For 1,302 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 0.7 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rick Groen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Kafka
Lowest review score: 0 Wild Hogs
Score distribution:
1,302 movie reviews
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Fur does what an Arbus photograph never would -- it leaves no room to imagine and removes any reason for doubt.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Out of Time is severely out of whack, and the problem isn't hard to locate: It's all that flab in the thriller. It's a suspense flick so pillowy soft that the star gets bumped from the centre of the frame and the comic relief sneaks in to swipe the picture.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    As cinematic flops go, nothing falls quite as hard as a failed black comedy.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The stark direction, the brittle performances, the impoverished setting, the scatological dialogue, everything about the film screams out "Gritty social realism." Everything, that is, except the plot, which shouts "Eye-rolling melodrama."
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The proverbial seems awfully pale here. Fans of Q.T. will find it patently derivative. Fans of Elmore will find it, well, El-less.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    An exercise in competence guaranteed neither to offend the initiated nor to charm anyone else.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Falls into the category of heart-warming sports yarns, and, if television still made movies-of-the-week, it would enjoy a rightful home.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Watching this is a feature-length exercise in frustration - comedy that promises to be amusingly black stays uniformly grey; sentiment that looks to be credibly bittersweet winds up badly soured. We're constantly tantalized and perpetually disappointed, but don't despair - there's one terrific bonus...Toni Collette.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It can be accurately described as a loud soundtrack occasionally punctuated by the faint vestige of a plot. Or as a lush travelogue that sometimes gives way to sporadic bursts of chirping dialogue.
    • 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.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Sorry, but this level of insight is readily available from daily news reports.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    With your sharper minds, you'll probably figure it out. I hope so. Hope you'll like the movie too. But here's a bit of advice: Don't bet your allowance on it. Make Daddy pay.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's always rather sad to watch gifted performers stranded in a tepid thriller. You can see them, as professional pretenders, trying to believe that they're creating a character, but the lie is transparent -- all they're really doing is advancing a retarded plot.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In the shock department, the ante has been upped, way up, and a mere kitchen knife through a shower curtain just doesn't cut it any more.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If this is meant to look fresh while still being sensitive, it doesn't and it isn't.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Remember the final page of Gatsby, a real American tragedy, when the green light beckons us into an ever-receding future? Now that was a mystery. This is, well, Pittsburgh.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Funnier than any movie called Hot Tub Time Machine has a right to be. And how funny is that? Not very, but a little, occasionally – just enough.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    From the base-model script to the assembly-line thrills, everything about Hide and Seek is generic except its star.
    • 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)
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Let's start with this certainty: No one but Quentin Tarantino could possibly have made Inglourious Basterds . Now add another: No one but his most ardent fans will be entirely glad that Quentin Tarantino did make Inglourious Basterds .
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Despite its trappings, despite its style, Birth is just a tall tale with a short reach.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Alas, Schumacher doesn't ride on the momentum; worse, he's not an action director, and the film grinds to a dead stop every time it tries to speed up.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Poetic Justice is like that - so much worse than it should have been, and yet, for brief shining moments, so much better than any other 2-star film in sight. [23 July 1993]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This sappy thing is a two-hour cheat that never plays fair for a nanosecond.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is an adaptation that must have been hard to screw up, yet screwed up it has been. If the movie is far from dreadful, it's even further from the searing experience it could have been.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    First a bit about the movie, which really isn't one -- more like a 48-minute press release promoting the glories of NASCAR.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Ultimately, even Lee appears to lose interest, flashing none of his usual visual panache and, at the end, content to forego any considered conclusion for a hunk of lumpy irony.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If you like your sports movies, especially your football movies, larded with more clichés than a politician's stump speech, Gridiron Gang begs to be seen.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Turns out a movie about an infatuated bunch of Star Wars nerds can really set your teeth on edge.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    These days, when presidential bouquets are named Gennifer Flowers, and when we all know what Jack Kennedy did beneath the White House covers, this sort of Capra-corn, even in the guise of light comedy, just doesn't have the same taste. More salt, please, and hold the butter.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A mundane sitcom with feature pretensions, the kind where the comic "situation" is simply a coat-rack for hanging a rag-tag assortment of inflated sight gags and telegraphed punch lines.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The book floats sublimely above its dark theme; the movie sinks into the ridiculous.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If your idea of a bargain is two bad movies for the price of one, then shell out for Man on Fire. And don't fret about that incendiary title because this thing is all fuse.
