Joshua Rothkopf
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For 710 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 43% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joshua Rothkopf's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Heaven Knows What
Lowest review score: 20 When in Rome
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 710
710 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Yet after the actorcentric fireworks of Cianfrance’s "Blue Valentine" (2010), it’s impressive to see him going after a wider sociopolitical scope, one that would have been better served by a less repetitive structure.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The navel-gazing artist class that gave Williamsburg its character (now more of a marketable “brand”) has in Friedrich both a vigorous defender and, it must be said, something close to an angry parody of itself.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Berlinger is fully invested here, but a little distance might have helped.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Redemptively, the cast goes a long way: Jean Desailly is perfect as a jowly literary celeb deep in midlife crisis, while the aloof Françoise Dorléac is magnetic as his airline stewardess and all-too-scrutable love object.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The metafriction between these classic dupes and today's idiots chafes uneasily.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    You sense the Demme-esque working-class comedy that might have been.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Dree Hemingway, daughter of Mariel, commits to some unnecessary nudity, but also impresses with her subtlety.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's lots of volume in these tunes--the soundtrack is killer--and at least everyone gets their rocks off.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Unfortunately for us, Dern — only seen in flashback — isn’t the main character.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Swaddled with a lacquer of nostalgia that passes for cultural insight, this one-night-in-sweatpants drama will make you yearn for a moratorium on teen movies-at least ones so aggressively dewy-eyed.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    No exchanges flare into true weirdness; rather, the mood is lingering and tentative. Undoubtedly, this is the movie's intent, but it's a fairly banal comment on foreign estrangement (or love) that could have used some roughing up.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    No one is going to explain any of this for you — and the slightly snobby implication of Upstream Color is that explanations are for suckers.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It all comes down to the Big Birthday Party and a furious bike ride, which he's clearly done before, in "The 40 Year Old Virgin."
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    When Sarah's Key leans into the horror (as it should), it's harrowing. Alas, that's only half the time.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    West holds your interest with material that should feel like a rip-off of The Shining. If this is mere placeholding until something more ambitious comes along for the rising director, it'll do.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie isn’t adventurous, but I’m sure glad it exists.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    St. Vincent has nothing on Rushmore, an obvious forebearer, even though it strains for the same egalitarian spirit of thrown-together family, one that includes a pregnant Russian stripper (Naomi Watts) and a sympathetic but firm Catholic schoolteacher (Chris O’Dowd).
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The oddest thing about the movie - and perhaps the asset that will tip it over into the plus column for you - is that it's a bona fide scuzz-Western.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Alas, it all comes off as hit and myth, mainly due to our leaden, buzz-cut hero, Perseus (Avatar’s Worthington, no Harry Hamlin), and zero sparks of heavenly-body chemistry or humor.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Seeing as how Kill the Messenger comes down firmly on the side of Webb’s truth, it’s unfortunate that his discoveries are only confirmed via the end credits. Missing from the action, too, is the merest hint of our hero’s demise by suicide in 2004. These aspects should have been better showcased; as is, it’s not the whole story.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Crushingly, the dependably perverse art-action director Nicolas Winding Refn has finally made a boring movie.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Daringly plotless and disconnected (“just like my life!” squeals the target audience), Noah Baumbach’s latest, a breeze, feels a lot less self-absorbed than usual, mainly for not having a neurotic at its core.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    You outsmart the movie way too soon.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The Grandmaster, five years in the making, feels like a waste of Wong’s talents.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The 3-D effects, so promising on paper, don't really add much-and, worse, there's a overreliance on slow-motion, which kills the fun.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    But scary? Not so much.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    If you'll pardon the cleverness, Frank takes time to wrap your own cranium around, faults and all, and that's a wonderful thing.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Jessica Lange, as rare as a unicorn these days, seizes on the role of a grieving mother with two taloned hands. If there are any tremors of shame to be felt here, they emanate from her.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    While slickly enjoyable in parts, the biggest misstep here comes by puncturing Spielberg’s grandeur.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Safety Not Guaranteed doesn't quite know what kind of comedy it wants to be; the humor works best in its first hour, when the news-of-the-weird plot takes on a suggestive dimension of romantic desperation.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Tyrannosaur won't translate into entertainment, nor as a wake-up call to the dark side of humanity - though it does work nicely as a tart slice of hard-bitten acting; the entire cast is superb.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A deep supporting cast brings its A-game to the ridiculous dialogue.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    So why is this songwriter, so articulate on vinyl, so vague and spacey in current-day interviews? Something happened here, deeper than an aborted quest for fame, and the documentary hasn't gotten to it.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    But you do take the film home with you - to all your own toys - and that's what decent horror is supposed to do.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The material isn’t excited or shaped toward any insight — the Mike Leigh of "Naked" did this sort of thing brilliantly — and the arrival of a sluggish investigating journalist (Richard Jenkins), himself a bar fixture and underachiever, doesn’t offer a valid counterpoint.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie works-to the extent that it does-because of its sharply un-PC script (credited to Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky) that sometimes feels like a Hollywood rewrite of "Election."
