Michael Rechtshaffen
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For 527 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 62% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Rechtshaffen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Lowest review score: 0 I Know Who Killed Me
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 527
527 movie reviews
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It's a charming-looking, tenderly told story about friendship and diversity.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    If Hostage looks a lot like a state-of-the-art French "policier" minus the pesky subtitles, the effect is purely intentional.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The Disney picture should handily score a direct hit to its targeted young female demographic as well as striking a chord with their big sisters, moms and aunts.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Packs plenty of crowd-pleasing appeal.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ultimately goes the distance, it gets the job done with a halfhearted bunt rather than a solid line drive.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It is to Dance's considerable credit that he never lets the filmmaking overtake the understated storytelling.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Laughs-wise, it lacks the raucous edge of an "Old School" or "Anchorman" or the retro charm of an "Elf," but there's still plenty of Will-power to fuel this likable underdog trifle. It certainly is more enjoyable than a lot of what passes for family entertainment these days.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This agreeable remake still manages to go the distance.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Browne keeps it amusingly involving.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Despite a few design flaws, "Pants" should wear well with its young female demo.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An engaging portrait of a functionally dysfunctional family.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Many moments of laugh-out-loud comedy. But somehow those moments never add up to a fully satisfying viewing experience.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A thoroughly conventional romantic comedy with all the usual trimmings.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An elegantly mounted ghost story that's steeped plenty of dank Louisiana atmosphere.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A tart and tender comedy that pulls off a little miracle of its own by being genuinely heartwarming without leaving any cloyingly sticky emotional residue.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although comparisons to the memory-challenged machinations of "Memento" are inevitable, the plotting here takes a more traditionally linear path.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A spare, claustrophobic film.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Displaying some fine performances -- including a lovely one by Claire Danes and a lively one by Jason Schwartzman -- the elegantly appointed Shopgirl certainly has the goods but it ultimately fails to make the sale.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Eli Roth turns to modern-day Asian fright filmmakers as inspiration for his latest blood-soaked effort while demonstrating an intriguing, original voice of his own.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A keenly observed urban romantic comedy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Margret and H.A. Rey's mischievous monkey makes his long-threatened leap to the big screen in Curious George, with much of the books' charm respectfully intact.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A bright and breezy tween fantasy romantic comedy that coasts along on its charming performances and the light comedic touch of first-time feature director Elizabeth Allen.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This remake of the 1977 Wes Craven cult classic is brutally horrific. And that's a compliment.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Gunn maintains the ideal glib pitch for most of the picture, flirting with camp but never hanging around it long enough to water down the squirm-inducing stuff.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Narrated by Troy Garity, whose mother, Jane Fonda, candidly discusses her involvement in the movement that seems to have faded from the collective conscience in the intervening years, the film does a commendable job in providing enlightenment.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Effectively anchoring the picture is Keke Palmer's lovely lead performance as Akeelah Anderson.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Though the picture is not without its wow-inducing, SFX-driven moments, that potent X-factor is considerably diminished in Singer's absence.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    What could have made for particularly potent satire in the hands of an Albert Brooks or a Christopher Guest arrives in the form of a politely benign family comedy by first-time director Scott Marshall.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Making his feature-length debut after forging a career making socially conscious short films, director Ward Serrill never takes his eye off the ball, maintaining a sharp storytelling focus distilled from those seven years worth of footage.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An amiably clunky, unapologetically silly summer confection that nevertheless lands sufficient lethal slams to the funny bone.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A thoughtful and nicely observed dramedy about a group of AARP-sters grappling with life, loss, love and -- gasp -- sex in a South Florida "active adult community."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The 2006 summer movie season went out with a reasonable bang courtesy of Crank, a jacked-up, unapologetically mindless bit of ADD-prescribed escapism that more or less delivers on a nifty premise.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Filmmaker Trapero, a proponent of the New Argentine Cinema, employs a minimalist naturalism to tell what is obviously a very personal story that, at the same time, is certain to elicit widespread sighs of familiarity.