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

Joshua Rothkopf's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Stories We Tell
Lowest review score: 20 The First Time
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 42 out of 605
605 movie reviews
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Crushingly, the dependably perverse art-action director Nicolas Winding Refn has finally made a boring movie.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It exists in fits and starts: a Blade Runner–esque moment of rainy contemplation on a hotel balcony; some weird sexual tension with a lizard girl (statuesque Svetlana Khodchenkova) who steals away Wolverine’s healing powers.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Prince Avalanche — Green has admitted that the unrelated title came to him in a dream — evaporates after a while, although it’s never less than quizzical and charming.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    With so many ideas to work with, why does Bell infantilize her elsewhere-confident main character as yet another disheveled woman-child?
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film captures a few surprising similarities to the West: One dead-eyed club kid says she’s “tired of everything,” while a hopeful young actor seems to be trying out for her own reality show, breaking down in front of her estranged mother. The experiment isn’t more than a slice of life, but at least it’s a generous one.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The Grandmaster, five years in the making, feels like a waste of Wong’s talents.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Outside of its cracked psychology (well conveyed by papa Bill Sage), We Are What We Are is horror leftovers, neither inedible nor piping hot.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film manages to span from feisty Wilson Pickett to Confederate-flag-flaunting Lynyrd Skynyrd, but if ever a music doc needed insight from the fans who went along for the ride and forgot their troubles, it’s this one.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A fine sense of yuppie suffocation—Spin-class listlessness and workaholic disconnection—sets up this indie as a potential suburban satire.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Director Paul Greengrass remains a genius of claustrophobia, yet his better films — "Bloody Sunday," "United 93" and "The Bourne Ultimatum" — all beat with a stronger sense of central identification. He doesn’t have as much to work with this time, and his solution is to slow down the pace. The result is more clarity, but also more monotony.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Doomed love will never go out of style, but would it have killed director Carlo Carlei to inject the proceedings with some modern-day aloofness? Today’s version will likely become a cheat sheet for slacking students, but it won’t inspire them to open their hearts to the text.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Only Julianne Moore, as the Bible-thumping mom, has an instinct to go softer — how couldn’t she, after Piper Laurie? — and paradoxically, it’s a move that feels wrong, the role requiring its cantatory bigness.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Watts’s work is extraordinary, sometimes keying off the same illicit register as "Mulholland Drive"; she risks being goofy, awkward and bratty.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A certain Hollywood self-absorption is on display here, but the family’s depressing story merits Mariel’s vigilant defensiveness.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This recut version appends a new interview with Polanski and Stewart, returning to the same hotel room to wax nostalgic. Essentially, they liked going fast and big; this film feels slow and minor.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Weaknesses from the original remain, including a mustache-twirling villain straight out of a Bond film (Sharlto Copley) and a Freudian master plan that unravels the more you think about it. Give credit to Lee for staying fresh, even if this feels like slumming.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Subtle performances — especially from Bale and Affleck, both growing meaner in the absence of hope — transcend any structural weaknesses. The bottom drops out early for them, but their endgame is savagely captivating.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Saving Mr. Banks turns Travers’s tense collaboration with Walt and his team of Imagineers into — naturally — a schmaltzy journey of closure, climaxing in a teary screening of the finished musical.
    • 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.
    • 71 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The plot’s a bit complex for what amounts to a lot of running around — the movie can’t help but evoke the Bourne series along with a high-gloss hint of Skyfall, not wholly unpleasantly.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It plays like a conventional melodrama with better-than-average production values.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Unfortunately, the draggy movie is one thing definitively, and that’s exactly like all of Reggio’s other films. His formal devices haven’t changed in 30 years, and the po-faced presentation, once hypnotically strange and cosmic, now feels like an overused gimmick.
    • 70 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.
    • 60 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    LaMarque foregrounds her scenario’s awkwardness—it never quite feels like a comedy—and the pair of male suitors she brings in (Jake Johnson and Ron Livingston) are, refreshingly, as unfixed as her main character. But you still wish Kazan had more to work with.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The performances, especially from the bed partners, are complex; even if you weren’t wanting for an exposé of adult-entertainment violence, here it is.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    But scary? Not so much.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Hollywood does this too; truth be told, Russia’s high-tech whitewash goes down smooth like vodka.
    • 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."
