For 1,335 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 Rob Roy
Lowest review score: 0 Godzilla
Score distribution:
1335 movie reviews
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Jack Goes Boating barely stays afloat – it's a deep disappointment.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A story based on exceptional facts gets converted into an unexceptional movie.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The tale is about meeting Death and comes with this moral: When The End arrives, better to embrace it with love than to try to cheat it with avarice. Hey, if nothing else, Part 1 has got some nerve, so greedily refusing to practice what it earnestly preaches.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Alas, in the third instalment of the C.S. Lewis odyssey, the devolution continues with the inexorability of a fairy tale thrust in reverse – the sublime first film morphed into the routine second and now this wispy banality.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Sorry, this one doesn't really work at all, but don't blame the workers.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Manic with an itch.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The plot is rich, the execution poor.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Brooks knew how to engineer a well-crafted script. Yet on the evidence here – a stuttering two-hour outing bereft of any rhythm, a bunch of scenes in search of a movie – he's apparently forgotten.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The film itself struggles to do justice to each victim. Turns out three stories are two too many. The Company Men should have been downsized.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    To wit, stick that camera down an aquatic cave, wrap a paper-thin plot around it, slap the whole thing up on an IMAX screen and call it a movie. More truth in advertising: Call it a lame movie.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Sometimes, a strong premise makes for a weak movie, which ends up drowning in its own clever conceit.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    From that title on down, White Irish Drinkers is a compendium of clichés struggling to upgrade its status and become a respectable archetype.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Soul Surfer is a true story that plays like bad fiction.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    More interestingly, it's also kind of sweet in a contrived and fumbling first-kiss sort of way.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Alas, the news is mixed: Thor ain't much of a movie but it's a great career move. Both movie and move belong to director Kenneth Branagh.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    By happy coincidence, their names – Bitey, Loudy, Stinky, Lovey and Nimrod – pretty much double as a plot summary.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Next semester, the stars should drop Speech 217 and enroll in Chemistry 101 – they dearly need some.
    • 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
    Approximate time spent laughing: 30 seconds or fewer.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The ensemble is unwieldy and the attendant yarn much too cluttered.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Muppet charm, always more at home within the intimate frame of a TV set, is gone here.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This movie wants to be a horse but, even measured in box-office millions, it's just another nag.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's odd, how these high-concept films, knowing that the central gimmick has a way of wearing out its welcome, are all so short – a mere 84 minutes in this case. Why odd? Because short always ends up feeling so damn long. This is no exception. Quick to start and painfully slow to finish, Chronicle is the same old chronicle.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A recruitment poster loosely disguised as a movie.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Pearce pumps a surprising amount of levity into his one-liners – sure, it's still hot air, but at least the banter comes fully inflated.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Expected too is the result: a kind of sterile opulence or, if you prefer, a magnificent emptiness.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In what's meant to be a French take on "The Big Chill" - comedy meets pathos as friends gather at a country house in the wake of a tragedy - writer-director Guillaume Canet has wrought a meandering script that exercises everything except restraint.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Just a mediocre action franchise with a solid actor at the head and a travelogue in its heart.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    No longer content with simple conservatism, this horror is downright totalitarian.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    As flicks go, She's All That ain't very much. But as high-school flicks go, this thing is a trite classic. [29 Jan 1999, p.C3]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    To her credit, Nadda is a solid actors’ director – the performances here are competent even when the writing isn’t. The exception is South Africa which, although a logistically necessary shooting location, ain’t much of a thespian.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Certainty, then, is the watchword, and you can be certain of three things: There will be plenty of juvenile energy to power the vehicle; there will be a few mild chuckles en route; there will be no reason to remember the ride the instant it ends.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Park is busy treating every frame like a runway model, dressing it up in self-conscious layers of cinematic haute couture. It’s gorgeous to gaze upon but otherwise dessicated – listless, juiceless and ultimately pointless. For all his exemplary camera work, there’s no motion, or emotion, in the picture.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It’s just such a shining example of a dull studio comedy.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    So, fans, gear up for rock-em-sock-em action, yet don’t be disappointed if much of the goonery seems a bit tepid and, dare I say, staged.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Emmerich succeeds only in making his previous venture, the marginal Stargate, look positively inspired by comparison.
    • 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)
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Winnie begins as hagiography and ends in hellish confusion.
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If the title is half-familiar, the contents are wholly surprising. Happily, all of the bitterness is gone. Sadly, so has most of the humor. What remains is a conclusion startling but unmistakable - Woody Allen has grown bland. [16 July 1982]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    As box-office packages go, My Girl may well become a big hit. The wrapping is colourful, even charming in spots, and that circle of black ribbon is a gravely clever touch. Get closer, though, and it's like those Christmas presents stacked around the department store tree - apparently real but really empty. [28 Nov 1991]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Sea Of Love has got a lot of things going for it: it's got two strong lead performances; it's got some down-and-dirty dialogue and a few sexy scenes and a couple of yuks and a nifty title tune. What it ain't got is plot, and thus suspense, and thus thrills. [15 Sep 1989]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

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