Michael Rechtshaffen

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For 810 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 56% higher than the average critic
  • 7% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 5.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Rechtshaffen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Toy Story
Lowest review score: 0 Natural Selection
Score distribution:
810 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Veteran director Roger Spottiswoode, whose output has been spotty in recent years, returns to form with a perfectly weighted redemptive story that engages the heart without shying away from the darker aspects of Bowen’s recovery.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although there is still much to enjoy here, this DC Comics-fueled Lego adventure fails to clear the creative bar so energetically raised by co-directors and writers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller back in 2014.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Summarizing the plight of the average working actor’s lot in three all-too-familiar words, No Pay, Nudity, is a tenderly observed, bittersweet comedy featuring a beautifully rooted Gabriel Byrne.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The director nimbly orchestrates to entertaining effect this mass game of cat-and-mouse populated by paid and unpaid assassins, double agents and even the proverbial twins separated at birth.
    • 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
    Filled with humanitarian good cheer — and enough costume changes to rival a Diana Ross concert — Imba Means Sing delivers a heartwarming song of hope for the future.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It may be by-the-book, but American Wrestler is a story well worth telling.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Though indulgently overlong, “Raiders!” manages to unearth the inner geek in all of us.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Like an uncle making a long-winded, embarrassing toast to the bride, Smith may have a lot of defining childhood memories at his disposal, but that doesn't mean they all need to be shared.
    • 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
    Copeland's victories are shortchanged by the film's prevailing sense of detachment from its main subject.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although Fontaine, a former soap opera actor, hits the saga's sins-of-the-fathers theme too often, there's a palpable small-town-in-transition feel to the fictional Braxton.... And there's no denying Fontaine's reflective but rumpled Rolando Ramirez is an interesting protagonist.
    • 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."
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While we may have been locked up with these characters before...Cohen's unwavering commitment nevertheless commands attention.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A frostbitten B-movie can still provide a little welcome relief in the dead of summer. Edge of Winter suffices as a diverting breath of recycled cool air.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The film taps into some genuine, relatable truths lurking beneath all that try-too-hard quirkiness.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Travolta, who took over the role from Nicolas Cage, and Meloni, who’s looking more and more like Robert De Niro every day, have a loose, easy chemistry that goes a long way to enliven all that overworked familiarity.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It's all pleasant enough, but the film, ultimately more of a checklist than an in-depth analysis, never really shines any fresh light on Canada's identity crisis or gets to the source of all those preconceived notions.
    • 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
    Working from a glib, chatty script by Robert Lowell that's not as cleverly hatched as it likes to think it is, Haley whips it into something reasonably entertaining.
    • 49 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The Good Dinosaur emerges as a visually breathtaking work of computer-generated animation that is ultimately unable to compensate for a disappointingly derivative script.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Taking those Hail Mary passes to heart, Woodlawn is a heavily Christian sports drama that almost goes the distance despite adhering closely to the inspirational movie playbook.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Things hold together longer than they would have without Banderas' commanding, committed performance.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The film, like Walker’s trek, occasionally feels like a bit of a slog to those unexposed to the folklore, but it makes some interesting observations in regard to the pursuit of fact over fiction.
    • 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.

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