For 1,308 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rick Groen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Quick Change
Lowest review score: 0 Godzilla
Score distribution:
1308 movie reviews
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Certainly, whatever surgery the script doctors performed, it didn't take. The limp result is a picture that is epic in intention and Lilliputian everywhere else.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Here, one begins to suspect that the major impediment is the sensibility of the filmmakers themselves. They don't believe in this stuff, in its unavoidable sentimentality, and that attitude filters down to a perplexed cast.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    And veteran director Costa-Gavras, whose early work ("Z", "State Of Siege", "Missing") proves that he's no stranger to sociopolitical complexities, might well have been the man to make it. But not from this script -- it starts off as puerile and then regresses.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Laugh? Well, once.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Watching this, we should feel an immense amount, but don't, and somehow, decades after this horrible event, that void only seems to compound the tragedy.
    • 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
    • 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.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Nope, this picture doesn't bear thinking about, but, if you resist that nasty temptation, setting all your mental gauges at Dead Slow, the flow of the action will see you through.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For devotees of the genre, the bad news is the best news: Bond is back and nothing has changed except the stuntman's canvas - it's bigger than ever, duly pumped up to Schwarzeneggarian standards.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Stay is all dressed up with no place to go, an eye-popping exercise in lavish style unattached to any discernible content.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    But wouldn't it be heavenly if a like proportion of Tinseltown producers believed in an existing need for a good script. Because this one ain't good; in fact, it's hellishly mediocre, the kind that aims for holiday charm and settles for workaday torpor.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Alas, Schumacher doesn't ride on the momentum; worse, he's not an action director, and the film grinds to a dead stop every time it tries to speed up.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Hard-working to a fault, this is a movie that's all effort and no direction, a movie completely lacking in what its hero eventually finds -- a sense of identity.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A movie that serves up what its debauched subject would never have countenanced -- sanitized smut with a moral attached.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Bouncing about from one flawed movie to another, Steven Spielberg has lost his way of late, and Munich finds him more disoriented than ever.
    • 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.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If the facts of the story are essentially true, their presentation is as formulaic as ever.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    When it comes to retelling the tale of Tristan and Isolde, give us a movie that makes love. Or even a movie that makes war. Anything, just anything, but a movie that makes nice.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Pakula's screenplay looks to bulldoze a clear path through the narrative thickets, but this stuff is impenetrable - meant to be complicated, it's just confusing.
    • 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.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In short, it's much fatter with less matter and a distressing shrinkage in thought.
    • 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.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The proverbial seems awfully pale here. Fans of Q.T. will find it patently derivative. Fans of Elmore will find it, well, El-less.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A contrived and tepid thriller that insists on wanting to interest us in its main plot -- the usual nefarious plan to assassinate the leader of the free world.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Like a smart-ass student clever enough to see through everyone but himself, Art School Confidential falls victim to the very clichés it wants to puncture.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    About as gripping as its title.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Although possessed of a laudable desire not to be yet another run-of-the-mill, wacky-impediment, I'm-nobody-and-you're-the-Prez's-daughter romance comedy, damned if the picture can figure out how to be an anti-romance comedy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's a slacker flick, it's a relationship pic, it's a road movie all under the same hood.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    We also know the last time Keanu and Sandra shared the screen together. That was yesterday and Speed. This is today and Snail. I'm not betting on a tomorrow.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The only effect is to produce that most commonplace of Hollywood paradoxes -- a mood simultaneously frantic and listless.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For a film meant to float on a gossamer veil of mystery, The Illusionist falls -- make that flops -- with quite the heavy thud. It's an intended piece of magic that plays like a ponderous slab of melodrama, sleight of hand gone ham-handed.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Embracing such depths, Bukowski somehow made his art. Simulating them, Factotum just makes us queasy.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Film noir is a style, but self-conscious film noir is just a stylistic tic, less a genre than an ailment. And The Black Dahlia has got a really bad case -- this thing is so mannered it convulses.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If you like your sports movies, especially your football movies, larded with more clichés than a politician's stump speech, Gridiron Gang begs to be seen.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Your basic and basically predictable by-the-numbers picture.
