For 1,353 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 Sex and the City
Score distribution:
1353 movie reviews
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Flashy, fun, shallow, easy-going and without a hope of brilliance.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Here's one thing about Marie Antoinette: It sure is easy to watch. And here's another: It's even easier to forget.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is an adaptation that must have been hard to screw up, yet screwed up it has been. If the movie is far from dreadful, it's even further from the searing experience it could have been.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Eastwood keeps retracing the same pattern, intercutting from the battlefield to the bond circuit, from the appalling chaos where no one feels heroic to the catered dinners where heroism is the dessert that sweetens the mood and opens the chequebooks. By now, though, the twinned structure seems fragmented, and neither half gets a chance to gather any emotional momentum or to further develop the theme.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    [Nolan is] back in the fine engineering business, crafting a story as intricately designed as a magician's lock, tightly packed with tumblers of deception and issuing a fun challenge to any volunteers in the audience: Just try to pick it.
    • 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.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The process of remembering that drives the book is gone from the film, boiled away until all that's left is the mundane residue of memory - mere incidents strung together as plot.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    It's silly, it's serious, it's outrageous, it's mundane, it's blowsy, it's lovely. Yet this fickle film has a constant heart - warm and very likeable.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Borat at its best is pure satiric genius, the Swiftian kind that has you busting a gut with laughter even while checking your conscience for implicating flaws.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Both the Chicks and this doc are left to deal with the aftermath as best they can. The film chooses to pad with an occasional over-reliance on cutesy filler -- a pregnant Emily having an ultra-sound, giving birth, recuperating at her beloved ranch away from it all.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A masterly piece of documentary chicanery that kills George W. Bush without once pandering to his legions of ill-wishers.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    As down-to-earth as a ghost story gets.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    With a track record that stretches from "Monster's Ball" all the way to "Finding Neverland," Forster is clearly a director at ease with a wide range of material. He's found confection-land here, setting his beater on ready-whip and mixing the dough just fine.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Fur does what an Arbus photograph never would -- it leaves no room to imagine and removes any reason for doubt.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The target is way too easy and the tone far too smug. This time, they're shooting fish in a barrel with a bazooka and congratulating themselves on their marksmanship.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This is a piece engineered to run on the high octane of clever dialogue. It's chatty, it's wordy, but a passion for the well-written word lies at the thematic heart of the thing, and cinematic flourishes would only clog the arteries. Purists can rest assured -- there's no clogging.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Definition of redundant: A formulaic Hollywood pic that calls itself Déjà Vu.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Don't expect a Caravaggio, but if your taste turns to Hallmark, this is a good bet -- a straight-up Nativity story as safe as death and taxes.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    A movie that combines the Cold War intrigue of John Le Carré with the wired buzz of Francis Ford Coppola's "The Conversation" -- one of those rare two-hour-plus pictures that runs long but plays bracingly, excitingly short.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For some (okay, me), The Holiday, like the holidays, will require some girding up, and is best met halfway with a self-immunizing smile. Otherwise, the good cheer may ring false; worse, it might even seem to sell love cheap, and lovers short.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A lotta woe to sit through, with not much to think about and only one matter to address. After the two hours-plus have sped by with brutal alacrity, all that's left is for the survivors of the bloodbath to hose down and suss out a "new beginning." I'm still searching for mine, but you might have better luck.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Here's what's good about The Good German: The look is fantastic; technically, the movie is a retro marvel. Here's what's bad: The script sucks; it keeps promising to be clever, engaging, subtle and completely fails to deliver.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    In recounting this conflicted tale, director Rachid Bouchareb displays some valour of his own, resisting what must have been a strong temptation to deal in aggrieved agitprop, and instead, quietly but powerfully, confining his attentions to a small group of indigenous soldiers.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    An exercise in competence guaranteed neither to offend the initiated nor to charm anyone else.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Children of Men is a nativity story for the ages, this or any other.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    We're left with the weakest part of the novel -- the lurching and often melodramatic plot -- plus the chance to see two splendid actors, Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett, do the best they can with what they're given (sadly, in Blanchett's case, not much). Okay, no one would call that trade-off a scandal, but it sure ain't much of a bargain.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Arthur and the Invisibles may be a tale for children, but it's got the bad habits of a profligate adult -- the thing borrows shamelessly from its betters and then pretends to be self-sustaining.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Under better circumstances, Cooper might be said to have stolen the picture outright. But as it is, and compelling as he is, there's just nothing here to steal.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The reality measures up to the rep.
