Richard Schickel, Time
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For 478 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 44% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 6 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Richard Schickel's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 The Class
Lowest review score: 0 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 62 out of 478
478 movie reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    In the end, you feel that Frozen River gives about as truthful a picture of American bleakness as it's possible for a movie to present. It is a movie that asks something of an audience, but it richly rewards our curiously rapt attention.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    One of the most wholly original American movies ever made.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    It is hard to think of another film more tightly autobiographical than this one. It's even harder to think of other films that build so gripping a narrative out of a string of comparatively minor and disparate incidents.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    Caught in the movie's grip, you are simply hypnotized by the damned thing.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    Prepare to be riveted: No End in Sight, Charles Ferguson's first film, is without question the most important movie you are likely to see this year.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    Without question, the best crime movie of the year--and one of the best movies of any sort now playing.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    Remain open to fantasies but not be consumed by them. These are good lessons for a would-be director. They are good lessons for everybody. And no recent movie has taught them with more patient sweetness. [Feb. 5, 1990]
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    You'll have to seek it out in its limited release, but no current movie is more worth the effort.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    As fine--hard, soft, approachable--as any in movie history.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    If this were not such great American-vernacular moviemaking -- hilarious yet hypnotic -- one would be tempted to see something Greek in the tragedy that Ed never comprehends.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    But it is the style with which this wild farce is developed that sustains our horrified interest and keeps us laughing as the darkness gathers around Barbara and Oliver. [11 Dec 1989]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    The result is mainstream moviemaking at its highest, most satisfying level.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    Perhaps the funniest movie for grownups so far this year.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    This says nothing about Gallo's own demonic charm as Billy or his directorial boldness in juxtaposing the emotional surreality of his story with the bleak reality of his hometown in winter, creating a sort of casual but strangely haunting weirdness.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    Think of A Fish Called Wanda as the next best thing to a Looney Tunes-Merrie Melodies summerfest…Wanda defies gravity, in both senses of the word, and redefines a great comic tradition. [July 18, 1988]
    • 73 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    Remarkable. [22 July 1991]
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    It takes its place on the very short list of the unforgettable movies about war and its ineradicable and immeasurable costs.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    Upon all these folks, writer-director David O. Russell turns a bland, almost anthropological eye. Nothing surprises him and nothing outrages him, except for bed-and-breakfast lodgings, about which, at last, his movie tells the terrible truth. [1 April 1996, p. 72]
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    [It presents] us with a vast range of richly developed, gorgeously played characters ... and mov[es] them gracefully through time and a lot of very pretty spaces without ever losing its conviction, its concentration or our bedazzled attention. [18 Dec 1995]
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    A war film that, entirely aware of its genre's conventions, transcends them as it transcends the simplistic moralities that inform its predecessors, to take the high, morally haunting ground.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    As reversible misunderstandings grow into irreversible tragedy, it slowly dawns on you that this is a superior, heartbreaking film.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    Sublime and sorrowful movie.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    Ferris and his adventures represent a teen's dream of glory: to have, at one's fingertips, the technical skills to sabotage the adult world's machinery of oppression and, at the tip of one's tongue, the perfect squelch for grownups' moralistic blather. [23 June 1986]
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    It is, finally, as a richly pulsating, hugely entertaining human comedy -- antic, wayward, glancing -- that Short Cuts bemuses, amuses and finally entrances us. [4 Oct 1993]
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    It is among the best and most delicately managed films of the year.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    For those of us who think this is the best comedy of 2004, the genius of the movie lies in its relocation.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    This could have turned out to be an exercise in easy sentiment, easy to shrug off. But Frank Cottrell Boyce's script is carefully understated, and director Michael Winterbottom has achieved a remarkably seamless blend of fictional and factual footage.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    No film since Preston Sturges was a pup has so shrewdly appreciated the way the eccentric plays hide-and-seek with the respectable in the ordinary American landscape; no comedy since Annie Hall or Manhattan has so intelligently observed not just the way people live now but what's going on in the back of their minds; and finally, and in full knowledge that one may be doing the marketing department's job for them, it is the best movie of the year.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    This year's miracle is called Tootsie. It is not just the best comedy of the year; it is popular art on the way to becoming cultural artifact.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    An austere and delicate examination of the ways in which a likable family falters under pressure and struggles, with ambiguous results, to renew itself. This is not very show-bizzy stuff, but for once, a movie star has used his power to create not light entertainment or a trendy political statement, but a work that addresses itself quietly and intelligently to issues everyone who attempts to raise children must face.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Richard Schickel
    Mamet's elegantly efficient script does not waste a word, and De Palma does not waste a shot. The result is a densely layered work moving with confident, compulsive energy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    It's hard enough to find comedies like this at any time, so it's a small and welcome miracle to come upon one in the midst of a typical movie summer.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Indeed, you could argue that Tell No One is a variant on one of Hitchcock's favorite themes: the running man whose story no one (except us in the audience) believes. These fictions, of course, depend for their success on the French respect for rationalism (and their horror when reason is torn asunder by criminal irrationality).
