Joshua Rothkopf
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For 642 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 2.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joshua Rothkopf's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 62
Highest review score: 100 Sightseers
Lowest review score: 20 Red Lights
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 43 out of 642
642 movie reviews
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Voyage to Italy is the kind of movie that makes those unhappily in love feel understood. And even if that’s not you (congratulations), it’s still possible to groove on Rossellini’s stranger-in-a-strange-land psychodrama.
    • 100 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Unshakable, witty and deeply felt, the film will be paying emotional dividends for a long, long time.
    • 97 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    A superior work of confrontational boldness, it might be the movie Oppenheimer wanted to make in the first place.
    • 96 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Cuarón, a magician who brought personality to the Harry Potter series, is after pure, near-experimental spectacle.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    It's a grandly entertaining reminder of everything we used to go to the movies for (and still can't get online): sparkling dialogue, thorny situations, soulful performances, and an unusually open-ended and relevant engagement with a major social issue of the day: how we (dis)connect.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    The details are gripping, presented with respect for an audience's intelligence.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    The drama it might remind you most of, oddly enough, is "Six Degrees of Separation," also about the snowballing connections between unlikely people. And as in that urban clash, the bedrock of it all is social responsibility, ever crumbling and rebuilding. A total triumph.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    That’s the subtle level this movie operates on, and by the time it arrives at its powerhouse climax, a ruinous argument in a hotel room where all lingering doubts are finally and furiously outed, there’s nowhere left for them to ramble. They’re pinned down and have to improvise, but this glorious movie has infinite space to roam.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Though it runs an epic five-and-a-half hours (it was made for French TV), Carlos books like no film since "Goodfellas." You will not be bored, ever.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It's not an easy sit; we're never let off the hook with golden-hued memories or belated bits of wisdom. Maybe this is love after all.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    But mainly, it’s the film’s folk music that roots in the heart like a faraway lure.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Clearly, Pixar’s genius for adventurous storytelling continues unabated.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Watching the first hour of I Was Born, But… (unspooling with a bright, new piano score by Donald Sosin) might remind you of a subdued “Our Gang” skit, and not unpleasantly.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Polley has gone further into the thorny subject of forgiveness than any of her peers. Her movies ache with ethical quandary; Stories We Tell aches the most.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    You'll be arguing with your friends about the ethics of secrecy and defense for hours; that's what makes these exit interviews so essential. They come late to the spy game, but are welcome regardless.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Why do we care? Because never before have the steps to thugdom, as depressing as that destination may be, been so rigorously detailed, neither romanticized nor negated. Don’t miss.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Again, Granik has foregrounded a bold woman, expertly balanced between fearlessness and Ree's own private nervousness.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Thus comes My Perestroika's most sophisticated idea: Day-to-day family struggles have a way of trumping even the most profound political change. Don't miss this.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    A dynamite crime comedy and identity meltdown that can rekindle one’s faith in movies.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    We are in the presence of a new classic.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    A fascinating experiment is about to happen, and who doesn't want to be part of a little fun? That rarest of birds - a b&w silent film - is set to swoop into multiplexes. Trust us, it won't bite.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The Arbor's pummeling second half begins with the collapse of its celebrity subject; the following spirals of self-destruction make you suspect that some childhoods are simply too hard to escape. Tough, worthy stuff.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    On purely formal grounds (the ones on which the genre lives or dies), Kent is a natural. She favors crisp compositions and unfussy editing, transforming the banal house itself into a subtle, shadowy threat.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The rich atmosphere of the movie may be the sexiest thing about it: It’s no wonder these women breathe in the air of possibility and find themselves imbued with boldness.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Firth is exceptional in letting us into his dissolving pride.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    The auteur’s style — dramatic zooms, winking symmetry — is balanced against a newfound political context; this one’s his "To Be or Not to Be."