    • 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."
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The only thing majestic about Shrek the Third is the title.
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Actually, occasionally, does feel good. Now if only it had something to say.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This sappy thing is a two-hour cheat that never plays fair for a nanosecond.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    There's something here for everyone to dislike - the whole clan can have fun making fun of this thing.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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?
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Amelia is the Mack truck of flight. Heavy and lumbering, it delivers the goods, but there's not an ounce of magic in the thing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Let's start with this certainty: No one but Quentin Tarantino could possibly have made Inglourious Basterds . Now add another: No one but his most ardent fans will be entirely glad that Quentin Tarantino did make Inglourious Basterds .
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Time Traveler's Wife slips the romance cards into a stacked deck – read 'em if you will, but no need to weep.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The result is infotainment dressed up as an art flick. Turkish society is fascinatingly complex and its East/West tensions give rise not to easy allegories but to hard ambiguities. To explore that truth, read any novel by Orhan Pamuk. To escape it, watch Bliss.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    So we're back on "The Road ," but this time Eli's coming – better hide your heart and, while you're at it, put your brain on hold, the easier to enjoy the action-filled sermon to come.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The book floats sublimely above its dark theme; the movie sinks into the ridiculous.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is wish-fulfilment fantasy, where the laughs lie in sorting out an embarrassment of riches.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    LawAbiding Citizen smells a bit musty these days. Indeed, in an era when the debate has shifted from too little state vigilance to too damn much, this thing seems almost quaint.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This is a flick whose failures are at least as interesting as the successes.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    More Than a Game is less than a movie.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Bronson is one of those “based on a true story” dramatizations where the theatrically staged drama only gets in the way of the more interesting truth.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Like a skill player who just can't score, The Damned United is all dazzle and no finish and, ultimately, damned frustrating.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    If nothing else (and there ain't much else), Everybody's Fine does prove one thing: Even an actor with the gifts of Robert De Niro can't make bland interesting.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Really, Young Victoria is just a lot of costumes in fond search of some drama. And finding precious little.
    • 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.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    All dull thunder without a spark of illumination.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In your typical subpar Hollywood romcom, there’s only one tedious love story to put up with. Well, Valentine’s Day (such a clever title) does a whole lot better than that: It offers 10 tedious love stories to put up with.
    • 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.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The result is a political thriller refreshingly long on grown-up dialogue yet lamentably shy on, well, thrills. This chatty thing does go on.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Although the entire film is beautifully framed and shot, especially the surreal sequences, precious little coheres into anything resembling a compelling narrative.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Middling gets downgraded to muddling. Of course, on such slippery slopes, reputations are made. Damned if the original isn’t looking like a comparative gem.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    As the title loudly hints, ultimate victory assumes the flawless shape of the star pitcher’s perfect game, a rarity anywhere yet especially at the Little League level. In getting to that climax, the recreated game action is a bit tepid and the child actors too precociously cute, but the true tale in the midst of the fabrication remains a guaranteed heart-warmer.
    • 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."
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Destined to disappear into the quicksand of time, too innocuous to be hated, too bland to be remembered, just awaiting some bright optimist in a distant future to press the do-over button.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The problem is director Joe Carnahan, who’s way too manic even when the formula calls for calm – he can’t stay still long enough to drive home the punch-lines.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The emotional geometry is familiar enough to be credible yet odd enough to be creepy.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Hey, it’s all good clean fun.
    • 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.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Despite a superb cast and a fabulous look, the picture collapses under the weight of its lofty pretensions, especially in the black hole of the last act, where it topples into near-absurdity.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Cholodenko casts much better than she writes. Yet, alas, even a talented veteran like Moore can't sell a hoary line like, "Sometimes you hurt the ones you love the most." Maybe if she'd set it to music – nope, sorry, that's already been done.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's refreshing to have a movie assume that its viewers are also readers, yet this one takes that assumption to testing lengths. To those fearful of flunking the test, my advice is simple: Bring along the book as your cheat-sheet.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The wonder here is that Bateman and the child actor spark off each other quite delightfully. For a few precious scenes, when father and son are alone, the movie is actually amusing, even touching.
