For 1,358 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 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rick Groen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 61
Highest review score: 100 Sleepless in Seattle
Lowest review score: 0 The Avengers
Score distribution:
1358 movie reviews
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Really, Young Victoria is just a lot of costumes in fond search of some drama. And finding precious little.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Essentially a love story, as stripped of sentimentality as the landscape is shorn of green, yet an extraordinary love story nonetheless – powerful and poignant and, even in the midst of hope's imminent extinction, hopeful too.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This feeble documentary ends up perpetuating the very hypocrisy it means to probe.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Speaking as one of the mourners, did I mention how pleasant it is to revisit footage of John Lennon? And to listen to his music which, in this case, comes either in taped performances or laid onto the soundtrack, no fewer than 40 songs drawn almost exclusively from the post-Beatle, pro-Ono phase of his career.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Those Hollywood tricksters have managed to shorten the story while slowing the pace -- all of a sudden, minutes are passing like hours.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Perversely enough, the comedy is what keeps the picture rolling; it's the so-called action that persists in bringing the thing to a screeching halt.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Appaloosa wobbles and wanders, promising to take a fresh look at those old myths, only to lapse back into weary convention.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    TERRIFIC cast, imaginative direction - Patriot Games is such an enjoyable film that you keep hoping it will go the extra mile, that it will transcend the action-genre and progress from an intelligently made picture to an intelligently themed picture, That it doesn't - not quite, anyway - is mildly disappointing but easily forgiven; there's a lot to be grateful for here. [9 June 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The result, like so many stout travellers from stage to screen, is respectable. Stolidly, bloodlessly, yawningly respectable.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Jack Goes Boating barely stays afloat – it's a deep disappointment.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The film lacks flow, unfolding in a rat-a-tat series of short, artfully lensed scenes -- individually nice but collectively jerky.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    At his best, Clint directed as he acted -- sparely, laconically, but concisely, with a clean precision. There are flashes of that trademark style early on, but it soon degenerates badly.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Happily, the climax races to our rescue... Beyond the grasp of most directors, this is tour de force stuff -- definitely meriting the price of admission and almost worth the three-year wait.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    No one can dismiss 16 Blocks as a mere formula flick -- it's a mere two or three formula flicks all fighting for top billing.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Thrown into exalted company, Zellweger easily holds her own in the film's most difficult role.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    This is amusing, and even poignant in the final moments.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Since life's infidelities have a way of ending on a messy note, it becomes art's responsibility to impose order upon the mess, to give it an aesthetically convincing shape. And that's exactly where Lyne falls short.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Observant and funny and thoughtful too, powered exclusively by vérité footage without a word of narration, Babies is William Blake’s Infant Joy brought to rich cinematic life.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Waydowntown may not be perfect, but it is perfectly astute in the target it selects and in the questions it raises.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    As a captivating bauble, a tribute to a romantic legend, Don Juan DeMarco shines. But as an exercise in performing artistry, a gift from a living legend and an heir apparent, it positively glitters.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    What began as quick and engaging, Hollywood craft at its most proficient, ends as dull and predictable, Hollywood product back in formulaic mode.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    A lean, stripped-down and unapologetically cinematic take on Shakespeare's work, an adaptation designed at each turn to diminish the mechanics of the comedy and to explore the depths of the pathos.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    If you ever doubted the power and scope of silent film, watch The Way Home. The narrative arc is as broad as any chattering feature, the emotional depth is greater than most, and it's all achieved with virtually no dialogue.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Very well crafted and superbly acted. Whatever you may think of the idea, its execution is admirable.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The results are generally refreshing. Much of the film takes place inside a theatre, as if to suggest the shenanigans of the Saint Petersburg aristocracy were a form of public entertainment.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Despite Auteuil's performance, it's a rather listless amble down the middle of the road, where the thematic ironies are too obvious and the sexual politics too smug.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The cheery result is enough to renew one's faith in Uncle Walt and the boys - a family picture that transcends the cliche, a light-bright romp where the sentiment isn't cheap and where the action isn't childish. Now there's a novelty item for you. [27 June 1989]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    No matter how strange it gets, or how distorted for political gain or refined for religious purposes, its essence is hard to pin down, even after a 2 1/2 -hour search.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The movie blows, me hearties, but don't you dare miss it...Why? Johnny Depp, that's why...This has gotta rank among the weirdest performances in the zany annals of the silver screen.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If you're looking for a screwball comedy about bipolar disorder -- and who among us is not? -- then this picture fits the bill fine. However, if you're picky enough to want a good screwball comedy about bipolar disorder, well, I'm afraid the wait continues.