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    What's missing, in the direction no less than the script, is any real sense of dramatic urgency.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Your basic and basically predictable by-the-numbers picture.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 0 Rick Groen
    A 0-star Comedy that is nonetheless guaranteed to rake in multimillions.
    • 52 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle is a bunch of bon mots in search of a larger theme. Happily, the mots are so very bon that the two hours breeze by quickly enough.
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 66 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    This Hollywood movie about a gay man afflicted with AIDS is evocative, understated and ultimately deeply affecting. Hard-earned tears of truth. [22 Dec 1993, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Narratively, the film strikes all the sentimental chords that audiences typically find so reassuring, but the music grates here, sounding mechanical and flat, lacking the single ingredient indispensable to any uplifting fable - a charming belief in its own sweet nature. [19 Apr 1996, p. C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Washington's take on the seductress is so saucy, so unapologetic, such a brash blend of insouciant charm and raw sex appeal, that she swipes the picture from right under its nominal star. The only problem is that her theft inadvertently tips the balance of the moral dilemma, shifting it seismically all the way from "He'd be a fool to succumb" to "He'd be a coward not to."
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This is a war film with an anti-epic feel, best when it forgoes the forced march of plot to hunker down in the trenches of our flawed humanity.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    With your sharper minds, you'll probably figure it out. I hope so. Hope you'll like the movie too. But here's a bit of advice: Don't bet your allowance on it. Make Daddy pay.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    In the midst of his many other achievements here -- his documentary realism, his wry humanism, his allegorical subtlety -- Panahi even manages to redeem the good name of toilet humour.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Polished, intelligent, impeccably well-bred, it's an upscale kids' flick designed to appease the fears of discriminating parents: If those stubborn tykes refuse to crack a book, then this is the next best thing - Young People's Masterpiece Theatre. [11 Aug 1995, p.C2]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 73 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A sensitive coping drama after all, while still serving up that noirish heist flick with comic flourishes. That's some range, and in 99 succinct minutes too: Most pictures would be lucky to do half as much in twice the time.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is a film that dearly wants to be important, that wants to do for Holland what Irene Nemirovsky's "Suite Française" does for France - examine the German occupation through a prism of painful honesty. Yet the lofty ambition comes dressed in cheap attire; Verhoeven can't seem to stop himself from shopping downmarket.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Hoax is a fraud, and not a very good one at that. Stay with me here because we're about to spiral down the rabbit hole: The movie is a fictionalized account of writer Clifford Irving's fictionalized account of his own fictionalized account of wacky billionaire Howard Hughes.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The only surprise here is the real star of the show, who turns out to be not Halle Berry, not even Bruce Willis, but a flat computer screen in all its hard-driven glory.
