For 1,302 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1 point higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rick Groen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Rachel Getting Married
Lowest review score: 0 New Best Friend
Score distribution:
1,302 movie reviews
    • 56 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    This much is inarguable: In the more than two flamboyant hours of Across the Universe, Julie Taymor doesn't cheat us for a single second.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Persepolis is as modern as tomorrow's headlines and as classic as an ancient myth.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Before that marvel of human engineering - China's Three Gorges Dam - completes its legacy of human upheaval, there are vanishing sights to be seen.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    All this is as fascinating as it is humbling, even when Herzog ventures a little too far down eccentricity's back alley.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Mock-heroic yet still lyrical, faux-mythic but honest too, uniquely and absurdly and often hilariously Canadian, My Winnipeg is like no documentary you've ever seen.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Modestly clever, this is definitely a little thing. Enjoy.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    It has the staccato wit of a drawing-room comedy, the fatal flaw of a tragic romance and the buzzy immediacy of a front-page headline, all powered by a kinetic engine typically found in an action flick. And that's just the opening scene.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Yes, The King's Speech is a lively burst of populist rhetoric, superbly performed and guaranteed to please even discriminating crowds.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Don't go down this Rabbit Hole unless you wish to see a superb film that treats a sad topic with unflinching honesty. Don't go down this Rabbit Hole unless you believe that tragedy's grief, when transmuted through art's protective lens, can feel liberating, even joyful in its painful truths.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Two superb actors etch an unflinching portrait of a young marriage doomed never to grow old.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Add it all up, including the nifty twist at the end, and what we have here is a fun Hollywood flick with a good head on its shoulders.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    En route, what emerges is the kind of film, rich in paradox, that's common to Reichardt but so rare anywhere else – a film ponderously slow in pace yet kinetically charged with insight; starkly realistic yet allegorical too; psychologically astute yet politically resonant.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Even hardened cynics will embrace the cliché – yep, you will laugh, you will cry.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Much like Robert Altman during his forays into the genre, writer/director Asghar Farhadi isn't really interested in the answers. Instead, he keeps expanding the questions, until that singular title comes to seem a misnomer.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    A film that transforms a popular work of teen fiction not just by faithfully exploring its themes but, more important, by proving those themes have a very grown-up resonance.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Everything about The Queen of Versailles, a documentary both sharply observant and deliciously funny, is jumbo-sized – the riches, the rags, his ego, her breasts, their steroidal pursuit of happiness.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Norman is the "freak" bullied and ostracized and otherwise degraded by the alive-and-well crowd. Such is the outcast fate of most heroes in the best children's tales. And ParaNorman, a ghoulishly delightful exercise in stop-motion animation, is a very good children's tale indeed.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Lincoln is directed by Steven Spielberg but, to his great credit, few will mistake this for a Steven Spielberg film. Rather, it's a Tony Kushner film, the playwright who conjured up the wordy but intricately layered script; and it's a Daniel Day-Lewis film, the actor who so richly embodies the iconic title role.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    You may be of the opinion that taking in an art film, especially the haute brand that disdains conventional narrative, is like watching paint dry. If so, happy surprise, Holy Motors is definitely the art film for you – it's like watching paint blister.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    A deceptively light and impeccably structured comedy that owes a clear cinematic debt to others -- Ernst Lubitsch, Woody Allen and Whit Stillman among them -- yet still manages to speak with a fresh and distinctive voice. [21 Aug. 1998, p.D4]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    It’s a terrific adaptation that succeeds not only as a work of cinema but also, wonderfully, as proof of the novel’s greatness. In short, the picture rebukes the revisionists even while entertaining them.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Life is Sweet is sweet indeed - and comic and quirky and, on those occasions when the tone deftly shifts, just a little sad... Leigh's work, and the quotidian life it depicts, is sometimes slim but never insubstantial, occasionally sweet but never a sugary confection. And always worth celebrating. [24 Jan. 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    It's appalling, it's wicked, it's bleak, and it's very funny. In fact, the movie's ability to disturb us is directly linked to its ability to amuse us. We're made to feel guilty precisely because we're made to laugh - seeing something so sordid shouldn't be so engaging. [28 Jan. 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 94 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    It plays like documented fact, a kind of "7 Up" primer on life’s romantic vicissitudes.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    A remarkable documentary as important as it is compelling.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Hawking is as much a phenomenon as the phenomena he explores. Knowing that, A Brief History Of Time has the deceptive simplicity of an elegant equation - it merely sets up the parallels and permits us to wonder, gazing upon the heavens above and the mysteries within. [28 Aug 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    With his breathy, antic delivery, pouring out his heart in staccato bursts, Cusack puts a nice loop on the sensitive teen theme. For his is an upbeat, mature brand of sensitivity, the healthy kind that makes fine discriminations, not nasty judgments.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The picture's charm lies in the continuing by-play between the filmmakers and their subject, with each side doing its best to deconstruct the other.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The embodiment of the very message it so modestly conveys -- it's the accomplished little guy we fervently root for.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Men may be gay by nature, but women are lesbians by choice -- for them, it's a simple matter of trading up. Such is the implied message of Kissing Jessica Stein.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Ali
