Richard Schickel

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For 486 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 3.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Richard Schickel's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 Boyz n the Hood
Lowest review score: 0 Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 63 out of 486
486 movie reviews
    • 53 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    Maggie Smith and Judi Dench are glorious comic actresses, while Joan Plowright provides a firm, touching moral center to the film. They almost make you forget Cher's totally out-of-it work as a disapproved-of American and carry the film to its destiny, which is one of inoffensive inconsequence, prettily staged. [24 May 1999, p.88]
    • Time
    • 86 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    Finally, though, Traffic, for all its earnestness, does not work. It leaves one feeling restless and dissatisfied.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    The movie and everyone in it remain, under Ivan Reitman's determinedly casual direction, very loosely organized. They amble agreeably, but not necessarily hilariously, from one special-effects sequence to the next. These are not better, worse or even different from the original's trick work, and their lack of punctuating surprise is the film's largest problem, especially at the shamelessly repetitive climax. [26 June 1989, p.89]
    • Time
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    The Farrellys need to remember this: Sappiness is easy, comedy is hard.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    A hard-striving, convoluted movie, which never quite becomes the smoothly reciprocating engine Anderson ...would like it to be.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    Grace is not as tightly wound as the best of its breed, but it is a genial way to pass the time.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    There are pain and honor in this performance, and they constantly rise up to redeem a film that is less probing, less thoughtful than its director's claims and aspirations for it.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    What makes The Good Girl worthwhile is its performances. All the actors play their entrapment with a weirdly convicted blankness. That's especially true of Aniston.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    We forgive Bridget the movie its obvious flaws because of its equally inescapable charm.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    These stories, alas, are utterly predictable. Still, Samuel L. Jackson breaks through the crust of cliches as an expert called in to verify the instrument's provenance, and violinist Joshua Bell plays and Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts John Corigliano's score ravishingly.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    Dark, detailed and only really gets going when the gunplay starts.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    There's something refreshing about its utterly unembarrassed embrace of the familiar. The director, George Tillman Jr., either doesn't notice or doesn't give a hoot about the way Scott Marshall Smith's script piles up cliches.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    It is very tiresome peering through the gloom trying to catch a glimpse of something interesting, then having to avert one's eyes when it turns out to be just another brutally tormented body.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    There are a reserve and a realism in Huston's work that make her very modest film more affecting than you might expect.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    This material is either underdeveloped or crudely put by a director whose style is so conventional that he makes James Ivory look, by comparison, like Jean-Luc Godard.
    • 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]
    • Time
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    Christie has already won prizes for the knowing weariness of her performance, and Flynn Boyle probably deserves some for her ferociously stated frustrations. But their clarity can't quite cut through the thickness of the film's air or compensate for the wooziness it induces.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    I think Gonzo, which is wonderfully rich in historical footage, needs some skeptics, some voices suggesting that maybe, just maybe, Thompson was part of the problem, not the solution, when America flirted briefly with revolution (or was it merely anarchy?), leaving consequences that continue to resonate today -- and not always to our advantage.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    This wisp of a movie turns out to be more thoughtfully affecting than many a more high-flying film.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    The film comes uncomfortably close to risible. But it also achieves moments of real power. It's worth a wary look before it attains midnight cult-movie status.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    Gibson is a primitive all right, but so were Cecil B. DeMille and D.W. Griffith, and somehow we survived their idiocies.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    Even when one of the pieces stutters, stammers or just lies deathly still, we are consoled by our knowledge that it will not trifle with us for very long. And by the fact that there is an excellent likelihood that it will soon be replaced by something more engaging.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    There is a lunatic energy about it. Every once in a while, Chayefsky abandons the struggle to dramatize his ideas and has somebody, usually Holden, just turn to the camera and spout off. In those moments, his concern — and sometimes his mother wit — comes blazing through and the picture takes on a life not found in safe, sane, well-calculated movies.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    This is rather a thin tale, not much thickened by Burton's direction or Depp's playing. There's a distance, a detachment to this film. It lacks passion.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    Dolman's comedy isn't exactly a barrel of emotional surprises, but its great cast underachieves admirably. There are worse ways to pass 94 minutes.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    Can one recommend this unblinking film to the average moviegoer, out for a good time? Only in this way: if James and his crew can spend years with these blighted souls, surely you can spend two hours with them, exploring compassion's outer limits.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    These aren't really characters; they are points on a rigidly conceived political spectrum. Singleton has made all the right political moves given his complicated circumstances, but he hasn't really made a movie of them.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Richard Schickel
    It appears to be a true reflection of her (Shelly) spirit -- eccentric, good-naturedly feminist, kind of funny and kind of sentimental. Despite its realistic setting in a small Southern town, it is much more a fable than it is a slice of authentic life.

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