    • 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)
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Winterbottom's efficient yet prosaic approach is evident from the first grimy frame. [18 Oct 1996]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If you like your archetypes writ large and your sentiment over easy, then Unstrung Heroes is the flick for you. [15 Sep 1995]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A Mexican feature from writer/director Guillermo Del Toro, it's a modern vampire tale that occasionally rises to the level of competence but never inches any higher. [20 May 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Based on an allegedly true story, this is a dark comedy that begins with a charmingly light touch.... Alas, it's when the tale stays murderous, amateur night dragging into amateur day, that the picture loses both its energy and its edge. [09 Apr 1990]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 75 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    From its title on down, An Officer and a Gentleman (at the Plaza) is both a thoroughly rousing crowd-pleaser and a shamelessly manipulative banner-waver, a homage to the never-practiced ethics of a non-existent era. [28 Jul 1982]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Cerebral without being dry, delicate without being dull, Mr. And Mrs. Bridge is a rarity: a drama of manners that breathes esthetic life into airless parlours, without either sentimentalizing the occupants or hyping the atmosphere. [21 Dec 1980]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 81 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    With Hot Fuzz, you'll just have to settle for semi-hilarity.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The delight here is in the sheer workmanship. The performances, the direction, the plotting, they're just nicely engineered, usually with an eye to that most underrated of virtues -- refined simplicity.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    When Veber is on form there's no one better. And when he's not, well, give The Valet a look anyway -- there's still much to admire.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Adapting a great short story, like Carver's "So Much Water So Close to Home," into a movie poses a dilemma: How to flesh it out to feature length without destroying what made it great in the first place?
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Poetic Justice is like that - so much worse than it should have been, and yet, for brief shining moments, so much better than any other 2-star film in sight. [23 July 1993]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 28 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Writer/director Gus Van Sant, who's built his reputation on the romantic decadence of "Drugstore Cowboy" and "My Own Private Idaho," completely misses the poetry and the irony of the book. [20 May 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Good ain't the half of it in this case - it's funny, it's endearing, it's strangely touching. [19 Aug 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 62 Metascore
    • 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)
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Fatal Attraction becomes as seductive as the seduction it depicts. In the always stylish, sometimes careless hands of director Adrian Lyne, the film lures us in with an artful blend of stately pacing and caressing close-ups and brooding silences. [23 Sep 1987 p.C7]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Trading in his thinker's cap for a craftsman's apron, Lee is content to carve a little something out of nothing much - the result is as dismissible as it is diverting. [Apr 12, 1996. pg. C.2]
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    I love the City of Light as much as any starry-eyed provincial, but Paris, je t'aime tries even my considerable patience.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Only occasionally does Fresnadillo rise above the mundane, but, to his credit, the exceptions are worth savouring.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The only thing majestic about Shrek the Third is the title.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Most movies have music, some movies are musicals, but very few movies combine the two with the grace and pure eloquence of Once.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In most every frame, Hartley takes pains to tilt his camera at odd angles – in other words, he's gone literally off-kilter, and it's just off-putting. What's worse, a further hallmark of the Hartley canon, his self-reflexivity, has begun to smack of self-promotion.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Damned if this sugary confection doesn't come with a creepy crust. the odd sense that these aging boomers, ever eager to stall the march of time, are competing with their own daughter in the maternity sweepstakes - I'll see your child, and raise you one. [8 Dec 1995, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Thanks to him, The Quick and the Dead is more than moribund. How much more? Let's just say that there's motion in the picture. Indeed, speaking of accomplishments, Sharon Stone appears clad throughout an entire feature - gee, give a gal a gun and there's no telling what she can achieve.m [10 Feb 1995, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This three-hour opus, bearing only the eponymous title of Nixon, is an intriguing ramble through the social psychology of man and country alike. Indeed, the simple dialectics that both animated and marred Stone's earlier work are redeemed here precisely because they're invested in a single, complex personality - consequently, this film is more character-driven than any of its predecessors. [20 Dec 1995, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The Unbelievable Truth is just that - epistemology served up with pop panache and a comic twist. [27 Jul 1990]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 71 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Not quite a comedy, not really a drama, Mad Dog and Glory throws your equilibrium but keeps your interest high. [5 Mar 1993, p.C3]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A maniacal, hallucinogenic dip into the bloodbath drawn by a pair of mass murderers, it's the quintessential Stone opus - topical, testy, and wildly controversial, as brilliant or egregious as you wish it to be. [26 Aug 1994, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The whole d--- thing can be summed up in three little words: yo ho hum.
