Joshua Rothkopf
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For 699 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joshua Rothkopf's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 The Look of Silence
Lowest review score: 20 The First Time
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 699
699 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Blessed with a wealth of golden b&w footage (Lambert and Stamp always planned to document their managerial brilliance), James D. Cooper’s poundingly fun, scrappy profile has an unusually satisfying nuts-and-bolts perspective on the ’60s fame machine.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Watching the first hour of I Was Born, But… (unspooling with a bright, new piano score by Donald Sosin) might remind you of a subdued “Our Gang” skit, and not unpleasantly.
    • 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."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    When Stiller indulges in moments of unfulfilled rage, this has real desperation.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Director Morley has at least restored something of a soul to her subject.
    • 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
    Marcia Gay Harden is the picture’s treasure; watching her swell with concern at her daughter’s choices, you understand how hard it is to let go.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    A movie that could terrify parents while charming them with its compassion.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Roger Corman could only dream of producing a movie this stupefyingly gory and loaded with exposed flesh, making the updated Piranha that most unlikely of remakes-an improvement.
    • 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 quietly witty film, much like the dude himself.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Hardly the heady stuff of "Frost/Nixon"--or then again, maybe exactly the same thing. This one’s more rude and fun.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    All of the performances are knockouts, especially The Visitor's Richard Jenkins as a damaged Texas spiritualist who steeps the movie in intimacy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's a darker, fanatical side to blindness too-and this is the movie to show it. Leave all judgments behind.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    American Sniper is a superbly subtle critique made by an especially young 84-year-old.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Land Ho! avoids schmaltz to get at that rarest of male timber: rekindled hearts.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Michael Jackson was obviously shooting for the moon right before his death, as you can tell from these stunning bits of concert spectacle.
    • 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).
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The action scenes-blissfully easy to follow-are where Whedon makes the giant leap into the big leagues.
    • 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.
    • 79 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Despite the unsubtlety of the movie’s stance, a dizzyingly complex portrait emerges: that of pissed-off museum neighbors, arrogant critics and even the NAACP’s dignified Julian Bond, articulating a racial component.
    • 80 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.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The White Ribbon comes dangerously--wonderfully?--close to playing like an evil-kid flick.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Ajami is Israel’s submission to the Oscars, and like the gritty "City of God" before it, it takes harrowing, tricky circumstances and illuminates them with Scorsesian snap.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Clearly, Pixar’s genius for adventurous storytelling continues unabated.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Whiplash scrapes the far edge of crazy passion. It never apologizes.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It’s wonderful to think that a movie is, for a change, ahead of you.
    • 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.
    • 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.

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