Michael Rechtshaffen
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For 551 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 36% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Rechtshaffen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Up
Lowest review score: 0 I Know Who Killed Me
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 68 out of 551
551 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The drama gets stuck in a dispiritingly dull rut and fails to build toward what is supposed to be a something of a crowd-rousing triumph over adversity.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An often imaginative though less than magical family feature.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Despite the labors of leads Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, there's no screen magic being made here.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Every bit as vulgar, sophomoric and thoroughly tasteless as 1999's Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo. But what is most annoying is the sequel's capability of inducing laughter even as one hates oneself for so easily succumbing to the total silliness of it all.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A Spanish-language black comedy with a frenetic style that plays out like regurgitated Tarantino and Guy Ritchie.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    G
    Despite the updated setting and some on-the-money performances, the sleek if dramatically flimsy results make for a less than great "Gatsby."
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While the juvenile performances are bright and engaging, and there's no shortage of genuinely humorous observations about love and life in the Big Apple, there's an inescapable small-screen dynamic to the scope and rhythm of the production.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Will primarily strike a chord with Latina-skewing audiences with minimal crossover potential.
    • 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This flaccid psychological thriller keeps spoiling its own surprise by constantly signaling the big plot twist.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Definitely acquired-taste material and will perform best in the hipper, bigger rooms.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Tedious portrait of a troubled Rolling Stone.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This wannabe daring comedy about a man who attempts to "fix" the Special Olympics strains for that patented naughty and nice balance with squirmingly squishy results.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A blandly generic family film.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Shades of "Like Water for Chocolate" and "Chocolat" -- but unlike the latter's tender Juliette Binoche-Johnny Depp romance, the ordained Rai-McDermott union fails to generate any convincing heat, and no amount of cardamom pods or lotus root is going to help.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Feels anonymously generic and charmlessly mechanical.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A thoroughly uninspiring drama that ultimately buckles under Michael Mayer's weighty direction.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The picture never successfully comes off the written page.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ends up having all the satisfying substance of a supermarket impulse item.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A beautifully shot (by Oscar-winning cinematographer John Toll) but dramatically empty pursuit picture set in the untamed West.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While several members of the cast valiantly fill the void where they can, these fish out of water could have made a greater high-definition splash if they had been thrown an occasional line or two rather than counting on inspiration to wash over them.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Tpicture delivers the requisite number of pratfalls, and the genial Ice Cube makes for a credibly hapless everyman, but the comedy still feels a little too safely soft around the edges.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Hartley's kooky cosmopolitan caper can never be accused of slumming, but the shift from dry, offbeat wit to politically charged drama is a little jarring, to say the least; it's a bit like taking in Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" and having it morph mid-way through into "Shadows and Fog."
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An improvement of sorts over the lifeless 2005 edition.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    In its third time out of the gate, Rush Hour 3, reuniting Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, hits the ground stalling.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A heartfelt but dramatically flat portrait of a couple grappling with one tragedy whose lives are profoundly affected by the outcome of another.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Less horrific than it is horribly didactic.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While Heigl is terrific, this uninspired romantic comedy is considerably less so.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Jumper proves disappointingly inert. All the state-of-the-art visual effects in the world can't compensate for spotty plotting and bland characters that prevent an intriguing premise from going the distance.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This "Living Dead" exercise delivers far less monstrosity and a great deal of pomposity, not to mention dull characters who aren't nearly as lively as those dead guys.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    After a promising start, this quirky comedy falls flat despite Eckhart's best efforts.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The picture continuously shuffles moods like tunes on an iPod without ever making any lasting commitments.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Jay Lee's grotesque little horror film makes up for in audacity what it might lack in finesse.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Eddie Murphy's amusingly out of this world in this otherwise tired vehicle.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The largely uninspired Clone Wars feels landlocked. In the absence of any extensive innovation, the video game-ready results play more like a feature-length promo for the imminent TV series of the same name than a stand-alone event.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    There's definitely a workable, reality TV-based angle at the core of Last Stop -- something along the lines of "No Reservations" but with scattered human remains instead of Anthony Bourdain.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    In Arnold's absence, an important ingredient of the "Terminator" iconography -- namely, the fun factor -- is in short supply.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An awkward mix of proficient 3-D animation, detailed technical recreation and strained storytelling that stalls on takeoff.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It's business as usual at Camp Crystal Lake, with very little in the way of fresh jolts or an innovative visual style that would have really revitalized the hokey franchise.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An initially intriguing plot line makes a messy getaway in this throwback heist movie.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    In a way, the film ultimately gets snagged in its own contraption.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Travolta has/is a blast in an action-thriller-comedy that otherwise comes up short.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Definitely has its amusing moments, but ultimately all that improvised shtick gets mighty tired without any real break in the nonaction.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    What could have been a biting black comedy taking product placement to the logical extreme instead is so obviously predictable that even a savvy cast led by David Duchovny and Demi Moore can't sell it.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Never achieves the propulsive traction and outrageous/endearing balance that made "The Hangover" such a smash this time last year.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Despite the lazily self-satisfied results, his (Sandler) aging fan base likely will come along for the lackadaisical ride.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While its cast delivers uniformly breezy performances, most everything else about Ramona's move to the multiplex feels unremarkable.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A backwoods psychological thriller delivered faux-documentary-style, with mixed results.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    After a promisingly tart start, the strident satire stumbles and falls into a sitcom-y hole from which it never emerges, despite the game efforts of its dynamic ensemble.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The film, both in scope and tone, has a downsized vibe that would have made it a much better fit on an ABC Family than in a movie theater.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    To his credit, director Asger Leth (Ghosts of Cite Soleil) gets right to the business at hand where the set-up is concerned, but it's in the execution that this would-be thriller falls flat.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While superbly acted, the dramedy plays out like a tepid "Big Chill" at best.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    ParaNorman is an amusing but only fitfully involving animated caper.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Billy Crystal and Bette Midler hustle to peddle the threadbare material that makes Andy Fickman's comedy a perfectly tolerable, if uninspired, moviegoing experience.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The Thor Freudenthal-helmed sequel lacks the energetic zip of its predecessor.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While visually engaging, this production of Disneytoon Studios -- it was originally slated to go direct-to-DVD -- lacks the sort of character depth and dramatic scope normally associated with the Pixar brand.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Walking With Dinosaurs takes rewarding advantage of a much bigger budget and state-of-the-art technology to bring its impressive collection of Cretaceous creatures to vivid life. But while the walking part’s pretty impressive, the talking part — not so much.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While there are plenty of madcap antics to fill a feature, all that manic energy ultimately proves to be more exhausting than exhilarating.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Visually inspired but thematically derivative.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This first feature by Jabbar Raisani is played out with considerable conviction on the part of its director and the tough-guy cast (led by Rick Ravanello), but the alien element is less convincing because of corny costumes and static-y special effects.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The problem once again remains an inability to sustain those de rigueur elements of tension and suspense much beyond those first 20 minutes.

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