Richard Schickel
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For 479 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 5.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Richard Schickel's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Welcome to Sarajevo
Lowest review score: 0 Billy Madison
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 62 out of 479
479 movie reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Tedium overwhelms caring well before this endless film finally concludes.
    • Time
    • 82 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    The result is a mess. Kym, in Hathaway's unsympathetic performance, is an annoyingly sour observer of the proceedings, a time bomb everyone hopes will not explode before the marriage is completed.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    There's neither intricacy nor surprise in the narrative, and these dopes are tedious, witless company. Mostly you find yourself thinking, "How long until dinner?"
    • 76 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Crude and inept.
    • Time
    • 70 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    This is soft-gore porn, obvious in its strategies, witless in the play of its ideas, absurdist only in its pretense to seriousness.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Braveheart is too much, too late.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    His is a dispassionate sensibility, and he is not a strong enough actor - nor has he a strong enough intelligence - to fight his way out of the false analogy he has drawn between moviemaking and tragic history in the making.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    This is moviemaking for people who don't much like movies unless they are -- you know -- "serious." It is visually inert. It appears to be taking up small-scaled, yet emotionally resonant issues, but does not actually define them sharply or bring them to firm conclusions.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Jennifer Jason Leigh's draggy performance as Parker is all studied accent (something vaguely mid- Atlantic but never before heard on Earth) and equally studied self-pity and it cannot sustain our sympathy, or our interest in this inept film.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    Our natural sympathy for the Carmichaels is sabotaged by crude and careless moviemaking.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    There is none of the affectionate respect for working-class life and values that marked the similar, and far superior, "Norma Rae," nor any of that film's sense of felt reality either.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Writer-director Shainberg seems to be aiming for a dark comedy, but mostly his movie is coy without being funny, ugly without being truly transgressive, stupid when it needs to be smart.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    What it doesn't have is a central figure you can give a hoot about.
    • Time
    • 59 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's screenplay is less a response to its source than a careful college outline of it.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    In this climate, turning even a small corner of this century's central horror into feel-good popular entertainment is abhorrent.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Maybe kids will like the movie; their lust for dinolore appears to be insatiable. But the rest of us will yearn for Robin Williams' giddy goofing in "Aladdin."
    • Time
    • 55 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    Valmont arrives stiffened by the elegant, inert formalism of Forman's direction, and chilled by Carriere's all too sober respect for his source and by their mutual determination to apply modern psychological understanding to the behavior of the principal figures.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    The Coens have deliberately cut themselves off from their best subject. Try as they will to create a vision of corporate (and urban) hellishness through sheer stylishness, theirs is a truly abstract expressionism, at once heavy, lifeless and dry.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    This is, or was, a true story, but invested as it is with relentlessly cliched emotions, it plays like cheap fiction.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    In the end, everything about this glum and self-important adaptation of Anne Tyler's upper-cute novel is dim. [26 Dec 1988, p.83]
    • Time
    • 52 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Agresti's just out to give us a sentimental good time. Which some people, heaven help us, will have -- while the rest of us choke on the cutesiness.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 10 Richard Schickel
    What must be said is that the new movie is simply awful: poorly structured, vulgarly written, insipidly directed, monotonously performed.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    The film is basically a drag, and not helped by Christopher Cain's stand- around direction. And one's thirst for the clear, cool taste of traditional narrative -- motivated movement, defined antagonists, building suspense -- soon reaches maddening levels. A grownup could die in this wasteland. [5 Sept 1988, p.63]
    • Time
    • 50 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    This is not necessarily an improvement, but it's not a total disaster either.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    The problem is that the high-pitched whine of Allie's character finally vitiates not merely the viewer's sympathy for him, but sympathy for the movie he dominates, despite the care and courage that went into its making.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    The goofy hysteria of something like "A Summer Place" was infinitely more entertaining and emotionally authentic than the distant smugness of this failed clone. [7 April 1997, p. 76]
    • Time
    • 48 Metascore
    • 10 Richard Schickel
    Coming to America seems to be more career move than movie. After the raucousness of Beverly Hills Cop II and the raunchiness of Eddie Murphy Raw, the star apparently wants to assert his claim on the currently vacant title of America's Sweetheart. His aspirations must be bigger and badder than that. We want -- may actually need -- something more from this gifted man than Eddie Murphy Tame. [4 July 1988 p.66]
    • Time
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    Hopelessly overwrought and deeply dopey movie.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Star Trek is, finally, nothing but a long day's journey into ennui.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    This is potentially near tragic material, and playing it as an all-forgiving comedy is a waste of everyone's time.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    An uninvolving muddle.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    Wyatt Earp drones past its logical conclusion, which is, of course, the great shoot-out. Since Earp's life uninstructively limped along after that event, so must the movie, further abusing our overtaxed patience and undertaxed intelligence.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Rarely have so many gifted women labored so tastefully to bring forth such a wee, lockjawed mouse.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    We're left with our stifled laughter and a very long movie.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    Half comedy, half action piece, the movie runs sputteringly on the not inconsiderable charm of its stars. But basically it is languid, indeterminate and uninvolving.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Redford underacts, Gandolfini overacts, and this movie is directed with the same air of unreality, the same grim passion for cliches, both cinematic and emotional, that Lurie brought to his first film, "The Contender."