    • 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
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Distinguished Gentleman isn't - distinguished, that is - but it's a notable cut above Eddie Murphy's recent ventures. [04 Dec 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's better than 2, but not nearly as good as 1. On the slippery slope of sequel-land, that's an okay average. [15 May 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    What My Blue Heaven has going for it: one funny premise and two earthly delights, in the comic persons of Steve Martin and Rick Moranis. What My Blue Heaven does not have going for it: anything remotely resembling a cohesive script. [22 Aug 1990, p.C4]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 71 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Postcards From The Edge, is long on witty one-liners but woefully short on coherent structure. [13 Sep 1990, p.C5]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Falls into the category of heart-warming sports yarns, and, if television still made movies-of-the-week, it would enjoy a rightful home.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Most of this is bald, and very funny; some of it is witty, and even funnier. [14 Dec 1988, p.C9]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Smooth direction, vigorous performances, competent music, spotty script, and a running time that overstays its welcome. [10 Apr 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    It's your standard coming-of-age tune set to a top-40 beat. [24 Oct 1997]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 67 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Lethal Weapon sinks an unexpectedly sharp hook at a delightfully unique angle, and never once lets up. A purposefully off- kilter flick, it fakes one way and moves another, thwarting our conditioned responses and fuelling our happy surprise. [6 Mar 1987, p.D1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 73 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Big
    Sure, the premise is identical age-reversal comedies, but this one uses a much higher octane, animating a tired idea with a timeless script, and the result is pop humor at its most appealing - wit and charm spiced with a measured pinch of farce and just the right hint of melancholy. [3 Jun 1988, p.E1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Shtick is what Twins is all about, but there's good shtick and bad shtick, and there's enough good shtick in Twins, the majority of it involving Arnold Schwarzenegger's exposure to modern U.S. mores, to keep the momentum going. [10 Dec 1988, p.C3]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Rambo's return is thick with usual thrills. [26 May 1988, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 33 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Being Human is just that, and it's a profound delight. [06 May 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Just sit back, plug in, and enjoy the shocks - so adroitly administered, so sweetly sensational. [24 Feb 1995]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    There's as much to draw us in, but far less to put us off. [13 Jun 1997]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 45 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Like its predecessor, this is a basic bungalow of a flick, where low-maintenance superheroes take their ease and you can pay your (dis)respects painlessly enough. In short, okay to visit, wouldn't want to live there.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    UHF
    The laughs just keep rolling as 'Weird Al' makes a movie. Overheard from a still-convulsing woman after a recent screening of Weird Al Yankovic's UHF: "I'm sorry, but that's funny." I'm sorry, but she's right. Yuks you feel obliged to apologize for are yuks nonetheless. And UHF prompts a lot of apologies.
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 46 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Petersen seems to be holding back, telling us about the liberating power of the imagination but never really showing us. Of course, to show us would be to spoon feed the audience, thereby blunting the message and defeating the point. [20 Jul 1984, p.E9]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    It's perfectly admirable, absolutely controlled, and fully understandable. [09 Oct 1992]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If the plot thins, the performances don't. Brad Pitt's lank-haired loony, Juliette Lewis's crippled innocent, David Duchovny's well-meaning hypocrite, Michelle Forbes' black-clad shutterbug - each is a deeply etched portrait that fulfills its early promise. [24 Sep 1993]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Joe Pytka does display an occasional nice touch with mood and atmosphere - at its infrequent best, the humor here is almost wry. But his editing is as jumpy as a mare in heat. [19 Aug 1989]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 24 Metascore
    • 12 Rick Groen
    Consequently, as star vehicles go, Ford Fairlane runs straight over the very guy it's meant to transport. Some will see that as the movie's greatest fault, others as its only virtue. Take your pick, and come out swinging. [13 Jul 1990, p.C1]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 77 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    This is an exhilarating picture, the kind that strips away smug complacencies and exposes raw nerves to a bright light. [14 Sep 1990, p.C4]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Really wanting to get into our heads, 1408 tries awfully hard to play both sides of logic's boundary line -- tries and fails, and then succeeds, only to ultimately fail again. On the whole, the frights are frighteningly erratic.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    The film takes its cue from the widow, neither sermonizing or even villainizing, content to serve quietly as an admirable exercise in restraint and a moving example of the grace under pressure that is the essence of courage.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The only country in the Western world without a universal system – is indeed Sicko. But if that social wound is gapingly obvious, so is this documentary.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    In the moments at his disposal, Smith almost steals the flick. He's so wittily government-phobic that I found myself hoping for a climax that would blow Bruce Willis away and promote Kevin Smith to saviour-of-the-free-world. Now that might be a sequel worth rooting for.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The strangely hybrid result, half Herzog and half Hollywood, plays like its own battleground. Sometimes, the tension is fascinatingly productive; other times, all we get is the worst of both worlds.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Is there an admired British thespian who hasn't toiled in Potter's field?
