Richard Schickel, Time
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For 474 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 Cinema Paradiso
Lowest review score: 0 Billy Madison
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 62 out of 474
474 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    There is an inherent problem about any sequel that too slavishly duplicates the style and substance of its predecessor; it cannot deliver the delight of discovery that the original provided. Axel made a swell first impression, but he is still living on it, perhaps not yet a bore, but not quite as fascinating as he once promised to be.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Schickel
    It just runs on and on -- like a slightly stupid story you wish you hadn't overheard in a singles bar.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    You're entitled to ask for more than that in a comedy, but these days you're often obliged to settle for a lot less.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Schickel
    We're talking fables, not reality, here, and this is a fine and merry one--"Ms. Woods Goes to Washington"--played to airy perfection by Reese Witherspoon and a light-on-its-feet cast.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Schickel
    The actors, especially the ever appealing Smith, do what they can to ground the movie in reality, but it stubbornly remains dawdling, remote and pretentious.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    Diverting without being fully absorbing, this is a film best appreciated as an exercise in--shall we say it?--Primal Gere. [15 Apr 1996, p.100]
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Schickel
    The weather is always inclement, the protagonists are all muddy when they're not bloody, King Arthur's Christianity is muscular but joyless, and Guinevere is often daubed with blue paint. No, folks, we're not in Camelot anymore.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Schickel
    Something of an odd-duck movie. It is not a broad comedy or a wildly romantic one, either. Nor is it Edith Wharton lite. But it does partake of all those modes in intelligently observant ways.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 90 Richard Schickel
    The smartest, funniest, most cleverly structured comedy of the year.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    A lot of the gags are pretty good. It's not that Star Wars is less worthy of satire than horse opera or gothic horror. It's not that Mel Brooks has lost his cunning, though he does need a freedom of speech not to be found under a PG rating. What's missing is that zany old gang of his. There is simply nobody like them on this trip. [13 July 1987, p.68]
    • 46 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Schickel
    Not a bad concept, and Martin Lawrence is appealing. Unfortunately, the writers have no gift for comic writing.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    Somehow, by a narrow margin, the film doesn't quite make it. Potter recolored his work a little more sunnily, and it is, perhaps, too compressed; it needs TV's room to digress.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    It's kind of fun--if you have the stomach for its more grisly passages.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    Rarely have so many gifted women labored so tastefully to bring forth such a wee, lockjawed mouse.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    To make something like Firewall good, you have to make it at least a little bit new--or add more than an unending patter of rain and techno-talk.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Schickel
    Maid in Manhattan is not so much a movie as a collection of career moves. J. Lo needs a comedy hit to support her principal activity, adorning magazine covers. Fiennes needs to warm his austere British image if he hopes to become a true international star.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Schickel
    Will the movie end in an orgy of sentiment? Why do we bother to ask?
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    It's a faux epic -- swell costumes, historically authentic settings, a certain amount of bustle and skulking, but very little dramatically gripping activity.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    It's as if everyone was just a little too much in tasteful awe of its subject, who is played rather stolidly by Nick Nolte.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Schickel
    It's a modest little fantasy. But it's also well made, unpretentious and refreshing.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Richard Schickel
    We're left with our stifled laughter and a very long movie.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Schickel
    Given that this holiday film season has come up more than a little short on love and laughter, one can easily forgive Kate & Leopold the slightly excessive lengths and complications to which it goes in search of those rare commodities.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Schickel
    The net result of this mighty effort is perhaps predictable: near total inconsequence.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    We forgive Bridget the movie its obvious flaws because of its equally inescapable charm.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    Essentially a liberal soap opera.
    • 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
    • 70 Richard Schickel
    It is somewhat repetitive, but it is also wonderfully acted, especially by Barrymore.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    Writer Leslie Bohem and director Roger Donaldson brush briskly through the standard scientific and romantic blather. They know that in movies like this, complexity is the province of the special-effects people.
    • 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
    • 70 Richard Schickel
    You may not be able to follow the overall arc of their scheming, but scene by scene they are a delightful crew, hissing away behind their cloaks and fans.
    • 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]
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    Curiously, if fitfully, intriguing.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    Better luck next time, Owen.
    • 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.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Schickel
    Inept works like Good, which remains, like most such works, on the anecdotal fringe of the problem.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    It's because of AnnaSophia Robb's performance...I don't think you'll see a more fascinating and nuanced performance at the movies this year.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    As rigged as a casino slot machine, preying on people's hopes but paying off only for the house.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    A watchable film, but it -- and its star -- might have done so much more.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 80 Richard Schickel
    And while more than 30 writers worked on the screenplay and untold numbers labored to re-create the ambiance and effects that the animators once tossed off with a few squiggles of their pencils, The Flintstones doesn't feel overcalculated, over-produced or overthought.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 30 Richard Schickel
    A grim and draggy romance in which even the clothes and sets are dismal.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Schickel
    You can, if you will, think of All the King's Men as a purely political parable, but that is to miss its blackest, bleakest meanings.
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 35 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Schickel
    But that's the thing about this movie. It never leaves well enough, or good enough, alone. It keeps looking--sometimes a little too hard--for ways to transform the ordinary into the discomfiting.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Schickel
    Bewitched means to be a civilized entertainment, which occasionally it is. But the gentility of this antique sitcom cannot be recaptured at this late date.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 40 Richard Schickel
    Ultimately the script's often sharp social satire is drowned out by the noise and confusion.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 10 Richard Schickel
    One of the worst messes in years.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    This reflects its fundamental flaw of arrogance, a smug faith in the ability of its own speed, smartness and luxe to wow the yokels. [23 Mar 1992, p.65]
    • 33 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    This film, based on a true story, transcends its handsomeness to present a subtle portrait of a woman's growing consciousness.
    • 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]
    • 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
    • 70 Richard Schickel
    Cameron Diaz is sublimely screwy as the single-minded bride determined not to let anything--including the deadly mishaps that keep shrinking the wedding party--spoil her nuptials. [30 November 1998, p. 111]
    • 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.
    • 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]
    • 23 Metascore
    • 50 Richard Schickel
    You don't quite believe that a smart woman would spend so much time on such a dumb mission.
    • 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.
    • 17 Metascore
    • 70 Richard Schickel
    But if you can see past the thicket of dollar signs surrounding Hudson Hawk, you may discern quite a funny movie -- sort of an "Indiana Jones" send-up with a hip undertone all its own. [10 June 1991]
    • 16 Metascore
    • 0 Richard Schickel
    One of the most execrable movies ever made. [6 March 1995, p.100]
    • 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]
    • 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]
    • 9 Metascore
    • 0 Richard Schickel
    The worst movie in living memory.