    • 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.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Saddled with this hollow script, Stone pads with elaborate set pieces.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Jack Goes Boating barely stays afloat – it's a deep disappointment.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Three words: Late Woody Allen. In the autumn of his career, toiling exclusively in Europe, Woody is like an aging cabinet maker still blessed with craft but grown erratic in design.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A story based on exceptional facts gets converted into an unexceptional movie.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The tale is about meeting Death and comes with this moral: When The End arrives, better to embrace it with love than to try to cheat it with avarice. Hey, if nothing else, Part 1 has got some nerve, so greedily refusing to practice what it earnestly preaches.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Alas, in the third instalment of the C.S. Lewis odyssey, the devolution continues with the inexorability of a fairy tale thrust in reverse – the sublime first film morphed into the routine second and now this wispy banality.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Sorry, this one doesn't really work at all, but don't blame the workers.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Manic with an itch.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The plot is rich, the execution poor.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Brooks knew how to engineer a well-crafted script. Yet on the evidence here – a stuttering two-hour outing bereft of any rhythm, a bunch of scenes in search of a movie – he's apparently forgotten.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The pretty good stuff comes early, when Nic and Ron, weary of wasting women and children, suffer an attack of conscience and desert the Crusades.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The film itself struggles to do justice to each victim. Turns out three stories are two too many. The Company Men should have been downsized.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    To wit, stick that camera down an aquatic cave, wrap a paper-thin plot around it, slap the whole thing up on an IMAX screen and call it a movie. More truth in advertising: Call it a lame movie.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Say this for I Am Number Four: It's blessedly free of any original sins. Instead, they're all copied. Here a little "Superman," there a bit of "Spider-Man," now it's "Twilight" with aliens, then it's a spaghetti western with trucks – this thing borrows more heavily than an investment bank in an unregulated market.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Sometimes, a strong premise makes for a weak movie, which ends up drowning in its own clever conceit.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    From that title on down, White Irish Drinkers is a compendium of clichés struggling to upgrade its status and become a respectable archetype.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    View the Second World War through a child's eyes and the result isn't hard to predict: a loss-of-innocence tale. Winter in Wartime is the boilerplate version, with the already dramatic facts of the era ramped up to melodramatic levels. Little wonder it rings so false.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Soul Surfer is a true story that plays like bad fiction.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    More interestingly, it's also kind of sweet in a contrived and fumbling first-kiss sort of way.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Poor Cattrall is caught in a script that, much like the white teddy, is an impossibly tight squeeze, obliging her to hit the farcical laughs while still playing the cellulite realism.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    By happy coincidence, their names – Bitey, Loudy, Stinky, Lovey and Nimrod – pretty much double as a plot summary.
