Michael Rechtshaffen
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For 568 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Rechtshaffen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 The Far Side of the Moon
Lowest review score: 0 I Know Who Killed Me
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 70 out of 568
568 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It generally succeeds, too, thanks to a visually energetic approach by director Jon Chu that keeps all the obligatory backstage/onstage bits moving fluidly.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A curious documentary by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Marshall Curry that makes interesting observations about contemporary thrill seekers.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Think "Godzilla Unplugged" -- with chillingly effective results.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An agreeably goofy road movie.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While by no means a masterpiece of the form, John Carpenter's The Ward is an economical period piece that still effectively demonstrates what a skilled technician can accomplish in a single location with a compact cast and sturdy old-school effects.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A giddily over-the-top, super-entertaining goof on the Everyman crimefighter flick written and directed with evident relish by James Gunn.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A period suburban rites-of-passage story with a pitch-perfect cast.
    • 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
    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.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ape
    Acutely nailing the dysfunctional stand-up milieu both on- and off-stage, the micro-budgeted film is more a wryly-etched character sketch than an involvingly-plotted proposition, but it still manages to leave an impression thanks to Joshua Burge’s convincingly-inhabited lead performance.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While humor abounds, the reflective piece nevertheless carries an emotional heft that tends to sneak up on the viewer after the fact. It's a testament to Leigh's tremendous skills as a storyteller and the splendid performances of his leads, Katrin Cartlidge ("Breaking the Waves") and newcomer Lynda Steadman. [7 Aug. 1997]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A playfully quirky and, ultimately, unexpectedly affecting portrait of a 17-year-old slacker.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Imagine a Kiwi spaghetti western filtered through the offbeat sensibilities of early Sam Raimi or the Coen brothers and you've pretty much got the picture that is Good for Nothing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Despite a few design flaws, "Pants" should wear well with its young female demo.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A poignant documentary about the transformative power of art.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A delightfully stylized caper involving a mute little girl, her pet cat and a cat burglar.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An amiably clunky, unapologetically silly summer confection that nevertheless lands sufficient lethal slams to the funny bone.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Think of it as "The Matrix" for the quantum physics set.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Credit a rock solid turn by lead Jon Hamm that doesn’t shy away from revealing a darker underbelly to his underdog character, as well as a keenly-observed script by Tom McCarthy and deft direction by Craig Gillespie for the rewarding changeup.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Hatchet II earns bragging rights with buckets of giddily over-the-top blood 'n' guts in sequences that are as gratuitous as they are amusingly ridiculous.
    • 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 tart and tender comedy that pulls off a little miracle of its own by being genuinely heartwarming without leaving any cloyingly sticky emotional residue.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It might not possess the robust charm of its 2009 predecessor, but Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 nevertheless gets an amusing boost from a genetically modified, marauding menagerie of Tacodiles, Watermelophants, Sasquashes and assorted other "Foodimals" that have overtaken the once-tranquil island of Swallow Falls.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This redemptive tale set against southwest Ireland's moody seascape holds its tangible charms.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Never achieves sufficient traction to go the blockbuster distance.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Director Sean McNamara's film is impressively buoyed by a cast of young newcomers and seasoned pros.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ends up being of greater historical significance than of any lasting artistic merit.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It's a charming-looking, tenderly told story about friendship and diversity.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    As inspirational pieces go, the journey taken by the affable Tubbs proves hard to resist, even as the film, in its hustle to get to the finish line, occasionally prevents viewers from feeling this underdog story's emotional victories.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Magical Universe is a tender portrait of the artist as a weirdly gifted, wildly prolific and strange man.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Armed with a splendid voice cast and a gorgeously-rendered 3D-CG landscape, Dr. Seuss' The Lorax entertains while delivering it's pro-environmental, anti-greed message wrapped in a bright package of primary colors that truly pop.
    • 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.
    • 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."
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A challenging, thought-provoking debut that compassionately questions the relevance of celibacy in the Catholic Church.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Manhattan's storied hotel is the timely subject of this passionate tribute.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Decidedly stimulating in its own right, at least in the early going.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The film puts a brave, much-adored face on a disease that has touched so many families.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A vigilante drama boasting a powerful Jodie Foster performance and carefully weighted direction by Neil Jordan.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although the documentary can feel like a volunteer instructional video at times, the faces on those who have fallen through the cracks in the system speak volumes.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Highly watchable, anchored sturdily by Lane's convincing performance.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Disneynature’s Bears combines sweeping vistas and remarkably intimate wildlife photography to typically stirring effect.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ultimately goes the distance, it gets the job done with a halfhearted bunt rather than a solid line drive.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Roth has managed the rare feat of actually improving on the original.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Retains considerable entertainment value on the strength of Herzog's never-dull, very personal narrating style.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Moore and Neeson beautifully underplay their roles, lending screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson's ("Secretary") dialogue an unexpected, palpable poignancy.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Pitch-perfect performances bring it all home, particularly that of Danish leading man Mikkelsen.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Even more so than last time out, Smith focuses a great deal of attention on the details—the day-to-day minutiae of the facility’s rescue and rehab work that elevate what could have otherwise been another well-intentioned but soggy fish-out-of-water yarn.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An elegantly mounted ghost story that's steeped plenty of dank Louisiana atmosphere.
    • 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
    A quintessential Hollywood story that might have just as easily been called "Karma."
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Quite an entertaining genre piece boasting a terrifically sinewy lead performance from Wanda De Jesus.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Credit a youthful, energetic spirit, nicely conveyed by its cast of naturally-acting newcomers, a workable raw-footage construct and a spare but smartly spent special effects budget for the satisfying end result.
    • 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
    While it might not amount to epic animated filmmaking in terms of scope and invention, Epic, a 3D, CG adventure-fantasy from Blue Sky Studios, nevertheless makes for pleasantly engaging viewing.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It's the affable cast, headed by Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski, that really makes the picture so widely accessible.
    • 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Sufficient cheap thrills and enough of the prevailing camp quality.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Each sequence is masterfully calibrated for maximum lip-quivering effect, swelling strings and all.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It's a safe bet that exposure to the film should cause audiences to make room on their iPods for some serious downloading.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Effectively anchoring the picture is Keke Palmer's lovely lead performance as Akeelah Anderson.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A thoroughly conventional romantic comedy with all the usual trimmings.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Like any well-researched piece worth its weight in MSG, the documentary uses food as an angle to something else: a look at immigration and at a melting pot stirred by prejudice and persecution, later seasoned with adaptation, innovation and acceptance.

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