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 0.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rick Groen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 The Crying Game
Lowest review score: 0 Godzilla
Score distribution:
1,302 movie reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Soderbergh has bathed the Depression in lovely, golden-brown hues - so lovely, so golden, that the flick seems to be unfolding from inside the delicious core of a burnished bran muffin. [20 August 1993]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 76 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Because the society in Menace II Society is boxed in sociologically, the picture (for all its strengths) is boxed in esthetically. Already, this genre is beginning to seem as much a victim as the victims it portrays.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The problem here isn't how the figures look; rather, it's what they do and say -- the story is lame and the dialogue no better.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    JFK
    A three-hour oration, rambling and familiar and repetitive, during which director Oliver Stone uses the assassination of John Kennedy as an elaborate pretext for delivering a dull sermon. [20 Dec 1991]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • 63 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Meant to explore anger, all this picture does is manufacture it.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    2 Days in New York plays like 2 years in Attica. You don't watch this movie so much as serve it out, a light comedy doled out as a heavy sentence.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Using a kidnapping plot to call up some old-fashioned suspense, it doesn't even get a dial tone.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    In the final frames, and the final analysis, Alien gets the worst of both worlds - it's boring and it's messy. The title may be "cubed," but the movie looks awfully square. [22 May 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Definition of redundant: A formulaic Hollywood pic that calls itself Déjà Vu.
    • 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
    By then, the lofty ambitions can't disguise the sad reality - it's long, it's cluttered, and it's trite.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Unwilling to offend, the scribes have committed the greatest offence of all - they've neglected to tell a story, airbrushing out anything remotely dramatic.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    With barely a laugh to be found, Confetti takes the "mock" right out of the mockumentary, and you can guess what's left. Yep, a Umentary, a brand new genre best defined by what it's not -- not real like a doc, not funny like a mock, not this thing or that thing or much of anything.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    FALLING Down is a nasty bit of business, a two-faced manipulator that condones what it pretends to condemn. Cluttered and often downright silly, it's not much of a movie, but it is a fascinating sign of the times - a litmus test for every prejudice and fear harboured by the white middle class in ailing, urban America. [26 Feb 1993, p.C6]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 55 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The net result is a few shaky laughs and one unwavering sensation -- that The Terminal is interminable.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Surviving Picasso is flat-out dull, hanging like a K Mart print in a suburban mall - a testament to Merchant-Ivory's blew-it period. [20 Sep 1996]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The film doesn't work, it ain't charming.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 53 Metascore
    • 0 Rick Groen
    Bad summer films, full of furious hype and signifying nothing, are hardly exceptional these days, nor is the sound they typically make: the dull scrape of a culture hitting rock bottom. Yet this one seems uniquely bad; this one is a threshold-breaker with a different sound, the crack of rock-bottom giving way to a whole deeper layer of magma.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Watching Attack of the Clones is like getting rapped on the head with a rubber mallet -- no lasting damage (I pray and hope), but bad enough to bring on an acute bout of dizziness and disorientation. Definitely do not operate heavy machinery after viewing -- this behemoth is brutal.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Damned if those dual spoilsports, the gladiatorial director Ridley Scott reteamed with his portly star Russell Crowe, haven't drained every drop of merriment right out of the myth.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Film encyclopedias may beg to differ, the Cahiers du Cinéma might correct me, but, as far as your humble correspondent knows, Wanderlust is the first mainstream movie ever to star a Floppy Prosthetic Penis.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Steve Miner is no Carpenter. A directing veteran of the Friday the 13th saga (parts II and III, in case you care), he's a plodder who favours long, dull buildups to short, dull climaxes -- it's slaughter by the numbers.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Apparently pitched somewhere between a farce and a fable, this flick is neither. Just foolish. And frustrating. And, mostly, damned annoying.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    This picture breaks through the limits and goes way beyond the pale -- it seems to enjoy irking us for the sheer hell of it.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    300
    As you watch -- no, endure -- this flattened-out spectacle, there's really nothing worth pondering save for a single thought: What a difference a director makes.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Fear strikes out in slasher flick This movie is laced with enough gratuitous bloodshed and reactionary zeal to warm the heart of a Montana militiaman. [12 Apr 1996]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 51 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Only read the bottom line of the accountants' review, after your generic masterpiece has gone the distance from theatrical release to video stores to the nethermost regions of the cable dial. If the accountants' judgment proves kind, head to the bank and feel free to enjoy precisely what you've denied so many others – a really good laugh.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Falls somewhere on that aesthetic scale between mediocre and flat-out bad.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The whole d--- thing can be summed up in three little words: yo ho hum.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 0 Rick Groen
    It's just a shrunken case of large-screen aspirations wedded to a small-screen mentality. [22 May 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 49 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    As always in Emmerich's rollicking Armageddons, the cannon speaks with an expensive bang, while the fodder gets afforded nary a whimper. Of course, that's just part of disaster's simple recipe: Blow us up, then blow us off.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Ready To Wear is certainly a disappointment, if not an outright flop. [27 Dec 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The visual big top is the scourging and the crucifixion -- again and again, Gibson returns to the blood-letting. Again and again, we're exposed to the clinical repetition of a single act, until an alleged act of passion comes to seem boring and passionless. Is that not a definition of pornography?
