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 1.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rick Groen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Life of Pi
Lowest review score: 0 New Best Friend
Score distribution:
1311 movie reviews
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Free Willy (for some strange reason, that tiny imperative just gives me the giggles) is a family picture that stays safely within the haven of a cozy formula, yet does a whole lot of inventive work in the process.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    At best, Leaving Las Vegas is pure alchemy -- it makes of flawed humanity a hymn, and of forlorn hope a beacon.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Hunger -- the disturbing, provocative, brilliant feature debut from British director Steve McQueen -- does for modern film what Caravaggio did to Renaissance painting.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    A lean, stripped-down and unapologetically cinematic take on Shakespeare's work, an adaptation designed at each turn to diminish the mechanics of the comedy and to explore the depths of the pathos.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    The effect is Chaplinesque if Chaplin had the latest in gadgetry, because the entire picture is also shot in 3-D that, for once, puts all 3 of the Ds to imaginative use.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    This remarkable analysis of a decade when American society lost its moral compass is both brutally honest and lyrically compassionate.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Director James Cameron always works on a mega- canvas, yet he's brought off something unique here.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    The wonder is that the film balances its many genres, from the thorns of murder to the bloom of romance to the thickets of politics, with such easy grace.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Great art is both immediately accessible and eternally elusive, having at its centre a powerful simplicity that speaks to anyone who cares to listen, that rewards every interpretation while embracing none. The Piano is great art.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    This superb remake has the inevitable look of a period piece, a smoke-filled rendering of things past. However, thanks to Tomas Alfredson's direction, a taut screenplay, and a uniformly brilliant cast, the film also retains its contemporary relevance.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    The result is a genre picture that transcends the genre, that gleefully embraces four qualities alien to the bulk of its noisy brethren: (1) thematic texture; (2) kinetic grace; (3) visuals that toy with the mind even while dazzling the eye; and (3) performers who are permitted to act like something other than human wicks for the pyrotechnical bombast.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Simultaneously a tough, haunting, lyrical, hopeful film, and the tears it wants us to shed are an alloy of sorrow and joy - cleansing tears, the kind that alter the rules and dignify the game.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    The picture goes exactly where the prose does, enticing all of us, kids and adults and atheists and believers alike, down below the brittle surface of our cold logic and into a richer world of imaginative wonder.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    It comes eerily close to duplicating the experience of reading while, at the same time, remaining very much a motion picture. That's a rare, perhaps even unprecedented, achievement.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    This is an exhilarating picture, the kind that strips away smug complacencies and exposes raw nerves to a bright light. [14 Sep 1990, p.C4]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Pulp Fiction is at least three movies rolled into one, and they're all scintillating.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Children of Men is a nativity story for the ages, this or any other.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    The Coen brothers adaptation is impeccable, a perfect mirror of McCarthy's prose – sparse, suspenseful, probing and profoundly disturbing.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    More arduously, Riva is obliged to act out the physical decline while still registering a full spectrum of emotions. Remarkably, she does it all, even when reduced to communicating with her eyes alone. Hers is, in every sense of the phrase, a nakedly honest performance.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Delightfully inventive, consistently funny, clever but not slick, brisk yet never antic, Quick Change is the perfect cinematic date - a summer film for all seasons, the kind of sharp-edged picture that gives lightweight a good name. [14 Jul 1990, p.C3]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 46 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    With the help of an impeccable cast and with a style steeped in the past, Soderbergh has placed the persona of Kafka under a lens, and the soul he discovers is his own. [31 Jan. 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 55 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Powered by a Scottish writer, a Scottish director, and the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands, this is clearly a labour of love, and the passion gets right up on the screen.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Intriguing, disturbing, uplifting evocation. In fact, to watch this film is to engage in participatory art -- for better and for worse, through sickness and in health, we're drawn deeply in.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    A great movie... A pop epiphany, marking that commercially creative point where the power of Hollywood meets the purity of myth.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Easily among the top 10 films made last year.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    This is the master at the top of his form, his erratic genius harnessed and everything clicking, everything flowing, a fresh creation from a mature artist.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    "The Hurt Locker" may be getting all the attention and awards but The Messenger is at least as good and perhaps, given its delicate handling of a sensitive subject, even better.