Jonathan Rosenbaum

Select another critic »
For 1,581 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 2.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Jonathan Rosenbaum's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Beauty in Trouble
Lowest review score: 0 Bratz
Score distribution:
1581 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Nothing that suggests an independent vision, unless you count seeing more limbs blown off than usual.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Its virtues are still genuine and durable enough to resist the blandishments of hype.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's reasonably well told and well mounted but little more.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    As a moral reconsideration of the role of violence in previous Eastwood films, this is strong and sure, and characters who play against genre expectations give the film a provocative aftertaste. The only limitation, really, is that the picture hasn't much dramatic urgency apart from its revisionist context.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The performances, especially of Penn and Robbins, are so powerful and detailed (down to the Boston accents) that they often persuade one to overlook the narrative contrivances (particularly the incessant crosscutting), the arty trimmings (including Eastwood's own score), and the dubious social philosophy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Even though it's scripted by a woman (Kelly Masterson), this tale of buried family resentments rising to the surface as the brothers plot to rob their parents' jewelry store is concerned only with the guys, and it's marred by an uncharacteristically mannered performance by Albert Finney as the father.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    As beautifully mounted as this production is, Scorsese has a way of letting the decor take over, so that Wharton's tale of societal constraints comes through only in fits and starts. But it's a noble failure.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    There's some striking camerawork by Christopher Doyle (in 35-millimeter) and Rain Kathy Li (in Super-8), though this doesn't alter the overall feeling of random, nihilistic drift.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Takes a while to arrive at what it has to say, but some of the performances kept me occupied in the meantime.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    I seem to be in a distinct minority in finding the satire toothless, obvious, and insufferably glib -- Still, I found genuine pleasure in watching Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, and John C. Reilly try their hands at singing and dancing.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The result is grimly "effective," but it made me long for Hollywood junk.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The script dawdles, and in spite of a good cast--Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton (who's especially resourceful), Bridget Fonda, and Brent Briscoe--the movie tends to amble around its points rather than drive straight toward the heart of the matter.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    While the results are far from unprofessional--the cast is uniformly good, including a characteristically slapped-around Meryl Streep...The male self-pity is so overwhelming that you'll probably stagger out of this mumbling something about Tolstoy (as many critics did when the film first came out in 1978) if you aren't as nauseated as I was.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Half-funny mockumentary.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Maybe you'll enjoy it, but don't expect to remember it ten minutes later, or even to believe in the characters while you're watching them.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The three actors manage to get a lot of mileage out of the material: although one never quite believes that Tandy's character is Jewish, she is remarkable in every other respect, and Freeman and Aykroyd are wonderful throughout.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Everyone who likes this movie calls it "disturbing," but what disturbs me most is the self-loathing laughter it provokes, similar to what one often hears at Woody Allen and Michael Moore comedies.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Remains mired in a smart-alecky film-school sensibility.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    It's extremely competent, shot in 'Scope (Boorman's best screen format), and though it kept me absorbed it failed to win me over.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The banal score seems more appropriate for a western, and there's a certain self-conscious theatricality in the mise en scene, yet this is both handsome and affecting.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The results are watchable enough--sometimes funny, sometimes over the top--and fairly fresh, though also a bit calculated.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Has its awkward and square moments directorially, but it's also uncommonly honest and serious.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Originally a two-part film running about three hours, this treacle has been reduced by almost a third, though it still seems to run on forever -- a bit like life but much less interesting.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The performances are perfectly distilled, but the traits I dislike in Bergman are all here -- self-pity, brutality, spiritual constipation, and an unwillingness to try to overcome these difficulties.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A strong example of the cinema verite style at work, yet few films of the school show up the crisis of its "noninvolvement" policy more tellingly.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Despite some sentimentality and occasional directorial missteps, this is a respectable piece of work--evocative, very funny in spots, and obviously keenly felt. With Francis Capra, Taral Hicks, and Katherine Narducci.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This 1998 film held my interest for two hours, even taking on an epic feel when it turns into a road movie. It's not bad by any means, but it also happens to resemble a lot of other movies.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The film adopts, somewhat insidiously, the myth that life was simpler back in 1953 and '54, and it offers Murrow as a lesson for today.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A rather ho-hum if watchable neo-noir.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 40 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Drove violence to the point of redundancy.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Whereas "Posession" was relatively light on its feet, this is so overloaded from the outset that it can only sink.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The larger considerations and film noir overtones detract too much from the facts of the case, and what emerges are two effective half-films, each partially at odds with the other.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    In short, it's amusing only if you agree not to think very much about it.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Reminded me most of Jean Genet's "Un chant d'amour," with bondage and latex replacing incarceration and cigarettes. This is not to say that it's equally good or poetic, but the eroticizing of a whole universe is no less apparent.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A brave effort to stare down the specter of American failure, it gets off on the wrong foot by pretentiously turning the doomed hero into a Christ figure--a traffic cop with arms extended in crucifixion mode--before the story even gets started.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    If you like being shaken up and don't care too much why or how, this is probably for you; Huppert gives her all to the part, and you won't be bored.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Lacks the scariness, the mystery, and even much of the curiosity of Rivette's better work.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    I wouldn't have minded even the Hollywood schlock lurking behind the studied weirdness if I'd believed in any of the characters on any level.