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Executive-produced by Steven Spielberg, the movie's special effects are seamless and far more cleanly cut than any of Michael Bay's hash. But the element that lingers longest is a subtle strand - also woven into last week's "Take Shelter" - of recessionary anxiety.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    For all its episodic, gleeful inappropriateness, the movie Klown most resembles - not that it tries to or anything - is Alexander Payne's half-soused flight from maturity, "Sideways."
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Philip Seymour Hoffman and a ratlike Paul Giamatti are the competing spin doctors - you wish the whole movie were about them. And Marisa Tomei brings a hungry sense of scoopmaking to the (unavoidable?) role of a New York Times journalist who's seen it all.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Superb limb-erasing effects and lush cinematography are bonuses, though not so much the cloying presence of American Idol's Carrie Underwood.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The whole second half suggests a new way of storytelling-like one of those Wes Anderson montages done by an obsessive fan of Hatari! To judge from Tabu's first hour, pacing is not Gomes's strong suit, yet the filmmaker who emerges might win you over.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Moodysson hasn’t exactly descended to "Babel"-level pabulum with Mammoth, his first foray into English; these characters are too fascinatingly thorny, and he still has a supple way with a pulse-throbbing dance tune.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The Good Heart dilutes Cox’s gravitas with quirk.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    When a movie is this predicated on aping the Coen brothers (effectively, it should be added, in fits and starts), surprise won't be its strong suit.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The documentary feels preprogrammed when it could have been a real-life Black Swan.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The doc dutifully allows for these varying viewpoints, but in a mode that’s not especially captivating, despite a guitar score by Brokeback Mountain’s Gustavo Santaolalla.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Though play with fire she might, couldn't screenwriter Jonas Frykberg have played with a little button called DELETE? There's no reason why a two-hour movie should feel like three, nor require quite so much fidelity to Larsson's plot curlicues.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's too much coyness about the implicit romance across the table; several other tensions concerning female independence go mostly unexplored. But the film's quiet focus on a woman's anxiety is not unwelcome.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie strays too far into fantasy - Abe suffers mightily - but Solondz still has an ear and an eye for a specific hell in the real world.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Holy Motors is aggressively "wild," a puzzle that tweaks the mind but doesn't nourish.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A completely unnecessary sequel, plays a lot like "The Godfather, Part III"-lush, self-parodic and cut adrift from urgency.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Meek's Cutoff has found its passionate defenders, those who admire it almost because of its meandering, heavily politicized nature. Yet you might try it-and try it again-and still only grab a handful of dust.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Sinister has so much going for it - adult psychology, a great bitchfest of a marital meltdown - that you wince when it finally makes some rather dull choices involving the supernatural.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Knuckleheaded though this faculty-member-turned-MMA-fighter comedy is, there's no denying the plot's lefty credentials, snuck in like Raisinets among the popcorn.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Entertainingly, the klezmer-scored Deli Man charts the history of urban eateries, nowhere near as prominent as they were during the early 20th century but still a vital link to Yiddish-accented comforts.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    For all his brilliance with choreography, Woo is flummoxed by the thousands of actual human extras, though there’s no denying his commitment to the finer points of battle tactics (yawn).