    • 81 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    What completely undermines that appearance is Shankman's chronic inability to shoot the damn scene. His camerawork is so stiff it should be interred in a pine box.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    That last wrong turn completely undoes a picture that had been steering a very impressive course.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Actually, occasionally, does feel good. Now if only it had something to say.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    There's a good movie buried inside The Nanny Diaries, and a good cast trying hard to dig it out. Too bad they don't get much help.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Most British actors are awfully good at underplaying the overwritten, and this group, headed by Matthew Macfadyen, Rupert Graves and Daisy Donovan, is no exception -- where others would mug, they demitasse.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Haven't they created a movie that is ultimately a soulless clone of a vibrant original and, thus, a splendidly dull example of the very forces it warns us against – the forces of grey and passion-sapping conformity.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    What it doesn't have is the resonance of Cronenberg's "A History of Violence," a film that exploited the same genre even while transcending its limitations. Eastern Promises delivers, but not on that scale.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    In the Valley of Elah dearly wants to be the Iraq war's counterpart to "Coming Home," documenting the tragic domestic legacy of a misguided foreign conflict. Wants to be, but isn't.
    • 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.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    One Star (and only for quoting Knee-Chee).
    • 73 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The result is a road movie with a lofty message that too frequently gets lost in its own thematic barrens.
    • 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
    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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    As always with Anderson, the comedy is neatly embedded in the jaded banter, where the insecurities and rivalries bubble up -- here, all within the bell jar of that shared sleeping compartment.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The result is a good movie that falls short of greatness by aping too well the behaviour of its subject – occasionally brilliant, sometimes mundane.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Like most kiddies games, this one starts out fun and then gets tired. Inevitably, that's when Slade tries to revive our interest by upping the gore quotient.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Very few movies end so much better than they begin. For that reason, and only that reason, this is an exceptional picture.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A rarity – a political film that delivers its timely message with a cinematic punch and no undue speechifying.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The problem is not that the director is working but that his latest film is working too hard. Way too hard – this thing is melodrama running a marathon.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If you have an appetite for well-made treacle, then Bella should go down a treat.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Of course, entire books have been written, and perused by disappointed women, about the male reluctance to put away their fantasized Biancas. In that sense, Lars and the Real Girl is real indeed. In every other, it's a sweet, bordering on saccharine, bagatelle.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Maybe Bee Movie is another ground-breaking show about nothing – a hornet's nest of hype for a fat hive of nothing. If so, pay up and get stung.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A tender tale of semi-triumph.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    The Coen brothers adaptation is impeccable, a perfect mirror of McCarthy's prose – sparse, suspenseful, probing and profoundly disturbing.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's all meant, I suppose, to conjure up cold visions of Terminators and Robocops past, or, in this post-9/11 world, of bin Ladens and Bushes present. If so, conjure at will.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    These characters don't seem illuminating at all – just damned annoying and, ultimately, dead boring.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Semi-wonderful at best.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Love it, hate it, but be sure to watch it, because this odd and disturbing picture is as different as the war it reflects, and that difference is vast enough to seem profound.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The result, Elegy, isn't a great film but it is a good one, and better for Coixet's perspective, her ability to interpret Roth's world from the other side of the gender fence.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    It's an imperfect movie that serves as a perfect reminder of what the movies do best.