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    I wouldn't call the film inspirational -- it is too well observed to succumb to easy sentiment -- but its realism is patiently engaging and subtly insinuating. And Linney and Hoffman are extraordinary.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Insanely funny, if occasionally out-of-control, black farce.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Makes everything Hollywood has lately done in the action genre look clumsy, dull and stale. It is a short, nonstop stuntfest that, by going back to basics and placing them on the screen with simple, breathless stylishness, turns what is essentially a lowlife movie form into something one is not embarrassed to call "pure" cinema--all energy, movement and high kinetic wit.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Very simply, World Trade Center is a powerful movie experience, a hymn in plainsong that glorifies that which is best in the American spirit.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    It is, like quite a few Lumet pictures, rather small in scale, easy to overlook. But I think it is time to gather around a director who has embraced his octogenarian bleakness and sing his praises. Ultimately, I think you'll laugh a lot at what he has wrought here -- but only well after the movie is over and the full scale of its perversity settles into your bones.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    I have rarely, if ever, seen a documentary reconstruction of a historical event that is so rich in firsthand (and well-preserved) photographic material.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Not since "This is Spinal Tap" have I had such a good time watching amiable idiocy stumble on toward uncertain glory.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Unsparing but never unsympathetic, emerges as one of the year's best, most brutally honest movies.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    The result is a harrowing film, impossible to "like" in any conventional way, hypnotically impossible to turn away from.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    The actor (Puri) and the film make something fine, winning and memorable.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    The best movie of this very young millennium.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    The smartest, funniest, most cleverly structured comedy of the year.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Now and then McGrath's film feels a bit rushed and breathless, but mostly you sink gratefully into its handsomely staged plenitude.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Elegantly made, romantically doomy, curiously affecting movie.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    What makes this movie work is the kind of cool that made Get Shorty go so nicely: an understanding that life's little adventures rarely come in neat three-act packages, the way most movies now do, and the unruffled presentation of outrageously twisted dialogue, characters and situations as if they were the most natural things in the world.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    He's (Wilson) a terrific sidekick to Chan's funny, earnest, often victimized righteousness. This kid could be a star.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    One thinks of the great opening line of that great novel The Good Soldier: "This is the saddest story I have ever heard." Like many such tales, this one is worth taking to your aching heart.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    A performance like De Niro's, in a well-made entertainment like Midnight Run, is cheap at any price. And capable of restoring the audience's faith in the form. [25 July 1988]
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    All in all, Nurse Betty is a wonderful movie, unpredictably alive to the fact that the American citizenry is a lot stranger than we like to admit.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    In its soft-spoken way, it is fierce, shaggy and deeply weirded out.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    The sober wit of this comedy arises not from conventional artifice -- snappy dialogue, wacky situations -- but from a realistically drawn ensemble interacting truthfully with one another.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    We are free to adore a sad, funny, always good-natured film that eccentrically, tolerantly explores that moment when revolutionary ardor commingled with bourgeois stolidity to form our present weirdly ambiguous culture.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Altogether wondrous.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    A smart, shrewdly crafted movie.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    An edgy exploration of role playing and sexual choice in a climate where all options are acceptable.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Wry, richly layered, wonderfully observed Argentine film.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Intellectually austere but technologically and aesthetically riveting documentary.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    An elegantly polished little film.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Lawrence's style, naturally lit and roughly realistic, matches the writing. Lantana sometimes has the air of a routine police procedural, sometimes the quality of a dour film noir. But this movie, so alert to mischance and dreams that don't quite work out as they should, has a good soul, a heart yearning for decency.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Patient and plodding -- but as realized by John Malkovich, in his directorial debut, utterly absorbing.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    A solemn, subtly structured, beautifully acted and ultimately hypnotic movie.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Japanese Story is a simple, austerely told tale. But there is something memorable, even haunting, about it.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    [Darabont] makes you feel the maddening pace of prison time without letting his picture succumb to it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Ironizes without parodying an antique screen manner, then reaches out from beneath this smooth cover to grab us.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Sayles is a meditative storyteller, with a tendency to mute melodrama rather than letting it wail. But he is also one of the few filmmakers still ferreting out the strangeness and anxiety hidden beneath our poses of ordinariness. [22 July 1996, p.95]
