Michael Rechtshaffen
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For 538 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Rechtshaffen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Charlotte's Web
Lowest review score: 0 I Know Who Killed Me
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 66 out of 538
538 movie reviews
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Up
    Winsome, touching and arguably the funniest Pixar effort ever, the gorgeously rendered, high-flying adventure is a tidy 90-minute distillation of all the signature touches that came before it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ron Howard and Russell Crowe bring the Braddock story to vivid life in a superbly acted, beautifully shot, highly engaging drama that ranks as one of Howard's best efforts.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The latest installment could well be Romero's masterpiece. Taking full advantage of state-of-the-art makeup and visual effects, he has a more vivid canvas at his disposal, not to mention two decades worth of pent-up observations about American society.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An achingly eloquent rumination.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The endearingly enduring 1952 E.B. White novel about friendship and salvation, has been turned into a beautifully rendered motion picture that's full of warmth, wit and wonder.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    U2 3D takes the well-traveled concert film to exhilarating new heights.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This over-the-top, ultraviolent, hyperkinetic action thriller pretty much has it all.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    With writer-director del Toro given free license to go where his singular vision takes him, Hellboy II plays like Guillermo's Greatest Hits with even hotter visual effects.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    One of the year's most satisfying films.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Key to the remake's ultimate success is the casting of the troubled young leads.Smit-McPhee and Moretz possess the soulful depth and pre-adolescent vulnerability necessary to keep it compellingly real.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It’s a non-stop blast from beginning to end, jam-packed with a wacky irreverence, dazzling state-of-the-art CGI (courtesy of Animal Logic) and a pitch-perfect voice cast headed by Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Will Ferrell.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A piercingly funny, twisted "whatever-happens-in-Vegas" caper.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Raimi's still very much up to his old tricks, retaining that deliriously over-the-top brand of Grand Guignol horror that he had abandoned by the mid-'90s in pursuit of other genres.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Firing on all cylinders as a creepy thriller, police procedural and "All the President's Men"-style investigative newsroom drama, the smart, extremely vivid production oozes period authenticity.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Neil Marshall's horrifically terrific The Descent cannily recasts 1972's "Deliverance" as a female-bonding thriller with some "Hills Have Eyes"-style mutant terror tossed in for truly harrowing effect.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    To pull this kind of thing off you need exceptional performances, and the two leads rise commandingly to the challenge. Wilson, best known for his work in the screen version of "The Phantom of the Opera" and HBO's "Angels in America," keeps his true colors effectively muted throughout the bulk of their face-off, but it is Page who astonishes.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An affectionate and intimate celebration of the acclaimed troubadour in stirring music and words.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It didn't seem possible, but Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Wee Man and company might just have cooked up a sequel that's even wilder, funnier, extra-depraved and more gag-inducing than the seemingly incomparable "Jackass the Movie."
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A fascinating documentary with a high entertainment quotient thanks to the fact that the film's surviving subjects prove to be some of the most articulate, not to mention wittiest, octogenarians around.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The outrageously hilarious For Your Consideration was well worth the wait. Again delivered with comic precision by Guest's crack repertory company, his patented brand of parody takes affectionate but deadly aim at its awards buzz mania target and the results aren't just funny, they're face-hurting funny.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A deeply reflective, quietly powerful work that is as timely as it is moving.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Noah Baumbach has followed up his acclaimed 2005 breakthrough "The Squid and the Whale" with another wryly observed, giddily cringe-inducing, bracingly original winner.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Alternately disturbing, laceratingly satirical and affectingly poignant, the film, which he adapted from the novel, Towelhead, by Alicia Erian, is very much a companion piece to the Ball-penned "American Beauty" in its unwavering examination of the dirty little secrets and raging hypocrisies lurking just beyond all those manicured suburban lawns.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A winning mix of sharp comedy and touching bits that keeps the laughter -- a few tears -- flowing.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A fantastical romp that proves every bit as transporting as that movie about the blue people of Pandora, his "Alice" is more than just a gorgeous 3D sight to behold.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The epic adventure, set during the Napoleonic Wars, boasts at least two artists at the top of their respective games -- namely filmmaker Peter Weir and actor Russell Crowe.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Demanding but deeply affecting, My Flesh and Blood ultimately takes on a literal, highly visceral meaning that transcends notions of conventional family dynamics.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Factoring in Mike Eley's breathtakingly vivid photography and a virtuoso sound mix that completely envelops the viewer, it's enough to make you never again want to poke your head into the freezer.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Outstanding, entirely unique father-son portrait.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The production is graced by bold performances, lyrical visuals and, most notably, Irving's own words, which have made the transition quite intact thanks to a faithful but still filmic adaptation by writer-director Tod Williams.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A deeper, darker, visually arresting and more emotionally satisfying adaptation of the J.K. Rowling literary phenomenon, achieving the neat trick of remaining faithful to the spirit of the book while at the same time being true to its cinematic self.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The result is an animated adventure that's funnier than "Shark Tale" and more charming than "The Polar Express."
