Michael Rechtshaffen

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For 624 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 2.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Rechtshaffen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 The LEGO Movie
Lowest review score: 0 I Know Who Killed Me
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 87 out of 624
624 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This first feature by veteran visual effects supervisor Eric Brevig has its transporting, if benign, charms.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Thanks mainly to his (Jackson) considerable presence, Coach Carter works more effectively than expected.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Writer-director Marni Zelnick makes an assured debut, coaxing considerable production value out of her limited budget while weaving in an understated, enlightening conservation message that feels organic to the story.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Despite the undeniable novelty of having Holmes on hand to keep it real, the absence of traditional character development ultimately takes its toll on viewer empathy.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Whether the con is truly on or the filmmakers have simply taken an awful lot of poetic license where the post-Michael Moore documentary format is concerned, moviegoers certainly have less amusing ways to be bamboozled.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Strip away all the flimsy copycat stuff, including the cheesy retro synth score, and what lurks beneath is a perceptive portrait of contemporary thirtysomething relationships, no silly sleuthing required.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While the end result feels a tad overstuffed at 92 minutes, it's entirely understandable if, after more than half a century of being identified as "that guy," Miller's in no hurry to relinquish the spotlight.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Proves lightly entertaining in spite of its more heartfelt tendencies.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Filmmaker Nicholas Mross takes a straight-ahead, even-handed approach to the controversial payment system.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Uneven but nonetheless emotionally gratifying.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While Disney’s Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast might not ever be accused of risk-taking, the new adventure does feel a shade or two darker than previous installments.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While Gretchen Mol delivers a delightfully exuberant lead performance, the film itself seldom goes beyond skin deep.
    • 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.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Darling's documentary is garden-variety filmmaking, but it does an effective job in illustrating how years of fiscal crises have forced academia and industry to forge alliances that once would have been considered unlikely.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While screenwriter Howard Himelstein and director Mike Barker have done a workable job of drawing the Wilde social satire out of the drawing room, the film never quite manages to travel at the same buoyant velocity as the acerbic wit.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Saving the day is Harrelson's low-key, rooted performance, adding an unexpected layer of poignancy when things take a decidedly darker turn.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The movie comes up short on inspiration despite a stellar voice cast that includes James McAvoy and Emily Blunt and a toe-tapping songbook by Elton John and Bernie Taupin.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While Michael Keaton and Brendan Fraser turn in a pair of sturdy performances, the film itself proves to be a harder sell, especially because it looks and sounds like Mamet but proves to be a flimsy knockoff.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Unfortunately, the whole seldom adds up to the sum of its illustrious parts, and Jarmusch's trademark deadpan quirks seem to have gotten lost in the translation.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Emerges as a frustrating cop-out.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    After a promising start, this quirky comedy falls flat despite Eckhart's best efforts.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Audiences expecting a good time will instead be rewarded with wildly unsympathetic lead characters and uncomfortably long stretches without a laugh in sight.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Jay Lee's grotesque little horror film makes up for in audacity what it might lack in finesse.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Holdridge and Saasen simply lack the acting chops to carry their feature, leaving them with a scenic but indulgent selfie of a big-screen romance.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While Jackass 3D can never be accused of stinting on its spring-loaded arsenal of projectile bodily fluids, neither does it approach that sublime, laugh-until-it-hurts level of gross-out nirvana that made the first two installments so darned irresistible.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While its cast delivers uniformly breezy performances, most everything else about Ramona's move to the multiplex feels unremarkable.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    You'd think the team of Rob Reiner, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman might have had the right stuff. Alas, their labored efforts fail to lift The Bucket List out of its flatlining state.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    There's seldom a dull moment -- but nor are there any that allow viewers young or old to invest in its elite team of furry characters to any satisfying or lasting degree despite the presence of an energetic voice cast.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Pablo Fendrik's Ardor is a densely atmospheric, Sergio Leone-steeped western that ultimately proves too reverential for its own good.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Delusions of Guinevere is a savvy if uneven satire.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Awkward comic timing and uneven performances spoil the desired effect.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This flaccid psychological thriller keeps spoiling its own surprise by constantly signaling the big plot twist.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The Forecaster, a documentary study of the rise and fall of commodities advisor Martin Armstrong, would have paid greater dividends by taking a more impartial approach to its subject.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Bates and co-writer Mark Bruner seem to be going for a satirical tone that falls somewhere between David Lynch and Seth Rogen, but deliberately cheesy effects and a sluggish pace sink the early potential.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The production squeaks by on the visual charm of art director Ian Hastings’ period touches and warm autumnal hues. The voice talent is a decidedly mixed bag.