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Every once in a long while, the right director comes across the right project at just the right moment, and things so often discordant fall into perfect harmony.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Legs flashing and eyes smouldering and brain scintillating, Fiorentino serves up each facet with venomous glee - it's a performance that mixes a main course of Bette Davis with a side order of La Femme Nikita, and it's mesmerizing.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Observant and funny and thoughtful too, powered exclusively by vérité footage without a word of narration, Babies is William Blake’s Infant Joy brought to rich cinematic life.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    This is where the movie excels. In the classic neo-realist tradition, it's scant in plot yet rich in mood and character, offering us a revealing hint here, a poignant glimpse there, with each revelation filtered through Michelle Williams's superbly muted performance, all the more moving for being so restrained.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    British humour at its eclectic best, a deliciously heady mix of dry wit and ribald farce.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Reservoir Dogs sizzles - it's dynamite on a short fuse, and you watch it with mesmerized fascination, simultaneously attracted and repelled by the explosion you know will come.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Take nothing seriously - not the action, not the gore, not the plot, not the theme. Instead, view Desperado as it's meant to be seen - a comedy - and you're in for an unalloyed treat; heck, you're in for one of the funniest flicks of the year.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Consequently, Ephron is forced to shape and integrate the twin halves of the picture, and she does a splendid job - the intercutting is always fluid and never mechanical. Better yet, the script keeps surprising us, setting up stock situations and then pulling away from a stock treatment.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    The Long Day Closes is a twice-remarkable film. Once, because director Terence Davies opens his personal bottle of memories and makes them interesting to us. Twice, because, in doing so, he triggers our own memories. [11 June 1993]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    In short, Batman is terrific - funny, smart and sensitive too, the perfect cinematic date.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Even hardened cynics will embrace the cliché – yep, you will laugh, you will cry.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Raimi doesn't make the mistake of over-thinking the flimsy psychology of the genre. All this conflicted-hero stuff isn't meant to be profound; instead, it's there for the same reason as everything else -- to give the action (the interior action in this case) a healthy shot of pop energy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Don't go down this Rabbit Hole unless you wish to see a superb film that treats a sad topic with unflinching honesty. Don't go down this Rabbit Hole unless you believe that tragedy's grief, when transmuted through art's protective lens, can feel liberating, even joyful in its painful truths.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The Shrek franchise is alive and well -- Model 2 is zippier, sleeker, with ever-improving graphics, vast commercial potential and the same sly ability to reach out and hook the whole family.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Before that marvel of human engineering - China's Three Gorges Dam - completes its legacy of human upheaval, there are vanishing sights to be seen.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Hawking is as much a phenomenon as the phenomena he explores. Knowing that, A Brief History Of Time has the deceptive simplicity of an elegant equation - it merely sets up the parallels and permits us to wonder, gazing upon the heavens above and the mysteries within. [28 Aug 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The film takes its cue from the widow, neither sermonizing or even villainizing, content to serve quietly as an admirable exercise in restraint and a moving example of the grace under pressure that is the essence of courage.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Sonnenfeld moves things along with alacrity and panache, serving up the exotic visuals quietly, blending in the sprightly humour efficiently, and keeping the mix at a rolling boil.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    What an impeccably crafted film this is -- slightly impoverished in theme, perhaps, but so rich everywhere else that it seems rude to notice.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The verdict? Green passes with flying colours -- his is a huge and hugely impressive talent.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The direction may not be flashy, but it is controlled and confident; the frames unfold with a no-nonsense, nuts-and-bolts realism that, in this era of laser-blazing Batplanes, seems downright welcome.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Duelling roles are an actor's dream, and Cage takes full advantage. He and that face of his -- hang-dog homely one minute, vibrantly macho the next -- are perfectly cast. So is Streep as the sophisticated Manhattanite drawn into a steamy realm of Southern discomfort.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The whole ensemble has a hoot with this material, and their joy is contagious.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    This film and Salinger's novel differ greatly in the details of narrative and character. Yet, there's no mistaking the similarity in tone and sensibility and, particularly, in the capacity to split an audience into warring camps fighting on shared ground.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    No, the film may not be quite as luminous as the cast, but it's good - very good, in fact.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    A movie that combines the Cold War intrigue of John Le Carré with the wired buzz of Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation" -- one of those rare two-hour-plus pictures that runs long but plays bracingly, excitingly short.
