For 1,358 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 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rick Groen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Despicable Me
Lowest review score: 0 The Amityville Horror
Score distribution:
1358 movie reviews
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    All costume and scant drama, the result is a curiously flat spectacle, neither offensive nor compelling.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The ensemble is unwieldy and the attendant yarn much too cluttered.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Film noir is a style, but self-conscious film noir is just a stylistic tic, less a genre than an ailment. And The Black Dahlia has got a really bad case -- this thing is so mannered it convulses.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The fiction that follows can be safely regarded as much more than a war movie -- hell, this is a pro-war movie. Were it a politician, it would be Donald Rumsfeld.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Trading in his thinker's cap for a craftsman's apron, Lee is content to carve a little something out of nothing much - the result is as dismissible as it is diverting. [Apr 12, 1996. pg. C.2]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    These characters don't seem illuminating at all – just damned annoying and, ultimately, dead boring.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A recruitment poster loosely disguised as a movie.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    What might have been delicious trash lacks the courage of its trashy convictions, and the result is high-born melodrama with the juice boiled out, so much dry cabbage on fine-china plate.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Lives down to its title -- what an odd and gauzy reverie this is, a strangely muted picture that unfolds at a distinct remove from the reality around it.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    When it comes to retelling the tale of Tristan and Isolde, give us a movie that makes love. Or even a movie that makes war. Anything, just anything, but a movie that makes nice.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    More Than a Game is less than a movie.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This movie wants to be a horse but, even measured in box-office millions, it's just another nag.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This thing can take pride of place in a long tradition of Hollywood howlers.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Although the subject, school bullying, is as fresh as today's headlines, the treatment isn't. Despite the efforts of an impressive cast, the film starts out stale and then just gets tedious.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Tropic Thunder is an assault in the guise of a comedy – watching it is like getting mugged by a clown.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Director Walter Salles, who knows a thing or two about picaresque journeys – in "The MotorcycleDiaries," even in "Central Station" – does make an honest effort here.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Sorry, this one doesn't really work at all, but don't blame the workers.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Reign Over Me drizzles down on us for two full hours, persistently determined to prove that, if it hangs around long enough, a coherent movie will turn up. No such luck.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Saddled with this hollow script, Stone pads with elaborate set pieces.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    At his best, Clint directed as he acted -- sparely, laconically, but concisely, with a clean precision. There are flashes of that trademark style early on, but it soon degenerates badly.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Nothing in this explicit display is remotely engaging. That's because the sex is a metaphor here. In fact, most everything is a metaphor here. Or a symbol -- the picture is a veritable cacophony of jangling symbols.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Next semester, the stars should drop Speech 217 and enroll in Chemistry 101 – they dearly need some.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The movie blows, me hearties, but don't you dare miss it...Why? Johnny Depp, that's why...This has gotta rank among the weirdest performances in the zany annals of the silver screen.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Arthur and the Invisibles may be a tale for children, but it's got the bad habits of a profligate adult -- the thing borrows shamelessly from its betters and then pretends to be self-sustaining.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Although the entire film is beautifully framed and shot, especially the surreal sequences, precious little coheres into anything resembling a compelling narrative.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Soul Surfer is a true story that plays like bad fiction.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    On the byways of any bustling metropolis, here is what the combination of bicycles + cars + pedestrians is certain to produce: (1) nasty accidents and (2) ferocious debates. More surprisingly, on the silver screen in Premium Rush, here is what the same combination fails to produce: a good action movie.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For a film meant to float on a gossamer veil of mystery, The Illusionist falls -- make that flops -- with quite the heavy thud. It's an intended piece of magic that plays like a ponderous slab of melodrama, sleight of hand gone ham-handed.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Jack Goes Boating barely stays afloat – it's a deep disappointment.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Bursting with potential that never gets realized.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Isn't unequivocally bad. Rather, this is what's known in the boxing world as an "opponent" -- shows up on the weekend just to fill out the card, to do battle with its betters, earn a little cash and be completely forgotten come Monday morning.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    By happy coincidence, their names – Bitey, Loudy, Stinky, Lovey and Nimrod – pretty much double as a plot summary.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's a slacker flick, it's a relationship pic, it's a road movie all under the same hood.