For 1,301 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 2% same as the average critic
  • 54% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 0.9 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rick Groen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Hunger
Lowest review score: 0 The Amityville Horror
Score distribution:
1,301 movie reviews
    • 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)
    • 27 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    As for Keitel, he pops up in a brief cameo as a housing contractor, with a dump-truck full of sand, the one that De Niro is standing right behind. The pair engage in a heated argument, as they once did so memorably those many years ago, and then the truck dumps that load exactly where you know it must. An esteemed actor gets buried but, what-the-fock, the franchise laughs on.
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Don't mean to boast, but I can suspend my disbelief as willingly as any credulous moviegoer. Yet not even an industrial crane would have helped here.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Apparently, somebody thought it was time for a remake. Clearly, somebody was dead wrong.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Over on the aliens side, it's hard to make out faces, but there's no doubt about their place of origin: These slimy, growling, bug-eyed and distinctly non-scary things are straight from central casting.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Bad Teacher should be a hoot. But it isn't. Love the theory here, hate the practice.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Add up these three intentions – the down-and-dirty tone, the tender and uplifting message, the starring vehicle – and the math ain't funny. Bottom line: This movie is a whole lot less than the sum of its parts.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    In today's cultural climate, any remake of Conan the Barbarian can only be considered (a) redundant or (b) a cruel case of rubbing salt in our cinematic wounds. Either way, it ain't a pretty sight – in fact, it's downright barbaric.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Call me Grumpy, but this seems less an adaptation than a random assault.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    It’s hard to argue with the title here – Safe Haven, indeed. This is all about safety in the Hollywood workplace. Why make a movie when making a Hallmark-card-with-dialogue is so much less risky?
    • 37 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    W.E. is a heavily made-up face masquerading as a movie and demanding to be admired – demands that might just leave you with an acute pain in the other end.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Another Nicholas Sparks novel, another cinematic brush with insulin shock.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Valuable life lessons always come at a steep price, and this one is no exception. Sorry, but you'll have to shell out for The Divide and then suffer through its nearly two hours of bloody inanities. Weigh the balance, make your choice.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Clint has a script. Actually, Clint has too much script, one of those schematic by-the-number jobs that telegraphs its every pitch.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The film sputters and stalls and winds up behaving like the worst sort of oldster – passing gas and pretending to be deep.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    There are a few laughs at the start of This Is the End, and a couple more at the end of This is the End. As for the endless middle, it’s middling.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    A lightweight flick about a heavy-duty subject, A Dark Truth plays like a TV movie back in the days when TV wasn't worth watching.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    What we have here is a romp, a funny romp at times, with a clear satiric intent and the expected quota of outrageous style - likable enough, yes, but a rather flimsy thing, a zany fest with its mind on cruise control. [17 June 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 45 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Alien Nation lives out precisely the fate of the alien nation it depicts - both full of potential, both hoping to please, and both immediately co-opted, enslaved by the same commercial forces that granted their release. [12 Oct 1988]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 53 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    Baby Boom has the fluffy amiability of an innocuous sitcom. In their rightful place on the shrunken sets of the small screen, its teeny characters would seem comfortably at home. But blown up to feature dimensions, they betray their flimsy origins, looking thin and transparent, just a bunch of under-considered ideas decked out in over-sized finery. [10 Oct 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 48 Metascore
    • 38 Rick Groen
    The weak plot means that the picture is governed totally by its gadgetry, the equivalent of those James Bond sequels that limp awkwardly from one showoff sequence to the next. [10 May 1991]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 43 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Sappy and predictable.
    • 25 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    In the case of When in Rome, oh to do what the Romans used to do: Toss the bloody thing to the lions.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    God forgive me, but I worship the Bad Dialogue Fairy -- he gets me through these endless nights.
    • 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.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Here's the title: Couples Retreat. And here's the review: Couples, Retreat. Yep, just find the verb, treat it as a command, and vamoose, unless you harbour an abiding curiosity about how eternally long 100 minutes can feel.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Imagine, if you dare, the outtakes from all those merely bad romantic comedies. Now further imagine that these discarded bits, the stuff that failed to make even the failures, found their way out of the waste bin and into a splicing machine and onto a projector. Do that and you're inching toward a full appreciation of this particular barrel, and the bottom it so brazenly scrapes.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    It's obvious now that the cinematic junk routinely released every Friday can be safely categorized as a mere failure. But this alleged comedy is a whole other species entirely. This is a bona fide, absolute, unmitigated fiasco.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Don't look for logic here. But if gore is your game, a motherlode awaits.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Sure ain't a movie. Nope, it's a product, pure and very simple and carefully tested to sell to the widest possible market.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    RV
    Yes, Virginia, there is a poop fairy, which is why studio heads persist in tucking the likes of RV under their pillows, confident they'll awaken Monday morning to find all that brown turned straight to green.