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Proving that with solid direction, tight writing and strong performances an American remake can actually be as good as the foreign-language original, The Last Kiss, an unusually perceptive dramedy about contemporary relationships also manages to stand quite capably on its own two feet.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Despite that nagging whiff of familiarity, there are enough character quirks and inspired bits of funny business to carry this amiable if slight tale.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A lively and often enlightening documentary.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Defies all expectations with a low-key, technically stripped-down production that really does come close to capturing the heart and soul of the original.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An agreeably loopy romantic comedy that bounces along effortlessly on the genuine chemistry of leads Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The fantasy-adventure incorporates the novel's magical and emotional elements without overplaying either -- a balance that hasn't always proven easy to maintain in the world of kid-lit adaptation.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although Vallee's remarkably assured film, which clocks in at more than two hours, proves that it's possible to have too much of a good thing, Canada's official Oscar submission for best foreign-language feature still manages keep up the entertaining yet emotionally satisfying pace sufficiently to earn audience accolades.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A reasonably engaging movie filled with fun visual effects and an appealing tone reminiscent of a certain Spielberg movie about an out-of-his-element extraterrestrial.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    More than ever, Depp masterfully keeps the enterprise afloat, even when the sheer weight of all those other characters threatens to throw it off-course.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Roth has managed the rare feat of actually improving on the original.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    John Travolta takes on John Waters in Hairspray, and the result is anything but a drag in this appealingly goofy, all-singing, all-dancing screen adaptation of the Broadway musical based on the 1988 film.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Documentary filmmaker Julie Gavras has made a successful transition into narratives with the remarkably assured, thoroughly delightful Blame It on Fidel.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Quite an entertaining genre piece boasting a terrifically sinewy lead performance from Wanda De Jesus.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A vigilante drama boasting a powerful Jodie Foster performance and carefully weighted direction by Neil Jordan.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The film, with its intersecting vignettes, might ultimately feel like more of a sampler platter than a sustaining smorgasbord, but it's effectively rooted in a lovely Morgan Freeman performance.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Stewart's documentary is seldom less than compelling in its quest to raise international awareness about a situation that is threatening to put sharks on the endangered list.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Think "Godzilla Unplugged" -- with chillingly effective results.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Highly watchable, anchored sturdily by Lane's convincing performance.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An enjoyable adventure fantasy that pushes all the requisite buttons while still managing to throw in a pleasant surprise or two.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Has something a bit edgier in mind than the usual, soft-focused wedding bell high jinks. For the most part, that's exactly what it delivers -- an amusing, smartly cast romantic comedy told from a guy's perspective.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While the archival footage is fun, it's ultimately those bittersweet recollections of his equally energetic wife and adult children that give Surfwise its compelling edge.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Retains considerable entertainment value on the strength of Herzog's never-dull, very personal narrating style.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It's with that action aspect that Pineapple Express differs from Apatow's previous production output, and though, the words "taut" and "pulse-pounding" would never apply, the giddily over-the-top fight sequences, choreographed by veteran stunt coordinator Gary Hymes, handily compensate for the lag time.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A shapely sequel that retains much of the sparkle and warmth that made the original such a pleasant surprise.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Manages to stand on its own two skyscraper heels thanks to the comic force of nature that is Anna Faris.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An affecting ensemble piece that's destined to generate a fair share of awards-season buzz.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The picture might not be as fresh and clever as it could have been, but its spirited voice cast delivers the whole enchilada.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Thanks to a rock-solid performance by Dennis Quaid, nice historical touches and energetic direction by Gary Fleder, the tried-and-true formula is given a welcome shot of adrenaline.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The stark drama harkens back to Sidney Lumet classics like "Serpico" and "Prince of the City"-filmmaking that went after an unadorned, jagged realism, with acting to match.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    There's a terrific tenderness in Travolta's performance, while Cyrus and company are similarly effective.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Carrey's most satisfying live-action effort since "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."