    • 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.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Next semester, the stars should drop Speech 217 and enroll in Chemistry 101 – they dearly need some.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Typically, this sort of film is an earnest tear-jerker with moments of levity. Instead, what we have here is a raucous rib-tickler with occasional pauses for a little dramatic relief.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Approximate time spent laughing: 30 seconds or fewer.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The ensemble is unwieldy and the attendant yarn much too cluttered.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    At the end of these "based on a true story" flicks, it's customary to flash photos of the real people over the end credits. There, Sam Childers looks older and less handsome and awfully imposing, a scary sort of cat with raw but authentic tales to tell. I'd like to hear them.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Last Circus is a bizarre, surreal, grotesque, fascinating, demanding, disappointing and ultimately exhausting political allegory that plays like a waking nightmare.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Dirty Girl isn't. Sorry, but it's just faux grime, a thin layer of bad behaviour that wipes clean with a two-ply tissue to reveal the real movie beneath – all shiny sentimentality.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Keen to be both really romantic and romantically real, the movie is neither, and falls between the cracks of its twin-ambitions. The result? Call it l'amour phooey.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The pilgrimage is still long but, even with the crosses they bear, these are pilgrims lite – perhaps it's the modern way.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Muppet charm, always more at home within the intimate frame of a TV set, is gone here.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    This movie wants to be a horse but, even measured in box-office millions, it's just another nag.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's odd, how these high-concept films, knowing that the central gimmick has a way of wearing out its welcome, are all so short – a mere 84 minutes in this case. Why odd? Because short always ends up feeling so damn long. This is no exception. Quick to start and painfully slow to finish, Chronicle is the same old chronicle.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    A recruitment poster loosely disguised as a movie.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Judged by the usual aesthetic standards – Project X sucks. It's just another lame movie. Yet apply a different standard, the mores of our time, and you get a different verdict: Suddenly, it's a perfectly lame movie that speaks intriguingly to the way we live now.
    • 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.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Epically fantastic would be a welcome change, although epically awful would at least keep the symmetry. Alas, epically bland will have to do.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Really, Casa de mi Padre is a skit blown up to a feature flick, amusing for a while until its welcome wears out.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Pearce pumps a surprising amount of levity into his one-liners – sure, it's still hot air, but at least the banter comes fully inflated.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Expected too is the result: a kind of sterile opulence or, if you prefer, a magnificent emptiness.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    About a third of the way along, there's a shocking revelation that definitely packs a punch. Problem is, it's followed by a near-immediate return to familiar narrative convention, where the noir ante rises exponentially toward a climax that arrives too hastily and ends too neatly.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It's all rather wacky and hard to follow or fathom, although maybe that's attributable to Virginia's schizophrenia veering off on its delusional phase.
    • 43 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    360
    To their credit, both Meirelles and his cast infuse as much realism into the artifice as they can muster, but it's not nearly enough. The too-neat script boxes them in, and leave us out. In that sense, 360 doesn't so much connect our shrunken world as strangle the life from it – the circle feels like a noose.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Of course, the result is forgettable, but at least it's efficiently and breezily forgettable. What's more, there are laughs too and here's the best part – one or two of them are actually intentional.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    In what's meant to be a French take on "The Big Chill" - comedy meets pathos as friends gather at a country house in the wake of a tragedy - writer-director Guillaume Canet has wrought a meandering script that exercises everything except restraint.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    On the byways of any bustling metropolis, here is what the combination of bicycles + cars + pedestrians is certain to produce: (1) nasty accidents and (2) ferocious debates. More surprisingly, on the silver screen in Premium Rush, here is what the same combination fails to produce: a good action movie.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    I doubt that Lawrence is conscious of this process. Nevertheless, stuck in a dull commercial feature, a very good actor happens upon a new solution to an age-old problem: She improves the script by transcending it, and steals the picture by abandoning it.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Just a mediocre action franchise with a solid actor at the head and a travelogue in its heart.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The Paperboy is southern Gothic wallowing in the swamp of low camp. And if the wallowing were deliberate, this might have been hugely funny.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    No longer content with simple conservatism, this horror is downright totalitarian.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    The irony is worth noting: Back when it was really 1949, Hollywood made noir with teeth; this is nougat with pretensions.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    As flicks go, She's All That ain't very much. But as high-school flicks go, this thing is a trite classic. [29 Jan 1999, p.C3]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    To her credit, Nadda is a solid actors’ director – the performances here are competent even when the writing isn’t. The exception is South Africa which, although a logistically necessary shooting location, ain’t much of a thespian.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Certainty, then, is the watchword, and you can be certain of three things: There will be plenty of juvenile energy to power the vehicle; there will be a few mild chuckles en route; there will be no reason to remember the ride the instant it ends.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For my first trick, allow me to write off an entire picture by merely affixing to the title a one-word contraction: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone isn’t. Please hold your applause.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Beverly Hills Cop II puts its mega-star through a medieval trial, an ordeal by dullness. Survive these surroundings, Eddie Murphy, and you must truly be one very funny guy. Well, Eddie survives, barely, and taking our cue straight from him, so do we, almost. [22 May 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 28 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    It’s just such a shining example of a dull studio comedy.