    • 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.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Travolta has/is a blast in an action-thriller-comedy that otherwise comes up short.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Very much bearing the creative imprint of Robert Rodriguez, but directed by Nimrod Antal, the new edition, in its best moments, is an unabashed B-movie that plays like a jacked-up "Twilight Zone" with award-winning actors delivering the pulp-infused dialogue.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    When all is said and done, their Pulitzer-winning photographs prove more potent than this well-intended but frustratingly generic picture.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Directed with aching purpose by Lawrence David Foldes from a script he wrote with Grafton S. Harper, the lavish-looking but hackneyed memory play is small-screen fodder at best.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A technically impressive but talky sci-fi drama that never quite comes to life.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    In the absence of a more conventional storytelling approach, this series of brief, fragmented glimpses of the harsh challenges that shaped Lincoln's early life never allows you to get sufficiently close to its celebrated subject.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A little charm and inventiveness would have gone a long way to tone down some of the picture's more obnoxious impulses.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Though it's nice to see Mendes take a looser, not quite so studied approach to his filmmaking, some stops along the way -- like a detour to visit Burt's suddenly single brother (Paul Schneider) -- feel dramatically off-course.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A backwoods psychological thriller delivered faux-documentary-style, with mixed results.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A tasteful melodrama courtesy of the easy chemistry between its two leads and a generally restrained touch from Tony-winning director George C. Wolfe in his feature debut.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An often imaginative though less than magical family feature.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    ParaNorman is an amusing but only fitfully involving animated caper.
    • 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Will primarily strike a chord with Latina-skewing audiences with minimal crossover potential.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While Heigl is terrific, this uninspired romantic comedy is considerably less so.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Unable to decide whether it wants to be a rambunctious family comedy or a tender romantic comedy, the Dennis Quaid-Rene Russo vehicle strains to be both and ends up falling short of both marks.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The clash of cultures isn't exactly groundbreaking but Qasim "Q" Basir's feature debut is told through the eyes of a young, black American Muslim, a perspective that has rarely been seen.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A darker, grittier creature that, while benefiting considerably from Dion Beebe's HD cinematography, is a frustratingly inert affair -- a long and talky excursion that fails to engage the viewer from the outset.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A beautifully shot (by Oscar-winning cinematographer John Toll) but dramatically empty pursuit picture set in the untamed West.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Screenwriter Victor Hawks' inclusive, all-God's-children message is above reproach, but his lead character is ultimately too good for the movie's own good.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although the results could never be accused of being uneventful, the characters cry out for deeper, more complex dimensions than simply the wide-eyed dreamer and the rhetoric-spewing agitator on display here.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Can't decide what it wants to be when it grows up.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    What should be a sexually and emotionally charged atmosphere instead ends up feeling like an intellectual exercise, with the actors attempting mightily to simulate chemistry that simply doesn't exist.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Groundswell Rising is an undeniably passionate but frustratingly one-sided examination of the controversial method of gas extraction.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Tedious portrait of a troubled Rolling Stone.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Pretty much any sign of creative life gets left out in the cold in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, the monotonous, strictly by-the-numbers third edition of the wildly lucrative digitally animated franchise.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While leads Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis are amusingly on point as a pair of mud-slinging contenders for Congress, the platform is a wobbly political satire that flip-flops chaotically between clever and crass, never finding a sturdy comedic footing.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It might have been inspired by actual events, but End of the Spear is, literally and figuratively, simply too dull to make any impact.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An awkward mix of proficient 3-D animation, detailed technical recreation and strained storytelling that stalls on takeoff.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While superbly acted, the dramedy plays out like a tepid "Big Chill" at best.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While Shearer admittedly makes an impassioned directorial debut, the film plays out like a data-heavy, extended investigative report with an academic emphasis on scientific findings over portraits of human suffering.

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