Michael Rechtshaffen
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For 517 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 62% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.4 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Rechtshaffen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Land of the Dead
Lowest review score: 0 I Know Who Killed Me
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 60 out of 517
517 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 39 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Never achieves sufficient traction to go the blockbuster distance.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    There's still much to admire about this carefully drawn but concise character sketch, especially the strong performances and a unique, affectingly ominous score by folk-rock-gospel outfit Bruce Peninsula.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A sweet 'n' sassy period comedy with a "Juno" sensibility and the soul of a "Little Miss Sunshine," the hard-to-resist Dirty Girl announces the official arrival of Juno Temple.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A gritty serving of pulp fiction masterfully perpetrated by Samuel L. Jackson as a philosophical ex-con trying to buck the considerable odds by taking a shot at redemption.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A delightfully stylized caper involving a mute little girl, her pet cat and a cat burglar.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Oroves nimbler and truer to its origins than last year's "Rodrick Rules."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Chasing Mavericks manages to sufficiently overcome the obstacles with admittedly affecting results.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Disneynature’s Bears combines sweeping vistas and remarkably intimate wildlife photography to typically stirring effect.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While Phillippe's tongue seldom ventures far from his cheek in addressing the cult of celebrity, he maintains a nice technical grip on the tension and intensity — at least until things start to unravel toward the end.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The familiar formula feels significantly watered-down the third time around.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This particular reconceptualization actually does an impressive job of capturing the nasty dread of the original. It certainly is a vast improvement over those previous remakes/sequels.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ending with neither a bang nor a whimper, the finale falls somewhere in between. It's an improvement over its concurrently shot, babbling predecessor, but it ultimately fails to capture any of that jaw-dropping sense of exhilaration that made the original such a must-see event.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This murky, thriller-tinged Western has the terrain down cold -- from the wide-open spaces to the rocky vistas -- but beneath all the requisite genre trappings there's a vast, empty gulch where the affecting dramatic element should have been found.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While it has its moments of pure Farrelly inspiration and swell performances from Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear...the patented blend of the outrageous and the sweet that has become the brothers' trademark struggles to find the desired balance here.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Writer-director Larry Blamire has clearly done his homework, and his playful cast nails the requisite acting-so-bad-it's-good pitch.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although a number of the gags fall flatter than a crepe, the accent is on the charmingly juvenile as opposed to the purely puerile, with a fresh-faced cast of amiable young performers on hand to make the trek relatively painless.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Works better than one might think, thanks to the group's modus operandi, which combines a fundamental reverence for the target material and a sly irreverence that's key to their skewering technique.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Cruises along agreeably on the easy chemistry between Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, who step in where Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul left off.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While its two credible leads are certainly up to the challenge, there's a relentless claustrophobia that prevents the film from taking on a fully dimensional life of its own.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Like its various post-Cold War European locations, the film remains chilly and distant. Every time you feel like you're finally grabbing hold of something involving, the picture once again spins frustratingly out of reach.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Despite the unique premise and some truly inspired casting, the picture remains stuck in an existential rut of its own.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Thanks mainly to his (Jackson) considerable presence, Coach Carter works more effectively than expected.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It's frustrating to see this wonderful-looking, laugh-out-loud funny survival tale fall short of its potential.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    With his stirring visual sense very much intact here, Salles sets the creepy mood eloquently, but the picture -- ultimately fails to reward all the little shivers with any satisfying jolts.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Snowboarders are given their Dew in this nicely shot but lengthy exercise in corporate branding.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Queen Latifah finally gets a vehicle that gives her formidable talents and expansive spirit plenty of blooming room.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A pleasant if pedestrian British romantic comedy.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The plot's pretty lame, the dialogue is downright hokey, and the characters are a bore, but somehow Final Destination 3 (an oxymoron if there ever was one) still delivers a certain degree of over-the-top amusement.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    There also are hints of Doug Liman and Tony Scott to be found in this hopped-up, bullet-riddled crime thriller, but while certain sequences pack an admitted visceral kick, the prevailing effect is one of utter overkill.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An audacious, highly contemporary psychological thriller, Sorry,Haters is the kind of audience provoker certain to elicit at least as many haters as admirers.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Things hold together longer than they would have without Banderas' commanding, committed performance.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While Gretchen Mol delivers a delightfully exuberant lead performance, the film itself seldom goes beyond skin deep.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    After a very funny start, there just isn't enough content to fill the feature-length curriculum.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ultimately falls short of reaching the pleasingly pulpy heights of an "L.A. Confidential" or a "Chinatown" despite those obvious aspirations.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Manages to retain a certain goofy appeal thanks to the stand-up efforts of its comically adept cast members.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Timeliness is all very well, but the significant subject matter cries out for a defter directorial touch and a deeper complexity in regard to the characters and performances.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It's very much in "A League of Their Own" league, but what the inspirational sports drama Believe in Me might lack in freshness, it nicely compensates for in heartfelt, winning conviction and spirited performances.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    No doubt about it, the show's certifiably bizarro, stream-of-consciousness sensibility has made the transition notably intact, which should please its young male fan base.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Boasting two terrific performances by Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood as the adult and teenage versions of the same character.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Baby Boom serves up plenty of smart, knowing laughs early on, but by the time it hits the third act (or would that be trimester?), it barely crawls to the finish line.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Unfortunately, where episodes of the series used to take their cue from a question posed by one of Carrie's columns, writer-director Michael Patrick King never finds that focus, and Sex and the City loses its tart edge in the process.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This first feature by veteran visual effects supervisor Eric Brevig has its transporting, if benign, charms.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although it has its involving moments, the watered-down Waugh fails to make any kind of lasting connection.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    That butting of heads, as performed by actors as strong and soulful as Craig and Schreiber, lends Defiance an emotional charge, even as the film itself struggles dramatically to find its way out of those woods.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The flatly generic results certainly appear at odds with the picture's stirring visual style, which pays homage to the great Flemish artists.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Derivative bits aside, the pint-sized Japanese icon takes flight in vibrant CG animation -- no 3D glasses required.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    There are sufficient pratfalls and Miley/Hannah quick-changes to satisfy the fans, while Cyrus retains that natural, unforced likability that made her a star in the first place.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Some of that frenetic running around has been replaced by inspired effects sequences and amusing riffs by the talented cast, especially new arrivals Hank Azaria and Amy Adams.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Curiously, despite the ever-energetic Tony Scott at the throttle, the sleek new edition isn't as transporting as it should have been.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    If Weather Girl were to furnish its own forecast, it would be something along the lines of "Warm and breezy before becoming overcast and muggy late in the day."
