For 137 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 40% higher than the average critic
  • 0% same as the average critic
  • 60% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.9 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Rick Kisonak's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 60
Highest review score: 100 Control Room
Lowest review score: 10 Awake
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 137
  2. Negative: 11 out of 137
137 movie reviews
    • 97 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    This is a tale of friendship, corruption, betrayal and desperation masterfully told without an ounce of filmmaking flash and with an unflinching commitment to realism.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Kisonak
    Breathtakingly inventive story.
    • 90 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    The combination of pen, ink and geopolitical strife have yet to yield anything quite like it.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    There isn't another American screen actor who could have given this performance, not one who so deftly could have navigated the razor's edge separating the wiseacre and the wise.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Kisonak
    No End In Sight is the most important film of the year thus far and, more significantly, the most comprehensive, clear-eyed account of the Iraq debacle and the arrogance behind it that we have.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    Portraying the same 1945 confrontation from the vantage point of the Japanese was an inspired idea. Unfortunately, the movie it inspired is something of a letdown.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Simultaneously offers priceless insight into the nation's past and a worrisome take on the future.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Kisonak
    Eastwood tells the story at a pace well under the Hollywood speed limit, tosses in details so beguiling they seem about to sprout into motion pictures of their own and bathes his subjects in shadows as lovely as those in any Rembrandt.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    The truth is About Schmidt offers only the sporadic laugh, the less frequent original cultural insight and, at best, a craftsmanlike performance from its aging headliner. The truth is there are long stretches in the picture that are unequivocally dull.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Yolande Moreau's most impressive costars are the extraordinary compositions of Seraphine Louis.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Rick Kisonak
    Bleak, weirdly witty at times and unrelentingly suspenseful, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead is the cinematic equivalent of a perfect storm.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Kisonak
    At once an astonishing feat of advocacy filmmaking and a white knuckle eco-thriller; think Michael Moore meets Michael Mann.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    At the end of the day, though, this is Charlie Kaufman's movie and I'm not sure he proves quite the visionary puppetmaster many in the media are making him out to be.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    A silly comic book movie with provocative psychological overtones. Or a provocative character study with silly comic book overtones. Take your pick. Either way, it's hardly the cinematic milestone it's widely hailed as being.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    The chief triumph here, it seems to me though, is one of style over substance. The disaffected kids who shuffle through its universe have nothing to say, nothing to tell us. I’m not sure the movie has a whole lot more.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    The amazing thing about Venus is that it's brutally honest about all this but at the same time funny as hell.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    The score is appropriately ethereal. From the Paris skyline to the Great Wall of China, the film's locales on every continent are rarely less than breathtaking. Calling the camerawork stunning, of course, is an understatement.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    Anyone who loves rock music will appreciate the script's insights into the form and its history.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    If my moviegoing experience was magical in any way, it was only in that I once or twice nodded off for a spell.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Suffice it to say that MacDonald has made the finest mountain climbing movie you are likely ever to come across. The cinematography is awesome, the score by Alex Heffes terrific, the reenactments remarkably credible.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    Details like period fashion and album covers are handled flawlessly. It's the big stuff that falls short of the standard set by this troupe. A Mighty Wind is good for an occasional laugh but you're not likely to be blown away.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    Fascinating and heartbreaking film.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Proved that cheerless, existentially unflinching literature can provide the basis for exhilarating cinema.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    There is no shortage of remarkable moments.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    The film is a wonder and a joy to watch on any number of levels.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 100 Rick Kisonak
    Here's the sliver of hope: In contrast to everything we've been told, the people who run Al Jazeera turn out to be decent and level headed.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Movies about writers are almost always romanticized affairs but Starting Out in the Evening is the rare exception. It is at once an elegy for the vanishing generation of Bellow, Cheever, Mailer and Updike and a dead on indictment of our culture’s current state.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 40 Rick Kisonak