    • 43 Metascore
    • 10 Richard Schickel
    Conan is a sort of psychopathic Star Wars, stupid and stupefying.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    The result is a flat, dumbly brutal movie, full of overplotted complexity and empty of all emotional resonance, except that provided by the presence of Jane Greer (the original film's dark lady, here doing a supporting role) and Richard Widmark.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    Dorothy encounters a pumpkin with stick limbs, a tin soldier and something called a Gump, which looks suspiciously like your basic moosehead. They are all mechanical marvels, not actors, which means they can do anything except win an audience's heart. Still, it would defy the gifts of an Olivier to find interesting, amusing life in a context as charmless and joyless (and songless) as the one Murch and his design team have concocted. [1 July 1985, p.63]
    • Time
    • 41 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    At once smug and lazy, qualities fatal to comedy.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Yet how can one possibly recommend The Salton Sea? If it could, this nasty film would make you smell the disgusting food on the table. And that says nothing about its casual sadism.
    • Time
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    As rigged as a casino slot machine, preying on people's hopes but paying off only for the house.
    • Time
    • 40 Metascore
    • 10 Richard Schickel
    Suffice it to say that these morons have, quite simply, turned The Day the Earth Stood Still on its head and what's falling out of its pockets in that upended state is a stream of junk.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    A grim and draggy romance in which even the clothes and sets are dismal.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    It's great to have the Moose back, but it would be greater still to see him in a humorous context fully worth of him.
    • Time
    • 36 Metascore
    • 10 Richard Schickel
    Worst-in-breed not only for this year, but very likely in living memory.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    There are, of course, low cunning, high explosives and much running around without a shirt, punctuated with other familiar gambits: torture scenes; the self-cauterization of, and instant recovery from, a wound large enough to stop an elephant; and a grimly preposterous two-man stand against a tank-led army. What few are likely to find amusing is Rambo III's story line. [30 May 1988, p.64]
    • Time
    • 34 Metascore
    • 10 Richard Schickel
    One of the worst messes in years.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    De Niro's performance begins to seem more a matter of well-practiced gestures than real conviction, and the long, silly finale more an exercise in empty panache by director Tony Scott than a truly gripping suspense piece involving people we care about. [26 August 1996, p.61]
    • Time
    • 32 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    Never achieves more than feckless amiability.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    Occasionally funny but mostly desperate, small-minded and uncompelling.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    The movie's central problem: a lack of alternative suspects...How the screenwriter, Todd Komarnicki, and the director, James Foley, resolve this problem is a genre travesty and an affront to their star.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    One is left wondering why Williams has granted early retirement to his inner anarchist, what dark need compels a great clown to become a sad, fuzzy one in movies only Bob Dole - faking it -could love.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 0 Richard Schickel
    One of the worst movies I've ever seen.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    There's a definite limit to the number of moron jokes we can absorb in 100 minutes, and their movie exceeds it.
    • Time
    • 23 Metascore
    • 10 Richard Schickel
    Judged purely by what director Walter Hill has put on the screen, Another 48 Hrs. is a movie mainly about the several pretty ways that glass shatters when bullets or bodies are propelled through it. [25 June 1990, p.77]
    • Time
    • 23 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    The screenwriters, Randall McCormick and Jeff Nathanson, and the director, Jan de Bont, have no interest in providing their actors with stuff to act.
    • 21 Metascore
    • 10 Richard Schickel
    Courteney Cox is good as a sexy, hard-pressed single mom, but she alone can't redeem the prevailing stupidity.
    • Time
    • 16 Metascore
    • 0 Richard Schickel
    One of the most execrable movies ever made. [6 March 1995, p.100]
    • Time
    • 16 Metascore
    • 10 Richard Schickel
    Beverly Hills Cop III is just going through the motions, without comic conviction, surprises or suspense. [6 June 1994, p.66]
    • Time
    • 16 Metascore
    • 10 Richard Schickel
    The movie veers uneasily from not-funny comedy to not-persuasive melodrama. Murphy forgets that the dialogue in old-fashioned crime pictures was as highly stylized as the settings. In place of sharply polished wisecracks, he gives us the steady mutter of the witless, unfelt obscenities that are the argot of our modern mean streets. [27 Nov 1989, p.88]
    • Time
    • 9 Metascore
    • 0 Richard Schickel
    The worst movie in living memory.
    • Time