For 1,311 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 1.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rick Groen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Lowest review score: 0 Sex and the City
Score distribution:
1311 movie reviews
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Embracing such depths, Bukowski somehow made his art. Simulating them, Factotum just makes us queasy.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Come to think of it, Ferrell is to the sports comedy what the Toronto Maple Leafs are to the hockey biz: Hard-core fans are sure to show up and find reasons to be amused. The rest of us can only hope for better days.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Call it "Alexander the Grate," because, over the marathon of its three-hour running time, this wonky epic really does get on your nerves.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    On the flimsy wings of this familiar fairy tale, Linklater tries to fly himself a movie, dressing up the quartet (and the strapping he-men cast to portray them) in the audience-friendly vestments of picaresque charm.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    More interestingly, it's also kind of sweet in a contrived and fumbling first-kiss sort of way.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    About a third of the way along, there's a shocking revelation that definitely packs a punch. Problem is, it's followed by a near-immediate return to familiar narrative convention, where the noir ante rises exponentially toward a climax that arrives too hastily and ends too neatly.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Definitely erratic, this thing -- all in all, it's the sort of commercial vehicle you might want to stay well back of.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is wish-fulfilment fantasy, where the laughs lie in sorting out an embarrassment of riches.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's all rather wacky and hard to follow or fathom, although maybe that's attributable to Virginia's schizophrenia veering off on its delusional phase.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In Youth in Revolt , Cera bellies up to the same table once too often. His fresh-faced act is starting to look really stale.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Pardon my pulling anthropological rank, but Instinct -- a movie about an ape-man savant -- seems a quart low on common sense.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    What we have here is a pretty good TV show huffed and puffed into a rather mediocre film.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Perhaps for Zwigoff, directing someone else's script, this was just a job of work. If not, the talent who made "Crumb" and "Ghost World "has now made his first movie mistake.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's like an elevated form of sitcom acting, which may be inevitable because this movie, and all its quirky/heartfelt kin, are an elevated version of the sitcom itself.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A feature that suffers from the rarity of its wit yet benefits from the briskness of its pace.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Watching this, we should feel an immense amount, but don't, and somehow, decades after this horrible event, that void only seems to compound the tragedy.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    But Keaton is a mistake. He's an actor with an innate sense of irony firmly grounded in the here and now. Even as Batman, skepticism was his forte; true belief falls way outside his range.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Vanity: the surest road to mediocrity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's a comedy, it's a romance, it's a gangster flick. The Cooler is all of that and much, much less. This is a movie without a compass, switching pace and direction as haphazardly as a caffeinated SUV driver on a cellphone.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Notebook is meant to be a romantic weepy, and you will shed tears - but only from the consistent and exhausting effort of trying to control your gag reflex. Even a body that welcomes a sugar fix will repel a sugar invasion.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Of course, the result is forgettable, but at least it's efficiently and breezily forgettable. What's more, there are laughs too and here's the best part – one or two of them are actually intentional.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If this is satire, it's the smug and self-congratulatory kind that lets the audience completely off the hook. Effective satire, the Swiftian brand, seduces us first and then implicates us in the seduction -- we become a target too. But this stuff never gets past the initial step -- it's toothless, as innocuous as the puffery it pretends to skewer.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Was it worth slogging through the nearly two hours of damned muddle to get to those last affecting moments? Not often in movies is the destination so much better than the journey.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Identity opens with its mind nicely intact, suffers a major crisis about 30 minutes in, then bad turns to worse.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Max