    The film has brief flashes of believability and humor. By and large, though, the script is uninspired, the picture's characters are stick figures, its dialogue is lackluster and the star's performance seldom rises above the adequate.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    We aren't talking Oscar here. We're talking truly fine performances and an unexpectedly hep John Williams score. We are talking a story that rollicks with the most rollicking of them. Not great cinema; just a great time at the movies and certainly a film well worth catching if you can.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    From the performances of its first rate cast to the infectious score and Audiard's deft direction, this is one of the most accomplished movies you'll see anytime soon-old, new or, as is the case here, combining the best of both.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    Serves up heaping helpings of everything fans loved about the first.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Watching the American nightmare of Must Read After My Death play out, it's impossible not to be both horrified and powerfully moved. Impossible as well not to feel profound admiration for the artfulness with which Dews has pieced these archival cries for help into a singular creation anyone who appreciates first rate filmmaking absolutely must see.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Jenkins' film ranks as one of the past year's very best. Like "In Cold Blood," "The Onion Field" and "Dead Man Walking" before it, her picture provides a mesmerizing portrait of the human side of evil.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Rare is the motion picture which grapples with issues this provocative and profound. Rarer still is one which does so this well.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    This is a gentle, understated character-driven piece that has more in common with European romantic dramas than those made in this country as a rule.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    Manages to be impressively unsettling given the flaws in its foundation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    Over all, though, the picture fires on all pistons. The globetrotting's a good time-I can't think of another spy film that's featured as delightful an assortment of seamy international undersides.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    Beyond any contention is Morgan Spurlock's gift for metabolizing common knowledge into uncommonly entertaining cinema.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    It doesn't disappoint. It gets the job done thanks in large part to the breakout performance given by Galifianakis. It's no "Old School," but it will do nicely until that film's anticipated sequel rolls around in 2011.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    Ray
    The heart of Ray, of course, is the music and, whatever other shortcomings the film may have, it does not fall short as a showcase for the artist's greatest hits.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    I'm not sure Sam Mendes' latest is a masterpiece as so many critics are exclaiming but it is very probably the most artful and earnest drama ever adapted from a comic book.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    Sublimely directed, scored, shot and performed, the picture misses greatness by a nose as a result of shortcomings in its script.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Rick Kisonak
    The movie gives us lovingly shot landscapes, portraits of extraordinary friendships, a great score, dialogue that only occasionally slips into history lessons, a number of memorably etched minor characters, a splendid performance by its youngest star and two mysteries.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    This is a decidedly hit or miss deal which, despite the current outpouring of critical praise, is destined to rank among the Coen's least memorable achievements.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    Exceptional performances and unexpected twists of plot keep the story from descending into overwrought melodrama.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 40 Rick Kisonak
    Billed as a comedy but it would be every bit as accurate to categorize it as science fiction or a World War II drama. It is simply not a funny film.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    The film also benefits from unusually solid writing and a masterfully understated turn by Billy Bob Thornton.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    Post-personality switch, the picture does come to life somewhat but proves a one trick pony.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    Given their lack of training, nearly all the young performers do a commendable job. It's the director who slips up by, among other things, dividing his cast into such predictable phyla.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    Full speed ahead fun, a rollicking caper romp that hearkens back to a quainter, pre-Ken Lay age when bigtime fraud could actually entail writing books as opposed to merely cooking them.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Each and every one of the movie's 125 minutes is a moment of searing truth.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    As an affecting work of compassionate craftsmanship, The Letter delivers.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    For my money, the movie should have given us more of Macy the magical loser and less of Macy the stud muffin.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Rick Kisonak
    The two actors (Hanks/Seymour Hoffman) have terrific chemistry and riff off one another like partners in a veteran comedy team.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Rick Kisonak
    On its own terms, Departures is a thing of rare and remarkable beauty.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Costner sets course for one of the most stirringly choreographed shootouts in movie history.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 40 Rick Kisonak
    Bottom line: the spectacle he was preparing may well have provided Jackson with the appropriate note on which to close his long, controversial career. This, however, I think even die hard fans will concur, isn't it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Her beauty, independence, and stock portfolio notwithstanding, Chelsea’s tale is a timely, tragic one told with typical Soderbergh finesse, a sly, sleek merger of sex, lies and hi def video.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    The portrait of traditional Indian life Chadha provides manages to mine laughs from characters without resorting to making them laughable.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    Elegy's last act is a mournful smorgasbord of bathos in which major and supporting characters alike drop like flies. The body count is practically Shakespearean. The same, regrettably, can't be said for Coixet's touch when it comes to tragedy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    I find Soderbergh's Solaris an eminently more satisfying experience than Lem's. This is a film as elegantly directed as any by Kubrick, one which is superbly acted and brilliantly scored, as spellbinding a work of cinema as we're likely to see for some time.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Rick Kisonak
