Joshua Rothkopf
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For 674 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 3.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joshua Rothkopf's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Amer
Lowest review score: 20 The Black Waters of Echo's Pond
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 674
674 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Writer-director Laura Colella hasn’t strayed far from home (these characters are her actual housemates, rechristened into fiction), but her project feels like a casual experiment gone wonderfully right.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    As presented here (cut down from a longer edit), the film might have benefitted from more technical context related to the plant’s failure — this is a cautionary tale worth heeding. But the voices are valuable enough.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie deepens as Nelly, destined for the gossip columns and a peripheral attachment, becomes painfully aware of her own fragility (Jones’s performance is devastating).
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Even if you’re not boned up on your classic Ozu family tragedies, see it before Spielberg does his remake.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Whiplash scrapes the far edge of crazy passion. It never apologizes.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    No other filmmaker on the planet can touch Evans for long-take beatdowns and wildly inventive flourishes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Ruffalo, a master of rumpled befuddlement, finds his signature role here—it can't be overstated how deftly he eases into the tricky creation, a blue-blooded slacker who aches when the world won't hug him back.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The real richness of the movie, though, comes well in, as the improvised script gets around to deeper anxieties of aging and avoidance.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Unusually moving (not only to stray film critics in your crowd), director Steve James's keen profile of the late, great Roger Ebert works both as a compact appreciation of the reviewer's vast public impact, as well as an unflinching peak into a cancer patient's final months, fraught with pain, hope and constant treatment.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Lanzmann’s feisty exchanges with Murmelstein, a brilliant talker, become an emotional symbol for the pursuit of slippery truth, while the filmmaker’s recently shot footage of Yom Kippur services show a way of life in robust continuation.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Cry foul, you documentary purists, but narration by Jena Malone and others pulls the gamble off. The film makes its point ingeniously.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Make room for the modest but affecting pleasures of veteran actors tearing into the subject of golden-years resignation.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    This installment delivers a heavy and welcome dose of paranoia, administered between fleetly paced smackdowns.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    None of this is pushed into comic relief—the filmmaker lets his drama play out with gentleness — and you smile at the many evolutions.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Director Samantha Grant scores an interview with Blair himself, whose too-little-too-late admissions (along with his reemergence as a postguilt life coach) might drive your crowd to hisses.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Turturro, writing and directing in a register light-years from his nebbishy turn in "Barton Fink," has a more sensual NYC indie in mind.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    A full-bodied and mischievous autobiography in the spirit of Federico Fellini’s "Amarcord," Alejandro Jodorowsky’s return to filmmaking after 28 years of financial frustration explodes with great ideas.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It’s a portrait that’s equal parts shtick and soul — in other words, exactly what "The Love Guru" should have been.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The documentary is strongest during these conference-room brainstorms, similar to those of a political campaign. (It could have used more of Boies’s witness-demolishing courtroom eloquence.) The draw here is watching a careful process unfold, regardless of the outcome.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Though supported by Woodley’s subtle narration, The Fault in Our Stars is relentlessly outward. That’s part of the book’s inspiring touch, and even if some of the supporting cast comes off as merely functional onscreen, the core of the tragedy comes to life in a heartbreaking way.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It’s a movie about coming to peace with solitude, leagues beyond most biopics.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    You feel for the potential Wesleyan parent who asks an administrator if his daughter is going to have to move home after graduating: His question is met with an uneasy pause. Crucial stuff.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    This is still one of his (Berlinger) most ambitious films, vibrating with the same municipal unease as "Chinatown."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Land Ho! avoids schmaltz to get at that rarest of male timber: rekindled hearts.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    So much of Get on Up is uncannily perfect, from its nightmarish Georgia childhood flashbacks to delirious concert re-creations and the casting of Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd as Brown’s longtime manager.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    For all its eye-opening material, The Dog still feels unfinished, but for students of New York scuzziness, it’s an essential addition.