    • 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.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    For all its merits - a lush canvas, a first-rate cast, a thoughtful director examining a theme directly relevant to his own checkered career - Vincent & Theo doesn't quite measure up. [16 Nov 1990]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 41 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    So, fans, gear up for rock-em-sock-em action, yet don’t be disappointed if much of the goonery seems a bit tepid and, dare I say, staged.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Emmerich succeeds only in making his previous venture, the marginal Stargate, look positively inspired by comparison.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Magic it ain't, but competent isn't far off the mark. Neither is hum-drum. [28 Oct 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Winnie begins as hagiography and ends in hellish confusion.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Groen
    Director Peter Hyams strives hard to maintain a light and entertaining touch, lifting Timecop slightly above its formulaic restraints. On the one hand, there's a pleasing freshness to the movie, thanks to lots of energy and a little playful wit. On the other, there's something deeply fatiguing about this picture. Maybe it's the formula, maybe it's all that time travel, but you just can't help thinking you've seen it all before. Must be deja vu. [21 Sep 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Other than a few gratuitous montage sequences, plus a patently clumsy echo of the shopping scene in "Pretty Woman," Marshall refuses to pull his share of the load, forcing his beleaguered cast to fend for themselves.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Barely a chuckle in sight.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    It's not really serious, not especially funny, and not noticeably scary. Strikeout.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    On the whole, the film is content to lumber awkwardly between the condemned man on death row and the intrepid reporter on his save-a-life beat -- there's about as much rhythm in the style as there is sense in the plot.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    A cinematic homage as flawed as its subject. Flawed, yet with a peculiar fascination of its own -- what we have is a genuine artist paying sincere tribute to an unapologetic mediocrity, and stooping awkwardly to the task.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The result is a small independent film suffering from a severe case of Hollywood-itis. A cautionary tale minus the caution, Just a Kiss is just a cop-out.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The film doesn't work, it ain't charming.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    As for the old and graceful Jackie, he's completely missing in action, his supple talents sacrificed on the high altar of movie technology -- that frenetic place where superheroes are a colossal bore and real ones are sadly impotent.
    • 14 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    What's up with director John McTiernan? The man has got to get a career of his own -- sponging off the pale leavings of Norman Jewison just won't do.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    To divulge the plot would spoil the experience -- you'll be shocked to discover, and maybe even surprised to learn, just how lame the damn thing really is.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Empire is just too intent on living up to its imperial name -- colonizing other defenceless movies, plundering their rich natural resources, and leaving us all to feel rather cruelly violated. A postscript: Somebody here -- I'm not saying who -- dies. And still keeps on talking.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    This hunk of celluloid flotsam will come back sooner rather than later, washed up on the remote shelves of your local video store. My advice: shred the message, recycle the bottle.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    While computer games can boast an abundance of nifty graphics and odious villains and plucky protagonists on long journeys, they're invariably a tad wanting in the cinematic essentials -- you know, stuff like plot and characterization and theme.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    You might believe that a movie comedy requires no visual rhythm, and that entire scenes -- especially those big set-pieces -- benefit greatly from a shooting style devoid of imagination and unremittingly flat. If so, A Guy Thing is surely your thing. Enjoy.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    When a movie ostensibly on a serious subject is so God-awful silly, is it impossible to be offended, or impossible not to be?