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Either via clay dolls or fragile flesh, the truth is unmissable—as is Panh’s film itself.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Unusually moving (not only to stray film critics in your crowd), director Steve James's keen profile of the late, great Roger Ebert works both as a compact appreciation of the reviewer's vast public impact, as well as an unflinching peak into a cancer patient's final months, fraught with pain, hope and constant treatment.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Rarely do movies-never mind foreign ones, of any nationality - explore an honest-to-God ethical quandary. Elena, in its concentrated austerity, often resembles a lost chapter of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Ten Commandments–themed Decalogue.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Redford, already a giant, has never been more suggestive. His character’s misadventure — might be a kind of cosmic penance. It’s the salvation of the moviegoing year.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    The final Harry Potter movie, above all others, supplies Radcliffe with the gravitas of not just an epic story come to completion, but some real dramatic heft. Not so bad for a Hogwarts dropout.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    The most gratifying thing about the film is feeling Moodysson’s warmth return to him.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Particle Fever is that rare, exhilarating science doc that’s neither dumbed down nor drabbed up.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    A classically structured rampage that bears serious comparison to the definitive greats of Akira Kurosawa, 13 Assassins will floor connoisseurs of action, mood and the dignity of a pissed-off scowl.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    The best style has a purpose to it, and Russian Ark, in its hypnotic, endless swirl, gets at a deep truth of the post-Soviet psyche, haunted by its legacy of czarist rule and Stalin-era sacrifice. The film is a sad home for ghosts.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Defiantly intellectual, complex and true to the shifting winds of real-world governance, Lincoln is not the movie that this election season has earned-but one that a more perfect union can aspire to.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Cave of Forgotten Dreams feels stuck in a middling zone of too much conjecture and not enough scholarship.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    The true value of the film is universal: These kids study the knotty viral science, pressure doctors into taking daring, inventive steps and make their cause a global emblem.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Andersen makes humorous hay out of the stark home designs of Richard Neutra — only suitable, it seems, for drug dealers.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie skips along episodically; it's not quite as sharp as a war narrative needs to be, even if its nightmarish psychology feels spot-on.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    None of this is pushed into comic relief—the filmmaker lets his drama play out with gentleness — and you smile at the many evolutions.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Very little gets in the way of Lebanon's apocalyptic mood; if it turns its audience even slightly away from barbarism, it might have done its job.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    That rarest of art documentaries, one that actually leaves viewers with a better sense of the gifted versus the phony.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Almost as an afterthought to the ringingly true performances--and Marco Bellocchio’s unusually approachable direction--comes a deft analysis of fascism, likened to lovesickness, insanity and a gust of orchestral strings. It’s all of that and more, not to mention a lousy matchmaker.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Stripped to a minimum of editorializing (but, like "The Hurt Locker," flush with sympathy), this Afghanistan-shot war documentary takes its cues from the unblinking style of cinema verité.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Meek's Cutoff has found its passionate defenders, those who admire it almost because of its meandering, heavily politicized nature. Yet you might try it-and try it again-and still only grab a handful of dust.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Holy Motors is aggressively "wild," a puzzle that tweaks the mind but doesn't nourish.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Whiplash scrapes the far edge of crazy passion. It never apologizes.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Love Is Strange emerges as a total triumph for Sachs and his co-leads, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, who, despite lengthy filmographies, turn in career-topping work. a sensitive domestic tragedy about the finite nature of any union.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Organizing the mercurial emotions and tics is director Joachim Trier, making good on the promise of his 2006 feature debut, the lit-related drama Reprise. This one's even better-it's about the honesty that often takes root in survivors, a rarely explored subject-but Oslo, August 31st is not an easy film.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    As time-travel action films go, here's one that's brainy, stylish and carries itself with B-flick modesty - all of which feels like some kind of alchemy.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Only 20 minutes in and you’re not going to think of another lead who could pull off this kind of reckoning — tangy, furious and about to become whip-smart.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Sprung from a 1982 French graphic novel and bearing its era’s trickle-down tensions, Snowpiercer is a headlong rush into conceptual lunacy — but you’ll love it anyway.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Blackfish, a troubling exposé of Sea World’s hazardous entertainment trade, does much to restore a realistic sense of danger, interviewing former park workers who detail their shoddy, nonscientific training, and chronicling the much-suppressed history of whale-on-human violence.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    This isn't the kind of doc to explain everything (or anything, really)-it does honor its subject, though, and that's plenty.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The strength of Animal Kingdom is its slow-building fatalism; the criminals' luck runs out, but then finds depressing extension via an out-of-left-field collaborator. It's a movie that has very little faith in authority, not even in Guy Pearce's righteous detective. The only law here is Darwin's.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's a darker, fanatical side to blindness too-and this is the movie to show it. Leave all judgments behind.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Ajami is Israel’s submission to the Oscars, and like the gritty "City of God" before it, it takes harrowing, tricky circumstances and illuminates them with Scorsesian snap.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Paradoxically, this is not a tale about summoning inner strength, but about shedding pride. Sometimes, there's no choice.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    A staggering political drama that could put you in mind of the intimate sweep of Bernardo Bertolucci, Incendies feels like a mighty movie in our midst.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It's the stuff of melodrama, heightened by Davies's pitch-perfect use of pop songs, like a sad "You Belong to Me," slurred by a misty crowd in a bar.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Rarely leaning on the weepy families back home, this briskly paced triumph maintains a clear focus on human costs, with hope slipping away onboard while lives hang on the burp of a fax machine.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Quietly, though, this amuse-bouche of a setup (culled from six episodes of BBC television) blooms into a meal of majestic agony. Coogan and Brydon's competitive bursts of celebrity impressions - Michael Caine comes in for special attention - take on a tone of clingy desperation, as does their jockeying for status in taunts of love, marriage and career.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Nothing about The Spectacular Now feels easy or After-School Special, although it tidies up too much (the personal essay should be retired as a device).
