For 605 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 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joshua Rothkopf's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Inside Llewyn Davis
Lowest review score: 20 Paradise
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 605
605 movie reviews
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The tale itself is extraordinary, so why not let it do the talking? When Crime After Crime sifts through the facts, we feel the pull of justice; those moments might be enough.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The sincere director, Oliver Schmitz, injects too much movie into his movie; life (above all) would have been enough.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The mood of this movie will brew with you for a while, even if it swirls around characters who aren't quite persuasive.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Breathtaking imagery competes with a scary lack of human interest in this hypnotic, potentially alienating documentary.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Love Crime soon plummets into a flashback-laden mess, a shame since it was marginally stronger as a psychosexual game of dominance.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The effort - by Vedder & Co., as well as Crowe - is heroic, if not quite persuasive. Legends aren't made of longevity alone, and while you wouldn't wish Kurt Cobain's pain on anyone, you can't help but feel this band survived well past its meaning.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The story is an autobiographical one from screenwriter Will Reiser's own ordeal; you smile with the thought that he had such women in his life, tough yet supportive, giving him the license to be funny again.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film's sociopolitical critique is as dull as a sledgehammer - and maybe on the money - but the truth is far more entertaining.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    These filmmakers got halfway there, but Carpenter's genius was about more than just a look.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This is textbook Kaurismäki, neither fresh nor unwelcome.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    "Rosemary's Baby" it's not, but color us stoked that a Twilight movie even strays into evil-fetus territory.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Tuschi leans too far into an admiring position, and you thirst for some commonsense critique. It's all a bit rich.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Watch the director's 1976 "The Tenant," and you'll know he can do more with less.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    We might have all felt like lost children for a while, but ten years later, the innocence is shameless.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's a more courageous profile waiting to be made by someone who understands the man better.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Dreams like Garriott's shouldn't be available only to the highest bidder. If you end up taking the kid in your life to go see it, urge them to start saving their allowance.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Hipsters is also a musical (in an intentionally naive "Absolute Beginners" vein), and while everything looks glinty and gorgeous, the story's political edge is dulled by excessive levity.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A middling entry in the growing genre of tragic, never-quite-made-it rocker docs, this doesn't have a bona fide genius at its core (The Devil and Daniel Johnston), nor a compelling clash of Spinal Tap–ready egos (Anvil! The Story of Anvil).
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Cigarettes are sucked hungrily by all involved, old and young, in the trashscape of this depressing Australian crime film - a movie that heaps so much dank atmosphere on its suburbanites, you can't help but sigh with relief when events turn to serial killing (finally?).
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Unfortunately, a new problem rears its head: It seems no young audience member can be trusted to enjoy a thoughtful story without a heroic, borderline-obnoxious surrogate (here, he's voiced by Zac Efron) zooming around on a scooter, bonking villainous heads and saving the day.
    • 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.
    • 45 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Call it a strange and unintended benefit, then, that many of these generic characters work better as awkward adults than as teens.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    You watch Dafoe's intelligent hands skillfully setting traps, building fires and squeezing triggers, and wonder if an entire movie might be made of such manly components. Probably not.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The metafriction between these classic dupes and today's idiots chafes uneasily.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The documentary feels preprogrammed when it could have been a real-life Black Swan.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Burton, as usual, is great on atmosphere and comic timing (these are his weirdest moments since Ed Wood), but less so at reining in an overcomplicated plot and dimly lit action scenes.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The general takeaway, occasionally swaddled in pot clouds and boisterous laughter, is that verse-slinging requires serious thought and planning.
    • 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."
    • 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
    How can a movie so steeped in post-Katrina imagery eschew even the smallest comment about social responsibility? Maybe that was deemed too earnest, a decision that makes zero sense when a twinkling score is ladled on like instant pathos. Real people aren't beasts, nor do they require starry-eyed glorification. Bring your liberal pity.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Best are the film's tender ghostly visitations from Dad, evoked with a minimum of artiness, and the authentic, impoverished locations.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    On the whole, it's passable stuff, a surprise, given how mechanical the masked character seemed.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Winterbottom's risks are welcome; it may be time, though, to invest more heart instead of head.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Director Lauren Greenfield has a catty eye, but she's not after simple schadenfreude as the Siegels' time-share hotels are foreclosed, the kids have to fly coach [gasp], and poops go unscooped by a phalanx of laid-off servants.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The images wash over you - lush, gorgeous, impeccably framed - just as they did in Ron Fricke's wordless meditation "Baraka" (1992).
