For 1,291 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 1.4 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rick Groen's Scores

  • Movies
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Lowest review score: 0 Godzilla
Score distribution:
1,291 movie reviews
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Some books just aren't meant to be movies -- what once was confidently distinguished now seems merely average and a tiny bit desperate.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The wonder is that the cast -- a terrific ensemble with talents honed on such hallowed stages as the Abbey Theatre -- brings it off with far more verve than the slight tale deserves.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Ultimately, Sliding Doors becomes a victim of its own cleverness, shutting down all that early promise.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The result is good gossip, entertainingly delivered, yet with a distinctly musty odour, its expiry date long gone.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    When the bloody climax comes, we look on apathetically, as desensitized to the violence as a pornographer is to sex.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    It does the job just fine. That job, as director George Lucas freely admits, is quite simply to thrill the beating hearts and the inquiring minds of 12-year-old boys.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Inevitably, the one ingredient that does remain constant are the performances -- once again, there aren't any (the lone exception is Gloria Foster's mommy Oracle, although, even here, the shine is off the joke). Of course, for the hyperactive principals, this gig isn't about acting -- it's about athleticism, which suits Keanu Reeves's talents just fine.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    There's a continuing delicacy to [Singer's] direction that gives the audience room to breathe and reason to linger. This may not be a grownup movie but -- unlike the Star Wars franchise or the Batman sequels -- it is a movie that grownups can watch minus the requisite bottle of Excedrin.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    More humdrum than horrible. It isn't futuristic film noir; it's just everyday film beige.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    One Hour Photo is two-thirds of a movie -- the last act is a bit of a shambles.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Somewhere along the way, Respiro just seems to run out of breath.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Ten minutes in, and the verdict is already clear: This is a flick that goes both ways. It's funny, then it's not; it's cooking, then it isn't; it's different, then it ain't.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The result is a rarity on the modern screen -- a film with more brains than heart.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Offers you the ostensible bargain of two movies in one -- a character study at the outset and the crime caper that follows. The first picture is intriguing, the second stinks.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Nevertheless, in mid-reverie, there's no denying the pleasure in falling under its little spell -- till human voices wake us, and we frown.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Not woeful, not wonderful, merely watchable.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Fables should be succinct, and Konchalovsky lets his run on too long.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Damned if Parker hasn't done it again. An intermittently good filmmaker but a consistently bad polemicist, he may well sway opinion here -- but, oops, not in the hoped-for direction.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    While the initial sequence is glorious, the last is a shambles.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The concept is high but everything else is merely fair to middling, one more or less watchable B-movie in megabucks clothing.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    If physical appearance creates its own class system (in high school and beyond), then Qualls is perfect for this proselytizing role. He has that rarest of movie-star faces -- one that over comes the tyranny of beauty.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Whereas the psychology is surreal and wonderfully fluid, the action is too real and surprisingly listless, displaying little of the kinetic zip, or the sheer lyricism, that Lee brought with such memorable effect to "Crouching Tiger."
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Our time is plagued with primitive directors toiling in the name of entertainment, and protected by an industry that rewards competence over excellence. They're the reason why this movie is simply average, and why all the Red Dragons look so uniformly beige.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Well-acted, nicely shot, slick and certainly sexy, Swimming Pool may be all foreplay and no climax, but what the heck -- there are worse ways to be teased.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    That's not to say Terminator 3 is terminally awful -- just banal, merely humdrum, more conventional horror flick than science-fiction myth, and a whole lot less than what came before.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The picture is actually watchable. What's more, as romance comedies go, it's something of a novelty.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Yet, for all that's wrong here, one thing is wonderfully, blissfully right, and his name is Tom Hanks.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Can't spoil the ending, except to say that it spoils itself.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Once in a long while, it even comes tantalizingly close to that rarest of modern film commodities -- ribald wit.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Always well-meaning, not always well-executed, In This World ends by suffocating us in its good intentions.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Patterns itself after the Greek model -- that is, more ethnic humour with a contemporary twist.