    • 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.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    How's this for a ringing endorsement: Watching Youth Without Youth, Francis Ford Coppola's first film in nearly a decade, is like taking a philosophy exam. A really tiring philosophy exam, where the questions are elegantly phrased but damn confounding and not really conducive to right answers.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Director Rob Reiner is betting that their star power alone will blind us to the holes in this cheesecloth of a script. It proves a fool's bet – no star shines that brightly.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Takes a kernel of truth and roasts it into a popcorn movie. There's terrific fun to be had, and much wry comedy too. What's missing, surprisingly given the subject matter, is any real sense of gravity.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Persepolis is as modern as tomorrow's headlines and as classic as an ancient myth.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    It's adapted with charming dispatch from the Dick King-Smith story, and served up by the same CGI wizards who animated the critters in "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Narnia Chronicles."
    • 68 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    A contemplative fable, Honeydripper locates the moment but misses the heart-pounding, gut-wrenching explosion -- the history is there, the thrill isn't.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This sappy thing is a two-hour cheat that never plays fair for a nanosecond.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    If you like your skiing extreme but your documentaries safe, then carve a sharp turn over to Steep.
    • 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.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Cloverfield is an exercise in realism that lacks reality's broader and richer context. Or, put another way, the experiment is artful, but it ain't art.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The pocketing of tired bills headed for the shredder, the producing of tired movies headed for the theatre -- it's all just recycling.
    • 15 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Is this movie so god-awful bad that it's hilariously good? Can't be bothered deciding. Figure that's an answer in itself.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The setting is unique, the cast is terrific, the dialogue crackles and, if only there were a plot worth believing, In Bruges might have been a fine film.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Woefully short on script, the picture ends up disappearing down the wormhole of its own premise.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    What might have been delicious trash lacks the courage of its trashy convictions, and the result is high-born melodrama with the juice boiled out, so much dry cabbage on fine-china plate.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Come to think of it, Ferrell is to the sports comedy what the Toronto Maple Leafs are to the hockey biz: Hard-core fans are sure to show up and find reasons to be amused. The rest of us can only hope for better days.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Semi-decent, somewhat okay, not-half-bad.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    I meant what I said And I said what I meant A flick pretty faithful 'Bout 80 per cent.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The whole picture plays like a pop-up book in a welfare agency.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    21
    What a big cheat of a movie. Wanting to be everything to everybody – a tough gambling picture, a revenge-of-the-nerds fantasy, a Vegas caper flick, a sweet little romance, a simple morality tale – 21 is just a bet-hedger dealing from multiple decks, designed to leave you with an occasional tidbit to like but nothing at all to love.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Great title, and the whiff of existential loneliness that it conjures up – brothers locked not in solidarity but in solitude – permeates the entire movie.
    • 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.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    As cinematic flops go, nothing falls quite as hard as a failed black comedy.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Ultimately, Shine a Light is illuminating indeed, even fascinating, but not in the way Scorsese intended. What he has created, inadvertently, is an invaluable documentation of semi-fossilized Stones – musicologists may like it, sociologists should love it and, some distant day, anthropologists will treasure it.