    • 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)
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    There's a head-pounding, gob-smacking literalness to this flick, extending from the title right through to the recurring imagery.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Despite a superb cast and a fabulous look, the picture collapses under the weight of its lofty pretensions, especially in the black hole of the last act, where it topples into near-absurdity.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Based on an allegedly true story, this is a dark comedy that begins with a charmingly light touch.... Alas, it's when the tale stays murderous, amateur night dragging into amateur day, that the picture loses both its energy and its edge. [09 Apr 1990]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    About as gripping as its title.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Yet the performances are just sturdy boats against the narrative current - the plot is altogether too calculated and wholly without surprises, either pleasant or unpleasant... The painting is just fine; too bad the numbers show through.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The wonder here is that Bateman and the child actor spark off each other quite delightfully. For a few precious scenes, when father and son are alone, the movie is actually amusing, even touching.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The target is way too easy and the tone far too smug. This time, they're shooting fish in a barrel with a bazooka and congratulating themselves on their marksmanship.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Understandably, a script so obsessed with the dark doings of plot has little time left over for the study of character, and, thus, we never really get to know these people.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Any one of these narrative components might have made for a worthy picture. But that would have taken a more imaginative writer than Charles Leavitt and a more sensitive director than Gary Fleder.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Before it turns into a thriller, and goes badly awry, Red Lights paints a devastating little portrait of a marriage on the rocks.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Laugh? Well, once.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For some (okay, me), The Holiday, like the holidays, will require some girding up, and is best met halfway with a self-immunizing smile. Otherwise, the good cheer may ring false; worse, it might even seem to sell love cheap, and lovers short.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Hey, it’s all good clean fun.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The only thing majestic about Shrek the Third is the title.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    At least The Infidel is an equal-opportunity blasphemer, and God bless it for that. Otherwise, this thing plays like a cheeky Brit-com blown up to feature length, with a thin coat rack of plot to hang the ethnic humour on, and a wish to offend without being offensive.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The problem is director Joe Carnahan, who’s way too manic even when the formula calls for calm – he can’t stay still long enough to drive home the punch-lines.
    • 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)
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    One of those crime flicks besotted with its own plot.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Single-handedly, Bridges gives the film what it otherwise lacks -- energy and emotion invested in this damaged man, naked beneath his ballooning caftan, at once sadly ridiculous and ridiculously sad.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Bouncing about from one flawed movie to another, Steven Spielberg has lost his way of late, and Munich finds him more disoriented than ever.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's all meant, I suppose, to conjure up cold visions of Terminators and Robocops past, or, in this post-9/11 world, of bin Ladens and Bushes present. If so, conjure at will.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A contrived little comedy, Dummy definitely lives down to its name -- you can see the lips moving on this wooden thing.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 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.
    • 58 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Other than a few gratuitous montage sequences, plus a patently clumsy echo of the shopping scene in "Pretty Woman," Marshall refuses to pull his share of the load, forcing his beleaguered cast to fend for themselves.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    It's not really serious, not especially funny, and not noticeably scary. Strikeout.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The film doesn't work, it ain't charming.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Now, forcibly deported to Chicago and peopled with American stars, the same story is huffed and puffed and squeezed into an entirely different cultural context. Guess what? Sayonara sushi, hello turkey.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Add them up and the sum has a certain mathematical inevitability: Really annoying characters, really annoying movie.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Guaranteed neither to offend nor delight.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Alien Nation lives out precisely the fate of the alien nation it depicts - both full of potential, both hoping to please, and both immediately co-opted, enslaved by the same commercial forces that granted their release. [12 Oct 1988]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    In today's cultural climate, any remake of Conan the Barbarian can only be considered (a) redundant or (b) a cruel case of rubbing salt in our cinematic wounds. Either way, it ain't a pretty sight – in fact, it's downright barbaric.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    When a movie ostensibly on a serious subject is so God-awful silly, is it impossible to be offended, or impossible not to be?