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Jeunet manages a terrific pass in an extended underwater sequence, but, beyond that, he runs out of ideas as we run out of patience.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    There's a missing element whose absence, forgive me, I can't help but lament. This is a movie about magic that ultimately lacks the magic of movies."
    • 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.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Whether the film is uniquely brilliant or dismissively dumb is not the issue here. Either choice can (and will) be offered – it’s the choosing that counts.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The result is good gossip, entertainingly delivered, yet with a distinctly musty odour, its expiry date long gone.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A mix of credible sociology and tired melodrama, along with a palpable sense of déjà vu. Because the plight of boyz 'n' the hood is a global tragedy, its depiction on the screen has become a global commonplace with its own attendant danger – the tragedy is starting to feel trite.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Coming from a major director like Spike Lee, this is a colossal disappointment. And a surprising one.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Meant to explore anger, all this picture does is manufacture it.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Sure, this is marginal, but it's precisely in the margins that the movie excels.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Director James Cameron always works on a mega- canvas, yet he's brought off something unique here.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The plot is rich, the execution poor.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    It's clear that Burn After Reading is a wannabe cult favourite -- some viewers may embrace it; many more will just want to burn after watching.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Compared with the recent spate of blockbuster sellouts, Severance is a worthy package, and fair compensation for time spent. Best to watch on the big screen, of course.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    V for very, very ordinary.
    • 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
    • 63 Rick Groen
    42
    In the hallowed frames of 42, the legend is front and centre and still inspiring. Too bad the more interesting man is nowhere to be seen.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Not that The Nutty Professor should ever be confused with a good movie, but it is a perfect vehicle for the redisplay of Murphy's neglected talents, steering him away from the smug persona of his recent disasters and whisking him back to the cozy locale of his Saturday Night Live roots.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Jacob's Ladder is a cheat - but a talented, disturbing, beguiling cheat. We don't know we've been truly had until it's finally over, when the screen fades and the lights rise and we wake up with a start, deliciously unnerved. [2 Nov 1990, p.D3]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Catch a Fire paints the period with a double-sided brush that gives yesterday its due and puts today on notice.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    As for true-love Charles, he would ascend to the Prime Minister's office, and then rise again to even greater heights: They named the tea after him. Indeed, that may be the smartest way to see this flick, curled up on your sofa with a cup of Earl Grey -- just make sure it's as decaffeinated as what you're watching.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    For once, the gimmick is a perfect reflection of the characters.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Didn't we just see this movie? Over in Britain, big bad governments may be outsourcing his job and rendering him redundant, but never fear -- the plucky working-class hero has definitely found a steady gig on the silver screen.
    • 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.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    God forgive me, but I worship the Bad Dialogue Fairy -- he gets me through these endless nights.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    There's plenty of humour in Comedian but not a lot of happiness -- apparently, the sad clown is a cliché for good reason.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The whole project labours towards an importance it never earns. In Beautiful Boy, the themes are vast but the picture is small, and the ensuing emptiness is what the characters are meant to feel – not us.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Lives down to its title -- what an odd and gauzy reverie this is, a strangely muted picture that unfolds at a distinct remove from the reality around it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Intriguing, disturbing, uplifting evocation. In fact, to watch this film is to engage in participatory art -- for better and for worse, through sickness and in health, we're drawn deeply in.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    5x2
    In 5 x 2, the 2 are terrific; it's the 5 that needs work.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The film is sometimes funny and occasionally smart yet never quite what it wants to be – funny and smart at the same time.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Dragnet is twice blessed and once cursed. It boasts a nifty comic premise and a terrific lead performance, two virtues that might well have combined to make a great sketch on a good television show - SCTV comes quickly to mind. Yet, as a feature-length movie, the thing slowly degenerates into a one-note joke. A neatly produced and nicely sustained note, to be sure, but monotonous nonetheless. [27 June 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    With Corbett's laidback persona nicely countering Vardalos's authorial performance, the picture radiates a pure affability that's awfully attractive. My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a very slim movie that succeeds on its own modest terms without pretense or apology.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A movie deeply immersed in movie lore, and the more seasoned the swimmer the richer the experience.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    That may be your lump of coal, but it seems a precious gift to me.
