Joshua Rothkopf
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For 642 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 2.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joshua Rothkopf's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 How to Survive a Plague
Lowest review score: 20 When in Rome
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 642
642 movie reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Unpacks the man's story with a dramatic flair that might be mistaken for Zoolanderiffic, if it weren't so aptly accessible.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Though his results are sometimes raw, Dolan seems to be chronicling heartache as he discovers it. Indulge him.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It's a quietly witty film, much like the dude himself.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The Arbor's pummeling second half begins with the collapse of its celebrity subject; the following spirals of self-destruction make you suspect that some childhoods are simply too hard to escape. Tough, worthy stuff.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Fantastical is what we get: Cameraman is filled with Cardiff's achingly beautiful work.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The unexpectedly wonderful thing about this sequel is that it actually improves on the jokes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Director Radu Muntean has pulled off the near-impossible, turning each scene (captured in capacious long takes) into arias of generosity for his actors.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    This film's effectively wrought communion between once-spooked man and animal is more than enough for any entertainment. It rides easily into your heart.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    If you're even slightly interested in folk music, there will be something here to simmer that curiosity into a full-on boil: the Arabic trip-hop stylings of monomonikered rapper-singer Raiz, raspy Pietra Montecorvino's Stevie Nicks–like dance tunes, a gorgeous sax solo from local jazz legend James Senese.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    A movie that could terrify parents while charming them with its compassion.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Another Earth is a movie you take home and write your own ending to.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    What might have been a long walk off a short pier becomes a valid, vital rethinking of a crime classic.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    All of this is way smarter than it needs to be - and it's only the prologue to the main event, which explodes the film into awkwardness but a weird kind of triumph, too.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The pieces here are wonderful, even if the documentary fails to make any kind of overall analytical point.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    If this profile is marred slightly by thematic tidiness and a willingness to overglorify the champion's rise (Fischer didn't even write his best-seller, Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess), it still supplies a cracked, conflicted genius trapped in his ceaseless endgame.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The rush of A-listers combined with apocalyptic dread creates its own kind of dizzy pleasure: Who's going down next on this Poseidon Adventure?
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Into the Abyss is too self-admiring of its own loose ends to come to the indictment that would put it in the company of "The Thin Blue Line," but these personalities stay in your head - which is the whole point.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It is during Melancholia's second half, after a ruinous conclusion to the wedding, that the real magic happens, with our heroine hardened into a wry, cynical Cassandra - the voice of Von Trier himself.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    A fascinating experiment is about to happen, and who doesn't want to be part of a little fun? That rarest of birds - a b&w silent film - is set to swoop into multiplexes. Trust us, it won't bite.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    If the movie falls just shy of our highest mark, this is because Cronenberg is tamping down on his usually naturalistic performances - everything feels vaguely mad-scientist-ish.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Occasionally, the movie italicizes its points with heavy musical drones, but its tone is remarkably even and concentrated: It makes sense that Jolie excels at stewarding the scenes she usually tears apart onscreen: two people struggling in an emotional death grip, the camera up close.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    What's missing, then? There's no fiery central performance in the mix (the horse doesn't count), and once Emily Watson's hardscrabble mom is rotated out of the action, you yearn for an anchor.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    This isn't the kind of doc to explain everything (or anything, really)-it does honor its subject, though, and that's plenty.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It's here, in a keenly captured Forest Hills, Queens, land of low-lit bars and manicured lawns, that Roadie soars as a gently comic drama about living the dream - or trying to.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's a wild, "Miami Blues"–like dreaminess to the movie that's addictive. If anything, it shows up exactly what "Little Miss Sunshine" lacked: plenty of ammo.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's still tremendous vitality here, and Wheatley's avoidance of yet another Guy Ritchie gabfest is a pleasure in itself.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Return is almost too underdramatized to seem like a piece of today's zoomy entertainment, but its anxieties-the bare cupboards, the vague sense of purposelessness-are at the heart of the American experience for many. It's what indie filmmaking ought to be.