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Results in about the nicest movie you could ask for at the holidays: a gently funny, sweetly adventurous film that makes you feel genuinely good, that is to say, entirely unconned by false sentiment or sharp, overmanipulative Hollywood practices.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Maybe these lives are, objectively speaking, inconsequential. But they have a resonance that big, sappy "relationship" pictures ought to envy.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    [Salles]'s imagery, like his storytelling, is clear, often unaffectedly lovely, and quietly, powerfully haunting.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Comic, suspenseful, romantic.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    All the actors in No Man's Land are wonderfully alive, fractious and unpredictable. Their performances also help break down the schematics and turn this into an emotionally potent, powerfully thoughtful and finally tragic experience.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    It is a measure of its complexity--and of the forces Penn and Sarandon have held in reserve during their hypnotic struggle for his soul--that its final moments leave us awash in emotion.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    It is the hilarious business of Shrek, a delightful new animated feature based on the William Steig book, to subvert all the well-worn expectations of its genre.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    They bring their characters to good, slightly surprising, quite satisfying places. And leave us beaming happily.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    A true movie rarity: a brutally honest romance. If you loved "Sleepless in Seattle," you'll just hate it.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Pixar's improved computer animation is up to all the demands of this excellent adventure.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    A brilliant exercise in popular but palpable surrealism.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Seems to encompass all the humor, sadness and weirdness of ordinary life in an utterly winning, morally acute way.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    A formally elegant, subtly savage and powerfully affecting film.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Two cheers, at least, for permitting the past to appear not as a stern lesson but as a delicious irrelevance. [10 Mar 1986]
    • 55 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    A movie that demands our surrender -- to its energy, to its bold-stroke moviemaking, to its acting (particularly by Cruise and Watanabe, who blend musing and graceful muscularity) and, above all, to its romantic vision of a lost world.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    What we come to care most about in writer-director Joshua Marston's film is how his heroine achieves the state promised by his title, Maria Full of Grace. Our emotional investment in her derives primarily from the astonishing performance of Moreno, 23.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    It proposes that you can make an extraordinarily satisfying comedy without writing a joke. Subtly played and elegantly directed, this is an Adults Only movie in the best sense of the term.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    There's something old-fashioned and dauntless about the way the film pushes past our initial resistance to its setting and subject matter, past pain, past defeat, to make this point. Because it rejects easy victories, this may be one of the few inspirational movies that could actually inspire someone, somewhere, sometime.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    It is a powerful portrait of a slightly befuddled man who, when inhuman demands were placed on him, found within himself an unexpected response.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Beautiful Girls is always in touch with reality but never drowned in it. [19 February 1996, p.64]
    • 53 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    More important, we should take into account the fact that this is really quite a good movie--a character-driven (as opposed to whammy-driven) suspense drama--dark, fatalistic and, within its melodramatically stretched terms, emotionally plausible.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Its business is to turn sure-thing expectations into a game of chance, and provide us with that rarity--a genuinely eccentric yet deeply insinuating film.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Director Joel Schumacher's breathlessly paced and incident-crammed movie will induce a certain sense of deja vu among veteran viewers.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    What is startling is how well While You Were Sleeping recaptures the true spirit of the best kind of modern fairy tale -- classic romantic comedy.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    The movie has two virtues essential to good pop thrillers. First, it plugs uncomplicatedly into lurking anxieties -- in this case the ones we brush aside when we daily surrender ourselves to mass transit in a world where the loonies are everywhere. Second, it is executed with panache and utter conviction.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Their sweet, determined, gently understated struggle for fulfillment in a superstitiously conservative society makes this densely, deftly packed movie a quiet joy to behold.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    The film is more than a murder mystery and more than a study in character conflict. At its best, it is an intense and complex portrait of an urban landscape on which the movies' gaze has not often fallen.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    Very simply, Bertolucci has found an elegance of design and execution that few of his contemporaries could even dream of. [23 Nov 1987]
    • 61 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    This is the most assured and hilarious of the three Martin-Carl Reiner collaborations.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    It twists it, shakes it and stands it on its ear. But as before, the film's technical brilliance is the least of its appeals. Satirically acute, intricately structured and deftly paced, it is at heart stout, good and untainted by easy sentiment.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Schickel
    Juno is not a great movie; it does not have aspirations in that direction. But it is, in its little way, a truthful, engaging and welcome entertainment.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Schickel
    That metaphor is pitch-perfect, but the film works a little too hard at proving the vileness of beauty pageants.