For 1,339 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 1.6 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 Godzilla
Score distribution:
1339 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    As for the locals, they speak like extras from "Fargo," although, on this go-round, that weird Swedish accent has somehow lost its power to amuse.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Poor Cattrall is caught in a script that, much like the white teddy, is an impossibly tight squeeze, obliging her to hit the farcical laughs while still playing the cellulite realism.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to guess which gal became the wife, which gal should have become the wife and which gal is there just to play with our heads. It's exactly like that old shell game – mildly diverting, pea-sized and otherwise hollow.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    With its confined setting and its existential predicament, the picture owes an ostensible debt to the likes of Pinter and Kafka and Pirandello -- you know, Six Characters in Search of an Author, or, failing that, just getting the hell out of this weird place.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Director Peter Hyams strives hard to maintain a light and entertaining touch, lifting Timecop slightly above its formulaic restraints. On the one hand, there's a pleasing freshness to the movie, thanks to lots of energy and a little playful wit. On the other, there's something deeply fatiguing about this picture. Maybe it's the formula, maybe it's all that time travel, but you just can't help thinking you've seen it all before. Must be deja vu. [21 Sep 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Actually, occasionally, does feel good. Now if only it had something to say.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    To reduce Leonard to shtick makes about as much sense as using a scalpel for a butter knife — even when the job gets done, it's just such a dull waste of a sharp implement.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    J-Lo, Ralph-Lower, Movie-Subterranean.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Yes, the Empire may be crumbling, and the natives getting restless, but it's all happening with such lyrical loveliness - even the corpses look good. Consequently, when the rains in Before the Rains finally arrive, there's nothing to cleanse, no real dirt to wash away - not with history already so neatly packaged and polished to a dull shine.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If nothing else (and there ain't much else), Everybody's Fine does prove one thing: Even an actor with the gifts of Robert De Niro can't make bland interesting.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    There is nothing worse than a thriller that doesn't play fair... The Forgotten is just a big, fat, obvious cheater.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Emmerich succeeds only in making his previous venture, the marginal Stargate, look positively inspired by comparison.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Three words: Late Woody Allen. In the autumn of his career, toiling exclusively in Europe, Woody is like an aging cabinet maker still blessed with craft but grown erratic in design.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The last thing I want is this: Yet another instance of black culture diluting itself by imitating a white model. Hell, Honey is hip-hop by way of Andy Hardy.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Of course, given the abundance of voice-over, Nic Cage is unburdened from any great need to act. But he narrates splendidly, delivering the stuff with an unrepentant glee laced with liberal doses of irony.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Magic it ain't, but competent isn't far off the mark. Neither is hum-drum. [28 Oct 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Like a smart-ass student clever enough to see through everyone but himself, Art School Confidential falls victim to the very clichés it wants to puncture.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Max Payne, game or movie, has precious little to say.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Time Traveler's Wife slips the romance cards into a stacked deck – read 'em if you will, but no need to weep.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's all picture and no motion, as wooden as its framing. Lovely and lifeless, the result is a traditional portrait of two defiers of tradition.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For devotees of the genre, the bad news is the best news: Bond is back and nothing has changed except the stuntman's canvas - it's bigger than ever, duly pumped up to Schwarzeneggarian standards.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is a picture with a perfect sense of proportion: There's a mini-Hanks, a mini-Spacek and a mini-Kasdan in a mini-comedy that's minimally entertaining.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Like a skill player who just can't score, The Damned United is all dazzle and no finish and, ultimately, damned frustrating.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Say this for I Am Number Four: It's blessedly free of any original sins. Instead, they're all copied. Here a little "Superman," there a bit of "Spider-Man," now it's "Twilight" with aliens, then it's a spaghetti western with trucks – this thing borrows more heavily than an investment bank in an unregulated market.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Paperboy is southern Gothic wallowing in the swamp of low camp. And if the wallowing were deliberate, this might have been hugely funny.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is a dumb action flick that pretends to have a brain, a spot of affectation that plunges the audience into double jeopardy -- forcing us to traipse through not just the standard litter of bloody corpses but (oh, damn) the added trash of bloodless ideas.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    From the script to the title character to the direction, the watchwords here are three: Play it safe. The whole thing reeks of the formulaic.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Keen to be both really romantic and romantically real, the movie is neither, and falls between the cracks of its twin-ambitions. The result? Call it l'amour phooey.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    But the stuff looks like what it is -- trite imagery grafted over the narrative barrens, like a bad weave on a balding pate.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    360
    To their credit, both Meirelles and his cast infuse as much realism into the artifice as they can muster, but it's not nearly enough. The too-neat script boxes them in, and leave us out. In that sense, 360 doesn't so much connect our shrunken world as strangle the life from it – the circle feels like a noose.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The plot is rich, the execution poor.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The pilgrimage is still long but, even with the crosses they bear, these are pilgrims lite – perhaps it's the modern way.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If the plot thins, the performances don't. Brad Pitt's lank-haired loony, Juliette Lewis's crippled innocent, David Duchovny's well-meaning hypocrite, Michelle Forbes' black-clad shutterbug - each is a deeply etched portrait that fulfills its early promise. [24 Sep 1993]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Haven't they created a movie that is ultimately a soulless clone of a vibrant original and, thus, a splendidly dull example of the very forces it warns us against – the forces of grey and passion-sapping conformity.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Despite the 3-D gadgetry, there's a musty odour to the script.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In the recent "Half Nelson," a similarly themed classroom pic, liberalism struggled to balance its lingering hopes with its systemic despair. That film was pure fiction, yet felt absolutely true. This one is apparent fact, yet seems abjectly false.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This time the script makes scant metaphoric use of the mall. In fact, metaphors are generally in short supply here. Scares too.