Joshua Rothkopf

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For 852 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.1 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Joshua Rothkopf's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Senna
Lowest review score: 20 The Accountant
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 852
852 movie reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Firth is exceptional in letting us into his dissolving pride.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 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
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    A horror film with the power to put a rascally grin on the face of that great genre subverter John Carpenter (They Live), Get Out has more fun playing with half-buried racial tensions than with scaring us to death.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    After 2012’s similarly themed "Sleepwalk with Me," Birbiglia continues to mine a scene he knows well, and even though he doesn’t strike you as a natural-born filmmaker (some of these scenes are as flatly lensed as the Saturday Night Live sketches being spoofed), he’s evolving as a confrontational dramatist.
    • 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
    • 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
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Tonally, it’s a touch awkward (like the movie as a whole), but Larraín’s endgame set on a snowy mountainside is as abstract as the final moments of "The Shining" — a film that’s also about the life of the mind.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Shockingly dull.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Shutter Island is slumming: minor but enjoyably nuts.
    • 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?
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Wilson’s play, about dreams deferred and a son seeking approbation (The Leftovers’ Jovan Adepo), could have used a more cinematic rethink. But even flatly presented, it has a richness of rage that’s unmistakable.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Redemptively, the cast goes a long way: Jean Desailly is perfect as a jowly literary celeb deep in midlife crisis, while the aloof Françoise Dorléac is magnetic as his airline stewardess and all-too-scrutable love object.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    She has real sympathy--characters that might have been brittle, mockable creations in another writer-director’s hands gain resonance here. But the filmmaker also might have very little to say apart from the way guilt enters into life, and then suddenly recedes.
    • 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.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    It probably would have helped if Walker (who credits two other codirectors) had chosen just one of those avenues for deeper study; her doc has a vertiginous way of feeling arty and ephemeral at one moment, humane and maybe too earthbound the next.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    An open wound, Moss is terrific, yet Queen of Earth feels a touch brittle and precious, like the swirly pink-hued script Perry employs for his end credits. It’s a movie about not getting over it, as oppressive as that sounds.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Would that Grandma had given rascally Sam Elliott more time to express his magnificent unease as Elle’s old flame, still wounded by her own choices. Single-handedly, he saves the film from its cutesy instincts.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Watching the new film is like getting upsettingly full on insubstantial tapas: You would never say no to just one more, but there’s better.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The director has made disappointing films before — a more generous word might be transitional — but never one so slight.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The doc makes a hairpin turn into sentiment, as the realities of immigration law impose themselves on Randi’s private relationship with his Venezuelan lover of 25 years. We already know that professional charlatans run from their pasts. Where they head to, though, is the better question: For a while, An Honest Liar brings a captivating crusader into view.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Unfortunately for us, Dern — only seen in flashback — isn’t the main character.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Basically, it’s an electrifying three-person play, as the determined Winstead, the complexly furious Goodman and Tony-winner John Gallagher Jr. (playing a lucky neighbor who made his way down) have it out in scenes that impart the nauseating futility of George Romero’s mall-ensconced "Dawn of the Dead."