    • 29 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    If laughs are the currency of any comedy, then this one pays minimum wage and, worse, makes you work damn hard even for that pittance.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Like a two-bit philosopher working the wrong side of the stone, Howard has managed to turn gold into lead.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Add up these three intentions – the down-and-dirty tone, the tender and uplifting message, the starring vehicle – and the math ain't funny. Bottom line: This movie is a whole lot less than the sum of its parts.
    • 14 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    What's up with director John McTiernan? The man has got to get a career of his own -- sponging off the pale leavings of Norman Jewison just won't do.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Forgettable.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Instead, you get a nominal character study that boasts a single mighty performance and one nifty scene; alas, both performance and scene exist in a narrative vacuum - the plot is non-existent and the pace makes the ice age seem hasty.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    This story, like many of Towne's own, does not come with a happy ending. Or beginning, for that matter, because it's almost immediately clear that Ask the Dust bites the dust -- his dream movie is stillborn.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Rambo's return is thick with usual thrills. [26 May 1988, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Filled with visual potential, yet Levinson can't tap it. He's just a whole lot more comfortable trying to tame the human software than the technical hardware.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    A plot so thin you could filter coffee through it.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    It’s hard to argue with the title here – Safe Haven, indeed. This is all about safety in the Hollywood workplace. Why make a movie when making a Hallmark-card-with-dialogue is so much less risky?
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Baby Boom has the fluffy amiability of an innocuous sitcom. In their rightful place on the shrunken sets of the small screen, its teeny characters would seem comfortably at home. But blown up to feature dimensions, they betray their flimsy origins, looking thin and transparent, just a bunch of under-considered ideas decked out in over-sized finery. [10 Oct 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    I confess to a deep uncertainty about whether this can be rightly called a movie. A bunch of scenes, maybe... I confess to a cynical belief that Lola isn't actually a role but just a succession of costume changes.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Basic Instinct 2 is double trouble -- the femme is to die for, the film is to die from.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Yes, from "Blonde" to "Bunny," it's abundantly evident that the two scribes have mastered, truly mastered, the serious art of self-plagiarism.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Herbie without the herb has never been my cup of tea.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The result is a curious mix - a picture that simultaneously seems meanderingly loose, affording the cast plenty of performing space, and suffocatingly tight, choking off the audience from any interpretive engagement.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Meant to explore anger, all this picture does is manufacture it.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    It is a disappointment - just intermittently engaging, and lacking the cohesion of his best efforts, it seems less a fully realized feature than a film-school foible. [30 Aug 1996]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The result is a small independent film suffering from a severe case of Hollywood-itis. A cautionary tale minus the caution, Just a Kiss is just a cop-out.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Don't mean to boast, but I can suspend my disbelief as willingly as any credulous moviegoer. Yet not even an industrial crane would have helped here.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Definition of redundant: A formulaic Hollywood pic that calls itself Déjà Vu.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    There are a few laughs at the start of This Is the End, and a couple more at the end of This is the End. As for the endless middle, it’s middling.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    This hunk of celluloid flotsam will come back sooner rather than later, washed up on the remote shelves of your local video store. My advice: shred the message, recycle the bottle.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The whole d--- thing can be summed up in three little words: yo ho hum.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Apparently, somebody thought it was time for a remake. Clearly, somebody was dead wrong.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Spun is so hip it hurts.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    As for the old and graceful Jackie, he's completely missing in action, his supple talents sacrificed on the high altar of movie technology -- that frenetic place where superheroes are a colossal bore and real ones are sadly impotent.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    On the whole, the film is content to lumber awkwardly between the condemned man on death row and the intrepid reporter on his save-a-life beat -- there's about as much rhythm in the style as there is sense in the plot.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Dragonfly has more plot than a figure-skating competition, and just about as much credibility.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    W.E. is a heavily made-up face masquerading as a movie and demanding to be admired – demands that might just leave you with an acute pain in the other end.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The cast is equally strong (especially McDonnell), but the vast subject and the shifting settings force Kasdan all over the map. [10 Jan 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The countdown begins with the first negative integer — an amped-up score that overpowers the proceedings like a bad band at a high-school dance.