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    But there's still Murray, who drives the idea further than it has any right to go. He energizes the loony schtick of the opening scenes. [17 May 1991]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    What you're smelling is Ang Lee's "The Ice Storm" without the pathos and the punch, or John Updike's "Rabbit Redux" minus the insight and the style.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The picture's broad outline may be fact, but everything inside gets painted in a deep shade of bogus.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Had Crossing Over chosen to tell one of them well, rather than seven badly, it would have made for a fine movie. Instead, all we get is a mess of good liberal intentions loosely anchored to a mass of pure Hollywood hokum.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Farrell looks so stymied we feel for the guy -- and when the door closes on A Home at the End of the World, that's the only feeling in town.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Really, Young Victoria is just a lot of costumes in fond search of some drama. And finding precious little.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Pakula's screenplay looks to bulldoze a clear path through the narrative thickets, but this stuff is impenetrable - meant to be complicated, it's just confusing.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The greatest story ever has finally been told. Or, if you prefer, the damn thing has come to its merciful end.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    All that starring talent isn’t exactly wasted here; it’s just diluted, watered down enough to demote “really funny” to sort of funny, now and then, here and there, some of the time. Hey, it’s the movie biz.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Judged by the usual aesthetic standards – Project X sucks. It's just another lame movie. Yet apply a different standard, the mores of our time, and you get a different verdict: Suddenly, it's a perfectly lame movie that speaks intriguingly to the way we live now.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Woefully short on script, the picture ends up disappearing down the wormhole of its own premise.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is the one Murakami work that would seem an ideal candidate for the leap from page to screen. It should be a good movie. But it isn't.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Destined to disappear into the quicksand of time, too innocuous to be hated, too bland to be remembered, just awaiting some bright optimist in a distant future to press the do-over button.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The result is less a screenplay than a manic quote machine.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It would be easy to dismiss Celebrity as merely a wafer-thin picture about the wafer-thinness of our narcissistic culture. But the truth is shallower and even less engaging -- this flick should have been called “Unpleasantville.”
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The only effect is to produce that most commonplace of Hollywood paradoxes -- a mood simultaneously frantic and listless.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Juice takes a black director, a black cast and a black theme - ghetto youths come of age - and turns the whole exercise into a white-bread,middle-of-the-road film. You root for it to rise to the challenge, to be better than it is, but it sticks to the straight course - polished enough yet steadfastly predictable, just another sentimental slice of mean-street life. [22 Jan 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The one source of relief comes from the score -- a sampling of period ditties by the likes of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Neil Young.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This feeble documentary ends up perpetuating the very hypocrisy it means to probe.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Secret Of My Success succeeds only on its very limited terms, asking us to forget the flick and remember the star, that cute little package with the endearing Canadian stamp, the flawless comic timing, and the freshest face this side of Care Bear county. Michael J. Fox. So the script is content simply to put your basic romance-comedy through some mighty conventional paces. [04 Apr 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    LawAbiding Citizen smells a bit musty these days. Indeed, in an era when the debate has shifted from too little state vigilance to too damn much, this thing seems almost quaint.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Winterbottom's efficient yet prosaic approach is evident from the first grimy frame. [18 Oct 1996]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    View the Second World War through a child's eyes and the result isn't hard to predict: a loss-of-innocence tale. Winter in Wartime is the boilerplate version, with the already dramatic facts of the era ramped up to melodramatic levels. Little wonder it rings so false.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    There's something here for everyone to dislike - the whole clan can have fun making fun of this thing.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    There must be something about the thriller/horror genre that attracts writers with exactly the same dysfunctional tendencies: They're all great at the foreplay but keep on messing up the climax.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Long, windy, diffuse in its message and blunt in its satire.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If plot were oats, Wicker Park would choke a horse.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Memo to screenwriters cranking out murky existential thrillers: Do not have various characters repeat on several occasions: "I know this doesn't make any sense."
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Quaid doesn't have much to work with, and so deflects the portrayal away from the mind toward the body – consistently giving the coot a hunched, pigeon-toed gait. Nice try, but that bird won't fly.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If the lines in the script were as keenly etched as the ones in her face, Keaton would have had something to work with. Instead, during an especially lovelorn sequence, she's asked to indulge in a crying montage so painfully extended that it has us in tears too -- weeping from embarrassment for her.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The tuneful melodies of their favourite band grace the soundtrack, but let's not confuse this with a rock 'n' roll movie -- the music is just the blank canvas awaiting the higher art of the gross-out.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The children are engaging yet the script and direction are not, which leaves the thing to get all bogged down in its own derivative mechanics.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Yes, the premise is delightful; no, the delight doesn't last.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Manic with an itch.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A ticket to terminal boredom.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Certainly, whatever surgery the script doctors performed, it didn't take. The limp result is a picture that is epic in intention and Lilliputian everywhere else.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Here, there's not much that's funny, there's too much that's too clever by half, and there's not a damn thing that's lively - this is a film about Life whose sin is its lifelessness.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Epically fantastic would be a welcome change, although epically awful would at least keep the symmetry. Alas, epically bland will have to do.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This thing's got more plot than an Alliance convention. Unfortunately (to extend the comparison), not a whole lot of it makes a lick of common sense.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    W.
    None of it is new, nor is the recycled stuff presented in a newly revealing context.

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