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Brace yourself and go see it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Moments like these turn the documentary Undefeated into a far greater thing than a real-life "The Blind Side" - it's diving deeply into knotty matters of patience and parenting, along with plenty of unfixables as well.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Deeply irresponsible, this a film that will give parents seizures-and Roger Corman a big old smile.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Cedar's idiosyncratically brilliant script also has a moral question at its heart: Is lying to spare someone's feelings ever justified? Surely the Talmud has a thing or two to say about that.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    You will see the man toiling and revising - killing off half-good ideas, struggling for clarity - and it's a routine well worth demystifying.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    If the movie had a lead actress more delicate or malleable than the strong-cheeked Lawrence-a Natalie Portman, say-it would tip over into sexy-girl-killer celebration; the same goes for Harrelson's salty mentor, who is never too supportive or paternal. Both performers lean into the economies of survival, certain of the savagery that lies ahead, and come up with sharp work.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It's the stuff of melodrama, heightened by Davies's pitch-perfect use of pop songs, like a sad "You Belong to Me," slurred by a misty crowd in a bar.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Lockout is the kind of manly nonsense no one wants to make anymore.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Charmingly, like a throwback to the pre-Twitter age, here's a horror film that's been made with no reasonable way to discuss it beforehand.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The action scenes-blissfully easy to follow-are where Whedon makes the giant leap into the big leagues.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Rarely do movies-never mind foreign ones, of any nationality - explore an honest-to-God ethical quandary. Elena, in its concentrated austerity, often resembles a lost chapter of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Ten Commandments–themed Decalogue.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    You do sense, though, that the people behind MIB3 (mainly veteran producer Walter F. Parkes and script doctor David Koepp) were smart enough to let the audience grow up a bit, enough to get the Andy Warhol jokes and one brilliantly weird creation, a delicate alien who can see every outcome at once.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Kinji Fukasaku's slick, sick nightmare is best left to the quasi-banned realm where it exists as a perfect satire; when brought into reality, it's a touch awkward.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Organizing the mercurial emotions and tics is director Joachim Trier, making good on the promise of his 2006 feature debut, the lit-related drama Reprise. This one's even better-it's about the honesty that often takes root in survivors, a rarely explored subject-but Oslo, August 31st is not an easy film.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    There has to be room for this kind of plea, especially a work that, obliquely, captures so many largely unreported details: the night raids rounding up children, the torn-up olive trees and kids' soccer games in the battle zone.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Nothing about the movie is showy, except for Shelton's palpable love of good people making a mess of things. Barring some late-inning coyness, it's some of the truest, dinged-heart couples' circling of the year.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Didn't Soderbergh notice there was pathos enough in Matthew McConaughey's beefcake proprietor, an ab-slapping, spandexed Peter Pan? Between this role and his owlish DA in the subversively sly "Bernie," the actor has finally found a way to subvert his six-pack. He's the magic here.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Blessed with an improbable-but-true story that functions on many ironic levels, this clever documentary ultimately conveys more about the complex American character - shifting between intimacy and criminality - than a whole shelf of fiction films.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The spirit of the movie is nonjudgmental, an observational intimacy that, in turn, becomes inspiring.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Director Morley has at least restored something of a soul to her subject.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The new drama, best viewed as a church movie, is a return to the kind of corner-chat indie cinema Lee revolutionized, with an emphasis on a towering performance by The Wire's Clarke Peters as a local bishop inflamed with the Word.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Director David Cronenberg - who knows a thing or two about bodily expressions - understands, finally, what to do with the Twilight star, turning his zombified handsomeness into a stark canvas upon which we can project our own anxieties.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    You can't believe what you're watching: Compliance, true to its title, digs into the rarely explored subject of psychological acquiescence (behavioral scientist Stanley Milgram should get a cowriting credit), with common-sense dignity being the first casualty.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It's a comedy about the unchecked id; indeed, there's sleepwalking in it. But will those grunting strolls happen through a second-story window or on the highway? You're left cringing, and that puts Birbiglia in excellent company, alone though he might be in bed.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Stopping just short of the devastating exposé it might have been (but plenty creepy).