    • 94 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    It plays like documented fact, a kind of "7 Up" primer on life’s romantic vicissitudes.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Daughters of the Dust is hypnotic, flowing with the trance-like rhythms of a poem that is beautifully written yet deliberately arcane. It's the cinematic equivalent of the voices you hear in the fiction of Toni Morrison or Alice Walker, but without the connecting narrative thread that most novels possess and most movies imitate. The result is a difficult work, yet a haunting one. [29 May 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 79 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    In lesser hands, all this might border on misanthropy. But Jaoui's direction, plus the note-perfect cast, manage two redeeming feats:
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    It’s a terrific adaptation that succeeds not only as a work of cinema but also, wonderfully, as proof of the novel’s greatness. In short, the picture rebukes the revisionists even while entertaining them.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The result is a movie that seems not quite real and yet never false but somehow partakes of both -- rather like the prospect of death.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Two superb actors etch an unflinching portrait of a young marriage doomed never to grow old.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    This is a sequel just as intriguing as the original.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Undoubtedly, [the lead actors] both benefit hugely from the sharpness of Leonard's stock-in-trade dialogue: Put smart words in any actor's yap, and their performance will rise accordingly.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    A meditation on death that has you humming to the melody and laughing at the joke -- it's an elegiac picture that refuses to eulogize.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Yes, The King's Speech is a lively burst of populist rhetoric, superbly performed and guaranteed to please even discriminating crowds.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    One of those rare films that manages to be both terrifically entertaining and consistently thoughtful, it turns an apparently tame deception into a very rich metaphor.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    So delightful it should come with a parental advisory: "Jaded adults, beware. Viewing this may pierce your shell of cynicism and spark a renewed belief in the magic of movie-making."
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    As down-to-earth as a ghost story gets.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Despite a few wrong turns early on, the movie gathers graceful momentum and heads straight to the warm heart of the book - that fond spot located just on the safe side of sentimentality, a feel- good place that doesn't leave any feel-stupid fallout.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Bizarre, indeed.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Modestly clever, this is definitely a little thing. Enjoy.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    In the end, like any satire worth the name, In the Company of Men spins around to fire its biggest salvo at its ultimate target -- the audience.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The score (a nifty collection of vintage but never clichéd period tunes) complements the mood perfectly, and the ensemble cast members hit their own notes to perfection.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Always perceptive and curiously light in tone if not in content -- such a remarkably delicate look at an absolutely devastating subject.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The result is a rarity on any screen: intelligent fun.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    If the kids give the movie its momentum, its fascination comes from a more static source -- the father.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    From the first stylized shot to the final comic resolution, Moonstruck is completely sui generis - hard to describe but easy to love.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    It's intriguing, appalling, savvy, nasty, grossly unsettling -- you may not like what you see, but you'll definitely be affected by the sight.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    All this is as fascinating as it is humbling, even when Herzog ventures a little too far down eccentricity's back alley.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Not quite a comedy, not really a drama, Mad Dog and Glory throws your equilibrium but keeps your interest high. [5 Mar 1993, p.C3]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    This is a rare adaptation where the script (by McGrath himself) heads straight for the novel's horrible essence, reproducing it non-verbally and in an even more concentrated form.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    This much is inarguable: In the more than two flamboyant hours of Across the Universe, Julie Taymor doesn't cheat us for a single second.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Lincoln is directed by Steven Spielberg but, to his great credit, few will mistake this for a Steven Spielberg film. Rather, it's a Tony Kushner film, the playwright who conjured up the wordy but intricately layered script; and it's a Daniel Day-Lewis film, the actor who so richly embodies the iconic title role.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    No filmmaker, in any cinematic culture, has a better eye or ear for the working class than director Mike Leigh.
    • 95 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Much like Robert Altman during his forays into the genre, writer/director Asghar Farhadi isn't really interested in the answers. Instead, he keeps expanding the questions, until that singular title comes to seem a misnomer.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    A deceptively light and impeccably structured comedy that owes a clear cinematic debt to others -- Ernst Lubitsch, Woody Allen and Whit Stillman among them -- yet still manages to speak with a fresh and distinctive voice. [21 Aug. 1998, p.D4]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Good ain't the half of it in this case - it's funny, it's endearing, it's strangely touching. [19 Aug 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    It has a schlocky title and a rocky start, but then something happens - The Man Without a Face finds its rhythm and its grip, seizing the audience and propelling us straight through to the dewy climax. [25 Aug 1993, p.C2]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The reality measures up to the rep.
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 69 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Simultaneously a spectacular act of movie-making and a slight movie. Or is that impossible: When the means are so gloriously abundant, can the end ever be merely trivial?
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Lethal Weapon sinks an unexpectedly sharp hook at a delightfully unique angle, and never once lets up. A purposefully off- kilter flick, it fakes one way and moves another, thwarting our conditioned responses and fuelling our happy surprise. [6 Mar 1987, p.D1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Norman is the "freak" bullied and ostracized and otherwise degraded by the alive-and-well crowd. Such is the outcast fate of most heroes in the best children's tales. And ParaNorman, a ghoulishly delightful exercise in stop-motion animation, is a very good children's tale indeed.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Life is Sweet is sweet indeed - and comic and quirky and, on those occasions when the tone deftly shifts, just a little sad... Leigh's work, and the quotidian life it depicts, is sometimes slim but never insubstantial, occasionally sweet but never a sugary confection. And always worth celebrating. [24 Jan. 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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.

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