Michael Rechtshaffen
Select another critic »
For 528 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 61% higher than the average critic
  • 4% same as the average critic
  • 35% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Rechtshaffen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 58
Highest review score: 100 Wanted
Lowest review score: 0 I Know Who Killed Me
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 61 out of 528
528 movie reviews
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Woody, Buzz and playmates make a thoroughly engaging, emotionally satisfying return.
    • 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.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Up
    Winsome, touching and arguably the funniest Pixar effort ever, the gorgeously rendered, high-flying adventure is a tidy 90-minute distillation of all the signature touches that came before it.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ends up being of greater historical significance than of any lasting artistic merit.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Iranian-American filmmaker Ramin Bahrani has followed up his well-received Man Push Cart with another penetrating portrait of life on the outskirts of New York.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Raimi's still very much up to his old tricks, retaining that deliriously over-the-top brand of Grand Guignol horror that he had abandoned by the mid-'90s in pursuit of other genres.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    U2 3D takes the well-traveled concert film to exhilarating new heights.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It’s a non-stop blast from beginning to end, jam-packed with a wacky irreverence, dazzling state-of-the-art CGI (courtesy of Animal Logic) and a pitch-perfect voice cast headed by Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Will Ferrell.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A deeper, darker, visually arresting and more emotionally satisfying adaptation of the J.K. Rowling literary phenomenon, achieving the neat trick of remaining faithful to the spirit of the book while at the same time being true to its cinematic self.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Factoring in Mike Eley's breathtakingly vivid photography and a virtuoso sound mix that completely envelops the viewer, it's enough to make you never again want to poke your head into the freezer.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The epic adventure, set during the Napoleonic Wars, boasts at least two artists at the top of their respective games -- namely filmmaker Peter Weir and actor Russell Crowe.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Kells proves that in the increasingly high-tech world of feature animation, there still can be a place for old-time tradition.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Retains considerable entertainment value on the strength of Herzog's never-dull, very personal narrating style.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An affecting film that manages to find glimmers of beauty in the encroaching bleakness, and coaxing richly dimensional performances which, like Maria's photographs, transcend the conventionally black and white.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Cheadle impressively carries the entire picture, delivering the kind of note-perfect performance that's absolutely deserving of Oscar consideration.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    One of the year's most satisfying films.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Key to the remake's ultimate success is the casting of the troubled young leads.Smit-McPhee and Moretz possess the soulful depth and pre-adolescent vulnerability necessary to keep it compellingly real.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The film puts a brave, much-adored face on a disease that has touched so many families.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A spare, claustrophobic film.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Demanding but deeply affecting, My Flesh and Blood ultimately takes on a literal, highly visceral meaning that transcends notions of conventional family dynamics.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    With writer-director del Toro given free license to go where his singular vision takes him, Hellboy II plays like Guillermo's Greatest Hits with even hotter visual effects.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Once again Bier demonstrates just how misleading appearances can be, as she artfully removes the veneers concealing the dark truths locked away by her intriguing characters.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Firing on all cylinders as a creepy thriller, police procedural and "All the President's Men"-style investigative newsroom drama, the smart, extremely vivid production oozes period authenticity.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Scorsese has crafted a rip-roaringly gorgeous-looking, beautifully acted biographical epic. But while firing on all cylinders, there's something oddly distancing about the picture.
    • 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
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Layered with elements that are both amusing and touching but never threatening to collapse into a big heap of sentimental mush.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Packs a quiet wallop.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A largely compelling ride on the strength of a powerful cast led by Russell Crowe and Christian Bale.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A fascinating documentary with a high entertainment quotient thanks to the fact that the film's surviving subjects prove to be some of the most articulate, not to mention wittiest, octogenarians around.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An achingly eloquent rumination.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The updated classic is a chiller of a political thriller in its own right.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Rechtshaffen
    After a while, the extremely limited camera movement and languid pacing take an exacting toll, resulting in a viewing experience that is considerably less than idyllic.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Mixing all the liberal blood-letting with equal amounts of inspired comedy, Kitano puts a fresh face on the classic material without messing with its heart.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    In the wonderfully droll Kitchen Stories, Norwegian filmmaker Bent Hamer takes an already inspired premise and weaves it into a spry absurdist comedy that also manages to find some considerable warmth.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    East meets West to immensely satisfying effect in the vibrant mash-up of an animated romp, Big Hero 6.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The fantasy-adventure incorporates the novel's magical and emotional elements without overplaying either -- a balance that hasn't always proven easy to maintain in the world of kid-lit adaptation.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Outstanding, entirely unique father-son portrait.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Narrated by Troy Garity, whose mother, Jane Fonda, candidly discusses her involvement in the movement that seems to have faded from the collective conscience in the intervening years, the film does a commendable job in providing enlightenment.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Documentary filmmaker Julie Gavras has made a successful transition into narratives with the remarkably assured, thoroughly delightful Blame It on Fidel.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This offbeat take on "The African Queen" stumbles on a couple of awkward transitions, but generally succeeds on the merits of Collette's unerring ability to carry the viewer along her constantly changing emotional landscape.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It might not be way up there in "The Incredibles"/"Finding Nemo"/"Toy Story" stratosphere, but the charming Cars is nevertheless a thoroughly pleasant way to mark Pixar Animation Studios' 20th anniversary.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Falling closer in tone to "Shaun of the Dead" than "28 Days Later" or the George Romero movies, Zombieland has its tongue planted firmly in its rancid cheek while still delivering the visceral goodies.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A piercingly funny, twisted "whatever-happens-in-Vegas" caper.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although the substance could have used more visual style, Ray tells an uncluttered story and draws strong performances from his actors.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The beautifully acted serio-comedy takes a potentially smirky premise -- a chance dirty phone call between an introverted writer and a persuasive mystery woman becomes a meaningful long-distance relationship -- and turns it into something that really reaches out and touches you.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    As inspirational pieces go, the journey taken by the affable Tubbs proves hard to resist, even as the film, in its hustle to get to the finish line, occasionally prevents viewers from feeling this underdog story's emotional victories.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    ParaNorman is an amusing but only fitfully involving animated caper.