    • 25 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    A few early laughs scattered around a plot as thin as it is repetitious. There's talent in this picture, both before and behind the camera, but virtually none of it gets on the screen.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Watching Attack of the Clones is like getting rapped on the head with a rubber mallet -- no lasting damage (I pray and hope), but bad enough to bring on an acute bout of dizziness and disorientation. Definitely do not operate heavy machinery after viewing -- this behemoth is brutal.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Spun is so hip it hurts.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Pretty much what you'd expect -- just another haunted house that happens to float.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Dragonfly has more plot than a figure-skating competition, and just about as much credibility.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Smith and Lawrence enjoyed some amusing chemistry in the '95 original, but their molecules sure aren't jibing here. It's a full hour into this behemoth before there's anything resembling a belly laugh.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The problem here isn't how the figures look; rather, it's what they do and say -- the story is lame and the dialogue no better.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Oh, it's perfect all right. In fact, The Perfect Score is a flawless example of the classic January movie release -- the kind of studio picture that even the studio loathes, and so consigns to the dumping ground of the year's frosty first month.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    I confess to a deep uncertainty about whether this can be rightly called a movie. A bunch of scenes, maybe... I confess to a cynical belief that Lola isn't actually a role but just a succession of costume changes.
    • 42 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    A plot so thin you could filter coffee through it.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    In what is surely a tribute to the dazzling mediocrity of director Luis Llosa, the real jungle looks as bland as the fake jungle.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    In its nearly two-hour running time, in its always lugubrious pace, in its almost complete absence of laughs, The Prince & Me is a comedy that plays like a tragedy. No stricken bodies, though, unless you count the ones in the audience slumped back in their seats -- perchance they slept.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    If laughs are the currency of any comedy, then this one pays minimum wage and, worse, makes you work damn hard even for that pittance.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The net result is a few shaky laughs and one unwavering sensation -- that The Terminal is interminable.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Filled with visual potential, yet Levinson can't tap it. He's just a whole lot more comfortable trying to tame the human software than the technical hardware.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    With the performers given zilch to perform, the result is a picture that's all chassis and no engine, or, in the parlance of the genre, a bunch of pointy hats in search of a transporting broomstick.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    There, in its midst, stands a freeze-dried Arthur -- stripped of his legend, shivering in the cold and wondering, like the rest of us, where in hell the magic went.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    A crashing bore.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Now, forcibly deported to Chicago and peopled with American stars, the same story is huffed and puffed and squeezed into an entirely different cultural context. Guess what? Sayonara sushi, hello turkey.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    [Law] talks straight to the camera like the young Michael Caine, but this time our hunk has got zilch to say. That's because a bastard's candour is off-limits in today's politically correct market — it just wouldn't be polite.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The countdown begins with the first negative integer — an amped-up score that overpowers the proceedings like a bad band at a high-school dance.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Meant to explore anger, all this picture does is manufacture it.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Add them up and the sum has a certain mathematical inevitability: Really annoying characters, really annoying movie.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Herbie without the herb has never been my cup of tea.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    In lieu of a movie, we get a series of car chases rudely interrupted by the occasional smattering of dialogue.
    • 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.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Falls somewhere on that aesthetic scale between mediocre and flat-out bad.
    • 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.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The result is a curious mix - a picture that simultaneously seems meanderingly loose, affording the cast plenty of performing space, and suffocatingly tight, choking off the audience from any interpretive engagement.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Forgettable.
    • 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.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    With some movies, though, it's just the opposite. Like this one. It's a whole lot easier to forget than to forgive.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Guaranteed neither to offend nor delight.
    • 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.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Basic Instinct 2 is double trouble -- the femme is to die for, the film is to die from.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Like a two-bit philosopher working the wrong side of the stone, Howard has managed to turn gold into lead.
    • 29 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Characters already too wicked to be credible start doing stuff simply too stupid to be believed, with no help from a cast way too overmatched to be useful.
    • 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.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    School for Scoundrels suffers from an old-fashioned identity crisis. The poor thing is awfully confused, and so are we. Is it a black comedy that isn't dark enough? Or a dumb comedy that isn't stupid enough, or a gross-out comedy that isn't yucky enough? Or is it really just a romance comedy that isn't sweet enough? Don't have a clue, but this much is certain: It's definitely a failed comedy that isn't funny enough.

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