    • 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.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Dull moments, so much the rule in most genre comedies, are the exception in Forgetting Sarah Marshall -- it does run long, but it mainly rollicks.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The ethical fallout, the lingering fog of the so-called war on terror, is not that people don't know what's wrong or who's guilty - it's precisely that they do, and count it as the cost of doing business.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Before that marvel of human engineering - China's Three Gorges Dam - completes its legacy of human upheaval, there are vanishing sights to be seen.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Disappointingly unique.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    There's something here for everyone to dislike - the whole clan can have fun making fun of this thing.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    What Happens in Vegas should damn well have stayed in Vegas.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Conducting another symphony in action, Spielberg seems a bit bored – always competent but never inspired – and who can really blame him? He tries to fire his interest by swiping a few tropes from the fifties pop bin, not-so-sly allusions to teen-trash movies and those McCarthy-era horror flicks. After that, there's really nowhere to go but inwards, which is when Spielberg starts looting Spielberg.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Yes, the Empire may be crumbling, and the natives getting restless, but it's all happening with such lyrical loveliness - even the corpses look good. Consequently, when the rains in Before the Rains finally arrive, there's nothing to cleanse, no real dirt to wash away - not with history already so neatly packaged and polished to a dull shine.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Being risibly bad, The Happening is at least worth a laugh. Exactly one laugh, by my reckoning, and completely unintended but no less full-throated for that.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The Love Guru is a comedy like the Leafs are a hockey team.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This is a blockbuster busting out of the block; this is a Hollywood staple served up on a European platter; this is summertime fare with a wintry verve.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    The promise is dangled yet never developed. Rather, the narrative slips into a backstory that alternates between confusing and contradictory.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is a fairly well-made picture that's just been fairly well-made too many times before, a knock-off of a thousand other knock-offs.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    All this is as fascinating as it is humbling, even when Herzog ventures a little too far down eccentricity's back alley.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 88 Rick Groen
    Mock-heroic yet still lyrical, faux-mythic but honest too, uniquely and absurdly and often hilariously Canadian, My Winnipeg is like no documentary you've ever seen.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    Sure, this is marginal, but it's precisely in the margins that the movie excels.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Tropic Thunder is an assault in the guise of a comedy – watching it is like getting mugged by a clown.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The result is a whodunit so nicely crafted that you're tempted to forgive the Byzantine plot -- hell, you're even tempted to pretend you actually understand its twisting obscurities.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 63 Rick Groen
    So is the result just a case of life imitating pop art, or has the director shaped the footage to enhance the imitation?
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A sequel that immediately picks up the plot of its predecessor, and then proceeds to drive the redeemed franchise right off the deep, dark end.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    As in so many essentially childish movies, it's an actual child who's always the smartest pants in the room.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    More rant than rollick, it's just ain't funny enough.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Gotham gives way to Gaudi and the Met to Miro, but the sensibility is the same, the city as a precious treasure, and so is the message: Life may be hard and short, love may be flawed or doomed, but, my, aren't we blessed with lovely distractions.
    • 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.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Let's just say that, when the parody looks indistinguishable from the parodied, something's gone awry.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    W.
    None of it is new, nor is the recycled stuff presented in a newly revealing context.
    • 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.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For all its current political incorrectness, the original film at least attacked hypocrisy; this one practises it.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In pairing the two icons, Righteous Kill is definitely an event. What it isn't is much of a movie. Such a waste.
    • 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.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Spike Lee's voluminous "When the Levees Broke" proved a thorough indictment, a compilation of tragic and appalling facts encyclopedically catalogued. By contrast, Trouble the Water (on Oscar's short-list in the best doc category) has a more personal focus and, although just as damning, manages to strike a more hopeful chord.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Should be a brilliant picture, one last testament to the intertwined sensibilities of two brave artists. Should be, but isn't.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Shakespeare would have delighted in the chapter, especially in the antagonist, but not at the expense of the longer and darker and still-unfinished book.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Maybe this stuff works on the page, in Chuck Palahniuk's darkly comic novel, but Choke is awfully tough to digest on the screen.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If this is meant to look fresh while still being sensitive, it doesn't and it isn't.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Max Payne, game or movie, has precious little to say.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Plot isn't what drives the picture; instead, this is a cinematic tone poem, where the dominant mood is a Faulknerian mix of sorrow and endurance.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Strange and beautiful and transfixing and confusing, it's quite the sight - martial-arts fans may find themselves disappointed, but Wong Kar-wai addicts will be delighted.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Without Kristin Scott Thomas, I've Loved You So Long would be a watchable but hardly a memorable movie. With her, it's both - she so fully inhabits the character that everyone and everything around her are simply enhanced.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Let the Right One In is a children's film, but you wouldn't want your child to see it. It's a horror film, but the gruesome splatter is the least of its scares. And it's a love story, but the prepubescent kind where sex is a distant idea and loneliness a shared reality. A wicked trick, a cinematic treat, this is some Halloween offering.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Here, there's not much that's funny, there's too much that's too clever by half, and there's not a damn thing that's lively - this is a film about Life whose sin is its lifelessness.
