Michael Rechtshaffen
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For 593 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 59% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 2.2 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: 75 out of 593
593 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Jude Law makes for an effective rogue submarine captain in "Black Sea," a fittingly immersive thriller, tautly directed by Kevin MacDonald.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Packs plenty of crowd-pleasing appeal.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An affecting ensemble piece that's destined to generate a fair share of awards-season buzz.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This agreeable remake still manages to go the distance.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Oroves nimbler and truer to its origins than last year's "Rodrick Rules."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although formulaic to a fault, this French film directed by Nicolas Cuche packs a charming effervescence thanks to the easy chemistry of appealing leads Max Boublil and Aïssa Maïga.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    There's a terrific tenderness in Travolta's performance, while Cyrus and company are similarly effective.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Queen Latifah finally gets a vehicle that gives her formidable talents and expansive spirit plenty of blooming room.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It's frustrating to see this wonderful-looking, laugh-out-loud funny survival tale fall short of its potential.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    After a very funny start, there just isn't enough content to fill the feature-length curriculum.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Rather than further expanding those seemingly limitless SpongeBob horizons, the live action/CG stuff never satisfyingly jibes with the traditional nautical nonsense down below.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although it has its involving moments, the watered-down Waugh fails to make any kind of lasting connection.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Get past what sounds like a melodrama about a forbidden love affair, and director Oren Jacoby's carefully crafted film deftly blends archival footage with dramatic re-creations and interviews with surviving family members to illuminating effect.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    As long as it shuts up and keeps moving, Tracers makes for a sufficiently diverting, not to mention zero-emission, vehicle.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Manages to retain a certain goofy appeal thanks to the stand-up efforts of its comically adept cast members.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The familiar formula feels significantly watered-down the third time around.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A pleasant if pedestrian British romantic comedy.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Derivative bits aside, the pint-sized Japanese icon takes flight in vibrant CG animation -- no 3D glasses required.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    You're left wanting to have seen much more of the story from the Queen of the Mountains' singular vantage point.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Alexs Stadermann, directing from a script by Marcus Sauermann and Fin Edquist, keeps the story humming along genially, while the voice cast, also including Miriam Margoyles as the kindly Queen and Jacki Weaver as her conniving royal advisor, provides the spirited uplift.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Amusing, but formulaic, romantic comedy.
    • 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
    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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Snowboarders are given their Dew in this nicely shot but lengthy exercise in corporate branding.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The age-old search for the fountain of youth is engagingly appraised in The Immortalists, a lively documentary focusing on a pair of very different biomedical scientists who are equally obsessed with eradicating the ravages of time.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While all the naturalistic overtones might suggest faith-based Terrence Malick, those committed performances keep the film involving, however recognizably those echoes might resonate.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Things hold together longer than they would have without Banderas' commanding, committed performance.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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.

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