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Amazingly, Gere keeps it all together, via a kind of seething anti-rage that speaks reams to the character's survival instincts.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    As time-travel action films go, here's one that's brainy, stylish and carries itself with B-flick modesty - all of which feels like some kind of alchemy.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Arnold's vibrant, Malickian adaptation has another bold stroke worth mentioning: Heathcliff, a Gypsy in the original text, is now an Afro-Caribbean former slave, initially a bruised teen (Glave) and then an unusual, self-made man (Howson).
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    If the documentary lacks anything, it's a firmer grasp of Springfield's own transformation, from "kind of a dick" (per ex–MTV jock Mark Goodman) during his heyday to a giving, appreciative showman. Call it humility, shaded with weird, two-way neediness. Jesse's girl may have dodged a bullet.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The real heat of The Sessions comes from its pitch-perfect sense of place, the free-spirited Berkeley of the 1980s.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Adjust to the deliberate rhythms of this hiking movie-set on the lush slopes of Georgia's Caucasus Mountains - and the psychological payoff stings like a blister.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The metaphor is clever, injecting real-life risk and reward into these beautifully artificial vistas, scored to composer Henry Jackman's Nintendo-worthy beeps and bloops.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The Bay, a real creepfest, joins the suggestive company of eco-terror entries like Hitchcock's "The Birds" and 1979's "Prophecy."
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Generation P is worth struggling through, even if it boggles you. In many ways, it's a keyhole into the future of the entire world.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie works on a bedrock level that many ostensible action films forget. Let New Age viewers in your crowd get misty-eyed - there's plenty here for anyone.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The attention to detail is fine-grained, especially on the slippery slope of plea bargaining. Missing are two pieces that might have turned this into an urban classic.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Russell Crowe's pained vocal stylings (they sound more like barks) as relentless Inspector Javert can be forgiven after hearing Hugh Jackman's old-pro fluidity in the central role of Jean Valjean, hiding a criminal past.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It's not an easy sit; we're never let off the hook with golden-hued memories or belated bits of wisdom. Maybe this is love after all.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Inspiring heartbreaker of a documentary.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Vibrating with the geekery of a filmmaker off the chain, the movie plays like no other this year. Tarantino, steeped in even the smallest Leonean gesture (what's with the weird terrain shifts?), knows how to satisfy fans of scuzzy Italian horse operas and badass superviolence in equal measure.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's savvy in Schwarzenegger's understanding of his appeal. Always foreign yet weirdly Americanized in our dreams, the big guy is a craggy monument in need of a countryside. He's back in the place that deserves him.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    You'll be arguing with your friends about the ethics of secrecy and defense for hours; that's what makes these exit interviews so essential. They come late to the spy game, but are welcome regardless.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    For a movie that's essentially about a piece of hardware-the legendary Neve mixing console, an imposing slab of knobs and meters - this geeked-out documentary beats with more heart than could be imagined.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The first and only piece of advice needed on one’s way to the fishing pond is this: Bring your patience. Not surprisingly, the same could be said to a viewer of this slow-building but riveting experimental collage.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Spring Breakers is either an inspired satire of the youth movie or the most irresponsible comedy mainstream Hollywood will never make. The bros in your crowd will call it rad — and radical it is.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Expressively (Berger knows his grammar), a white communion dress is dipped in black dye as her custodial grandmother passes away and an evil castle beckons.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Room 237 asks that you bring your own noodles; as docs go, it leaves you with questions, some worry and rib-sticking satiation.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    To the Wonder is arty for sure, but for the first time, its maker is working with anxieties we all feel. Let’s hope this Malick sticks around for a while.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    42