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    An amiable action-comedy, amiable enough that the laughs come in a steady drizzle if not a torrent, and that the action is something blissfully less than the usual full-out assault on our battered senses.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Ultimately, the viewing experience is like watching a snake swallow its own tail -- that once-menacing serpent is now a clown act, all yuks and no venom.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A picture with pop's delicious energy yet none of its attendant risk, a flick that no one will love but everyone will like.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A feel-good flick that doesn't make you feel too bad -- in this genre, that almost qualifies as a ringing endorsement.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    At one point, Downey's character is asked, "What are you gonna do with all this rage, this hate?" and he snaps back, "I'll probably just write serious literature." On TV, where the material seemed both serious and literate, that bit of black humour felt prophetic. On film, it's just a good joke.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The makers of Shattered Glass ignore this obvious give-and-take reality, and substitute the hoary myth that, save for the odd lying devil, the free press is a bastion of the gospel truth. Even here, then, the facts get shaped to fit the theme. Ironically, had they not, it would have made for a helluva better story.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Elf
    Elf is jolly but could have been jollier, funny but could have been funnier, charming but ... well, point made.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    First things first: As one of my wise editors noted, no person who can flash as many teeth as Julia Roberts should ever star in a movie called Mona Lisa Smile.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Oh, it's The Return, all right. To any masochist who's been pining for all those clichéd tropes associated with Russian cinema -- ponderous pacing and arcane symbolism shot through a lens darkly -- this will seem a welcome blast from the past.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The pop-culture answer to a murder-suicide, the kind of flick that serves itself up as the object of its own satire.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Dial your expectations to moderate, burrow in for the duration, and you won't be disappointed - it ain't exactly springtime, but there are worse things than an amiable outing on a winter's night.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    It's mainly a hunt for ironies, usually playful but occasionally poignant, and the search is definitely successful enough to merit our attention -- although maybe not the two-hour running time.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    And, in a pointless riffing on the title, there are ginger kitties galore -- this flick has enough cats to launch a Broadway musical.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Ultimately, the movie is a perfect mirror of its star -- looks great, seems empty.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A poet is not a pirate (except in his dreams), and, minus the gold in his teeth and kohl over his eyes and trinkets in his tresses, Depp is handicapped here -- for all his deft brushwork, he can only do so much with a flat character on a small canvas.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The content is eminently forgettable but the thing has definitely got style.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Despite the Spielberg trademarks, a lavish attention to period detail and the occasional flash of visual potency, this is a picture you never get caught up in.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The result is the kind of picture you can sit through quite contentedly, the cinematic equivalent of an innocuous seatmate on an airplane trip -- it neither bores nor insults you, and, when the ride's over, is promptly gone and forgotten.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    And the climax, where fake tears suddenly become real, doesn't ring true. By then, nothing does, leaving the film's successful deception to double as its eventual failure -- cast adrift in this fog of appearances, we appear not to care.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    In an era when the words "President" and "penis" can occupy the same sentence and prompt nothing but yawns, this picture actually manages to surprise, to startle, yes, to administer a series of small but genuine shocks.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A too-perfect mirror of its creator, The Apostle's greatest strength doubles as a singular weakness -- in the end, it feels like an immaculate forgery.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The overstuffed farce remains, but the caustic leanness and meanness of the original are gone with the Mississippi wind. That leaves us to settle for occasionally funny moments in an otherwise uneven picture.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Too bad. What dreams may come, indeed, when such enticing foreplay ends with a consummation devoutly to be missed.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    It's a treat because, making no apologies for the source material, director Guillermo del Toro lets his picture gorge on power bars of pop energy, sugared with sprinkles of playful humour, and, at least twice, laced with a visual style so piercingly keen that horror morphs into beauty. Not bad for a pulpy outing.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A film that appeared exceptional turns mundane.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Not an extraordinary portrait, but it does portray an extraordinary man.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The actors are all better than the material, just as the script's occasionally amusing tangents are far superior to its mundane narrative arc.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    This is a frustrating film that takes its cutesy title way too literally.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    So why does the thing play like a mediocre sitcom stripped of its laugh-track?