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Winnie begins as hagiography and ends in hellish confusion.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In pairing the two icons, Righteous Kill is definitely an event. What it isn't is much of a movie. Such a waste.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A Mexican feature from writer/director Guillermo Del Toro, it's a modern vampire tale that occasionally rises to the level of competence but never inches any higher. [20 May 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In every way but one, this is just another genre pic on another mundane outing.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The whole project labours towards an importance it never earns. In Beautiful Boy, the themes are vast but the picture is small, and the ensuing emptiness is what the characters are meant to feel – not us.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The result is a minor picture with a major identity crisis -- it's sort of true and it's sort of bogus and it's ho-hum all the way through.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Hoax is a fraud, and not a very good one at that. Stay with me here because we're about to spiral down the rabbit hole: The movie is a fictionalized account of writer Clifford Irving's fictionalized account of his own fictionalized account of wacky billionaire Howard Hughes.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Let's just say that, when the parody looks indistinguishable from the parodied, something's gone awry.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If you're a five-year-old, or the mental equivalent thereof, and love Saturday morning cartoons, the more violent the better, then Mouse Hunt may just be the movie for you.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Fur does what an Arbus photograph never would -- it leaves no room to imagine and removes any reason for doubt.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Out of Time is severely out of whack, and the problem isn't hard to locate: It's all that flab in the thriller. It's a suspense flick so pillowy soft that the star gets bumped from the centre of the frame and the comic relief sneaks in to swipe the picture.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    As cinematic flops go, nothing falls quite as hard as a failed black comedy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The stark direction, the brittle performances, the impoverished setting, the scatological dialogue, everything about the film screams out "Gritty social realism." Everything, that is, except the plot, which shouts "Eye-rolling melodrama."
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The proverbial seems awfully pale here. Fans of Q.T. will find it patently derivative. Fans of Elmore will find it, well, El-less.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    An exercise in competence guaranteed neither to offend the initiated nor to charm anyone else.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Falls into the category of heart-warming sports yarns, and, if television still made movies-of-the-week, it would enjoy a rightful home.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Watching this is a feature-length exercise in frustration - comedy that promises to be amusingly black stays uniformly grey; sentiment that looks to be credibly bittersweet winds up badly soured. We're constantly tantalized and perpetually disappointed, but don't despair - there's one terrific bonus...Toni Collette.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It can be accurately described as a loud soundtrack occasionally punctuated by the faint vestige of a plot. Or as a lush travelogue that sometimes gives way to sporadic bursts of chirping dialogue.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Clearly, the screenplay is looking for some black comedy here, but Foster's direction is too earnest to locate it.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Sorry, but this level of insight is readily available from daily news reports.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    With your sharper minds, you'll probably figure it out. I hope so. Hope you'll like the movie too. But here's a bit of advice: Don't bet your allowance on it. Make Daddy pay.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's always rather sad to watch gifted performers stranded in a tepid thriller. You can see them, as professional pretenders, trying to believe that they're creating a character, but the lie is transparent -- all they're really doing is advancing a retarded plot.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In the shock department, the ante has been upped, way up, and a mere kitchen knife through a shower curtain just doesn't cut it any more.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If this is meant to look fresh while still being sensitive, it doesn't and it isn't.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Remember the final page of Gatsby, a real American tragedy, when the green light beckons us into an ever-receding future? Now that was a mystery. This is, well, Pittsburgh.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Funnier than any movie called Hot Tub Time Machine has a right to be. And how funny is that? Not very, but a little, occasionally – just enough.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    From the base-model script to the assembly-line thrills, everything about Hide and Seek is generic except its star.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Bolstered by a solid premise, this film starts out impressively enough - it looks to be a worthy character study. But it soon stops dead, wheels spinning badly, and then, hungry for momentum, lurches off in a completely cockeyed direction. [16 Oct 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If nothing else (and there isn't much else), Part III rises above the wholesale clutter of its immediate predecessor, then contents itself with settling into an easy commercial groove. What remains is amiable kid's stuff, as sweetly forgettable as an orange Popsicle on a summer's day. [25 May 1990, p.C4]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Let's start with this certainty: No one but Quentin Tarantino could possibly have made Inglourious Basterds . Now add another: No one but his most ardent fans will be entirely glad that Quentin Tarantino did make Inglourious Basterds .