    • 44 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Thanks to sturdy performances by holdovers Michael Sheen and Bill Nighy as well as tidy, unfussy direction by first-timer Patrick Tatopoulos, the creature designer who is taking the reins from originator Len Wiseman, the third installment in the successful franchise should be to the fan base's lycan.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Adheres sufficiently closely to the original template so as not to offend purists and manages to pack an intensely visceral punch of its own, most effectively in the extended setup.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although the impressively acted ensemble piece occasionally gets tripped up by Peter Elkoff's overtly literate script, it travels in some unexpected, thoughtful directions.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While Caine and young Milner make for amusing adversaries, it's nice to see Crowley paying respect to his elders by populating the retirement home with a number of familiar faces, including those belonging to Rosemary Harris, Sylvia Syms and longtime "Coronation Street" resident Thelma Barlow.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The Wayans brothers manage to squeeze it all in to consistently amusing effect and in a way that just barely manages to stay within those PG-13 parameters.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Part zombie movie, part apocalyptic bioterror, part military conspiracy thriller, the refit hybrid doesn't stint on the visceral kicks demanded by contemporary audiences while remaining reasonably true to those Romero roots.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Moore and Neeson beautifully underplay their roles, lending screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson's ("Secretary") dialogue an unexpected, palpable poignancy.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This well-made epic boasts carefully researched production values and the talents of classically trained actors, but by literally playing it by the book, the picture loses something dramatic in the translation.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ends up being of greater historical significance than of any lasting artistic merit.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although the substance could have used more visual style, Ray tells an uncluttered story and draws strong performances from his actors.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Like "Dogville," Neil Young's Greendale uses the deceptively simple "Our Town" foundation on which to build a platform for some highly personal sociopolitical criticisms, but unlike the contentious von Trier picture, the Young variation gets the job done in roughly half the time with a notable absence of histrionics, plus you can tap your toes to it.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Goes beyond the well-documented Warsaw Ghetto uprising to take a fascinating look at seven lesser-known individual paths to resistance.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This offbeat take on "The African Queen" stumbles on a couple of awkward transitions, but generally succeeds on the merits of Collette's unerring ability to carry the viewer along her constantly changing emotional landscape.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    What Tying the Knot lacks in finesse it compensates for in making a heartfelt case for the hot-button topic of same-sex marriage.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An agreeably goofy road movie.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    John Waters has returned to trashy form with what is unquestionably his most outrageous film since those heady "Pink Flamingos" days.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A beguiling, multilayered drama.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although most definitely an acquired taste, the David Lynchian Gozu delivers the goods in dripping, gooey gobs.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A challenging, thought-provoking debut that compassionately questions the relevance of celibacy in the Catholic Church.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A quintessential Hollywood story that might have just as easily been called "Karma."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A playfully quirky and, ultimately, unexpectedly affecting portrait of a 17-year-old slacker.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Mixing all the liberal blood-letting with equal amounts of inspired comedy, Kitano puts a fresh face on the classic material without messing with its heart.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Pitch-perfect performances bring it all home, particularly that of Danish leading man Mikkelsen.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Think of it as "The Matrix" for the quantum physics set.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Sufficient cheap thrills and enough of the prevailing camp quality.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A blissfully silly, character-driven road movie with impressive laugh-per-minute performance specs.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A pitch-perfect, guilty-pleasure serving of late-summer schlock that handily nails the tongue-in-cheek spirit of the Roger Corman original.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An often intriguing documentary, albeit one with wires attached.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    There's a palpable element of honesty in Lapica's writing and lead performance that gives this indie production, the edge over other troubled teen dramas.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A period suburban rites-of-passage story with a pitch-perfect cast.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Manhattan's storied hotel is the timely subject of this passionate tribute.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The fact that it's actually based on a true story adds an extra layer of poignancy, heightened further by another superb Sophie Okonedo performance.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The film is at its most potent delineating Hefner's role in the American civil rights movement, going beyond the pages of his magazine.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Decidedly stimulating in its own right, at least in the early going.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The production comes by its authenticity naturally -- and not only because several of the cast members (fascinating faces all) happen to be related.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although the tentative performances of his two human leads proves less satisfying, and the story's not-so-underlying sociological context can be hard to miss -- it takes place along the U.S.-Mexico border -- the overall picture still impresses.
    • The Hollywood Reporter

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