Joshua Rothkopf
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For 701 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joshua Rothkopf's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)
Lowest review score: 20 The Equalizer
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 701
701 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Predictably, the documentary got a rousing reception at hipster-laden SXSW; real people might find it a touch easy.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Cave of Forgotten Dreams feels stuck in a middling zone of too much conjecture and not enough scholarship.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Some viewers might give the movie a few extra points for its retro vibe of taciturn badassedness. But little punctures the wall of emotional remove-the pulse rate is way too controlled for entertainment's sake.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The opinions assembled are impressive: everyone from "Rounders'" Matt Damon to former senator Al D'Amato, a poker defender. But where's the voice of reason? It's card playing, not a dependable income.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Illegal has caused a stir in Belgium, and the sincerity of the movie can't be denied. But there's little emotion to hold on to, apart from a mother's impotent concern about her wayward teenage son (Gontcharov), still on the outside.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Gus Van Sant directs his players just shy of mush; he's a filmmaker capable of brilliant dares (Milk, Paranoid Park) and shocking whiffs (Finding Forrester, the pointless remake of Psycho). This one's kind of in the middle.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    We might have all felt like lost children for a while, but ten years later, the innocence is shameless.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    No matter how sincere, Marston's effort also suffers from the lack of a burning lead as he had in Maria's Catalina Sandino Moreno. Fierce acting is a virtue you don't have to travel the world to find - or to lose sight of.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Comfortable with subtle Proustian detachment, the director has taken another stab at colossal scope, this time getting lost in the cerebral folds.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Snitch is a movie that cries out for the wiry B stars of yore: Robert Forster, a younger Tommy Lee Jones. And it would have occurred to a craftier screenwriter to make his hero’s walk on the criminal wild side a touch more tempting.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's a Polanskian black comedy buried in here somewhere; a sassy neighbor girl who knows too much hints at the right direction, which is never fully explored.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie's first hour happens to be its most absorbing. Director Alexei Popogrebsky sets up the quiet tensions between his two generationally divided characters like a chess match pocked with occasional power grabs.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Given Armstrong’s squirminess on the couch, you’ll wish this profile had traded a portion of its deep background for a little in-the-moment boldness.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Too much of the movie feels predestined - down to the rainstorm on opening day - and subplots involving budding romance end up forcing what's implicit. Crowe, meanwhile, still can't stop abusing his vinyl collection; the aural wallpapering of Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and others will surely please postboomer fans who haven't quite gotten the hang of silence.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Shutter Island is slumming: minor but enjoyably nuts.
    • 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.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Miraculously, the movie doesn’t feel mean-spirited so much as profoundly awkward. Scripted by smart guys like Etan Cohen (Idiocracy, Tropic Thunder) and two behind-the-scenes writers on TV’s consistently excellent Key & Peele, the film feels both daring and foolhardy.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    How I Live Now goes to that nuclear nightmare, and Ronan, who can’t hide her smarts even when the role isn’t as good as the one she had in "Atonement," makes a feast of the journey.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The fine cast takes the movie as far as it will comfortably go, until Bahrani gets a case of Great American Play–itis.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Into Eternity has the grandeur of ominous suggestion, but might have benefitted from a director more creatively unbound-an Errol Morris ready to play around at the end of the world.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    At Berkeley works beautifully as a picture of compromised activism; viewers who summon the patience to commit to its indulgences won’t feel shortchanged, even if next year’s freshmen are.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Hollywood does this too; truth be told, Russia’s high-tech whitewash goes down smooth like vodka.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Uncourageously, the plot gets a case of cold feet, looping back to half-written family members left in the dust. But when it’s being wild, the drama has nearly enough character to pass for distinct.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This film could have done with a few more mouth beats and unlikely moments of extracurricular celebrity.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film feels naive for an audience that's ready for some harder truths.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's no suspense, even as Galifianakis's bone-dry earnestness sometimes kicks the movie into a realm of stealth drama.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    "Amadeus" it's not, but as light transitional music, the film-which has Pete Postlethwaite's final performance, as a swishy landlord-is tuneful enough.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Renner and scientist Rachel Weisz are sympathetic enough (although lacking in Matt Damon's all-American approachability), and the movie flies along briskly.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It ends where you want it to begin.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie looks beautiful, its sublime b&w cinematography signaling a fading dream. And there are touching moments here that you rarely see in docs about professional musicians or celebrities in general.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Too much of the doc takes our taste for granted; Alice Cooper, Henry Rollins and others won’t persuade you that Death could have been huge, nor does a clichéd last-act reunion show. But the film’s alternating inquiry — into family love, slow compromise and, yes, death — resonates strongly.
    • 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.

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