Joshua Rothkopf
Select another critic »
For 696 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 Marley
Lowest review score: 20 The Human Centipede (First Sequence)
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 44 out of 696
696 movie reviews
    • 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).
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A manufactured kid-in-jeopardy climax and Blake’s rehab stint blow the mood. Until then, this is great American acting.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The Way Back then takes its time, creeping through gorgeous locations in Bulgaria, Morocco and Pakistan, and basically feeling like a two-hour-plus version of the desert scene from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly."
    • 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?).
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Night Catches Us surges awkwardly in its latter third, suddenly aware that a promising setup isn't enough. Regardless, here is an honorable attempt to address a complex chapter of African-American pride, one that's usually hidden under hairdos and wah-wah pedals.
    • 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.
    • 61 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    So even though the science fair was something your other classmates did while you mastered Pitfall!, the sights in Whiz Kids will no doubt stir you.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    If The Woodmans has something profound to say-and it does, unwittingly-it's that art can't raise a child solo.
    • 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.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    You’re either awestruck, dumbstruck or just plain struck in the face.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    For a sci-fi indie of vast ambition but limited means, Coherence does a sterling job with coherence.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Forgive the film its "Napoleon Dynamite" overquirk; a loving god is watching all, genuflected to on bedroom-wall posters and seen in the film's final five minutes--and if you're not a Rush fan, this is not your movie
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The new film sometimes feels too snazzy in its jittery cinematography, but the stunts make it through the budget upgrade intact.
    • 51 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).
    • 67 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.”
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Ultimately, the returns of the film's premise can't justify a nearly two-and-a-half-hour squirm. The savagery is honest, raw and hardly entertainment.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It plays like a conventional melodrama with better-than-average production values.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The surprising thing here is how smoothly this over-iced cake goes down.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The doc's straining for a larger, Varda-esque metaphor about the sad humans on the sidelines is ill-advised.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A largely sexless sex romp, has such a winning sense of middle-aged exhaustion to it that you might want to add a star or two, especially if you're familiar with the banalities of matrimonial bliss.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Even at this short running time, there's a looseness to the kaleidoscopic adventure that becomes slightly wearying.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A smart horror film will fatten its pigs before the slaughter, and the mock doc The Last Exorcism feeds its prize hog nicely.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This disappointing dramatization, mounted with generic blandness by Jean-François Richet, makes no case for the man's larger significance, nor does any emotional digging at all. Such detachment was no doubt considered artistically shrewd-it's a big mistake.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Watch the director's 1976 "The Tenant," and you'll know he can do more with less.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Both overindulgent and the writer-director's most fascinatingly strange movie to date.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The transformation that you anticipate never comes; the movie feels strangled.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    you sense that "The Hangover" loomed large over this production. Still, Eve has a true flair for zingers, and the movie’s heart survives intact.
    • 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.)
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The problem here, though, is that the movie often feels fat instead of lean. A terribly purple folk score by Kate and Anna McGarrigle hypes the spiritual aspects of the Inuit way of life; you’ll die laughing on the tundra.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    When the movie remembers to be the drug-spiked, hard-R comedy you hope for, it’s more than just a fun romp (and, incidentally, superior to "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," the rom-com from which its Britpop libertine spins off).
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Had the big boy himself, Steven Spielberg, made his directorial debut with this slam-bang sci-fi thriller set in suburban 1979 (and not merely produced what amounts to an homage), he would have been celebrated as a gifted bringer of mayhem: a Michael Bay before there was one.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    As with so many modern fantasy films, the sequences here seem designed to go viral on YouTube in a flash of coolness, not necessarily linger in the mind or heart.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A marvelous thought, credited to Orson Welles: You can handle shit with velvet gloves, but the gloves only get shittier; the shit doesn't get glovier. As wondrous as the regal Helen Mirren can be, it's a sad day when her queenly demeanor gets dunked in doo-doo.
    • 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.
    • 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
    Though wildly uneven, the film sometimes comes within screaming distance of the sick ironies of "Heathers." That's how loudly Goldthwait still knows how to yell.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    This is meat-and-potatoes genre work, certainly superior to a Hollywood product like "Edge of Darkness," but not by much.
    • 62 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Giggles, not belly laughs, come frequently, and it’ll help if viewers love U.K. comics.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It makes you laugh in fits and starts, but more often it feels toothless and exhausted, the kind of project that exists to give Ray Liotta work.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    So while his live-action scenes leave much to be desired, Khrzhanovsky fills the margins of A Room and a Half with glorious doodles: yawning cats penning love letters to former flings; spectral violins floating high above the city; spiky silhouettes pouring out of a truck to bring violence to the ghetto.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    On the whole, it's passable stuff, a surprise, given how mechanical the masked character seemed.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This version’s shadowy Las Vegas underworld and convenient adoring female coed (Brie Larson, who deserves better) play like clichés.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film is vigorous exercise for those who prefer their mysteries knowing and knotty.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Sometimes, the debunking is overshadowed by cringe-inducing graphics involving pills with little legs running toward a finish line.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film's mood is so somber and minimal, it might be confused for deep. Had the plot (meager and one-last-job-predictable) zipped along, that wouldn't feel like such a problem.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    With unexpected supernatural restraint, the movie approaches a religious parable; am I being unfair in wishing it had a touch more apocalyptic hysteria to it?
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's a more courageous profile waiting to be made by someone who understands the man better.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie has a centerfold sheen to it--and some lesbianic soft-core flirtation to match--as its plot dives deeply into "Twilight"-esque heavy-melo meltdown in the last act. Cody throws one too many losses at Needy; the screenwriter loses her satiric way about halfway through. But for a while, this has real fangs.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The esteemed director, Ken Loach, isn’t really a fantasist--and it shows.

Top Trailers