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Bad Teacher should be a hoot. But it isn't. Love the theory here, hate the practice.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    To divulge the plot would spoil the experience -- you'll be shocked to discover, and maybe even surprised to learn, just how lame the damn thing really is.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    In its nearly two-hour running time, in its always lugubrious pace, in its almost complete absence of laughs, The Prince & Me is a comedy that plays like a tragedy. No stricken bodies, though, unless you count the ones in the audience slumped back in their seats -- perchance they slept.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Herbie without the herb has never been my cup of tea.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Do we at least perk up during the ol' gunfight at the O.K. Corral, or the vacant lot at Fremont Street, or wherever the hell it did take place? Sorry. Kasdan never was an action director, and he clearly hasn't gone to school for this flick. Bang, bang, I'm dead, you're not, next scene - I've seen livelier shoot-outs at a soccer match. [24 Jun 1994, p.D1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Where the hell is the movie?
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    There, in its midst, stands a freeze-dried Arthur -- stripped of his legend, shivering in the cold and wondering, like the rest of us, where in hell the magic went.
    • 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)
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Call me Grumpy, but this seems less an adaptation than a random assault.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    It's not really serious, not especially funny, and not noticeably scary. Strikeout.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The same studio has aimed a remake at the same family market. Translation: The once-modest piece has been redesigned as a vehicle (a lumbering SUV) for Steve Martin, stripped of any vestigial charm, and then thrown into neutral, where its manic engine does nothing but roar loudly and pointlessly for the duration.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Occasionally, Murphy cuts loose with an ad-libbed riff that's almost funny, but then it's back to the slim-fast plot and the stick-on crudities. [03 Jul 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    If plots were people, this obese thing would be cuing up for liposuction. Mr. Brooks may well boast the greediest yarn in the annals of filmdom. One serial killer just doesn't cut it – no fewer than four, actual and potential, pack these frames.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Jefferson in Paris isn't merely wooden; it's concrete. Nor is it simply bad; the thing is astonishingly bad. Sure looks pretty though. [08 Apr 1995]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Wisdom lies in taking a pass on Hall Pass, but bravery demands something else, something far more instructive: Watch it, every vacuous frame, if only to measure the precise aesthetic distance from blessing to curse.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    It's obvious now that the cinematic junk routinely released every Friday can be safely categorized as a mere failure. But this alleged comedy is a whole other species entirely. This is a bona fide, absolute, unmitigated fiasco.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Barely a chuckle in sight.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    School for Scoundrels suffers from an old-fashioned identity crisis. The poor thing is awfully confused, and so are we. Is it a black comedy that isn't dark enough? Or a dumb comedy that isn't stupid enough, or a gross-out comedy that isn't yucky enough? Or is it really just a romance comedy that isn't sweet enough? Don't have a clue, but this much is certain: It's definitely a failed comedy that isn't funny enough.
    • 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)
    • 44 Metascore
    • 12 Rick Groen
    It's not a bomb at all. A dud is more like it - Last Action Hero isn't interesting enough to be explosively bad. For all the inflated pyrotechnics on the screen, the picture seems consistently grey and almost pitiably small. [18 Jun 1993, p.D1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 43 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Think of a really bad, uncensored Saturday Night Live comedy sketch. Then make it worse – make it longer.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Sappy and predictable.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    A plot so thin you could filter coffee through it.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The film lacks the moronic consistency that graces the Sandlerian oeuvre at its most pristine.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Spun is so hip it hurts.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The film sputters and stalls and winds up behaving like the worst sort of oldster – passing gas and pretending to be deep.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Don't look for logic here. But if gore is your game, a motherlode awaits.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The refined taste insists on risibly bad, on hysterically bad, on poke-your-seatmate-in-the-ribs bad, and this falls well short of that hallowed mark -- it's just routinely bad.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    It's Footloose Loose In The Third Reich and, even with your expectations kept knee-high to a kindergarten, you might have at least hoped for some finger-poppin' music and a few great dance scenes. Sorry. Here, too, things come up short. [05 Mar 1993]
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Another Nicholas Sparks novel, another cinematic brush with insulin shock.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    We know to a certainty what will happen. More to the point, the writers know that we know. But here’s the intriguing bit: They don’t care. Rather, their job as diligent Tinseltown hacks is simply to devise ways of filling up the remaining 90 minutes.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    I think that the perfect name for the chick in a chick flick is Rebecca Bloomwood. I know that if Charles Dickens had possessed the good sense to write chick flicks, he could not have done better than Rebecca Bloomwood.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The flames sure look real, but everything else in Backdraft, director Ron Howard's inflatable ode to firefighters, seems about as genuine as a plastic log in an electric hearth. Howard's particular type of schmaltz works well enough in small dabs on comic canvases (Splash, Cocoon, even Parenthood), but pumped up to heroic proportions, the sentimentality is just plain silly - in this case, cheap melodrama on a two-hour jag.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Guaranteed neither to offend nor delight.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    In what is surely a tribute to the dazzling mediocrity of director Luis Llosa, the real jungle looks as bland as the fake jungle.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Apparently, somebody thought it was time for a remake. Clearly, somebody was dead wrong.

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