For 1,390 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 2.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rick Groen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Central Station
Lowest review score: 0 Wild Hogs
Score distribution:
1390 movie reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The result is a rare treat, a revival of a period piece that doesn't descend into mere quaintness or prettiness, and that manages to capture the spirit of an earlier time without sacrificing the perspective of our own.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Most movies have music, some movies are musicals, but very few movies combine the two with the grace and pure eloquence of Once.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Persepolis is as modern as tomorrow's headlines and as classic as an ancient myth.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Haneke is best known for "The Piano Teacher." His latest, Caché (or Hidden) is a quieter but equally provocative attack. It's less in your face, more in your head and under your skin.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Some movies, a very few, possess the purity of myth, and they don't have to be great to be greatly important. "The Wild One" is an example; "Saturday Night Fever" is another. Now add 8 Mile to that short list.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Sophisticated and unsentimental political film.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    John Sayles's heartrending new film is a many-splendoured thing.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    A powerful, brutal, funny, tragic, vibrant, very human movie.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Big
    Sure, the premise is identical age-reversal comedies, but this one uses a much higher octane, animating a tired idea with a timeless script, and the result is pop humor at its most appealing - wit and charm spiced with a measured pinch of farce and just the right hint of melancholy. [3 Jun 1988, p.E1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 93 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    A powerful and affecting piece of work.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Succeeding where most docudramas fail, it turns a slice of recent history into a revealingly intelligent entertainment, without being didactic at one extreme or sentimental at the other.
    • 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.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    It's silly, it's serious, it's outrageous, it's mundane, it's blowsy, it's lovely. Yet this fickle film has a constant heart - warm and very likeable.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Indeed, as the film unreels to its extraordinary climax - a scene that will make your skin crawl - Frears has the larger target right in his sights and, bang, pulls the thematic trigger, taking no prisoners.
    • 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.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    In the midst of his many other achievements here -- his documentary realism, his wry humanism, his allegorical subtlety -- Panahi even manages to redeem the good name of toilet humour.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Beyond the eerily evocative impersonation, Hoffman's brilliance lies in not only playing the shrewd puppet master but also revealing that he too comes with strings attached, the most dominant being his consuming need for acclaim.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Kaurismaki is a master at infusing his movies with apparently contradictory qualities. The best of them -- and The Man Without a Past is surely that -- are hard to describe precisely because they seem to exist, to balance precariously, in the tension between opposites.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Is it, the debate asks, a truly substantial work or just a stylish cop-out? Well, for once, I'm voting with the French.
    • 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)
    • 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.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    A remarkable documentary as important as it is compelling.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    This Hollywood movie about a gay man afflicted with AIDS is evocative, understated and ultimately deeply affecting. Hard-earned tears of truth. [22 Dec 1993, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    For all his daring, the brazen creator maintains control - there's aesthetic order in the disorder, and calculated reason in the madness. Seldom has it felt so good to seem so lost.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    You may well hate Crash, but if intensity is what you seek in a darkened theatre, you'll hate missing it even more.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Lee has forged a work of art in the classic sense -- art that delights and instructs.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    From its quiet opening sequence to its silent final shot, everything about A History of Violence is deceptive, and deceptively simple.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Disclosure is a well-acted, slickly directed shell of a picture. The veneer is so polished that you look on with something approaching genuine satisfaction, and only after the final credits roll do you begin to feel the void.
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 68 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Like the stationary figures it portrays, Kicking And Screaming is alive at the edges; it comes with a vibrant border of trenchant asides, tossed-off remarks that blend the solace of protective irony with the sterner stuff of hard truth.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Polished, intelligent, impeccably well-bred, it's an upscale kids' flick designed to appease the fears of discriminating parents: If those stubborn tykes refuse to crack a book, then this is the next best thing - Young People's Masterpiece Theatre. [11 Aug 1995, p.C2]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The Usual Suspects filled me with a highly unusual urge - to be a true "reviewer," to rewind the projector and figure out this humdinger once and for all.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    A delightfully satiric comedy. [29 May 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The surprise lies in Linklater's ability to breathe so much fresh life into a tired formula...This is a picture that recollects not merely a period in time but a state of mind.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Only a master director could make such a beautifully flawed film.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The narrative meanders on occasion, the conceit can seem repetitious, the editing is loose. Nevertheless, buoyed by the naturalism of its exclusively young cast, the picture effectively gets into your head and under your skin.