    • 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.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    It has a schlocky title and a rocky start, but then something happens - The Man Without a Face finds its rhythm and its grip, seizing the audience and propelling us straight through to the dewy climax. [25 Aug 1993, p.C2]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 62 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The devil may wear Prada, but Meryl wears the crown.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Shows promise, but needs more effort, and definitely doesn't play well with others. [7 Jun 1996, p.C2]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    No doubt, life is tough in the wild but, this being a Disney flick, it's loving too and even comes with a kiddie-friendly narrative that's easy to summarize and hard to dispute.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Where's 007 when you need him? Neither shaken nor stirred, The Good Shepherd is a flat draft of history that looks at the Central Intelligence Agency's early years through the horn-rimmed gaze of a fictional spook.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    It's Adrien Brody's turn to find himself the lone and immobilized star of an emerging new genre: Call it the anti-action flick.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The sounds are fine and, thanks to technology's ever-progressive march, the sights are even better. But that third S -- the story -- remains the sticking point, and ain't it always the way.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The well chosen cast helps -- no one strikes a false note.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    So delightful it should come with a parental advisory: "Jaded adults, beware. Viewing this may pierce your shell of cynicism and spark a renewed belief in the magic of movie-making."
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A story based on exceptional facts gets converted into an unexceptional movie.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Reign Over Me drizzles down on us for two full hours, persistently determined to prove that, if it hangs around long enough, a coherent movie will turn up. No such luck.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Red Heat, a terrifically funny and always frantic flick that hides a fascinating subtext beneath its commercial veneer. Very commercial - this should be a boffo hit; and very fascinating - the premise that props up the hit speaks volumes about America in the twilight of Reagan. [17 Jun 1988, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A movie about con artists that turns out to be a con job, and guess who's getting played for a sucker?
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Bursting with potential that never gets realized.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Quitting begins to seem intriguing in concept. Now comes the best news: It's just as compelling in execution.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Visually, this movie is exquisite. Narratively, well, that's a more banal story.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Frankly, with so much to feast my dazzled eyes upon, I barely noticed that the plot was missing in action. And that's because the action itself is so pure.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Beijing Bicycle is a good film that owes a huge debt to a better film. And that, of course, is Vittorio De Sica's "The Bicycle Thief."
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    About as gripping as its title.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The movie doesn't have the heart of the book, but it does have a solid mechanical pump, strong enough at least to keep a robust story on two-hour life support.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The novels remain a witty portrait of life; this flick is just a study in preciousness.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Jane Campion makes a beeline for the repressed sexuality, and loses the nuance. [17 Jan 1997]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 61 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    A deceptively light and impeccably structured comedy that owes a clear cinematic debt to others -- Ernst Lubitsch, Woody Allen and Whit Stillman among them -- yet still manages to speak with a fresh and distinctive voice. [21 Aug. 1998, p.D4]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    An amiable crowd-pleaser, nothing more, nothing less. [27 Nov 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Although the subject, school bullying, is as fresh as today's headlines, the treatment isn't. Despite the efforts of an impressive cast, the film starts out stale and then just gets tedious.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Individually, Dawson and Cassel each generate plenty of screen heat, but, together in that one bedroom scene, their chemistry is downright explosive, so much so that it seems we have strayed into a whole different movie, and dearly want to stay there.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    This is a movie guaranteed to turn you into a vacillating commitment-phobe, embracing it passionately one moment and then backing off cautiously the next.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Has a refreshingly different twist: What we have here is a "what if" comedy.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Sorry, this one doesn't really work at all, but don't blame the workers.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Since "To pay or not to pay" is banal, the plot takes the popular path of excess to a brain-boggling twist (to be specific would be to ruin what fun there is), then spirals off in a series of ever more unlikely gyrations, until a heretofore decent picture has gone completely south into fantasy-land.