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Cheadle impressively carries the entire picture, delivering the kind of note-perfect performance that's absolutely deserving of Oscar consideration.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Woody, Buzz and playmates make a thoroughly engaging, emotionally satisfying return.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A fiendishly entertaining Christmas yarn rooted in Northern European legend and lore, complete with a not-so-jolly old St. Nick informed more by the Brothers Grimm than Norman Rockwell.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Leave it to the folks who brought us "Wallace & Gromit," "Chicken Run" and "Flushed Away" to bring a delightful blast of fresh air to the conventional Christmas genre. Aardman's Arthur Christmas is that and more - an endlessly amusing 3D, CG-animated Yuletide romp with lively innovation at every turn and a dream voice cast headed by James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie and Bill Nighy.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    East meets West to immensely satisfying effect in the vibrant mash-up of an animated romp, Big Hero 6.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An intense Mel Gibson performance anchors this brutally effective crime thriller.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Falling closer in tone to "Shaun of the Dead" than "28 Days Later" or the George Romero movies, Zombieland has its tongue planted firmly in its rancid cheek while still delivering the visceral goodies.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Gervais and Robinson take what might have been a cute concept comedy and elevate it to delicious heights.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It plays like "Bonnie & Clyde" as made by a committee comprised of George Romero, Sam Peckinpah, Tobe Hooper, Sergio Leone and John Waters -- but Zombie still manages to inject a pervasive flavor all his own.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The wow factor works overtime with state-of-the-art effects sequences that often are as beautiful as they are astonishing.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Packs a quiet wallop.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ekachai's film takes a more compassionate view of its subject and boasts a dynamic performance by real-life kickboxer Asanee Suwan.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It's a beautifully modulated performance in a nicely crafted, quietly unassuming character study by Vancouver-based writer-director Carl Bessai.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An engrossing mix of atmospheric gothic horror and smart sci-fi that's cemented by intriguing mythology, terrific visual effects, a dry sense of humor and an ideally cast Keanu Reeves.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Hits the screen with its disarmingly droll spirit quite intact.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Resistance is futile. It's impossible not to be swept up into the uplifting world of Mad Hot Ballroom, a documentary that can be neatly summed up as the "Spellbound" of competitive ballroom dancing.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Expertly tossing off the type of well-sharpened banter that was the domain of Gable and Lombard and Tracy and Hepburn, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie -- no matter what their off-camera status -- make one swell combative couple.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An endlessly intriguing documentary.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A consistently amusing, often inspired family romp.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An absolute delight from start to finish.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A highly satisfying documentary tracking the hoop dreams of basketball bright light Sebastian Telfair as he made that rare leap from high school all-star to NBA draft pick.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Disney may have written the book on live-action animal adventure stories, but it has been quite a while since there has been a chapter as terrific as Eight Below.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It might not be way up there in "The Incredibles"/"Finding Nemo"/"Toy Story" stratosphere, but the charming Cars is nevertheless a thoroughly pleasant way to mark Pixar Animation Studios' 20th anniversary.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A potent hybrid of passion and politics fuel this energetic and highly compelling documentary.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A smart, sharply observed, highly affable look at contemporary relationships that finally injects a little life in the stagnating genre.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Unlike the last Scott-Washington matchup, "Man on Fire," Deja Vu boasts a muscular, fast-forward story that won't be overwhelmed by Scott's need for speed in the form of rapid cuts and all that visual fusion that have become his stylistic trademark. Here, the approach is perfectly suited to the picture's time-shifting, multitasking structure.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A movingly rendered, stirringly photographed first feature by Ham Tran.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The blissfully silly Blades of Glory is one of those rare comedies that puts a goofy smile on your face with the premise alone -- and keeps it planted there right until its wacky finale.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Once again Bier demonstrates just how misleading appearances can be, as she artfully removes the veneers concealing the dark truths locked away by her intriguing characters.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While Cheadle's fearlessly robust performance absolutely galvanizes Talk to Me, it's not the only thing that makes Kasi Lemmons' third feature such a pleasure to take in.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A largely compelling ride on the strength of a powerful cast led by Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A pitch-perfect musical comedy that at long last moves the talented John C. Reilly up the billing ladder from second banana to top banana.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Iranian-American filmmaker Ramin Bahrani has followed up his well-received Man Push Cart with another penetrating portrait of life on the outskirts of New York.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    As the heart and soul of the film, Chiwetel Ejiofor once again impresses.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    With its dialogue largely improvised by many who had seen extensive combat in Iraq, Battle for Haditha has a gripping authenticity lacking in other similarly themed dramas.