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While several of the dance sequences admittedly pack a visual pop, the added dimension does the hokey scripting and some of the acting no favors by amplifying their already noticeable shortcomings.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Amusing, but formulaic, romantic comedy.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although the film has its undeniably immersive, convincing moments, the merging of dramatic re-creations and on-camera "performances" proves less seamlessly executed than those masterfully coordinated land, sea and air missions.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Emotions run raw in this behind-the-scenes look at drummer Patty Schemel and her drug-fuelled run with the 90s grunge rock band, Hole.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    As executed by an appealing ensemble of smooth operators, this adaptation often hits its amusing marks, but with a weighty running time of two hours, it often feels more like a lecture than an intended romp.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Thanks to a sparkling ensemble headed by Francois Cluzet and Marion Cotillard, the familiar backdrop still provides ample opportunity for audience pleasing in Guillaume Canet's nicely observed dramatic comedy.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    More of a character-etched mood piece than a tautly calibrated caper, Dead Man Down benefits from potent visuals and a compelling international cast that also includes lead Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard and Isabelle Huppert.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Proves lightly entertaining in spite of its more heartfelt tendencies.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Steeped in high-tech paranoia, Winkler's film has a nice kinetic energy, effectively portraying the extent to which computers have become an intrinsic part of our lives. The screenplay, however, for which Winkler shares credit with four others, feels like watered-down John Grisham. [24 July 1995]
    • The Hollywood Reporter
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although some of the supporting performances can be a bit choppy, director Schirmer sets an effectively unsettling naturalistic visual tone, bathing all those dark impulses in sunny Indiana daylight.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Stepping behind the camera, versatile actor Dylan Baker makes an assured directorial debut, drawing spirited performances from his seasoned cast while mainly steering clear of the usual, treacly movie-of-the week conventions that often go with the territory.
    • 22 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The storytelling has all the dramatic complexity of a paint-by-numbers set, and you know exactly where all this is headed from the get-go.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A big fluff ball of a sex farce that's so light and flimsy it's a wonder they were able to thread it through the projector.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The cheap and cheerful picture has its humorous moments thanks to Steven P. Baer's broad but buoyant script and a supporting cast of character actors who know how to hit a good line home.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A fresh, young energetic cast is this wobbly musical comedy's main claim to "Fame."
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Maybe Roth was too busy paying tribute to all his childhood influences to take the necessary steps, but even in this uneasy era of SARS and other airborne horrors, his flesh-eating virus movie never convincingly gets under the skin.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Emerges as a frustrating cop-out.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    For a while there, Mathieu Kassovitz's atmospherically charged direction sucks the viewer into the story's hellish vortex. That is until the film becomes possessed by an increasingly ludicrous beyond-the-grave element from which there is no rational return.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Thanks to Martin and Hunt, who both have a seemingly casual flair for mining laughs from even the most generic lines of dialogue, Cheaper by the Dozen works better than it might have in less capable hands, but even they're challenged by some of the picture's forced mood swings.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ultimately unsatisfying.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    When there's a whole mess of zombie killing to be done, who cares about reflective writing or that time-wasting element of suspense?
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A wobbly comedy-drama.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The laughs tend to come in fits and starts, built around individual set pieces rather than being generated organically out of the storytelling.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Awkward comic timing and uneven performances spoil the desired effect.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Jamie Foxx finds his funny bone is firmly intact in the effervescent, urban-flavored romantic comedy Breakin' all the Rules.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Attempts to pass itself off as a fast-paced caper picture doubling as a socially conscious apartheid drama but ends up equally unconvincing in both departments.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An often funny if slight satire that's never as edgy as it thinks it is or as sharply focused as it needs to be.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While it certainly looks swell thanks to director John Moore's striking visuals, the wings of this rebuilt "Phoenix" have been clipped by generic scripting and a short supply of dramatic tension.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An awkward blend of live action and animation.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Can't decide what it wants to be when it grows up.