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    All the way back to "Donnie Darko," Jake Gyllenhaal has had an inchoate sense of evolution about him, a tricky quality that better actors can’t pull off half as well. So it’s hard to say if splitting the star into two doppelgängers — Adam, a mousy college professor, and Anthony, a rising actor with a healthy ego — is the best dramatic plan.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Bad Words soars in the bits of riotously offensive chitchat between Guy and a young Indian hopeful (Rohan Chand); it wobbles in plot developments involving the effortlessly starchy Allison Janney as the contest’s “queen bee”; and it splats in the I’m-secretly-hurting conclusion.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The filmmaker has fallen for some of indiedom’s worst clichés, including our main character’s sad stare out to the ocean, and soft camerawork that’s beginning to sound like a Klaxon: Hug me, hug me, hug me.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The set pieces are grand—gloriously dumb and never realistic enough to make you wince at the fact that billions of microscopic souls are dying before your eyes. Rather, you wince at everything else.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    "Southland Tales" was a soporific mess, and while The Box (based on material by novelist Richard Matheson) is superior by a certain margin, Kelly derails his newfound discipline with the usual shimmering portals and hazy notions of apocalyptic sacrifice.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    This is the ultimate sin of the film, generically helmed by lad-auteur Guy Ritchie: Logic seems to be thrown out the window in order to make room for clashes on a partially completed Tower Bridge. It’s way too elementary.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    It takes a long time for Brothers to become the movie it wants to be, and even then, it stumbles.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Unfortunately, none of the subsequent noise is all that scary, and the striving for "Paranormal Activity’s" buzz is shameless.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Cutesy and generic, New York, I Love You is almost colossally inept at capturing five-boroughs flavor.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    An unfocused comedy about weird Army pseudoscience, ends up blinking before we laugh.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Not since a Nam-scarred Sly Stallone asked, "Do we get to win this time?" in "Rambo: First Blood Part II" has an American action star been deployed to rewrite history so thoroughly.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Adult children and friends watch nervously as Pippa reclaims a measure of spunk; too bad it all feels like one of those pharmaceutical ads for longer, healthier lifestyles.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film is set in a celeb-owned Miami restaurant and many of the gags--exploding entrees, the swallowing of a diamond ring, on-the-job drunkenness--feel like leftovers.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Once you get over the droll joke of seeing an equine Web surfer wearing a bathrobe and sipping his morning coffee, the movie settles into a shrill groove from which it never escapes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Shockingly dull.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    There are sparks here that suggest the smarter movie a more scientifically minded director--say, David Cronenberg--might have made.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Better to defrost "Alive" or "The Edge" from the video icebox.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    An eerie resurrection regains some good will, but we'll have to wait for Neshat to catch up with the art of storytelling.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The Losers is the ultimate example, scraped from the bottom of the comic-book barrel, where writer Andy Diggle’s figurine-like characters first had their exploits in an exciting War on Terror.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    With this depressingly bland sequel (scripted by snark specialist Justin Theroux), he’s (Robert Downey Jr.) stranded in lightweight arrogance.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The big absence here is the man himself; Gibney couldn’t get the jailed Abramoff on camera, either due to unwillingness or a Justice Department intervention. Whatever the reason, it’s crippling.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Diced into hash, the action sequences are unusually painful: poundingly loud and punctuated by Liam Neeson's bark, Bradley Cooper's manic heehawing and a total lack of clarity.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The sequences in Micmacs are contorted too: impressive and bendy and aggressively shallow.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    No viewer goes into this movie expecting John Cassavetes's "Husbands," least of all from soft-serve director Denis Dugan (You Don't Mess with the Zohan).
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Never is the material excited into the kind of playful uncertainty that Rivette all but trademarked; the inertness of the performances robs the movie of spirit.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie you were hoping to avoid.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    A proper profile of Hefner would start and end with sex, and not merely glance on casualties like Dorothy Stratten (and even the loveless Hef himself). The movie can't seem to get it up.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Marvel at the desperate spectacle of three comic leads-Aniston, Bateman and Watchmen's Patrick Wilson as the original donor-being outperformed by the wide-eyed Robinson, a quiet collector of silences. These stars will never be as young as he is; you wish they'd all stop trying.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Here's a film that definitely wants to play Hollywood dress-up.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The script, credited to one Bert V. Royal, seems to have been run through an out-of-control sass machine (seriously, it'll make you appreciate Diablo Cody's tact).