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The ensemble is unwieldy and the attendant yarn much too cluttered.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    So the interrogative title is left to hover over the ending, as it does over all those tension-filled places near and far. Speaking as a foolish man, I had high hopes for these wise women – given the historic alternative, I still do.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The climax also comes with a nifty little kicker.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Juice takes a black director, a black cast and a black theme - ghetto youths come of age - and turns the whole exercise into a white-bread,middle-of-the-road film. You root for it to rise to the challenge, to be better than it is, but it sticks to the straight course - polished enough yet steadfastly predictable, just another sentimental slice of mean-street life. [22 Jan 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Amounts to a complete misreading of Wilde, who used the conventions of artifice to lampoon artificiality. Parker totally misses the point by tacking on such cinematic curlicues -- apparently, in his eagerness to seem movie-friendly, he's too hung up on the importance of not being earnest.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Sometimes, a strong premise makes for a weak movie, which ends up drowning in its own clever conceit.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Notorious isn't, not even remotely.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Nominally set in some rural American backwater, The Neon Bible is a hellishly muddled reprint of Davies' personal canon - muddled enough to turn all his past virtues into present transgressions. [19 Apr 1996]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Once again, then, impeccable visual detail and uniformly strong performances combine to create a polished, if slightly airless, result. [14 Aug 1998]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 60 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    As the title more than hints, Love Is All You Need is no stranger to formulaic clichés, but it’s still a Bier film. There’s a sprinkling of vinegar in the treacle, a bit of ballast in fancy’s lightweight flight, and, of course, the triumph of optimism that can seem unearned in her dramas is made to measure in a comedy.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Too often, Levin confuses passion with focus, intensity with clarity, and deflating lies with discovering truths.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    No longer content with simple conservatism, this horror is downright totalitarian.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Using a kidnapping plot to call up some old-fashioned suspense, it doesn't even get a dial tone.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    What we have here is a pretty good TV show huffed and puffed into a rather mediocre film.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Here, Soderbergh's visual additions -- gimmicky lighting, surreal backdrops, all cued to the monologue's changing rhythms -- are more distracting than enhancing. Or maybe not. In a way, the camera's empty gimmickry points to the same tendency in Gray's verbal canters -- diverting enough but, ultimately, isn't it just sleight-of-mouth? [18 April 1997, p.C5]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    So that great start turns all clunky and dull and, you know, mediocre. Still, you'll love Emma. Emma is about as cute as a kid can get.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The main flaw is an over-abundance of villains, a bout of narrative greediness that sees them marching out of their lairs like so many evil-doers-on-parade.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In keeping with the purloining spirit of sequeldom, Woo plunders his own past. [24 May 2000, p.R1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Most of the cast (along with director Joe Mantello) have been recruited from the stage play, and they all do a fine job of trimming their performances for the screen.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    What a sprawling, befuddling, fascinating, frustrating mess of a movie. Usually the tautest of directors, Clint Eastwood has gone all slack here, allowing his subject to get completely away from him.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    In Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, the times may be hard but the apocalypse is soft. Welcome to the anti-"Melancholia."
    • 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
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Mr. Holland's Opus is all heart. I suppose a brain cell or two might have helped to win over laggards such as me, but no matter. It sure means well and, in a note-perfect world, strikes its basic chords with a naif's true conviction. [19 Jan 1996]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The look is fine, the effects are special, the cast is solid, and Jordan (in company with Rice) makes a commendable effort to add a cerebral dimension to a visceral genre.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make heads or tails of this Byzantine thing. [22 May 1996]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Emmerich succeeds only in making his previous venture, the marginal Stargate, look positively inspired by comparison.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Ultimately, Benigni's comic refinery merely transforms the banality of evil into a lesser sin -- the evil of banality.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Ultimately, Sliding Doors becomes a victim of its own cleverness, shutting down all that early promise.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Okay, some of this is mildly diverting.
    • 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.
