Michael Rechtshaffen

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For 738 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 57% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 3.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Rechtshaffen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Cinderella Man
Lowest review score: 0 I Know Who Killed Me
Score distribution:
738 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Keeping the creepy/kooky mix entertainingly intact, Goosebumps translates R.L. Stine’s frighteningly successful young adult horror fiction series to the big screen with lively, teen Ghostbusters-type results.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An intelligent actor whose sad sack demeanor has often been put to good use by director Wes Anderson, most effectively in "Rushmore," Schwartzman does similarly well by Byington, whose slight portrait (taking its name from the title of an R.E.M. song) might not otherwise sustained its quirky charm without him.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Irish actress Bolger plays her psychopath with cool, calculating intimidation, while first-time feature director Michael Thelin, sharing screenplay credit with Rich Herbeck, lays a solid foundation of suburban domesticity on which to build all the mounting menace.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Disneynature’s Bears combines sweeping vistas and remarkably intimate wildlife photography to typically stirring effect.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Systematically yet subtly, the Bolings and their strong cast take this certifiably oddball film in some thoughtfully intriguing places.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Drone is a solid, thought-provoking documentary that raises some pertinent questions even if they may not originate from the most objective of places.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Though occasionally distracting, the quirky visual poetry eventually proceeds to work its magic.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It would be hard to imagine a more entertaining corrupt-cop documentary than The Seven Five, a slick and fascinating portrait of disgraced New York policeman Michael Dowd.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ip Man 3, set in Hong Kong circa 1959, combines the customary, inventively choreographed action with an unexpected emotional depth, proving as hard to resist as its entertaining predecessors.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The documentary is not so much a call to action as a moving portrait of individuals who devote their lives to understanding the environmental shifts that all too soon might manifest themselves on our own altered shorelines.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although he’s working with familiar tropes, writer-director Felix Thompson, in his feature debut, wisely keeps clear of big, dramatic moments, maintaining instead a palpable naturalism through dialogue that has an unmannered, improvised feel and acting that follows suit.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Many of Gameau's findings won't come as earth-shattering revelations, but he takes a resourceful approach to presenting the material, coating all the inconvenient truths in kid-friendly, brightly colored graphics and zippy animations.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Generally leaving the weightier political stuff to others, Mitch Dickman's lively documentary functions as both a handy pot primer and a telling portrait of the volatile, adapt-or-die climate that continues to hover over the newspaper industry.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The success of “The Absent One,” like its Department Q predecessor, ultimately rides on the shoulders of Kaas’ intriguing Morck.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Jane Got A Gun may not have reinvented the wagon wheel, but it rolls out as a sturdy, well-crafted genre piece despite its rocky road to the screen.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Browne keeps it amusingly involving.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A lively and often enlightening documentary.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Carrey's most satisfying live-action effort since "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."
    • 61 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It is to Dance's considerable credit that he never lets the filmmaking overtake the understated storytelling.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While the new edition doesn’t quite catch that inspired spark, there’s still plenty to enjoy here courtesy of those zippy visuals and a pitch-perfect voice cast led by the innately animated Steve Carell.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A beguiling, multilayered drama.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Succeeds despite an intrusive soundtrack that underscores each genuinely heartfelt moment.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The kind of inspirational movie that actually earns its crowd-rousing response as opposed to merely pushing the same old, emotion-coaxing buttons.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While director-writer Liford...hits a bit of a snag with an abrupt mood shift in the last 15 minutes that doesn’t feel true to the prevailing vibe, he usually hits the perceptive mark.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A playful deconstruction of the slasher film that ultimately packs a surprisingly affecting punch.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An engaging portrait of a functionally dysfunctional family.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although most definitely an acquired taste, the David Lynchian Gozu delivers the goods in dripping, gooey gobs.
    • 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
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    [A] stirring, tenderly observed French documentary
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Directing from the nonjudgmental script he wrote with Michael Armbruster, Ku's assured, unadorned documentary style allows his leads ample breathing room to inhabit their devastated characters.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Wasteland is a deconstructed heist film that eschews the genre’s usual quick cutting and gritty visuals in favor of a quieter, more intimate approach. While it doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, it does offer a distinct way of watching it spin, with a young, fresh-faced cast to help bring it to life.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An often intriguing documentary, albeit one with wires attached.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This remake of the 1977 Wes Craven cult classic is brutally horrific. And that's a compliment.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A spare, claustrophobic film.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The compelling film, like its energetic young stars, is in constant motion. Although the nominally gritty tone occasionally gives way to the director's weakness for the theatrical, the film is rooted by that trio of engagingly authentic performances.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A blissfully silly, character-driven road movie with impressive laugh-per-minute performance specs.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Chasing Mavericks manages to sufficiently overcome the obstacles with admittedly affecting results.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A keenly observed urban romantic comedy.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although their extreme staycation is obviously not everybody's idea of a swell time, the bracingly gorgeous images and meditative serenity still offer a vicarious respite from all those urgent headlines and deadlines — no bear spray required.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Even as you recognize echoes of Woody Allen, Noah Baumbach and Todd Solondz here, Pritzker has a good ear for authenticity, and he draws terrific performances from a cast.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Slick superlobbyist Jack Abramoff is the colorful subject of Casino Jack a similarly slick and undeniably entertaining true-life D.C. crime story, boasting a robust Kevin Spacey performance.

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