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The doc makes a hairpin turn into sentiment, as the realities of immigration law impose themselves on Randi’s private relationship with his Venezuelan lover of 25 years. We already know that professional charlatans run from their pasts. Where they head to, though, is the better question: For a while, An Honest Liar brings a captivating crusader into view.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's no Deep Throat this time, but Tom Wilkinson does his best Ben Bradlee as a hawkish legal mentor, while Kevin Kline coos menacingly as Lincoln's Nixonian war secretary, Edwin Stanton, a man seeking to hang prisoners out of political expediency. It all seems a little forced.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This one belongs to the women: As a gold-digging mistress, Isla Fisher does half-smart expertly, while Jennifer Aniston demonstrates her underrated timing as a wealthy kidnapping victim turned confidante.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Still, the problem that often fells these documentaries - humorlessness - has been licked: Jack Black makes an exuberant cameo pitching recycled toilet water (his fake brand is called Porcelain Springs). Sound gross? Open wide, because it's on the menu for all of us.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    You don’t often see style this gorgeous (however empty), and that must count for something. Groovy soundtrack cues by Ennio Morricone and others do the heavy lifting.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film definitely gets it up, but has some commitment issues.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This is another dinner conversation that races and lingers, making you want to do more with your own life.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Barreling toward its rapidly modernizing future, China takes Internet addiction more seriously than most nations: To watch Web Junkie, an often scary yet half-realized documentary, is to see a society trapped in its old solutions.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Some moments are so deliciously shivery-our heroes' breath condensing in the air like in John Carpenter's "The Thing"-that you wish the film were naughtier and less nice.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Working from autobiographical material, Sebastián Silva does wonders with these two dedicated performances — the ice king and the earth goddess, both of them neurotically detached from their sunny surroundings.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Until the movie's cathartic showdown (and a few backstory revelations that impress too late), The Drop putters along in a dozy register, less a simmering pot than a cooling one.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It helps that Milo (Hader) and Maggie (Wiig) are cranky adult siblings, sharing a whip-crack shorthand that longtime skit partners know how to muster effortlessly.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The meal here is mainly nostalgia, larded with a thick sauce of irony.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Perfect Sisters, which takes a dark, matricidal turn (inspired by an actual Toronto case), was never going to be a new "Heavenly Creatures." But give credit to director Stan Brooks for allowing his two former child stars some real meat to sink their teenage chops into.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Escalation is the main thing Margin Call has going for it, as more substantial actors are trotted out to have their way with Chandor's realistic-sounding boardroom dialogue.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Winterbottom's risks are welcome; it may be time, though, to invest more heart instead of head.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Morris's new subject looks relaxed and comfortable as ever lobbing out the same old evasions. He probably loves the attention from the Oscar-winning director.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There’s still too much flashback material here about apprentices and evil cops. But if you’ve ever raged at nameless, insensitive service people, you won’t mind seeing them strapped into a rotating turret, the shotgun cocking.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    If you go into Maleficent expecting Jolie to be the badass of Sleeping Beauty, you’re going to get burned.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Crisply and efficiently, we're transported to the realm of the kidnapping thriller--and if Brit writer-director J Blakeson knew how to sustain tension for another hour and change, we'd be heralding the next Jonathan "Sexy Beast" Glazer.
    • Time Out New York
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Ceaselessly upbeat and just short of zany, Let My People Go! will bring smiles of recognition to anyone who hasn't seen early Woody Allen in a while.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The script, partly credited to Lost's Damon Lindelof, is so filled with talky lectures about divinity (and boner plot holes) that you realize, with embarrassment, that Scott, at age 74, wants to join the cosmic company of Terrence Malick. Does he not think that making a drum-tight horror film was ambitious enough?