    • 59 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Add it all up, including the nifty twist at the end, and what we have here is a fun Hollywood flick with a good head on its shoulders.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Intended as food for thought, but all we really get is a light snack -- the kind that's heavier in presentation than in substance.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Saddled with this hollow script, Stone pads with elaborate set pieces.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    More Than a Game is less than a movie.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Apatow rescued big-screen comedy from its lengthy wallow in the trough of dumb-and-dumber – we have good reason to thank the guy. Until now. In This Is 40, his fingerprints are still identifiable, but not nearly as crisp. They're starting to look smudged.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    As the title more than hints, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is all about a leap of faith, and faith is exactly what this picture requires of us. Make the leap, and you'll be delighted by a movie that's sugary goodness, a guilty pleasure.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    If you like your skiing extreme but your documentaries safe, then carve a sharp turn over to Steep.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Only an actor of Moore's calibre could begin to add a bit of credible flesh to these hallowed bones.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    It's the sort of big thought that makes a small point, which is precisely the problem with Life in a Day. A documentary that looks to give this notion visual form, it strives awfully hard for depth but, more often than not, comes off too shallow.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    So the promise of a proud director comes to nothing, and all my rooting goes for naught. Maybe, sadly, the metaphoric night that falls on Manhattan has finally begun to descend on Lumet -- and he's going gentle into it.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The result is a war picture that, trying to pass off fidelity to the book as objectivity, sacrifices any voice of its own, and ends up not knowing what to think.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In its component parts, then, Love Liza is essentially a battle between opposing clichés.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Disclosure is a well-acted, slickly directed shell of a picture. The veneer is so polished that you look on with something approaching genuine satisfaction, and only after the final credits roll do you begin to feel the void.
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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?
    • 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
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Park is busy treating every frame like a runway model, dressing it up in self-conscious layers of cinematic haute couture. It’s gorgeous to gaze upon but otherwise dessicated – listless, juiceless and ultimately pointless. For all his exemplary camera work, there’s no motion, or emotion, in the picture.
    • 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
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Director Cameron Crowe who, not having made a dramatic feature since his 2005 stinker "Elizabethtown," seems bound and determined to crank out a crowd-pleaser here.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In its defence, the movie means to incorporate Jet's conversion into its theme, serving up his new pacifism as a choice morsel of irony. But it doesn't taste ironic, just bland, and we aren't biting either.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    In this vast balloon of a film, Bardem is the ballast – that Manichean face is a movie onto itself.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The narrative meanders on occasion, the conceit can seem repetitious, the editing is loose. Nevertheless, buoyed by the naturalism of its exclusively young cast, the picture effectively gets into your head and under your skin.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Delight, a modest yet palpable measure of the stuff, is restored.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Can't find it in your vast collection of Fleming first editions? Not to worry. Seems the producers - a.k.a. the Cubby Broccoli Cottage Industry - have run plumb out of titles. And everything else too. [14 July 1989]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The only thing majestic about Shrek the Third is the title.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Isn't unequivocally bad. Rather, this is what's known in the boxing world as an "opponent" -- shows up on the weekend just to fill out the card, to do battle with its betters, earn a little cash and be completely forgotten come Monday morning.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Ocean's Twelve lacks the courage of its star-driven convictions. Next time, Steven and George and Brad and Matt should ditch the hypocrisy and just shoot themselves shooting the breeze, poking fun at each other from within the smug sanctuary of their precious celebrity.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If the facts of the story are essentially true, their presentation is as formulaic as ever.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The humour may not be wickedly black, but once in a while it’s amusingly beige.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The symbolism is about as subtle as a fang to the neck. Really, Daybreakers is more fun than foreboding; it's fright-lite, yet that's par for the bloody course in these busy apocalyptic days.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The Woman in the Fifth is an interesting chameleon until it runs out of disguises, and all that was transitory just looks transparent.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Despite a few wrong turns early on, the movie gathers graceful momentum and heads straight to the warm heart of the book - that fond spot located just on the safe side of sentimentality, a feel- good place that doesn't leave any feel-stupid fallout.