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    In its early scenes, Dinosaur 13 works nearly as well as a certain Steven Spielberg thriller, creating the giddy, ominous mood of past and present colliding in excitement.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Such is Kim’s plotty momentum that the whole thing feels like an extreme joke made of pained silences, one that somehow strips bare the subtext of overbearing parents. Meryl Streep herself couldn’t improve on it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Indeed, the doc works best as a relationship study, filled with endearing moments of intimate bickering. Takei is a self-admitted ham but a playful one, projecting his confidence in increasingly meaningful directions.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Provocatively, the film suggests that winning small battles was victory enough; Saigon natives, also interviewed, were left behind to endure death camps.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film has a traditional appeal that's wholly separate from its surface.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The final third is a crush of genius, with several Nas tracks (including his lovely, Michael Jackson-sampling “It Ain’t Hard to Tell”) receiving the kind of detailed breakdowns rare in pop-artist conversations.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Inherent Vice, Anderson's sexy, swirling latest (based on Thomas Pynchon's exquisite stoner mystery set at the dawn of the '70s), is a wondrously fragrant movie, emanating sweat, the stink of pot clouds and the press of hairy bodies. It's a film you sink into, like a haze on the road, even as it jerks you along with spikes of humor.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It’s a movie that loves boldly “important” ’70s-style dust jackets, loves its own lecturing voice (courtesy of neurotic narrator Eric Bogosian) and somehow makes that mélange strangely appealing.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film builds riotously via a series of verbal takedowns as male authority goes limp in the wake of a regrettable impulse. This is slender material to build a whole film around, but Östlund turns it into something deep, for viewers with patience.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    At its best (which is often), director James Marsh’s affecting biopic of the cosmos-rattling astrophysicist Stephen Hawking plays deftly against schmaltz.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    A Most Violent Year, Chandor’s absorbing no-bull NYC drama, further clarifies what might be the most promising career in American movies: an urban-headed filmmaker attuned to economies of place and time, with an eye on the vacant throne of Sidney Lumet.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It’s a ruined community grappling with belated ethics; that’s the real story here.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The plot’s tired blood is jumped up considerably by style; all in all, it's an intoxicating blend of eerie horror and ’80s pop, made by an artist to keep an eye on.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Olsson requires us to connect the dots to today's struggles (a missed opportunity), but his discoveries are more than sufficient.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    A lost-artist comedy in the vein of Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories, but more deeply, a referendum on the dead-end choices Rock himself might be feeling.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    American Sniper is a superbly subtle critique made by an especially young 84-year-old.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Shutter Island is slumming: minor but enjoyably nuts.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Too many digital effects ruin the spell of a tactile world of evil objects scheming your demise. But even a mediocre FD is better than more Jigsaw.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Though wildly uneven, the film sometimes comes within screaming distance of the sick ironies of "Heathers." That's how loudly Goldthwait still knows how to yell.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie has a centerfold sheen to it--and some lesbianic soft-core flirtation to match--as its plot dives deeply into "Twilight"-esque heavy-melo meltdown in the last act. Cody throws one too many losses at Needy; the screenwriter loses her satiric way about halfway through. But for a while, this has real fangs.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Berlinger is fully invested here, but a little distance might have helped.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Forgive the film its "Napoleon Dynamite" overquirk; a loving god is watching all, genuflected to on bedroom-wall posters and seen in the film's final five minutes--and if you're not a Rush fan, this is not your movie
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    You sense the Demme-esque working-class comedy that might have been.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The new film sometimes feels too snazzy in its jittery cinematography, but the stunts make it through the budget upgrade intact.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Giggles, not belly laughs, come frequently, and it’ll help if viewers love U.K. comics.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Watching the new film is like getting upsettingly full on insubstantial tapas: You would never say no to just one more, but there’s better.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie isn’t adventurous, but I’m sure glad it exists.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Maybe this is a good time to mention that the director is Richard Linklater, usually a lot more versatile. Try to imagine a version of Linklater’s "School of Rock" that didn’t pivot on the manic music teacher played by Jack Black but instead, perhaps, on his boring roommate.