    It's not Smith's fault that the movie can't quite pry apart the man from the myth from the metaphor. The three may well be inseparable by now and, at this point in his history and ours, that's surely the way we prefer it.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Rare is the movie that arrives without fanfare -- that sneaks between the cracks, pops up relatively unheralded on the big screen, and takes the viewer by delighted surprise. Well, check the moon for blue because Birthday Girl is just such a picture.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Solondz has finally made a movie that isn't just offensive -- it also happens to be good. He's still shouting, still violating our politically correct sensibilities, but the shocks now have thematic purpose. They don't just titillate, they resonate.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Waydowntown may not be perfect, but it is perfectly astute in the target it selects and in the questions it raises.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A tormented and tormenting man uses violence to break the historic chain of violence, then bequeaths to his loved ones the most precious gift he can give -- his total silence and perpetual absence.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A laugh and a half, a genial crowd-pleaser.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    EDtv is precisely the kind of brisk, straightforward, amiable and accessible material that shows Howard’s skills to advantage.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    An entertaining oddity, an amiably black comedy whose bared teeth double as an engaging smile: It takes a satiric bite and leaves you laughing through the pain.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Visually impressive, splendidly performed, thematically significant, this is a movie in full possession of every key cinematic asset except one -- a solid script. Casino is a polished vehicle with an untuned engine.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The cinematic equivalent of a "good read" - pick it up and you can't put it down; put it down and it's gone forever.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Pick your cliche - searing, rivetting, haunting - Keitel delivers a performance to rival Brando's in "Last Tango In Paris."
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Frankly, with so much to feast my dazzled eyes upon, I barely noticed that the plot was missing in action. And that's because the action itself is so pure.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The comedy is warm and witty and wafer-thin, as easy on the palate as a raspberry sorbet on a summer afternoon.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The climax, however, is far superior here, open-ended and ambiguous and neatly linked to this film's recurring metaphor: Teeth, of course, which "outlast everything," which survive the death of the body just as marriage can survive the demise of love. They both endure, yellowed and rootless.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A 75-minute tour de force that's often fascinating, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately rewarding. So be patient -- the payoff will come.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Moore continues another one infinitely more valuable -- the proud line that extends right back to Mark Twain, embracing all those satirists so enamoured with America at its best that they won't stand silent for America at its worst.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Beijing Bicycle is a good film that owes a huge debt to a better film. And that, of course, is Vittorio De Sica's "The Bicycle Thief."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    It's a nifty caper flick that also ponders the aesthetic nature of deception -- in other words, a solid work of craft that doubles as a little meditation on art.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A grownup departure from the teen-romance norm -- it speaks nothing about passion and volumes about trust.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    At best, the humour in Election is perceptive, nasty, pointed, and lets no one off its barbed hook, not even the audience. In other words, it's a lovely piece of satire, made all the more relevant by the setting.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Always engaging and often compelling.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The result is good dirty fun, flecked with enough wit to help you overlook the relatively barren characterization.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    For all the undeniable merits, it somehow feels manufactured, and thus, to a degree, calculated - the product not of a collective imagination taking esthetic chances, but of an imaginative collective putting the rivets into a well-wrought plan that can't go awry.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    If the publicity release can be believed, he worked an entire year "undercover as a student to research teenage life". On the basis of what surfaces here - one stock phrase (the kids say "Go for it]" a lot) and a multitude of stock characters - Crowe might better have spent the time curled up with re-runs of Ozzie and Harriet. Give this intrepid researcher 12 months at General Motors and he might just discover the wheel.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Has a refreshingly different twist: What we have here is a "what if" comedy.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The result takes the audience on a screwball odyssey that mixes engaging twists with off-putting turns -- often fun, always watchable, but never quite as good as it could be.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Like no other war movie you've ever seen.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    There's a missing element whose absence, forgive me, I can't help but lament. This is a movie about magic that ultimately lacks the magic of movies."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    There's plenty of humour in Comedian but not a lot of happiness -- apparently, the sad clown is a cliché for good reason.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    With Corbett's laidback persona nicely countering Vardalos's authorial performance, the picture radiates a pure affability that's awfully attractive. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a very slim movie that succeeds on its own modest terms without pretense or apology.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    With little dialogue to assist her -- just the strains of that wonderfully organic music -- she still manages to suggest the internal struggle, and to slowly reveal a fierce toughness that flies in the face of conventional morality.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Intended as food for thought, but all we really get is a light snack -- the kind that's heavier in presentation than in substance.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Visually, this movie is exquisite. Narratively, well, that's a more banal story.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    If you ever doubted the power and scope of silent film, watch The Way Home. The narrative arc is as broad as any chattering feature, the emotional depth is greater than most, and it's all achieved with virtually no dialogue.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    It's a pinball arcade of a flick -- the Coens invent a bunch of wonderfully flaky characters, stick them into a Plexiglas narrative, and let them bounce off each other.