sustains its brilliant exposition and narration until the plot turns to premeditated murder, complete with hapless and semicoherent teenage accomplices.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Haggis's dialogue is worthy of Hemingway, and the three leads border on perfection.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    "Heathers" may view teenagers more caustically, but this movie, incomparably better, actually delivers the goods.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The wonderful Richard Farnsworth plays the lead, and he was clearly born for the part...a highly affecting and suggestive spiritual odyssey.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Stylistically fresh and full of sweetness that never cloys, this is contemporary Hollywood filmmaking at its near best.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    An astonishing tour de force--especially for Irons, whose sense of nuance is so refined that one can tell in a matter of seconds which twin he is playing in a particular scene.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A powerful piece of social protest, skillfully written, directed, and acted...Hilary Swank as Brandon and Chloe Sevigny as his girlfriend Lana are especially fine.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Ten
    The film offers a fascinating glimpse of the Iranian urban middle class, and though it eschews most of the pleasures of composition and landscape found in other Kiarostami films, it's never less than riveting.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    I don't see this slightly better-than-average drug thriller, with slightly better-than-average direction by Steven Soderbergh, as anything more than a routine rubber-stamping of genre reflexes.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A heartfelt, passionate, tragic musical suite made up of these formulas, which the film both celebrates and wryly examines to discover their inner logic: how they actually work, what they do and don't do.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    While the filmmakers manage to keep things interesting (sexy, kinky, and ambiguous) much of the time, the self-conscious piety that Frears lavishes on this material places it in an uncertain netherworld that prevents it from ever becoming fully convincing, even as a stylistic exercise.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Its special effects are used so seamlessly as part of an overall artistic strategy that, as critic Annette Michelson has pointed out, they don't even register as such, and thus are almost impossible to trivialize, a feat unmatched in movies.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Mesmerizing.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Masterfully charted and acted.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This erotically charged drama may not be quite as great as the original, but it's an amazing and beautiful work just the same.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 40 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The surface activity keeps one occupied, but never adds up to much because none of the characters is developed beyond the cartoon level; and the snobby sense of knowingness that's over everything is uncomfortably close to what the movie is supposed to be dissecting.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    To my knowledge there's no one anywhere making films with such a sharp sense of contemporary working-class life -- but for the Dardennes it's only the starting point of a spiritual and profoundly ethical odyssey.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    I'm not prone to like socially deterministic films of this kind, yet Loach is so masterful at squeezing nuance and truth out of the form that I was completely won over.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A brilliant satirical diagnosis of what's most screwed up about life in this country, especially when it comes to sexual frustration and kiddie porn.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    There's not much story here, but the characters are substantial: a single mother (nicely played by Juliette Binoche) who runs a local avant-garde puppet theater and is preoccupied with such matters as a downstairs tenant who refuses to pay rent or leave, her neglected but mainly cheerful son, and his Taiwanese nanny, a filmmaker in her spare time.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 70 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    An impressive piece of filmmaking, with lively and suggestive depictions of pre- and postrevolutionary Cuba (shot in Mexico).
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Notwithstanding its occasional grotesque nods to postmodernist convention, this is highly entertaining Hollywood filmmaking, full of spark and vigor.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The results are masterful, admirably unsentimental, and never boring, if also a little stodgy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    So accessible and entertaining.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A dedicated, charismatic, crack-addicted history teacher is the most believable protagonist in an American movie this year.

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