Joshua Rothkopf
Select another critic »
For 671 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
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Jodorowsky's Dune
Lowest review score: 20 Mortem
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 671
671 movie reviews
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This film could have done with a few more mouth beats and unlikely moments of extracurricular celebrity.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Predictably, the documentary got a rousing reception at hipster-laden SXSW; real people might find it a touch easy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film feels naive for an audience that's ready for some harder truths.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A deep supporting cast brings its A-game to the ridiculous dialogue.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Even at this short running time, there's a looseness to the kaleidoscopic adventure that becomes slightly wearying.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Crushingly, the dependably perverse art-action director Nicolas Winding Refn has finally made a boring movie.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 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.
    • 56 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 68 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Hollywood does this too; truth be told, Russia’s high-tech whitewash goes down smooth like vodka.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Both overindulgent and the writer-director's most fascinatingly strange movie to date.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    But scary? Not so much.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It plays like a conventional melodrama with better-than-average production values.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There’s social satire for those who want it — don’t tell the rest of the neighborhood our daughter’s risen from the dead! — and a fine, simmering sense of apocalypse that turns this suburban community into a war zone. Still, it’s a lot of heavy lifting for what amounts to “he’s just not that into you,” mainly because you’re as ripe as a cadaver.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Younger audiences will see "The Fault in Our Stars’" Shailene Woodley once again excelling in an emotionally tricky role: Kat, a 17-year-old blooming into her wild years while reckoning with an increasingly unhinged mother, Eve (Eva Green, crazy-eyed and just this side of Faye Dunaway).
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The Rover is almost worth it for the coiled central performance of Guy Pearce, who outfuries Mel Gibson with his pinpoint shotgun skills and monomaniacal quest.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    For a sci-fi indie of vast ambition but limited means, Coherence does a sterling job with coherence.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    More shakily, Payne’s obvious pathology isn’t probed as deeply as it should be. A jaunty musical score smooths over what might have been a tougher profile about an expert liar, to self included.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Unfortunately for us, Dern — only seen in flashback — isn’t the main character.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Resident turned filmmaker Ryan McGarry sometimes displays shrewd instincts for hardheaded vérité — there’s compelling stuff here, even if you shear away his occasional stabs at issues of bureaucratic overcrowding and corporate cost-cutting at the expense of intimacy.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film is weak on its essential indictment, vaguely suggesting a mood of battlefield boredom without quite pinpointing the pathology that would lead military men to squeeze the trigger pell-mell.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Workman’s study, complete with a fawning sit-down with Steven Spielberg, feels slightly awestruck: The films certainly deserve it, but you’ll want more of Welles’s Illinois schoolmate, rolling her eyes when the subject is described as “humble.”
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    An unfocused comedy about weird Army pseudoscience, ends up blinking before we laugh.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Cutesy and generic, New York, I Love You is almost colossally inept at capturing five-boroughs flavor.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Shockingly dull.

Top Trailers