    • 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).
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The whole thing's so worthy that I wish I liked it more. It makes time pass agreeably, but Square John still seems about as innocent of fresh ideas (aesthetically and otherwise) as most of his characters, and for this kind of leftist multiplot I found his "City of Hope" more engaging.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    In some ways, for better and for worse, this is even more about Graysmith (Jake Gyllehaal)--who became obsessed with solving the Zodiac killings that terrorized northern California in the late 60s--than about the murderer.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Disappointingly conventional though well-made...An OK teen movie, but not a whole lot more.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    About as entertaining as a no-brainer can be--a lot more fun, for my money, than a cornball theme-park ride like "Speed," and every bit as fast moving. But don't expect much of an aftertaste.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The sensibility is Southern California Witless, and the jokey intertitles that periodically take up half the 'Scope frames ("This is a comedy. Sort of.") are even more smarmy than the characters.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The film is all but crushed by Tom Cruise's screen-hogging demand that everything collapse and swoon around him. If the star gave us more of a rest, we might have more of a movie.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Part of the minimalist humor growing out of this small-scale event is that they can barely remember anything, because the revolution scarcely made any difference.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    An irrefutable triumph of engineering, and it entertained and intrigued me through two separate viewings...though as a view of the human condition it's astonishingly and depressingly meager.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    An unholy mess that becomes steadily more incoherent -- morally, dramatically, and conceptually.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Very slickly and glibly put together, with a sharp eye for yuppie decor and accoutrements; even Woody's habitual, fanciful vision of an all-white New York is respected.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Singleton shows some genuine talent in handling character and action, and equal amounts of confusion and attitude when it comes to matters of gender and ghetto politics.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Tries to be an audacious, irreverent satire about youth culture like "Lord Love a Duck," but most of the laughs get strangled at birth by the uncertainty of Siega's tone.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Sacrifices compelling drama for gratuitous whimsy and big-budget spectacle.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Death of a President wants to function as a mindless thriller that eventually makes us think -- and only after the film is over question the form that encouraged us to be mindless. These are incompatible agendas, and in the end neither is fully successful.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel is commercial to the core.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    If you don't care about the first version, or what director Jonathan Demme's name once meant, the cast does an OK job with Daniel Pyne and Dean Georgaris's routine thriller script.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    At some point in this endless thriller the suspense turns into an extremely unpleasant ordeal that Dahl doesn't know when to stop.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Cheung can't make the woman very interesting in her own right--the most compelling performance here is Nolte's.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    All the virtues of the original... are present here, though when Cameron tries to milk some sentiment out of the "personality" and fate of his top machine he comes up flat and empty, and the other characters are scarcely more interesting.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Worst of all, the movie's conventional showbiz finale, brimming with false uplift, implies that the traumas of other mutilated and disillusioned Vietnam veterans can easily be overcome if they write books and turn themselves into celebrities.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    What's most conspicuously missing is the kind of background information needed to assess many of Eichmann's statements.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The main activity charted in the documentary is a kind of adolescent mischief, as Dick and a private investigator seek to uncover and expose the anonymous MPAA employees.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    A pretty good caper comedy for 11-year-old boys -- "heist thriller" would make it sound too ambitious.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Munich may have value as an act of expiation but not as entertainment or art.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The Spielbergian attempt at sweetness--heralded by references in Danny Elfman's score to the Nutcracker Suite--never fully convinces.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    I'm too big a fan of director James Whale (1896-1957) to take a film about him lightly, and I'm afraid this speculative 1998 movie about his last days won't do.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The dissection of Edwardian repression never gets beyond the dutiful, tasteful obviousness of a BBC miniseries.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The young heroine is rather humorless, but Gavras's intelligence and skillful touch are evident throughout.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Too full of its own heavy breathing to work as the primordial storytelling it's aiming for--a so-so adventure story is closer to the mark.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Even as a simple genre picture it works only in fits and starts.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This is mildly entertaining, though like the puzzles themselves, it favors diversion over wisdom.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Thornton seems born to play the sort of slow-witted poet of the mundane that the Coens find worthy of their condescending affection.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Standard-issue liberal feel-good fodder.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    The film has little to do with art, intelligence, or values (except for the kind found in department stores).
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Griffith's talent, energy, and sexiness give it some drive and punch.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 40 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    I never thought that a thoughtful director like Gillian Armstrong would get trapped in such Euro-nonsense, but I guess there's a first time for everything.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Its resolution reeks of phoniness and self-congratulation, even if some of the narrative strands leading up to it are fairly absorbing.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    This frantic tale seems at once preachy and incoherent, collapsing into a more or less random collection of disconnected, unfocused scenes.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Each set piece is effectively executed, but the characters and their motivations become progressively dimmer and more confused.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Succeeds at least in being offbeat, but its inanities and glib pretensions are so thick that it mainly comes across as tacky and contrived.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Ray
    Differs from other authorized Hollywood musical biopics in one striking detail: its subject, still alive when most of this was made, is almost never shown as a likable person.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Jonathan Rosenbaum
    Carell and Apatow collaborated on the script; it does manage a few laughs, but the characters seldom progress beyond the two-dimensional.

Top Trailers