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Cedar's idiosyncratically brilliant script also has a moral question at its heart: Is lying to spare someone's feelings ever justified? Surely the Talmud has a thing or two to say about that.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    The tunes, flooding every frame, remain perfect.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The White Ribbon comes dangerously--wonderfully?--close to playing like an evil-kid flick.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    This is textbook Kaurismäki, neither fresh nor unwelcome.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Expressively (Berger knows his grammar), a white communion dress is dipped in black dye as her custodial grandmother passes away and an evil castle beckons.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Hardly the heady stuff of "Frost/Nixon"--or then again, maybe exactly the same thing. This one’s more rude and fun.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Blue Valentine has a quiet, resigned wisdom to it.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie isn’t quite suitable for the extremely young, but its apocalyptic tint may be catnip for smart preteens. They’ll breathe in the chilly air of a mysterious forest--the way forests should be.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The first and only piece of advice needed on one’s way to the fishing pond is this: Bring your patience. Not surprisingly, the same could be said to a viewer of this slow-building but riveting experimental collage.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    No
    The essential thrust here is both knowing and undeniable: No is pitched at the pivot point when the image makers were brazen enough to push ideology to the side. Considering how high the stakes were, it’s amazing they almost didn’t get the gig.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Shockingly dull.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Vibrating with the geekery of a filmmaker off the chain, the movie plays like no other this year. Tarantino, steeped in even the smallest Leonean gesture (what's with the weird terrain shifts?), knows how to satisfy fans of scuzzy Italian horse operas and badass superviolence in equal measure.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Kinji Fukasaku's slick, sick nightmare is best left to the quasi-banned realm where it exists as a perfect satire; when brought into reality, it's a touch awkward.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Director Radu Muntean has pulled off the near-impossible, turning each scene (captured in capacious long takes) into arias of generosity for his actors.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    The beauty of this movie, both a nostalgic romp and a futuristic scream, is its stubborn insistence on getting all the trapped-in-amber details right.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It is during Melancholia's second half, after a ruinous conclusion to the wedding, that the real magic happens, with our heroine hardened into a wry, cynical Cassandra - the voice of Von Trier himself.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Even on its own limited, rigorous aesthetic grounds, there are far superior movies (including all of Tarr's own work). It's a sad way for the 56-year-old to go out, almost a caricature of his funereal mood and of art cinema in general.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's a wild, "Miami Blues"–like dreaminess to the movie that's addictive. If anything, it shows up exactly what "Little Miss Sunshine" lacked: plenty of ammo.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    Room 237 asks that you bring your own noodles; as docs go, it leaves you with questions, some worry and rib-sticking satiation.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    It’s wonderful to think that a movie is, for a change, ahead of you.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    Phenomenally sad yet exhilarating.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The real heat of The Sessions comes from its pitch-perfect sense of place, the free-spirited Berkeley of the 1980s.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Joshua Rothkopf
    In lesser hands, this could have easily been some seriously detestable John Wayne jingoism. But via Fiennes, the film is a spiky and complex counterweight to Hollywood sentiment and indie cynicism alike.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Joshua Rothkopf
    The attention to detail is fine-grained, especially on the slippery slope of plea bargaining. Missing are two pieces that might have turned this into an urban classic.