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    What better casting than Al Pacino, whose own career, of course, has reflected all the seasonal changes in the gangster saga. Pacino takes the part and runs with it so boldly that he ends up in Arthur Miller land.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Quitting begins to seem intriguing in concept. Now comes the best news: It's just as compelling in execution.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Fun, fun, fun. Take the title at its word, because this movie is nothing less than a flat-out, lung-pumping, 76-minute sprint.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Titanic is awesome even when it's awful -- you can't take your eyes off the extraordinary thing.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The love that blooms is essentially between the boys. They both have some considerable growing up to do, but theirs is a true romance and it's awfully sweet. Funny, too.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The movie could have used a further dose of the resonance Walken gives it, and a more intellectually adventurous director might have brought the theme close to home.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Both smart and shrewd -- it wraps that same comforting message in a thoroughly entertaining package.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The well chosen cast helps -- no one strikes a false note.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Ultimately, Benigni's comic refinery merely transforms the banality of evil into a lesser sin -- the evil of banality.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Despite a formidable effort and occasional grace, there's something cowardly about Braveheart -- it's an aspiring giant with a diminutive soul.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    In God's ghetto, as in so many of the world's forsaken places, warring armies of infants brandish their weapons of self-destruction, while politicians bluster and inspectors sleep.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    In the ongoing case of the fan versus the movies, the evidence suggests that a good policier is damn hard to find. So when you come across one that can boast a decent script, taut direction and a single superb performance, there's no need for prolonged deliberation.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Generally makes good on its promise. There are shivers to be felt, especially in the early stages, and there's fun to be had, including the post-movie pleasure of detecting the soft spots in the plot. The result is an always-watchable picture from a director capable of more.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Sometimes, when you least expect it, Hollywood is so Hollywood good, serving up a flick guaranteed to answer the clarion call of the multitudes. "I just want to be entertained," you say? Well, fork out then, because The Italian Job does the job.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    It's a fascinating babel, and Nair, using the unfolding ritual of the wedding as a centre point, captures the competing sights and sounds with her own unique mix of cinematic borrowings -- think Robert Altman meets Bollywood.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Loses its momentum just when you'd expect the suspense to mount -- at the competition itself.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    That level of acting-without-words demands the likes of a Bruno Ganz or a Klaus Maria Brandauer, not a Clooney. Even when flashing his bare derrière in a sex scene, he isn't revealing nearly enough -- his work is just skin deep.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A flashy nineties flick with a campy fifties feel -- it's playful, naive, clever, silly, often inventive, occasionally uneven and, compared to studio offerings to date, the best present under this year's cinematic tree.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Too bad there's also a final 15 minutes that surely ranks among the worst endings an otherwise good movie has ever received.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Around about the third act, the picture does what no self-respecting virus ever would -- relents, turns confused, and lets our immune system fight back with thoughts of its own, with distracting cavils about the logic of the plot and the slightness of the themes.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A drama that's often insightful and occasionally powerful but is still, at heart, a piece of television and not a work of film.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Delightful as it often is, the picture suffers fom the same structural and thematic tidiness, even smugness, that it nominally opposes.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    An integrated work whose form clearly mirrors its content. Often, looking into that mirror is dreadful; but, often enough, it's also dreadfully revealing.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This ranks among the highest concentrations of acting talent brought to any screen. But let's spare no praise for David Hare, whose superb script draws heavily on his playwrighting skills.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The Canadian film "Atanarjuat" travelled back to the past to meet an ancient legend on its own ground and treated the tale realistically. Whale Rider whisks its legend up into the present, and then adds a touch of lyricism.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Just when the movie seems set to soar, there's a drag factor -- it keeps getting weighed down, if not sunk, by an anchor of ponderousness.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    So this is a first-level, unironic fright film, the sort whose tongue is removed from its cheek, coated in gore, and pointed right at the audience.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The movie's main attraction isn't hard to find. It's essentially a character study, but one where the nature of the study is as unique as the stature of the character.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Happily, the climax races to our rescue... Beyond the grasp of most directors, this is tour de force stuff -- definitely meriting the price of admission and almost worth the three-year wait.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Sylvia the movie competently shows us how; but, as always, it's Sylvia the writer who brilliantly tells us why -- then, now and tomorrow, her foreboding words are her finest legacy.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    In this journey, [Crowe] wears the uniform, the accent and the derring-do with consummate panache. Have him strike a muscular pose on the ship's prow, which Weir does more than once, and the manly sight puts that wussy DiCaprio to titanic shame.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    In the end, is In America slight in its sentimentality and manipulative in its moral? Sure, but that's the job of any fable or myth.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A lovely oddity.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    It isn't an exciting work of art so much as a contemplative reverie on the nature of art -- and what's wrong with a smart essay that unfolds like a sweet dream?
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    All the signs pointed to a major movie achievement...And it does -- sometimes, and dazzlingly so. But the dazzle doesn't add up to the sustained act of brilliance I'd been expecting.

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