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie leans on symbolic imagery that’s alternately tired and ridiculous: Hunt’s impatiently flicked cigarette lighter (yes, he’s a candle waiting to be lit) or a black-widow spider crawling up the stands of one particularly dangerous course. These are classic frenemies; their tale deserves more gas in the tank.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    No matter how predictable his arc is, writer-director Thomas McCarthy (The Station Agent) never loses sight of the difficulties of cashflow and making one's weekly nut. You'll want to give his movie-and his secret weapon, the lovably neurotic Bobby Cannavale, as a recent divorcé hoping to co-coach the team-a pass for sweetness.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Berlinger is fully invested here, but a little distance might have helped.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Those euphoric moments, scored to Black Sabbath, show the brothers sneaking out in their masks, discovering activism and growing into individuals. You’ll wish Moselle had started, not ended, there.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    As brought to life in the stentorian tones of Ben Kingsley, the curator comes off like a driven visionary, but his actual efforts aren't dramatized enough. The paintings speak more articulately: doomy, dank colors and oppressive shapes.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Based on a banned short story from the 1920s, Caterpillar might be read as a reaction to hawkish nationalism, but it's more a cry for the unknown soldier in the kitchen and bedroom.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film is vigorous exercise for those who prefer their mysteries knowing and knotty.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    His rock music gets a decent airing, but you wish more of the man’s perversity came through: his intimidating ego, the way he could exhaust his bandmates. And seriously, where is “Valley Girl” and his amazing kids? Not bitchin’ at all.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The film aims for the stars but might have gone stratospheric if it cooled its jets ever so slightly.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Sully is so square, it’s a wonder it even gets airborne. Hanks’s walking iceberg never thaws; the actor is never as vulnerable as he was in Captain Phillips.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie's first hour happens to be its most absorbing. Director Alexei Popogrebsky sets up the quiet tensions between his two generationally divided characters like a chess match pocked with occasional power grabs.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie isn’t adventurous, but I’m sure glad it exists.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Dree Hemingway, daughter of Mariel, commits to some unnecessary nudity, but also impresses with her subtlety.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    For all his brilliance with choreography, Woo is flummoxed by the thousands of actual human extras, though there’s no denying his commitment to the finer points of battle tactics (yawn).
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    Something, Anything doesn’t really engage with issues of faith or materialism.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Maybe this is a good time to mention that the director is Richard Linklater, usually a lot more versatile. Try to imagine a version of Linklater’s "School of Rock" that didn’t pivot on the manic music teacher played by Jack Black but instead, perhaps, on his boring roommate.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie isn’t particularly scary--not a crime when your goal is laughs. More egregious is the niggling fact that this simply isn’t as witty as "Shaun of the Dead," forever the yuks-meet-yucks standard.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The Grandmaster, five years in the making, feels like a waste of Wong’s talents.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There's a more courageous profile waiting to be made by someone who understands the man better.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    There’s way too much inside-baseball money talk here, when a simpler plot—one about a band whose apocalyptic vision comes to pass—would have been plenty.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The movie works best in the clan’s private world (even if rock climbing in the rain seems like poor parenting). But then it deflates: Frank Langella, normally a welcome presence, is clownishly directed as a mean grandfather, and the plot abandons its tensions too abruptly.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Simply skip the first part entirely: "Killer Instinct" bulges with a disconnected jumble of nightclub attacks and fence-clipping escapes you've seen better elsewhere. Yet a tide change happens with the superior Public Enemy No. 1, which takes the subject's raging ego as its cue.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    As a piece of gore, Train to Busan takes the swiftest path from A to Z.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    A superior and recent take on this material, Robert Greene’s experimental "Kate Plays Christine," is worth seeking out, both for its sympathy and deeper grasp of Chubbuck’s unknowable pain. Ironically, Christine’s director Antonio Campos (Afterschool) is capable of exactly that kind of riskiness, but the instinct abandons him here.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Documentary filmmaker Jeff Feuerzeig turns a controversial literary hoax that fooled the world (and many a celebrity) into a tale of a private desperation but tidies it up too much.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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).
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The documentary feels preprogrammed when it could have been a real-life Black Swan.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 40 Joshua Rothkopf
    You doubt Wiseman's sense of pacing. Still, he must have had a good time shooting.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    The funny thing? It all works reasonably well, especially if you have a yen for the urbane register of city kids and their amazingly cool parents.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    For 
the most part, you’re in the hands of a capable lunatic who has a tale to tell.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Some moments are so deliciously shivery-our heroes' breath condensing in the air like in John Carpenter's "The Thing"-that you wish the film were naughtier and less nice.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Joshua Rothkopf
    Recreating the crime for The Walk, director Robert Zemeckis does a crackerjack job with the thrills and a so-so one with the laughs (at least the intentional ones) and skips the deeper magic altogether.
    • 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.

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