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Alas, the news is mixed: Thor ain't much of a movie but it's a great career move. Both movie and move belong to director Kenneth Branagh.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Don't think for a second that Hollywood has cornered the market on formula flicks. Ever since the prototypical success of "The Full Monty," those crafty Brits have been running their own mimeograph machine.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The whole caper loses its rhythm and its direction around the two-thirds mark. By the finish, the punch has left the lines, and the once-purposeful energy goes mindlessly manic - gone are both the point and the parody.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If you like your sentimentality sweet and sticky, then The Secret Life of Bees is definitely your jar of honey.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    With its tasteful palette and twee charm, Miss Potter is the china plate of movies, a Peter Rabbit collectible entirely suitable for mounting on the nursery wall.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Credit Madagascar with negotiating a hopeful truce in the ongoing battle between the computer and the animation. Judged merely by appearances, its look is a lovely compromise. Too bad everything else has been compromised right out of existence.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    This is filmmaking as a minor feat of engineering, the kind where even the gossamer emotions seem like prefab components -- charm, whimsy, serendipity, all so many discs plugged into the hard drive.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Yes, there are many splendid reasons to see Snow White and the Huntsman – enough, maybe, not to care that neither Snow White nor the Huntsman rank high among them.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Director Dan Algrant’s conceit here is to take an actual event – a tribute concert for Tim held at a Brooklyn church in 1991, the concert that sparked Jeff’s own career – and wrap a fictionalized drama around it.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Actor-turned-director Tony Goldwyn elicits solid performances from the cast, then undercuts them by resorting to a trite montage or a clunky set-piece, inevitably scored with an obtrusive rock tune telling us what to feel and when to feel it.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    In The Company You Keep, old radicals never die – they just turn into old actors.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A middling documentary but a magnificent indictment.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is wish-fulfilment fantasy, where the laughs lie in sorting out an embarrassment of riches.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    In the end, then, just Vanessa Redgrave and Terence Stamp and those voices – their solos contain this picture like carved book-ends, vintage and lovely and still so profoundly of use.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This is potentially compelling, but truncated flashbacks are far too crude a mechanism for exploring not only the intricacies of that tumultuous period in Kenyan history but also its ongoing legacy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Always stylish and occasionally thrilling and never thoughtful.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    As a motion picture, Fever Pitch is merely competent.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The bloody narrative has an oddly bloodless effect. But that's not surprising – not when a film is so eager to double as a lecture.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    This much is inarguable: In the more than two flamboyant hours of Across the Universe, Julie Taymor doesn't cheat us for a single second.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Harsh Times opens with a deadly nightmare and ends with a vast bloodbath -- in between, things get a little gruesome.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    In every way but one, A Knight's Tale is a bouncy pop song of a movie, the snappy/happy kind that puts a grin on your face and a tap to your toe, shifting the heart into high and the mind into neutral. [11 May 2001]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    More rant than rollick, it's just ain't funny enough.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Popped in the oven and marked with a predictable P, The Family Stone is the Christmas cookie of Christmas movies -- this thing is so pat it should come with the recipe attached.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    So this is a first-level, unironic fright film, the sort whose tongue is removed from its cheek, coated in gore, and pointed right at the audience.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Director Walter Salles, who knows a thing or two about picaresque journeys – in "The MotorcycleDiaries," even in "Central Station" – does make an honest effort here.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This is a formula film with panache.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    An acquired taste that you may not acquire. I did, but it took me a while.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Delightfully inventive, consistently funny, clever but not slick, brisk yet never antic, Quick Change is the perfect cinematic date - a summer film for all seasons, the kind of sharp-edged picture that gives lightweight a good name. [14 Jul 1990, p.C3]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The result is a fairly co-ordinated effort that, despite a few miscues, yields a consistently watchable film.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Sylvia the movie competently shows us how; but, as always, it's Sylvia the writer who brilliantly tells us why -- then, now and tomorrow, her foreboding words are her finest legacy.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Minghella is a smart guy with splendid intentions but, ultimately, he's a victim here of his own liberal contrivances.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    CQ
    CQ has a modicum of IQ and a dash of style -- the jury's still out on the extent of the inheritance, but the kid clearly learned something at his pater'sknee.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Can't spoil the ending, except to say that it spoils itself.