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Material like this doesn't require the additional strain of overnarrated freeze-frames, a "Cuckoo's Nest" supporting cast of adorable crazies and a Glee-ified musical number set to Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure."
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    What was Clint thinking? (Or Martin Scorsese, when he made "Shutter Island," for that matter.)
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    This can't be a faithful facsimile of the literary phenomenon currently turning soccer moms into Scandinoir crackheads. Nor can ethical journalist Mikael (Nyqvist), an uncoverer of conspiracies, actually be the dull, Windbreakered nonaction hero onscreen.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    From its title on, Come Undone is as dully generic as is imaginable.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The more substantial material, including Spitzer's feuds with vindictive New York politician Joe Bruno and financier Ken Langone, gets short shrift.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    You keep waiting for the movie to grow a brain, for that random attractive neighbor (Wilde) to turn out to be a decoy, for Banks herself to become suspect. Nope. The Next Three Days morphs into "The Fugitive" on steroids.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie dies onscreen; it might be the best advertisement for avoiding the glories of Italy ever released by a Hollywood distributor.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Like a stumpy limb requiring quick cauterization via steam pipe (our first cringe), the Saw series is begging for closure.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Listen to the rhythms of "Broadcast News" - from Holly Hunter's daily crying jags to William Hurt's cock-of-the walk patter - and you'll hear how romantic comedy can approach an art form, a roundelay that requires the ear of a conductor. How Do You Know, James L. Brooks's latest, has such tone-deaf passages that it feels made by a totally different man.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's really no focking place for the franchise to go anymore.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    A typically lax late-period Ferrara work, far from the glories of "King of New York."
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    How does one remain an unapologetic fan of Vaughn, abrasive though he is, even as his material fails him?
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Sandler's puppy-dog persona is just about ready to be put down. From its title on, this is entertainment for extremely lazy audiences.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Please. If you're going to ask audiences to submit to a dim theater themselves, at least greet them with the proper monster they paid for.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    We've seen Nicolas Cage when he's angry-and we like him when he's angry. So why does this painfully loud revenge movie skimp on the Cage rage?
    • 63 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    In theory, there's nothing wrong when a movie reminds you of TV. (That's where the fun is, anyway.) But when a movie resembles a long-lost, corduroy-clad episode of "The Rockford Files," that's a problem.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    A perfectly boring movie from Julian Schnabel - is it possible?
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    None of this is particularly well wrought, and only a bizarre gas mask worn by the séance leader counts as an inspired (if slightly silly) touch.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    To the movie's small credit, there's very little grasping for larger significance: It's a dumb horror film, complete with a sexy female lust object (Kaboom's Mesquida) undraping for a shower scene.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The original film, for all its zaniness, existed in a recognizable Koch-era metropolis, one that paradoxically added to our hero's likable haze of denial. This time, the town is far shinier (what recession?).
    • 27 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    While the movie isn't "Witness," you know that comic scenes of target practice are going to make sense around the bend.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Controversially, Escrivá started the Opus Dei, and There Be Dragons is best appreciated by those seeking more realism than the albino self-whipper of "The Da Vinci Code."
    • 51 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Dedicating a movie to John Hughes doesn't equal capturing the master's ear for the universality of adolescent angst.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The new movie is simpler plotwise (a race to the Fountain of Youth), while at the same time being somehow more deadening.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Some kind of napping for sure: The line between rigor and tedium is crossed in this Madrid-set home-invasion thriller, captured in a dozen or so claustrophobic shots but impoverished as a piece of drama.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Breillat, as always, goes her own way, but her impressionistic scenes barely cohere, even at this brief running time.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    It gets bogged down in slo-mo indie quirk when it should be faster, more in our face.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Depending on what you need from this movie, there's slight redemption in its full-on commitment to raunch, both in baby-shit–to-mouth scatology and some choice zingers.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The hard fact, though, is that Harlin's instincts - always toward the massive and slo-mo - make him a fairly dunderheaded political analyst.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The predictability is crushing, and with movies like "Crazy Heart" and Sofia Coppola's distinctly personal "Somewhere" so close in the rearview, David M. Rosenthal's estrangement drama feels especially soft.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    J. Edgar is infuriatingly coy and noncritical about its subject, an undeniable patriot but also an alarmist and a ruiner of lives.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Unintentionally true to its title, The Divide first goes for a similar bleakness (it barely registers as entertainment), then lurches into a rousing, vengeful finale; both sides of the equation add up to less than zero.