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Several shades darker in tone than the previous edition -- which, to be fair, didn't carry the burden of expectation that a sequel must bear -- the return to Narnia still casts a transporting spell.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A spare, creepily atmospheric psychological thriller with a death grip on the psychological aspect.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This smartly assembled wake-up call concerning the nation's lousy spending habits proves to be as unexpectedly spirited as it is dispiriting.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A typically intelligent if occasionally overwritten political thriller, boasting a powerhouse cast.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An affecting film that manages to find glimmers of beauty in the encroaching bleakness, and coaxing richly dimensional performances which, like Maria's photographs, transcend the conventionally black and white.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Had Cameron Crowe and the late John Hughes collaborated on a movie populated by Disney Channel superstars, the result might have looked and sounded a lot like Todd Graff's Bandslam. And that's meant as a compliment.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The beautifully acted serio-comedy takes a potentially smirky premise -- a chance dirty phone call between an introverted writer and a persuasive mystery woman becomes a meaningful long-distance relationship -- and turns it into something that really reaches out and touches you.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Kells proves that in the increasingly high-tech world of feature animation, there still can be a place for old-time tradition.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ultimately, Swimming Pool belongs to Ozon, and while incorporating a carefully measured, quietly menacing style that summons up vintage Hitchcock and Chabrol, he has made it unmistakably -- and entertainingly -- his very own.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Layered with elements that are both amusing and touching but never threatening to collapse into a big heap of sentimental mush.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A sharply observed tragicomedy that draws laughter as genuinely as it coaxes tears, the nicely paced film tempers its themes of loss and sorrow with a cynically witty edge and is graced by a perfectly pitched Sigourney Weaver performance.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    In the wonderfully droll Kitchen Stories, Norwegian filmmaker Bent Hamer takes an already inspired premise and weaves it into a spry absurdist comedy that also manages to find some considerable warmth.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Happens to be extremely funny -- at times sidesplittingly so -- thanks to Zwigoff's way with raw irreverence and Thornton's perfectly pitched, ready-for-anything performance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    In Jarmusch's capable hands, the mundane has never been so delightful.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Despite the clunky bits, "Tomorrow" still manages to deliver the blockbuster goods.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Elf
    While the words "instant holiday classic" might be pushing it, Elf is at the very least a breezily entertaining, perfectly cast family treat.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The updated classic is a chiller of a political thriller in its own right.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Scorsese has crafted a rip-roaringly gorgeous-looking, beautifully acted biographical epic. But while firing on all cylinders, there's something oddly distancing about the picture.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A deeply personal, often wrenching documentary.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Nimbly blending comedy and action -- with an affectionate slo-mo nod to John Woo -- McKay does his best work to date here.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The kind of film that makes a truly lasting impression despite its brevity.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Manages to deliver more laughs than most of the competition.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Goes a long way in bringing sexy back to a soggy genre, benefiting greatly from the presence of its likable leads.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Not since Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg teamed up in "The Other Guys" has an onscreen pairing proved as comically rewarding as the inspired partnership of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although their work involves interviewing eyewitnesses and gathering photographic evidence to build a case for violations of international law, the procedural stuff tells just half of E-Team's compelling story.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Masterfully keying the compact performances into a striking lighting scheme that often bathes the musicians and dancers in warm golden or somber indigo hues representing the cycle of life, Saura's spare, elegant staging and the fluid, intimate cinematography by the great Vittorio Storaro ("Apocalypse Now") create an intoxicating effect.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Bullock is an irrepressible hoot in writer-director John Lee Hancock's otherwise thoroughly conventional take on Michael Lewis' fact-based book "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game."
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Once again, the three young leads give committed performances, with Lautner's character allowed a larger share of the spotlight this time around.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    May not offer up any fresh revelations, but this effectively assembled documentary puts it all in valuable, if depressing, perspective.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Leave it to Liev: Schreiber capably adds writer-director to his impressive resume with this winning take on the Jonathan Safran Foer novel.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Director Renny Harlin's take on Agatha Christie's versatile "Ten Little Indians" is total B-movie swagger in all its unsubtle glory.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The 1976 John Carpenter original has been reworked enough to give the urban thriller a distinct flavor of its own, and stars Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne provide enough gravitas to keep things involving.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The film fittingly embraces the elements of camp and kitsch that played such a major role in defining the Nomi persona.

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