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The problem here, though, is that the movie often feels fat instead of lean. A terribly purple folk score by Kate and Anna McGarrigle hypes the spiritual aspects of the Inuit way of life; you’ll die laughing on the tundra.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A manufactured kid-in-jeopardy climax and Blake’s rehab stint blow the mood. Until then, this is great American acting.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    So while his live-action scenes leave much to be desired, Khrzhanovsky fills the margins of A Room and a Half with glorious doodles: yawning cats penning love letters to former flings; spectral violins floating high above the city; spiky silhouettes pouring out of a truck to bring violence to the ghetto.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The surprising thing here is how smoothly this over-iced cake goes down.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This is meat-and-potatoes genre work, certainly superior to a Hollywood product like "Edge of Darkness," but not by much.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film is vigorous exercise for those who prefer their mysteries knowing and knotty.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    you sense that "The Hangover" loomed large over this production. Still, Eve has a true flair for zingers, and the movie’s heart survives intact.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It makes you laugh in fits and starts, but more often it feels toothless and exhausted, the kind of project that exists to give Ray Liotta work.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The Good Heart dilutes Cox’s gravitas with quirk.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    She has real sympathy--characters that might have been brittle, mockable creations in another writer-director’s hands gain resonance here. But the filmmaker also might have very little to say apart from the way guilt enters into life, and then suddenly recedes.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The meal here is mainly nostalgia, larded with a thick sauce of irony.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Can they really be setting up a sequel at the end, with Robin as an outlaw? Let’s hope so--that’s the movie you actually wanted.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The esteemed director, Ken Loach, isn’t really a fantasist--and it shows.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    When the movie remembers to be the drug-spiked, hard-R comedy you hope for, it’s more than just a fun romp (and, incidentally, superior to "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," the rom-com from which its Britpop libertine spins off).
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Like the vampires that cavort throughout it, this horror-comedy doesn’t have much chance of surviving the harsh light of scrutiny--but as a loopy, antiserious lark, it should prove plenty alive on the midnight-movie circuit.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    So even though the science fair was something your other classmates did while you mastered Pitfall!, the sights in Whiz Kids will no doubt stir you.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A marvelous thought, credited to Orson Welles: You can handle shit with velvet gloves, but the gloves only get shittier; the shit doesn't get glovier. As wondrous as the regal Helen Mirren can be, it's a sad day when her queenly demeanor gets dunked in doo-doo.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Now, with this underwhelming sequel, Spain proves it can stand toe to toe with any nation in the manufacture of unnecessary follow-ups.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A smart horror film will fatten its pigs before the slaughter, and the mock doc The Last Exorcism feeds its prize hog nicely.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This disappointing dramatization, mounted with generic blandness by Jean-François Richet, makes no case for the man's larger significance, nor does any emotional digging at all. Such detachment was no doubt considered artistically shrewd-it's a big mistake.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The transformation that you anticipate never comes; the movie feels strangled.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film's mood is so somber and minimal, it might be confused for deep. Had the plot (meager and one-last-job-predictable) zipped along, that wouldn't feel like such a problem.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Simply skip the first part entirely: "Killer Instinct" bulges with a disconnected jumble of nightclub attacks and fence-clipping escapes you've seen better elsewhere. Yet a tide change happens with the superior Public Enemy No. 1, which takes the subject's raging ego as its cue.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It ends where you want it to begin.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Despite a roster of off-kilter documentarians each directing an episode, Freakonomics only partly delivers the sense of traipsing into uncharted territory.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Lane, experiencing her career heyday, is sweet enough to have you rooting for her, even if her journey to the winner's circle is an odds-on favorite.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    If only the script had been content to stick with its let's-start-a-band verve. Like many a musical biopic, Nowhere Boy wants to explain away the man (as if a song like "In My Life" weren't explanation enough).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It probably would have helped if Walker (who credits two other codirectors) had chosen just one of those avenues for deeper study; her doc has a vertiginous way of feeling arty and ephemeral at one moment, humane and maybe too earthbound the next.
    • 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.

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