    • 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.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    One Star (and only for quoting Knee-Chee).
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The movie pretty much blows.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    We know to a certainty what will happen. More to the point, the writers know that we know. But here’s the intriguing bit: They don’t care. Rather, their job as diligent Tinseltown hacks is simply to devise ways of filling up the remaining 90 minutes.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Frankly, about 20 minutes into this dud, I was rooting for the alien beasties -- their diagnosis seemed dead-on.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Because the society in Menace II Society is boxed in sociologically, the picture (for all its strengths) is boxed in esthetically. Already, this genre is beginning to seem as much a victim as the victims it portrays.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Steve Miner is no Carpenter. A directing veteran of the Friday the 13th saga (parts II and III, in case you care), he's a plodder who favours long, dull buildups to short, dull climaxes -- it's slaughter by the numbers.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    54
    There are easily 54 reasons to dis 54, but let's start and finish with the obvious: The script plays like a proud offering from the lead hand at the Cliché Factory.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    This picture breaks through the limits and goes way beyond the pale -- it seems to enjoy irking us for the sheer hell of it.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    View from the Top never gets off the bottom -- comedies don't come much flatter.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Gosh, what to say about House of 1000 Corpses? That it's about 999 too many, for starters. Then again, in a picture where the body count is the whole point and the only purpose, carping about the math rather misses the mark.
    • 38 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The flames sure look real, but everything else in Backdraft, director Ron Howard's inflatable ode to firefighters, seems about as genuine as a plastic log in an electric hearth. Howard's particular type of schmaltz works well enough in small dabs on comic canvases (Splash, Cocoon, even Parenthood), but pumped up to heroic proportions, the sentimentality is just plain silly - in this case, cheap melodrama on a two-hour jag.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Using a kidnapping plot to call up some old-fashioned suspense, it doesn't even get a dial tone.
    • 34 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Can't have an American Thanksgiving without a turkey.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The film lacks the moronic consistency that graces the Sandlerian oeuvre at its most pristine.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Quite an artful dissembler. Despite all evidence to the contrary, this clunker has somehow managed to pose as an actual feature movie, the kind that charges full admission and gets hyped on TV and purports to amuse small children and ostensible adults.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    To be fair, the movie is nothing if not consistent -- the idea is every bit as dumb as the execution.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Dumb and Dumber 'n the hood.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The visual big top is the scourging and the crucifixion -- again and again, Gibson returns to the blood-letting. Again and again, we're exposed to the clinical repetition of a single act, until an alleged act of passion comes to seem boring and passionless. Is that not a definition of pornography?
    • 22 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Ho, ho, horrible.
    • 40 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The refined taste insists on risibly bad, on hysterically bad, on poke-your-seatmate-in-the-ribs bad, and this falls well short of that hallowed mark -- it's just routinely bad.
    • 19 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Remember that the director, the renowned Mike Mitchell, is the genius who helmed "Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo," and be sufficiently generous to accept that such a high level of excellence is hard to sustain.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    The same studio has aimed a remake at the same family market. Translation: The once-modest piece has been redesigned as a vehicle (a lumbering SUV) for Steve Martin, stripped of any vestigial charm, and then thrown into neutral, where its manic engine does nothing but roar loudly and pointlessly for the duration.
    • 18 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    No less laughable is the ending, where Ritchie neatly reflects today's prevailing attitude -- that audiences can't be trusted to handle a hint of ambiguity, but can live happily with flat-out stupidity.
    • 23 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    And De Bont's effects are wildly over the top, devoid of the stylish cuts and intriguing angles that enriched the original. In fact, there's so little panache in his destructive action that it begins to seem like a weird act of self-destruction.
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 43 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Think of a really bad, uncensored Saturday Night Live comedy sketch. Then make it worse – make it longer.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Damned if those dual spoilsports, the gladiatorial director Ridley Scott reteamed with his portly star Russell Crowe, haven't drained every drop of merriment right out of the myth.