    The whole film occupies pretty much the same continuuum -- glimmers of intelligence followed by moments of outright hysteria punctuated by bouts of sheer haplessness.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Although director Taylor Hackford ("An Officer and a Gentleman") handles the usually cumbersome flashbacks with impressive delicacy, he can't stop the narrative from sinking under its own melodramatic weight.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Dirty Girl isn't. Sorry, but it's just faux grime, a thin layer of bad behaviour that wipes clean with a two-ply tissue to reveal the real movie beneath – all shiny sentimentality.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Here, one begins to suspect that the major impediment is the sensibility of the filmmakers themselves. They don't believe in this stuff, in its unavoidable sentimentality, and that attitude filters down to a perplexed cast.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A contrived and tepid thriller that insists on wanting to interest us in its main plot -- the usual nefarious plan to assassinate the leader of the free world.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Amelia is the Mack truck of flight. Heavy and lumbering, it delivers the goods, but there's not an ounce of magic in the thing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Expected too is the result: a kind of sterile opulence or, if you prefer, a magnificent emptiness.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    I doubt that Lawrence is conscious of this process. Nevertheless, stuck in a dull commercial feature, a very good actor happens upon a new solution to an age-old problem: She improves the script by transcending it, and steals the picture by abandoning it.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    All dull thunder without a spark of illumination.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In keeping with the purloining spirit of sequeldom, Woo plunders his own past. [24 May 2000, p.R1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Holy Man sure isn't raucous; instead, in the main, it's just quietly unamusing.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The result is a political thriller refreshingly long on grown-up dialogue yet lamentably shy on, well, thrills. This chatty thing does go on.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    So we're back on "The Road ," but this time Eli's coming – better hide your heart and, while you're at it, put your brain on hold, the easier to enjoy the action-filled sermon to come.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    How's this for frightening: The casting of the lightweight Ben Affleck as a CIA agent who holds the fate of the entire world in his pretty-boy hands. Can't deny it, that got my heart pumping like a bunny.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    With the release of Stop-Loss, a precedent of sorts has definitely been set. If we've yet to see a brilliant Iraq movie, the wait is over for a bad one – this is it.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    At the end of these "based on a true story" flicks, it's customary to flash photos of the real people over the end credits. There, Sam Childers looks older and less handsome and awfully imposing, a scary sort of cat with raw but authentic tales to tell. I'd like to hear them.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Sometimes sensitive and often silly but really, essentially, beneath his pallor and her panting and their intertwined frustrations, it's just two long hours of coitus interruptus.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    There will be occasional tears, there must be frequent laughs and the whole contrived structure has the calculated quaintness of Ye Olde Pub at a EuroDisney theme park.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Worse still is his idiotic tampering with the so-called "Happy Ending" -- in print, it's bleakly ironic; on screen, incongruously sentimental.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For my first trick, allow me to write off an entire picture by merely affixing to the title a one-word contraction: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone isn’t. Please hold your applause.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Last Circus is a bizarre, surreal, grotesque, fascinating, demanding, disappointing and ultimately exhausting political allegory that plays like a waking nightmare.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A movie that serves up what its debauched subject would never have countenanced -- sanitized smut with a moral attached.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Confused, and confusing.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    You can see Rock hedging his bets right from the opening frames.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    So why, despite everyone's best efforts, does all this bigness seem so small and unfocused and simply not up to the task?
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The result, as a colleague once so aptly put it, is less film noir than film beige.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Nope, this picture doesn't bear thinking about, but, if you resist that nasty temptation, setting all your mental gauges at Dead Slow, the flow of the action will see you through.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This last Merchant/Ivory film feels like a thin apparition of the team's best films -- similarly static but less substantial, less palpable, and sadly less respectable, just the vestigial remains of a better day.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's scary how unfunny this flick is.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Middling gets downgraded to muddling. Of course, on such slippery slopes, reputations are made. Damned if the original isn’t looking like a comparative gem.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For the price of a ticket, and 100 minutes of your time, how many laughs are enough to qualify as just compensation? Will four or five do? Let's be generous and count five.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Maybe Bee Movie is another ground-breaking show about nothing – a hornet's nest of hype for a fat hive of nothing. If so, pay up and get stung.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Love the kid though, and Statham too – it takes a star with quality to be so rock solid in a crumbling yarn.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A dull, formulaic romance comedy with an ulterior motive and a sly message. Remarkably, the message is this: "Please Re-elect George Bush."