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Another Nicholas Sparks novel, another cinematic brush with insulin shock.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    As for Keitel, he pops up in a brief cameo as a housing contractor, with a dump-truck full of sand, the one that De Niro is standing right behind. The pair engage in a heated argument, as they once did so memorably those many years ago, and then the truck dumps that load exactly where you know it must. An esteemed actor gets buried but, what-the-fock, the franchise laughs on.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    A cinematic homage as flawed as its subject. Flawed, yet with a peculiar fascination of its own -- what we have is a genuine artist paying sincere tribute to an unapologetic mediocrity, and stooping awkwardly to the task.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Bad Teacher should be a hoot. But it isn't. Love the theory here, hate the practice.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    A few early laughs scattered around a plot as thin as it is repetitious. There's talent in this picture, both before and behind the camera, but virtually none of it gets on the screen.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Made of Honor should come with a bar code and a Wal-Mart display - this isn't a movie, it's a commodity. The generic brand is the romantic comedy, and the manufacturer's material of choice is recycled plastic, smoothly glued together to assure the consumer that the purchase is risk-free and thoroughly predictable.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The weak plot means that the picture is governed totally by its gadgetry, the equivalent of those James Bond sequels that limp awkwardly from one showoff sequence to the next. [10 May 1991]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 29 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Characters already too wicked to be credible start doing stuff simply too stupid to be believed, with no help from a cast way too overmatched to be useful.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    It transforms that bottom line into a saccharine border, framing the picture with enough faux inspiration to keep Hallmark in cards for a month of Mother's Days. [03 Jun 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    With the performers given zilch to perform, the result is a picture that's all chassis and no engine, or, in the parlance of the genre, a bunch of pointy hats in search of a transporting broomstick.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Empire is just too intent on living up to its imperial name -- colonizing other defenceless movies, plundering their rich natural resources, and leaving us all to feel rather cruelly violated. A postscript: Somebody here -- I'm not saying who -- dies. And still keeps on talking.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    In lieu of a movie, we get a series of car chases rudely interrupted by the occasional smattering of dialogue.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Smith and Lawrence enjoyed some amusing chemistry in the '95 original, but their molecules sure aren't jibing here. It's a full hour into this behemoth before there's anything resembling a belly laugh.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    A crashing bore.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Candy and Moranis are real talents, but they're completely wasted, like everyone else here, sacrificed to the grade-school inanities of that self-indulgent script. [26 Jun 1987, p.D6]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    While computer games can boast an abundance of nifty graphics and odious villains and plucky protagonists on long journeys, they're invariably a tad wanting in the cinematic essentials -- you know, stuff like plot and characterization and theme.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Some films, like some people, wear their artsy pretensions on their sleeve, and there really isn't much going on beneath – it's just a posturing armband wrapped around a plain arm. Welcome, then, to the emptiness of Mister Lonely, a movie that goes to extraordinary lengths to say ordinary things.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    It wants to make an important political statement, which might have been dandy if it had anything remotely cogent to say.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    A lightweight flick about a heavy-duty subject, A Dark Truth plays like a TV movie back in the days when TV wasn't worth watching.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Valuable life lessons always come at a steep price, and this one is no exception. Sorry, but you'll have to shell out for The Divide and then suffer through its nearly two hours of bloody inanities. Weigh the balance, make your choice.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    [Law] talks straight to the camera like the young Michael Caine, but this time our hunk has got zilch to say. That's because a bastard's candour is off-limits in today's politically correct market — it just wouldn't be polite.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Pretty much what you'd expect -- just another haunted house that happens to float.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    By then, the lofty ambitions can't disguise the sad reality - it's long, it's cluttered, and it's trite.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    What we have here is a romp, a funny romp at times, with a clear satiric intent and the expected quota of outrageous style - likable enough, yes, but a rather flimsy thing, a zany fest with its mind on cruise control. [17 June 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Over on the aliens side, it's hard to make out faces, but there's no doubt about their place of origin: These slimy, growling, bug-eyed and distinctly non-scary things are straight from central casting.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Clint has a script. Actually, Clint has too much script, one of those schematic by-the-number jobs that telegraphs its every pitch.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The net result is a few shaky laughs and one unwavering sensation -- that The Terminal is interminable.

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