    • 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)
    • 30 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Adam is back to lining his pockets again.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Only read the bottom line of the accountants' review, after your generic masterpiece has gone the distance from theatrical release to video stores to the nethermost regions of the cable dial. If the accountants' judgment proves kind, head to the bank and feel free to enjoy precisely what you've denied so many others – a really good laugh.
    • 27 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Neither boring enough to qualify as pornography nor vital enough to generate a controversy.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Where the hell is the movie?
    • 45 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Wisdom lies in taking a pass on Hall Pass, but bravery demands something else, something far more instructive: Watch it, every vacuous frame, if only to measure the precise aesthetic distance from blessing to curse.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Film encyclopedias may beg to differ, the Cahiers du Cinéma might correct me, but, as far as your humble correspondent knows, Wanderlust is the first mainstream movie ever to star a Floppy Prosthetic Penis.
    • 31 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Will be construed by the faithful as an embarrassment of riches and by the rest of us as cruel and unusual punishment.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    It's a dumb-ass comedy done strictly for a seriously large paycheque.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    2 Days in New York plays like 2 years in Attica. You don't watch this movie so much as serve it out, a light comedy doled out as a heavy sentence.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Never one to shrink from the challenge of parodying the already parodic, along comes Marlon Wayans to do in A Haunted House what he once did in "Scary Movie." And do it much, much worse.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Soderbergh has bathed the Depression in lovely, golden-brown hues - so lovely, so golden, that the flick seems to be unfolding from inside the delicious core of a burnished bran muffin. [20 August 1993]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 34 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Meant to be a nodding aside to the film buff, with plenty of in-jokes for the cognoscenti, Crimewave ends up as a random list in dire need of a good file-clerk. [3 July 1987]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 48 Metascore
    • 25 Rick Groen
    Ready To Wear is certainly a disappointment, if not an outright flop. [27 Dec 1994]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 27 Metascore
    • 12 Rick Groen
    [Pitof's] managed to create an entire digitalized city that has all the allure of an underground parking garage. And his action, it's cluttered; his editing, it's confused. The result: blandness butchered, hamburger chopped, kitty littered.
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 27 Metascore
    • 12 Rick Groen
    But the best, most irrefutable reason why Sex and the City 2 deserves one-half a shining star. It’s worse than Sex and the City 1, and that alone is a remarkable achievement.
    • 35 Metascore
    • 12 Rick Groen
    An actual film of unrelenting silliness. Far from being a "miracle of rare device" (yes, the movie even quotes Coleridge), this is a disaster of common occurrence - a poorly directed, ineptly edited, badly photographed bundle of celluloid. [14 Aug 1980]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 18 Metascore
    • 12 Rick Groen
    You will die at the hands of Zed's unborn son. Shucks, those wicked witches sure had a way of taking the fun out of life. Luckily for scheming kings, sadly for blameless movie-goers, such party-pooping prophecies are now mainly confined to formulaic flicks like The Beastmaster. [23 Aug 1982]
    • The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    • 33 Metascore
    • 0 Rick Groen
    A sustained if wildly uncoordinated assault on our senses, complementing those feverish jump cuts with a cliché of equally stunning proportions
    • 27 Metascore
    • 0 Rick Groen
    A 0-star Comedy that is nonetheless guaranteed to rake in multimillions.
    • 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.
    • 26 Metascore
    • 0 Rick Groen
    The whole mess turns nuttier by the second. A black comedy, you ask? I wish. There are plenty of laughs here, but nary a one is intentional.
    • 32 Metascore
    • 0 Rick Groen
    Watching inept American actors and wishing they were badly dubbed into Japanese isn't any fun at all.
    • 16 Metascore
    • 0 Rick Groen
    There's nothing even mildly intriguing, or remotely galvanizing, about Showgirls.
    • 12 Metascore
    • 0 Rick Groen
    The incomprehensible leads to the inexplicable which ends in the indecipherable.
    • 13 Metascore
    • 0 Rick Groen
    Calls itself a movie. It has words and pictures like a movie, and will appear in theatres like a movie, and will damn sure charge admission like a movie. But, truth be told, that's pretty much where the resemblance stops.
    • 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)
    • 30 Metascore
    • 0 Rick Groen
    Not just bad, but weirdly, fascinatingly bad.