    • 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.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    All costume and scant drama, the result is a curiously flat spectacle, neither offensive nor compelling.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Ghostbusters II is a comfy experience for all concerned - easy bucks for the producers, easier yuks for the consumers; nothing ventured, money gained. [19 Jun 1989, p.D9]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    As box-office packages go, My Girl may well become a big hit. The wrapping is colourful, even charming in spots, and that circle of black ribbon is a gravely clever touch. Get closer, though, and it's like those Christmas presents stacked around the department store tree - apparently real but really empty. [28 Nov 1991]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Not even Pacino can save it.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Eraser may lack the chameleon wizardry of the the "Terminator" duo, or the imperious mechanics of "True Lies", but the bang-for-the-buck ratio is high enough to appease even the thinnest wallet.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Black Rain is really an extended exercise in pure style, a pretty picture in constant motion painted by a very commercial artist. In fact, the style is so uncontaminated by substance that everything here - plot, character, theme - gets subordinated to the glitzy sights and ambient sounds. [22 Sep 1989]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Despite the 3-D gadgetry, there's a musty odour to the script.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    W.
    None of it is new, nor is the recycled stuff presented in a newly revealing context.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Take nothing seriously - not the action, not the gore, not the plot, not the theme. Instead, view Desperado as it's meant to be seen - a comedy - and you're in for an unalloyed treat; heck, you're in for one of the funniest flicks of the year.
    • 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)
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Nothing more or less than an outright bodice-ripper -- it should have ditched the artsy pretensions and revelled in the entertaining shallows.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The net result is a few shaky laughs and one unwavering sensation -- that The Terminal is interminable.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Payback is nothing if not brave. It's a documentary attempt to give concrete shape to an abstract discussion, using the medium of film to transplant a nuanced thesis – on the concept of debt – from its natural home on the printed page.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This time, though, Zemeckis has another technical trick up his sleeve – 3-D – and for once the gimmick succeeds.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    You may well watch this film and not buy into a single frame. Me, I couldn't help myself.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Hitchcock unspools at that deliciously silly juncture where biography meets fallacy. Translation: Any director who could crank out Psycho must be a crackpot himself.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    As for Daisy, her inflated role is problematic. Although at the periphery of the action, the woman stands at the centre of the film, doubling as the compromised love interest and our voice-over narrator. But even Linney can't bring her to life.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The result isn't meant to be an historical document transmuted into fiction; instead, it's fiction turned into a fable, a dark fable.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Alas, around about the third act, the idea grows tired and the whole thing gets derailed. Too bad, because it's a good ride until it isn't.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The delight of this film isn't so much in the tale as the telling.
    • 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.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    John Sayles's heartrending new film is a many-splendoured thing.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A rarity – a political film that delivers its timely message with a cinematic punch and no undue speechifying.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Powered by a Scottish writer, a Scottish director, and the rugged beauty of the Scottish Highlands, this is clearly a labour of love, and the passion gets right up on the screen.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Love & Other Drugs is quite the little cocktail of mood-brighteners, a movie narcotic easy to take and, since the effects wear off quickly, even easier to forget.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It’s been not so much remade as restrained – tamed and dumbed-down and with any sharp political edges safely filed off.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The surreal visuals are relentless, overpowering the narrative much as they do in the frames of comic books (sorry, graphic novels).
    • 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."
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Girotti is especially evocative, his face an alternating current that switches from emptiness to alarm and back again.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A comedy boasting a gimmick worth a peek. For, into this remembrance of time past and youth altruistic, the script injects a heavy dose of up-to-the-minute pragmatism. [16 Aug 1985]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 55 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The thing is just a clunky and tasteless and dumb scare picture, isn't it? Clunky, yes. Tasteless, for sure. But not so dumb I fear.
    • 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)
    • 55 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    It’s a terrific adaptation that succeeds not only as a work of cinema but also, wonderfully, as proof of the novel’s greatness. In short, the picture rebukes the revisionists even while entertaining them.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Speaking of funny things, director Todd Phillips has been down this path before in "Road Trip." There, toiling in the same lame genre, he actually showed a hint of comic ingenuity. Here, the hint has dwindled to a hoarse whisper.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A lovely oddity.
    • 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)
    • 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."
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Black comedies don't get much darker than this.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Actually, occasionally, does feel good. Now if only it had something to say.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    This picture is to comedy what carpet bombing is to aerial warfare: The onslaught is so relentless that occasional direct hits on the funny bone are a statistical guarantee.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Dig just a shade beneath the surface, trade in the text for the subtext, and a more interesting picture emerges – a little richer, sadder, almost poignant. Arnie is back again, yet now, as a storied immigrant nearing the end of his tale, he's become an odd sight to behold.

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