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    John Wick feels like action manna for its cleanly designed gun-fu sequences—ones you can actually follow—and brutal takedowns. But the revenge plotting is deeply dopey and we shouldn't have to choose one or the other.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Persuasive sci-fi tech talk, soulful romance and an earnest stab at metaphysics combine in director Mike Cahill's polished second feature.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It’s a movie that tips toward overkill--even Ronan’s voice is amplified into a weird whisper. More quiet would have helped.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    No matter how predictable his arc is, writer-director Thomas McCarthy (The Station Agent) never loses sight of the difficulties of cashflow and making one's weekly nut. You'll want to give his movie-and his secret weapon, the lovably neurotic Bobby Cannavale, as a recent divorcé hoping to co-coach the team-a pass for sweetness.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Dank with the effluvia of a proudly unhygienic, sex-obsessed German teen, this frenetic adaptation of Charlotte Roche’s notorious 2008 best-seller is a standing dare to anyone who thinks the movies have gotten too tame.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie skips along episodically; it's not quite as sharp as a war narrative needs to be, even if its nightmarish psychology feels spot-on.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    When the movie is doing its tough-guy-seeking-redemption thing, it’s more than just good.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Densely plotted by director Yuval Adler and Ali Wakad (the former Israeli, the latter Palestinian), this informant crime drama finds admirable complexity in the folds of its shifting allegiances — even if you’ve seen this dynamic done better in movies like "The Departed."
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie isn’t particularly scary--not a crime when your goal is laughs. More egregious is the niggling fact that this simply isn’t as witty as "Shaun of the Dead," forever the yuks-meet-yucks standard.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    You never feel the burn in The Skin I Live In, certainly not the way you do in an immortal shocker like "Eyes Without a Face." It's almost as if Almodóvar wanted to reach out into a gory genre, but couldn't do so without wearing prissy gloves.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A quintet of actors carve out a beautiful, ill-fated geometry in John Wells's layoff drama, which might play like a retort to "Up in the Air" if it didn't have shortcomings of its own.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This is textbook Kaurismäki, neither fresh nor unwelcome.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Dazzling on his recently concluded Kroll Show in multiple caricatures, Nick Kroll makes a savvy pivot to a role that allows for similar shades.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The middle section of the story is where Rise truly takes off, perhaps in ways that will have viewers forgiving the rest.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Blue Caprice is probably what more post-9/11 cinema should have been: desperate for explanations, inchoate and wrapped in unspoken loneliness. Even though we can stomach it better a decade later, we’re still not healed.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie hinges on a lengthy lesbian sex scene between in-on-the-joke leads Asta Paredes and Catherine Corcoran; "Blue Is the Warmest Color" this ain’t.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Too many characters contribute to a dulling of the cross-cultural spark found in the original (and in the better-known A Prophet). Kinnaman doesn’t have as much to play with this time — without his double life, he’s just an unsmooth criminal.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Extract, for all its surface reminders of Judge’s 1999 cult hit, "Office Space" (it’s set around a suburban bottling plant), shows its maker taking the smallest step toward lesser comic matters of infidelity and bong abuse. It feels slightly beneath him. That’s not to say you should skip it.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A cute suitor shows up at Natia’s side with the gift of a pistol (for her protection, he insists), and you wait in vain for it to go off. Rather, the fireworks come in last-act shouting bouts, sincere if slightly disappointing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Writer-director Von Trotta, an icon of the New German Cinema, doesn't have the technical chops for the fireworks you desire, so she settles for wan earnestness.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It's almost cruel to criticize something so essentially lighthearted and disposable, but it must be said that a lot of these jokes feel distinctly recycled, mainly from "Broadway Danny Rose."
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Firth is exceptional in letting us into his dissolving pride.

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