    The style of the film, lush and traditional, is nothing special, but the takeaway, a daily struggle for dignity, is impossibly moving.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg are unusually committed to maritime mechanics, and the excitement grows as steadily as the sailors’ beards.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Assayas evokes the atmosphere so vividly, you begin to breathe in his tale, rather than watch it.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film isn’t exactly rousing in its conclusion, but it’s always respectful: a serious ethical inquiry into matters of women’s choice, both imposed and seized upon. Check it out.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Eventually it’s go time, and if The East loses a little steam on the grounds of action mechanics (a skill these plots always require), it’s never dumb on the subject of covert allegiances.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Dirty Wars leaves some deeper questions unexplored, mainly the philosophical struggle between security and secrecy, but makes up grandly with raw data and one correspondent’s passion.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The Bling Ring, Sofia Coppola’s deceptively shallow but ultimately fascinating latest, is animated by that spirit of we-don’t-give-a-f**k playfulness.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Monsters University aces a two-part test—first, appealing to kids with gorgeous, hyperrealistic animation that teases out every pink hair on a beastly art student; then luring in parents with several knowing jokes about strumming your guitar on the quad or playing beer pong.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Forgive this film its marvelous moodiness — someone needs to go there once in a while.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie works beautifully by bringing forward the delicate subject of guilt via passivity.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Blackfish, a troubling exposé of Sea World’s hazardous entertainment trade, does much to restore a realistic sense of danger, interviewing former park workers who detail their shoddy, nonscientific training, and chronicling the much-suppressed history of whale-on-human violence.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Nothing about The Spectacular Now feels easy or After-School Special, although it tidies up too much (the personal essay should be retired as a device).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Nothing here is new, but you can’t call expert craft like this warmed-over. Solidly satisfying with ruthless forward momentum, the film plays like a minor triumph.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Having a backstage view of the momentous trip to China adds color, but the real takeaway here is a tone of dawning tragedy, sourness sneaking into even the most innocuous of visual records.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It’s wonderful to think that a movie is, for a change, ahead of you.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Maybe because the band enjoyed raves for its daring 2004 psychodrama, Some Kind of Monster, an experimental narrative is shoehorned in, involving a roadie (Dane DeHaan) doing bloody battle in a deserted city. Your heart sinks with every cutaway.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Cuarón, a magician who brought personality to the Harry Potter series, is after pure, near-experimental spectacle.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    You’re really going for Rodriguez’s retrohappy splatter: Intestines tangle in helicopter rotors, heads pop in spring-loaded decapitations, and there’s even a new fake trailer up top. Little is believable, and that’s exactly as it should be.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The rich atmosphere of the movie may be the sexiest thing about it: It’s no wonder these women breathe in the air of possibility and find themselves imbued with boldness.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Only 20 minutes in and you’re not going to think of another lead who could pull off this kind of reckoning — tangy, furious and about to become whip-smart.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Kuhns makes time for political insights, provocative montages of race riots cut with the movie’s hick militia, and the comments of owlish Romero himself, who recounts the shoot like the enthusiastic 27-year-old he was.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Even if the music leaves you cold, there’s plenty of captivating awkwardness here, like Paul McCartney listlessly watching the monitors in his dressing room, or producer Harvey Weinstein solving a tech issue by calling Google exec Eric Schmidt in the audience.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Often, Faust plays like a lost cousin to Andrei Tarkovsky’s haunted Stalker (1979), catnip for the slow-and-low crowd. Settle in, because this requires your charity, but you’ll dream it all back up the next night.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    A trip to America bears its share of exasperated hotel-room humor, but watch both actors lean into characters seeking redemption; their clash is invigorating, with a mature payoff that has two minds meeting and getting further along. It’s a tonic to all the Oscar-season showboating: Call it Best Duo.