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The ideal: It hopes to be a suspenseful political yarn carrying a lofty message of peace and understanding. The reality: It's just a flabby thriller that gets completely lost in translation.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Although much of the bloat can be traced to the script, via the Jennifer Weiner novel, let's not absolve director Curtis Hanson from his fat share of the blame.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    An action thriller with some decent action and a few thrills, but all embedded in a yarn so hopelessly tangled that even the loose threads have knots.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's not the subject matter itself that's offensive -- pedophilia is as worthy a topic of investigation as any other. Instead, it's the subject's non-treatment -- we don't learn a thing that rings true.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The movie isn't painfully bad, something to be "fully experienced"; it's just tediously bad, something to be fully forgotten.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Could have taken a witty scalpel to baby-boomer posturings. But Dolman, whose instrument of choice is the rubber mallet of smarm, just isn't the man for the job -- he ends up enshrining the very hypocrisy that should be dissected.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    As well-meaning elegies go, especially ones to working stiffs prematurely ripped from their subterranean roots, Brassed Off is the pits: It's a miner opus in a minor key.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    When the movie climactically reproduces that exhilarating Belmont, the fiction is just a pale shadow of the fact, and the realized myth that lives in our memory dies on the screen.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Typically, this sort of film is an earnest tear-jerker with moments of levity. Instead, what we have here is a raucous rib-tickler with occasional pauses for a little dramatic relief.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    What a featherweight epic this is, the kind of uniformed period piece where the watchword is pretty. Pretty costumes, pretty soldiers, pretty battles; pretty silly.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The process of remembering that drives the book is gone from the film, boiled away until all that's left is the mundane residue of memory - mere incidents strung together as plot.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    12
    Yes, Mikhalkov has set himself quite the agenda, but in the end the film is too much of a piece with its topic, intensely fascinating yet seriously flawed. The verdict? Guilty, with extenuating circumstances.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If you feel you might already have seen City of Ghosts, but can't quite place it, you'd be forgiven. Hollywood, never afraid of working a cliché to death, has turned out dozens of "City of . . ." films over the years.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Bronson is one of those “based on a true story” dramatizations where the theatrically staged drama only gets in the way of the more interesting truth.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In short, it's much fatter with less matter and a distressing shrinkage in thought.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The verdict is easy: Pfeiffer terrific, movie not.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Judged esthetically -- the only yardstick worth applying -- it can be safely placed in that long line of indistinguishable Hollywood mediocrities, all of them trying in vain to resurrect an awfully weary genre.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In most every frame, Hartley takes pains to tilt his camera at odd angles – in other words, he's gone literally off-kilter, and it's just off-putting. What's worse, a further hallmark of the Hartley canon, his self-reflexivity, has begun to smack of self-promotion.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Muppet charm, always more at home within the intimate frame of a TV set, is gone here.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In the future, as recorded in the bible of British cinema, it will be written that "Four Weddings and a Funeral" begat "The Full Monty" which begat "Billy Elliot" which begat way too many pale imitations struggling to peddle the same brand of sloppy sentimentality. Amen.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is the brand of sentimentality that comes with a high concentration of saccharine and every taste of bitterness safely removed.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In your typical subpar Hollywood romcom, there’s only one tedious love story to put up with. Well, Valentine’s Day (such a clever title) does a whole lot better than that: It offers 10 tedious love stories to put up with.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    En route, the plot gimmick degenerates from clever to dumb, then gets forgotten entirely, and the last act simply poops out - the climax is a Bigger Bang that plays like the saddest of whimpers.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    With a plot that thickens like congealed stew, this movie about a harmless nutbar, an attorney and a cabal can leave you lost in banality.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    More rant than rollick, it's just ain't funny enough.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    But wouldn't it be heavenly if a like proportion of Tinseltown producers believed in an existing need for a good script. Because this one ain't good; in fact, it's hellishly mediocre, the kind that aims for holiday charm and settles for workaday torpor.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    And veteran director Costa-Gavras, whose early work ("Z", "State Of Siege", "Missing") proves that he's no stranger to sociopolitical complexities, might well have been the man to make it. But not from this script -- it starts off as puerile and then regresses.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    No longer content with simple conservatism, this horror is downright totalitarian.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    No, the trouble isn't with them but with a screenplay (by Angus MacLachlan) that loads their characters with too much symbolic baggage and then points them off in obscure directions.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Apparently, the idea of their passion is enough to save them from a life of boredom - if only it had the same happy effect on us.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A story based on exceptional facts gets converted into an unexceptional movie.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The wee mousie is fun, all right, yet like the occasionally ragged editing, the fun just gets haphazardly wedged in.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In a kind of perverse alchemy, this film manages to turn that narrative gold into dross, and reduce the daunting perils of a 4,300-mile voyage to a ho-hum checklist. Welcome to the reverse magic of the movies.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A sequel that immediately picks up the plot of its predecessor, and then proceeds to drive the redeemed franchise right off the deep, dark end.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Maybe this stuff works on the page, in Chuck Palahniuk's darkly comic novel, but Choke is awfully tough to digest on the screen.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It’s just such a shining example of a dull studio comedy.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Like an over-ambitious freshman with a term paper, Singleton raises every issue and illuminates none. And, again, this film is better when the combative heat rises, particularly when the long-telegraphed confrontation between Malik and the neo-Nazi finally comes to a (skin)head. [13 Jan 1995, p.C3]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    I wouldn't say this is laugh-out-loud risible, but there are definitely moments. Still, you might want to consider sitting through the uneven thing just to get to the ending, because that's quite something. You may love it, you may hate it, but forget it you won't.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Yes Man puts him back in the same old quandary and, once again, Carrey lacks an identity. Alas, this time, he also lacks a script.

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