    • 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.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A laugh and a half, a genial crowd-pleaser.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Well, I didn't exactly leave the theatre barefoot, but there's a lot to like here -- the result is pretty darn cute and hardly ever cloying.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The climax also comes with a nifty little kicker.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The film commands our attention again as more connections emerge -- not enough to fully solve the mystery, but sufficient to convince us that Café de Flore amounts to more than the triumph of style over substance.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The result is a good movie that falls short of greatness by aping too well the behaviour of its subject – occasionally brilliant, sometimes mundane.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The film lacks flow, unfolding in a rat-a-tat series of short, artfully lensed scenes -- individually nice but collectively jerky.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Love sometimes hurts, but love/hate is always pure anguish. That's the two-stroke engine powering I Killed My Mother ( J'ai tué ma mère), a coming-of-age tale as ferociously raw as its teller - the very young Xavier Dolan.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A lovely oddity.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Barbara is intriguing because the script subtly plays off that expectation, not denying it so much as expanding it, showing us that the grey world can contain, and even embrace, contradictory colours.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    More illuminating than not.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Smarting like hell, the artist and his art are at it again. Consequently, like most of Michael Haneke's films, The White Ribbon is profoundly disturbing, impeccably shot, superbly cast, allegorically ambitious and, yet, slightly disappointing – just enough to make you wonder if that salt-in-the-wounds theory is as dogmatic as the dogma he likes to condemn.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Of course, entire books have been written, and perused by disappointed women, about the male reluctance to put away their fantasized Biancas. In that sense, Lars and the Real Girl is real indeed. In every other, it's a sweet, bordering on saccharine, bagatelle.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    En route, despite some clumsy exposition and the reduction of heavyweights like Mary McCarthy and William Shawn to fifth-business caricatures, the film does manage one impressive intellectual achievement of its own: rescuing that “banality of evil” phrase from the banal cliché it’s become and, by providing the full and daring context, giving it real meaning again.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Yes, this is the fascinating stuff, a rare (in pop culture) look at the complex nature of the love-sex equation – when it's too direct, when it's too vague, when it breaks down completely.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The stylings of Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino come to the Mideast, but more credibly grounded in a complex setting fraught with raw contemporary politics and ancient class tensions. It makes for a compelling movie but hardly a pretty picture.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The picture makes too many concessions to the Hollywood judges, pulls too many punches. But at least it has real punches to pull, because there's honest sweat here too, and a full complement of those archetypes that lie at the popular heart of the genre.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Violent and sexy and funny and sad, Head-On is a big collision that doubles as a bizarre love story.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Delight, a modest yet palpable measure of the stuff, is restored.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Dig just a shade beneath the surface, trade in the text for the subtext, and a more interesting picture emerges – a little richer, sadder, almost poignant. Arnie is back again, yet now, as a storied immigrant nearing the end of his tale, he's become an odd sight to behold.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This documentary is only partly a story of the chosen one; mainly, and more intriguingly, it's a chronicle of the choosing one, of the nervous young monk charged with the job of leading the search party.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    No doubt, life is tough in the wild but, this being a Disney flick, it's loving too and even comes with a kiddie-friendly narrative that's easy to summarize and hard to dispute.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The best satire implicates the audience; this stuff keeps our sense of superiority smugly intact.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Ledger proves what we've suspected all along -- this is his picture, and he steals it brilliantly.