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Despite its trappings, despite its style, Birth is just a tall tale with a short reach.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Alas, Schumacher doesn't ride on the momentum; worse, he's not an action director, and the film grinds to a dead stop every time it tries to speed up.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Poetic Justice is like that - so much worse than it should have been, and yet, for brief shining moments, so much better than any other 2-star film in sight. [23 July 1993]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This sappy thing is a two-hour cheat that never plays fair for a nanosecond.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is an adaptation that must have been hard to screw up, yet screwed up it has been. If the movie is far from dreadful, it's even further from the searing experience it could have been.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    First a bit about the movie, which really isn't one -- more like a 48-minute press release promoting the glories of NASCAR.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Ultimately, even Lee appears to lose interest, flashing none of his usual visual panache and, at the end, content to forego any considered conclusion for a hunk of lumpy irony.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If this were funny, The Heat would add up to your average buddy-cop comedy. Except that it’s not funny, at least not very and not often.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If you like your sports movies, especially your football movies, larded with more clichés than a politician's stump speech, Gridiron Gang begs to be seen.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Turns out a movie about an infatuated bunch of Star Wars nerds can really set your teeth on edge.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    These days, when presidential bouquets are named Gennifer Flowers, and when we all know what Jack Kennedy did beneath the White House covers, this sort of Capra-corn, even in the guise of light comedy, just doesn't have the same taste. More salt, please, and hold the butter.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A mundane sitcom with feature pretensions, the kind where the comic "situation" is simply a coat-rack for hanging a rag-tag assortment of inflated sight gags and telegraphed punch lines.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The book floats sublimely above its dark theme; the movie sinks into the ridiculous.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If your idea of a bargain is two bad movies for the price of one, then shell out for Man on Fire. And don't fret about that incendiary title because this thing is all fuse.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For all its merits - a lush canvas, a first-rate cast, a thoughtful director examining a theme directly relevant to his own checkered career - Vincent & Theo doesn't quite measure up. [16 Nov 1990]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The irony is worth noting: Back when it was really 1949, Hollywood made noir with teeth; this is nougat with pretensions.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    There's a head-pounding, gob-smacking literalness to this flick, extending from the title right through to the recurring imagery.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Despite a superb cast and a fabulous look, the picture collapses under the weight of its lofty pretensions, especially in the black hole of the last act, where it topples into near-absurdity.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Really, Casa de mi Padre is a skit blown up to a feature flick, amusing for a while until its welcome wears out.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Based on an allegedly true story, this is a dark comedy that begins with a charmingly light touch.... Alas, it's when the tale stays murderous, amateur night dragging into amateur day, that the picture loses both its energy and its edge. [09 Apr 1990]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    About as gripping as its title.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Yet the performances are just sturdy boats against the narrative current - the plot is altogether too calculated and wholly without surprises, either pleasant or unpleasant... The painting is just fine; too bad the numbers show through.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The wonder here is that Bateman and the child actor spark off each other quite delightfully. For a few precious scenes, when father and son are alone, the movie is actually amusing, even touching.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The target is way too easy and the tone far too smug. This time, they're shooting fish in a barrel with a bazooka and congratulating themselves on their marksmanship.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The pretty good stuff comes early, when Nic and Ron, weary of wasting women and children, suffer an attack of conscience and desert the Crusades.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Understandably, a script so obsessed with the dark doings of plot has little time left over for the study of character, and, thus, we never really get to know these people.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Any one of these narrative components might have made for a worthy picture. But that would have taken a more imaginative writer than Charles Leavitt and a more sensitive director than Gary Fleder.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Before it turns into a thriller, and goes badly awry, Red Lights paints a devastating little portrait of a marriage on the rocks.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Laugh? Well, once.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For some (okay, me), The Holiday, like the holidays, will require some girding up, and is best met halfway with a self-immunizing smile. Otherwise, the good cheer may ring false; worse, it might even seem to sell love cheap, and lovers short.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Hey, it’s all good clean fun.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The only thing majestic about Shrek the Third is the title.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    At least The Infidel is an equal-opportunity blasphemer, and God bless it for that. Otherwise, this thing plays like a cheeky Brit-com blown up to feature length, with a thin coat rack of plot to hang the ethnic humour on, and a wish to offend without being offensive.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The problem is director Joe Carnahan, who’s way too manic even when the formula calls for calm – he can’t stay still long enough to drive home the punch-lines.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Beverly Hills Cop II puts its mega-star through a medieval trial, an ordeal by dullness. Survive these surroundings, Eddie Murphy, and you must truly be one very funny guy. Well, Eddie survives, barely, and taking our cue straight from him, so do we, almost. [22 May 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    One of those crime flicks besotted with its own plot.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Single-handedly, Bridges gives the film what it otherwise lacks -- energy and emotion invested in this damaged man, naked beneath his ballooning caftan, at once sadly ridiculous and ridiculously sad.

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