    • 39 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    It's a mini-masterwork of acting. Stahl is definitely one to watch closely -- he's the real deal. But the emerging plot isn't.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    I'm not saying that a date with this picture is all pleasure; but it's not all guilt either.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    From my doddering perspective - rheumy with a view - Volume 3 puts plenty of cinema into the picture but leeches all the charm out of the tale.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Great pictures are seamless; in this one, you can not only see the seams but count the stitches.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Aesthetically, this isn't a great documentary, although, during the first half, there are great moments in it. But the latter part is scattered and frenzied, rather like an excited dog tearing off after too many rabbits at once -- a thematic hunt that's all chase and scant context.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A movie of its kind and of its time -- functional, professional, slickly manufactured and slouching toward consciousness -- I, Robot is a perfect slave to mechanical convention.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A sputtering marathon of a movie. It starts, it stops, it sprints, it stumbles, occasionally following a straight narrative line, frequently darting off on colourful if pointless tangents, often commanding our attention yet never sparking our imagination.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The plot is bare-bones stuff, weak in story line and bereft of motivation.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    This sort of flick can be fun, and there are moments here when it is, when a suddenly shifting perspective tosses us for a dizzying loop. Then again, there's such a thing as too much fun and too many moments -- at over two hours, this particular game meanders on way past its welcome.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Regresses into a lame action-thriller.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The spaghetti western may be dead, but the noodle eastern looks to be alive and well.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    So I didn't Huckabees, nor did I entirely not it. Rather, when the end draws nigh and judgment beckons, I'm doomed again to dither in the tepid netherworld, that vast limbo where movies are only half-decent and movie-going is merely half-ed.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Designer babies rule dystopia in stylish SF thriller filled with recycled plot devices.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The Devil's Advocate is a dull morality tale, but a number of bright moments come courtesy of the Prince of Darkness.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    In the deck of clichés that is the typical sports movie, it at least does us the courtesy of shuffling the cards a little.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Who would have guessed that, among all the cutesy curves in Around the Bend, the guy walking the straightest line is Christopher Walken?
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A bland Shaun Evans is woefully miscast as the brash American.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    This is amusing, and even poignant in the final moments.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    An hallucinatory mix of the imagined and the real, all revolving around the mystery at the cold heart of the tale.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Green may be right to avoid the melodramatic waves of the conventional thriller. But, if so, he needs to dive a lot deeper than this -- there's just not enough under in Undertow.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Ultimately, the movie suffers from the same fate as its characters. That first explosive scene creates a state of shock, leaving everyone and everything to drift about in a numbing vacuum.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    There's a wonderfully subversive film buried somewhere in Spanglish, but it's never allowed to get out.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A laugh a minute? Liar Liar Jim Carrey's forced truthfulness means a lot of mildly funny facial gyrations.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Black comedies don't get much darker than this.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Speaking of that deadly finale, it's easily the best part of the picture. Beautifully edited, shot in fluid slow-motion, scored to a traditional Irish ballad crooned in a child's tremulous voice, the violence of the climax is anthemic. The whole sequence is undeniably moving.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The movie unreels like a depressive in a manic phase, a frenzy of lightning-fast cuts, cuts, cuts.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    When [Jackcson]'s not on camera, Coach Carter feels like the two-hour opus it is — too long, too banal, a bit ridiculous. But when he is, nothing else seems to matter, and how sublime is that.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Uneven and erratic and far too busy, its flashes of brilliance dimmed by overambitious meanderings.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    This latest entry in the White House genre is polished, but formulaic suspense.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    On the plus side, bloated narratives make for a busy action star, and Bruce is quite the workaholic on this outing, clearly eager to rekindle memories of his "Die Hard" glory days.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Don't Move comes to seem as static as its title -- we just don't learn enough to compensate for feeling so little.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    As a motion picture, Fever Pitch is merely competent.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    As a writer-director, he's (Kim Ki-Duk) a wizard with the camera but a plebe with a pen. His latest, 3-Iron, continues the frustrating trend.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    There's almost a perverse pleasure in watching occasionally weak performers mar an essentially sound screenplay. That's the saving grace of Saving Face -- Wu gets the hard part right.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    With the notable exception of Martin Scorsese's opus, most boxing flicks suffer form a certain amount of raw-boned sentimentality, the sort of easy melodrama that pits naive underdogs against corrupt overlords, or age against youth, or purity against prejudice. Even the recent "Million Dollar Baby" succumbed in the final act. But this one, where "Rocky" meets "The Waltons," has us reeling under its saccharine weight.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    So the questions arises: Why bother watching the contrived fiction when the eye-popping fact is readily available? Answer: Why, indeed.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    5x2
    In 5 x 2, the 2 are terrific; it's the 5 that needs work.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Despite his flair for trenchant dialogue, nicely complemented by Mark Isham's bluesy jazz score, Rudolph whets our appetite but then fails to deliver. The picture limps to its ending and leaves us with nothing to hold onto.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    It's not so much a movie in three acts as three movies stuffed into a single casing, and often showing the strain.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    My advice is to choose the first half, where things are really funny until they aren't.