Joshua Rothkopf

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For 842 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joshua Rothkopf's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Silence
Lowest review score: 20 The Canyons
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 842
842 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Land Ho! avoids schmaltz to get at that rarest of male timber: rekindled hearts.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    These beasts awaken something within the people, making them kinder and more playful. If Kedi did the same for audiences, that wouldn’t be so bad.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    If [it] doesn't feel quite as revelatory as Keep the Lights On (2012) or the heartbreaking Love Is Strange (2014), it still impresses you with its quiet, confident maturity.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    A movie that gives Streep her most emotionally blocked character in years, without caricature.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Tirola’s punchy timeline hits the breaks at the ’80s flameout, wobbling in its handling of self-destructive editor Doug Kenney. But until the defunct Lampoon starts magically reappearing in your mailbox, this excellently titled pic will do nicely.
    • 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
    Sometimes Guest’s films stray into snobbery against flyover country, but Mascots mostly avoids that. It hides its toxic warfare under a furry guise.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie has the proportion of a fable but the scope of a mythical lifetime.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The characters of 20th Century Women, more interconnected than most, generate a group narrative that’s just substantial enough to keep you in thrall by how uninhibited a movie can be.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    For 
the most part, you’re in the hands of a capable lunatic who has a tale to tell.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    As with 1999’s deceptively deep South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut and, more recently, The Lego Movie, the script works hard to invest its scenario with an existential and political dimension, crudely but effectively expressed.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The dueling dirty tricks zing half the time.... But subplots involving naive volunteers getting their hearts broken feel like strands from a less ambitious movie.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Basically, it’s an electrifying three-person play, as the determined Winstead, the complexly furious Goodman and Tony-winner John Gallagher Jr. (playing a lucky neighbor who made his way down) have it out in scenes that impart the nauseating futility of George Romero’s mall-ensconced "Dawn of the Dead."
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie works best in the clan’s private world (even if rock climbing in the rain seems like poor parenting). But then it deflates: Frank Langella, normally a welcome presence, is clownishly directed as a mean grandfather, and the plot abandons its tensions too abruptly.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It feels too flabby for the company it keeps.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates follows a sturdy trajectory toward incipient maturity (and ceremonial catastrophe). If you don’t think about it too hard, you won’t hate it.
    • 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."
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There’s no denying the movie’s climactic gathering of females bent on saving the species.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    As scripted by Bryan Sipe, Demolition buries its lead actor under a rubble of clichés.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Notably undisciplined for a Pixar plot, it feels like a lot of heavy lifting to get to the same old lessons about kinship and finding your clan.
    • 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.

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