    • 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.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    It sure ain't the Christmas of Dickens's imaginings. Dysfunctional overachievers all, the Vuillards are a family bizarre enough to make the Royal Tenenbaums look like candidates for a Hallmark card.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    A worthy docudrama that is solid if not sublime. But, sometimes, a merely good film can brush up against greatness, and this one does so twice – in Sean Penn's magnetic performance and in the cautionary tale's contemporary resonance.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Had Crossing Over chosen to tell one of them well, rather than seven badly, it would have made for a fine movie. Instead, all we get is a mess of good liberal intentions loosely anchored to a mass of pure Hollywood hokum.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    Hunger -- the disturbing, provocative, brilliant feature debut from British director Steve McQueen -- does for modern film what Caravaggio did to Renaissance painting.
    • 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?
    • 80 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Groen
    This is where the movie excels. In the classic neo-realist tradition, it's scant in plot yet rich in mood and character, offering us a revealing hint here, a poignant glimpse there, with each revelation filtered through Michelle Williams's superbly muted performance, all the more moving for being so restrained.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This movie sticks.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Yes Man puts him back in the same old quandary and, once again, Carrey lacks an identity. Alas, this time, he also lacks a script.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The Class is simultaneously old school and new, familiar in its themes but unique in design and, at its best, riveting in execution.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    There's a head-pounding, gob-smacking literalness to this flick, extending from the title right through to the recurring imagery.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Never brilliant but always solid and often wry, Marley & Me is what it celebrates -- an amiable overachiever.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    The result is a fairly co-ordinated effort that, despite a few miscues, yields a consistently watchable film.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Profound, and profoundly affecting.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The movie pretty much blows.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Notorious isn't, not even remotely.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    As for the locals, they speak like extras from "Fargo," although, on this go-round, that weird Swedish accent has somehow lost its power to amuse.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Pretty routine, pretty forgettable. Don't know how else to say this, so best to be frank: I'm just not that into He's Just Not That Into You.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Turns out a movie about an infatuated bunch of Star Wars nerds can really set your teeth on edge.
    • 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.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    An action thriller with some decent action and a few thrills, but all embedded in a yarn so hopelessly tangled that even the loose threads have knots.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    So this is a light/bright movie that actually illuminates our dull grey lives, reminding us that intrigue can be, well, intriguing. And damn sexy too.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Two Lovers is two movies – the complex, alluring one we want, and the simple, pedestrian one we'll settle for.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Bursting with potential that never gets realized.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    12
    Yes, Mikhalkov has set himself quite the agenda, but in the end the film is too much of a piece with its topic, intensely fascinating yet seriously flawed. The verdict? Guilty, with extenuating circumstances.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Despite the 3-D gadgetry, there's a musty odour to the script.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    C'mon, in matters of haunted-house inhabitation, settling into an ex-mortuary is like renting above a dentist's office -- ashen faces and ghastly screams come with the territory.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Yes, the delight of this movie lies in these devilish details, and it's clear that writer-director Greg Mottola knows them well.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    Mainly, though, the film's strength is reportorial, sensitively exploring a theme that has grown ever more prominent with the globalization of sport.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Remember the final page of Gatsby, a real American tragedy, when the green light beckons us into an ever-receding future? Now that was a mystery. This is, well, Pittsburgh.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Yes, the premise is delightful; no, the delight doesn't last.
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 75 Rick Groen
    This documentary is only partly a story of the chosen one; mainly, and more intriguingly, it's a chronicle of the choosing one, of the nervous young monk charged with the job of leading the search party.
    • 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.

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