    • 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.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This is a world out of time and, despite the trappings of flinty realism, the film too unfolds like an elemental myth from the stormy past – a Greek tragedy driven by dark fates and struggling toward a catharsis.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    That may be your lump of coal, but it seems a precious gift to me.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    An acquired taste that you may not acquire. I did, but it took me a while.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Borat at its best is pure satiric genius, the Swiftian kind that has you busting a gut with laughter even while checking your conscience for implicating flaws.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    After a solid start and a strong buildup through two acts, the movie fumbles the resolution. Ethical lines that were convincingly wavy suddenly straighten out, too quickly and too neatly.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    There's definite mastery here, but it's hardly a masterpiece.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Alas, around about the third act, the idea grows tired and the whole thing gets derailed. Too bad, because it's a good ride until it isn't.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    With Hot Fuzz, you'll just have to settle for semi-hilarity.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This movie sticks.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The result is a fairly co-ordinated effort that, despite a few miscues, yields a consistently watchable film.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A seriously black comedy. Black, because affliction and angst abound. Comic, because this rampant bleakness is presented as nothing more than an amusing bauble.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The crash, lethal in an eye-blink, was hard to watch when I saw it live on television, and it's not any easier here. The day was clear – no rain in sight.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Cloverfield is an exercise in realism that lacks reality's broader and richer context. Or, put another way, the experiment is artful, but it ain't art.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Red Heat, a terrifically funny and always frantic flick that hides a fascinating subtext beneath its commercial veneer. Very commercial - this should be a boffo hit; and very fascinating - the premise that props up the hit speaks volumes about America in the twilight of Reagan. [17 Jun 1988, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Call me biased, but I'm quick to put out the welcome mat for any movie – good, bad or indifferent – that resists easy categorizing. That's certainly the charm of Safety NotGuaranteed, which flirts with two very different genres yet never goes steady with either.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Everyone should be thankful, if not for the doc's content, then certainly for its tone – there is no fulminating here. Instead, courtesy of Canadian co-directors Luc Côté and Patricio Henriquez, witnesses are quietly gathered and arguments are quietly made. For once, no one rants, and, in the relative calm, the tone can be heard, so muted and sad.
    • 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
    That's partly why X-Men: First Class is such fanboy fun, as the script departs from official Marvel lore to invent a whole new "origin story" for the mutant ensemble.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    By Herzog's lofty standards, the result is mildly disappointing. The film lacks the sociological depth of "The Executioner's Song" or the emotional wallop of "In Cold Blood." But it sure is a surpassingly, and compellingly, strange tale.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Avatar is a king's ransom fairly well spent, not least because Cameron's invitation into his superbly crafted universe comes with an unexpected price: He makes it easy to gaze fondly on all this movie magic, but only in exchange for a hard look at ourselves.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Certainly, his (Allen) work here feels effortless, and that feather-light touch gives the picture its charm – modest but real.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Fatal Attraction becomes as seductive as the seduction it depicts. In the always stylish, sometimes careless hands of director Adrian Lyne, the film lures us in with an artful blend of stately pacing and caressing close-ups and brooding silences. [23 Sep 1987 p.C7]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Ambitious and brooding, Coogan has the darker nature; lighthearted and affable, Brydon is all sunny-side up. Happily, both possess a devilishly quick wit and the need to go beyond self-impersonation to the more celebrated variety.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The structure of the film mirrors the changes in the joke which in turn reflect the moral of the story -- hey, it's all a matter of perspective.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The look is fine, the effects are special, the cast is solid, and Jordan (in company with Rice) makes a commendable effort to add a cerebral dimension to a visceral genre.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    In this vast balloon of a film, Bardem is the ballast – that Manichean face is a movie onto itself.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The result is a picture curiously yet intriguingly at odds with itself: One moment is edgy, the next is not; the cast is terrific, the direction is not; here it’s satirically sharp, there it’s sloppily sentimental; now we’re happily engaged, then we’re cruelly dumped. Some films are electric – Admission settles for alternating current.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Compared with the recent spate of blockbuster sellouts, Severance is a worthy package, and fair compensation for time spent. Best to watch on the big screen, of course.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    [Nolan is] back in the fine engineering business, crafting a story as intricately designed as a magician's lock, tightly packed with tumblers of deception and issuing a fun challenge to any volunteers in the audience: Just try to pick it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Yossi is an early spring breeze of a film – too delicate to be substantial but definitely holding the promise of warmth.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    There's fun to be had in watching these losers drift without a compass.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    It's definitely a Diablo Codyesque cut above the norm – the wit can sometimes feel contrived but at least there's wit to be found.

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