    • 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
    Effectively anchoring the picture is Keke Palmer's lovely lead performance as Akeelah Anderson.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A winning mix of sharp comedy and touching bits that keeps the laughter -- a few tears -- flowing.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An engaging portrait of a functionally dysfunctional family.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While the archival footage is fun, it's ultimately those bittersweet recollections of his equally energetic wife and adult children that give Surfwise its compelling edge.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The latest installment could well be Romero's masterpiece. Taking full advantage of state-of-the-art makeup and visual effects, he has a more vivid canvas at his disposal, not to mention two decades worth of pent-up observations about American society.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Resistance is futile. It's impossible not to be swept up into the uplifting world of Mad Hot Ballroom, a documentary that can be neatly summed up as the "Spellbound" of competitive ballroom dancing.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A fiendishly entertaining Christmas yarn rooted in Northern European legend and lore, complete with a not-so-jolly old St. Nick informed more by the Brothers Grimm than Norman Rockwell.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Neil Marshall's horrifically terrific The Descent cannily recasts 1972's "Deliverance" as a female-bonding thriller with some "Hills Have Eyes"-style mutant terror tossed in for truly harrowing effect.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An absolute delight from start to finish.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ultimately, Swimming Pool belongs to Ozon, and while incorporating a carefully measured, quietly menacing style that summons up vintage Hitchcock and Chabrol, he has made it unmistakably -- and entertainingly -- his very own.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A potent hybrid of passion and politics fuel this energetic and highly compelling documentary.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A movingly rendered, stirringly photographed first feature by Ham Tran.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Happens to be extremely funny -- at times sidesplittingly so -- thanks to Zwigoff's way with raw irreverence and Thornton's perfectly pitched, ready-for-anything performance.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    This smartly assembled wake-up call concerning the nation's lousy spending habits proves to be as unexpectedly spirited as it is dispiriting.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Gunn maintains the ideal glib pitch for most of the picture, flirting with camp but never hanging around it long enough to water down the squirm-inducing stuff.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ron Howard and Russell Crowe bring the Braddock story to vivid life in a superbly acted, beautifully shot, highly engaging drama that ranks as one of Howard's best efforts.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Leave it to the folks who brought us "Wallace & Gromit," "Chicken Run" and "Flushed Away" to bring a delightful blast of fresh air to the conventional Christmas genre. Aardman's Arthur Christmas is that and more - an endlessly amusing 3D, CG-animated Yuletide romp with lively innovation at every turn and a dream voice cast headed by James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie and Bill Nighy.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While Cheadle's fearlessly robust performance absolutely galvanizes Talk to Me, it's not the only thing that makes Kasi Lemmons' third feature such a pleasure to take in.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Not since Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg teamed up in "The Other Guys" has an onscreen pairing proved as comically rewarding as the inspired partnership of Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    As the heart and soul of the film, Chiwetel Ejiofor once again impresses.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An affectionate and intimate celebration of the acclaimed troubadour in stirring music and words.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A playfully quirky and, ultimately, unexpectedly affecting portrait of a 17-year-old slacker.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The endearingly enduring 1952 E.B. White novel about friendship and salvation, has been turned into a beautifully rendered motion picture that's full of warmth, wit and wonder.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The outrageously hilarious For Your Consideration was well worth the wait. Again delivered with comic precision by Guest's crack repertory company, his patented brand of parody takes affectionate but deadly aim at its awards buzz mania target and the results aren't just funny, they're face-hurting funny.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Disneynature’s Bears combines sweeping vistas and remarkably intimate wildlife photography to typically stirring effect.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An endlessly intriguing documentary.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    There's a terrific tenderness in Travolta's performance, while Cyrus and company are similarly effective.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The production is graced by bold performances, lyrical visuals and, most notably, Irving's own words, which have made the transition quite intact thanks to a faithful but still filmic adaptation by writer-director Tod Williams.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A curious documentary by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Marshall Curry that makes interesting observations about contemporary thrill seekers.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It didn't seem possible, but Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Wee Man and company might just have cooked up a sequel that's even wilder, funnier, extra-depraved and more gag-inducing than the seemingly incomparable "Jackass the Movie."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Noah Baumbach has followed up his acclaimed 2005 breakthrough "The Squid and the Whale" with another wryly observed, giddily cringe-inducing, bracingly original winner.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Ekachai's film takes a more compassionate view of its subject and boasts a dynamic performance by real-life kickboxer Asanee Suwan.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although their work involves interviewing eyewitnesses and gathering photographic evidence to build a case for violations of international law, the procedural stuff tells just half of E-Team's compelling story.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The result is an animated adventure that's funnier than "Shark Tale" and more charming than "The Polar Express."
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Browne keeps it amusingly involving.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Despite a few design flaws, "Pants" should wear well with its young female demo.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Had Cameron Crowe and the late John Hughes collaborated on a movie populated by Disney Channel superstars, the result might have looked and sounded a lot like Todd Graff's Bandslam. And that's meant as a compliment.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    In Jarmusch's capable hands, the mundane has never been so delightful.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    What Tying the Knot lacks in finesse it compensates for in making a heartfelt case for the hot-button topic of same-sex marriage.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A deeply reflective, quietly powerful work that is as timely as it is moving.
    • 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.

Top Trailers