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Schepisi is deft with the social-strata stuff, introducing a large Gosford Park–like ensemble to tease out the central trio's dysfunction. So it's a shame that both book and film tilt away from the tart-tongued exchanges, giving increasing weight to a buried trauma that feels a little soggy.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    I'd trade much of The Master for one extraordinary moment played by the ever-improving Amy Adams, in front of the bathroom mirror with Hoffman.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's too much going on here - of a winning, thoughtful nature - to dismiss Josh Radnor's back-to-college romance as the nostalgia bath it mainly is.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This film could have done with a few more mouth beats and unlikely moments of extracurricular celebrity.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film feels naive for an audience that's ready for some harder truths.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    No performances stand out, which is a shame given Affleck's track record with actors. Ultimately, it comes down to a chase to the airport, with a scary Revolutionary Guardsman at the gate.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    To be sure, the film as a whole feels like a creaky vehicle, belabored with plot strands and stereotypes that only serve to highlight Winstead's ragged commitment to something real.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Holy Motors is aggressively "wild," a puzzle that tweaks the mind but doesn't nourish.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film wants to be inspiring, when it might have been cosmic-a far greater ambition. Tossing boats and dreamers, the huge waves perform beautifully.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Dree Hemingway, daughter of Mariel, commits to some unnecessary nudity, but also impresses with her subtlety.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Ultimately, points may be scored on the balance sheet of workplace exploitation - usually we see it go the other way around, gender-wise - but these conference-room banalities have been better explored elsewhere, and the effort here feels like a rough draft.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The way forward, both in Caouette's real-life situation and his development as an artist, remains unclear, yet that frustration makes it to the screen, in spiky waves that signal a vital personal quest.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Even at this short running time, there's a looseness to the kaleidoscopic adventure that becomes slightly wearying.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Barely over an hour, the sketch feels lovely, unhurried and a bit insignificant. That may be your definition of cinema, but if you've hired a babysitter, this isn't the film for your date night.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The precedent for a movie like this is Ang Lee’s bruised "The Ice Storm," but whereas that film sprung from a novel that burns with indictment, Julia Dyer’s effort — scripted by her late sister, Gretchen — is a more open-ended affair and slightly unsatisfying for it.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The most heart-wrenching thing about the film is watching Fanning’s transformation from idealist to wreck, the father’s free-thinking daughter turned into the mother’s double in the space of a dinner argument. It’s not quite enough for a film, but it is for one magnificent scene.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A deep supporting cast brings its A-game to the ridiculous dialogue.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This is another dinner conversation that races and lingers, making you want to do more with your own life.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This may be terrifying news to Rob Zombie fans, but after years mining the 1970s for gunky shock moments, the musician-turned-filmmaker has emerged as an unusually sensitive director of actors.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Given the keys to the franchise and a role in the writing, Black has massively upped the verbal sparring and kept the broad inventiveness of comic-book malleability in mind. “I’m a mechanic,” Stark says to the boy in a moment of self-doubt. That’s 100% Black, that line, a tidy code of craft, and the jitters pass.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Young Aprile is a real find, investing what might have been a symbolic part with a visible sense of craft and patience (this isn’t merely cute-kid cinema), but it would be a shame not to mention the risks taken by Moore and Coogan, pushing difficult parts into daring registers of irresponsibility.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    None of it makes any sense, except within the high-octane logic of blowing stuff up onscreen. And, in case you’re wondering, sometimes that can be entertainment enough: Slack-jawed euphoria shoots like nitro through the film. (Please be careful in the parking lot afterward.)
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Zippy and saturated with soft-core nudity, The Look of Love isn’t hard to watch, especially when statuesque Tamsin Egerton enters the picture as a redheaded dancer who captures Raymond’s heart.
    • 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.