    Despite the cast's capable portrayals, it's difficult to connect with or care about any of these characters as, one by one, each stabs another in the back.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    On its own terms, the picture is at least as contrived as it is charming and its characters in many cases bear less resemblance to flesh and blood human beings than those in a Farrelly brothers farce.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    Elf
    While the picture doesn't rise to the level of instant holiday classic, younger members of the audience are guaranteed to get a Christmas kick out of it. If disappointment awaits, it awaits Ferrell's older fans.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Rick Kisonak
    Identity steams my broccoli big time and not just because its surprise twist is an insult to the intelligence of every audience member.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    In other hands with another cast, You Kill Me might easily have proven just another modest production indulging in mob violence and postmodern irony. There certainly is no shortage of those. Dahl’s latest, however, is something more than a modest production. It’s a small wonder.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    The movie does an admirable job of juggling political, dramatic and comic elements.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Not since the breakthrough days of Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler and the Farrelly brothers have two hours of movie comedy simultaneously felt so wrong but oh so right.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    Not bad for a mainstream suspensefest. Gere's good, Lane, as I said, is amazing in places and Lyne does some of his most assured work in years.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    Burgundy and Carell's Brick Tamland, by himself, would be worth the price of admission.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    May just be the most quintessential Steven Spielberg movie Steven Spielberg never made.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    A touching, stirring story even if it has been given the Hollywood treatment.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    A competently calibrated feel-good machine. It's as effective as anything on The Lifetime Channel. Which is likely where this project would have wound up were it not for the involvement of Washington.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    Gorgeously shot, cleverly directed, smartly scripted and convincingly performed, The Dreamers is itself something of a movie puzzle.
    • 20 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    This is one of those "Crash"-style pictures with interwoven narrative strands. The problem here is that most of the strands wind up little more than loose ends.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Rick Kisonak
    Easily the most disappointing movie of the summer, Extract is more significantly the biggest letdown of its esteemed creator’s career.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    The movie crosses the line between offering mindless entertainment and insulting our intelligence.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    The only downside to this delectable third course? The regrettable likelihood that Lecter fans will have to make do without dessert.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    Proyas creates a futurescape that's snazzy in a “Blade Runner” lite sort of way and one or two of the film's effects are eye poppers.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    You aren't likely to see a film with more warmth and good humor anytime soon or one that does more to give feel good filmmaking a good name.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    The plot is romantic comedy boilerplate from start to finish and, with the story's outcome a foregone conclusion, the least the director could have done is throw in a bit of cultural enlightenment to keep the audience occupied while he connects the dots.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    An achievement of this magnitude is a stunning and extremely pleasant surprise.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    The odyssey that follows reminded me of the one Bill Murray’s character took in "Broken Flowers" - and I mean that in the most complimentary way.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    Over all though, this is a first rate caper piece elevated by Caine’s effortlessly elegant portrayal. The movie is wall to wall with pompous, sexist, greedy backstabbers and it’s a hoot to watch Hobbs mop the floor with the lot of them.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Rick Kisonak
    Watts is extra-watchable and, as I say, the filmmaker does achieve a style and tone the script never comes close to living up to. Otherwise, Verbinski's adaptation of the 1998 Japanese hit "Ringu" misses the mark almost completely.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Rick Kisonak
    The role is ill-suited for Kinnear's talents. Abraham's pacing is glacial, the cinematography is flat, the score by Jill Savitt is suited better to a supermarket and then there's the fact that the climax can be seen coming a mile away. Maybe the biggest, though, is its failure to play fair with the audience.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Rick Kisonak
    Tykwer makes of all this murder and madness a concoction of improbable beauty and rare artistry. "Perfume" is not just the finest film of his career but easily one of the past year's most accomplished.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 90 Rick Kisonak
    The final act is all but guaranteed to astonish and satisfy. See this movie.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    The situation is suspenseful and unique enough to hold our attention for a time.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    The picture ranks with the brothers' best mid level output-not as sublime as "Fargo" or "Barton Fink" but infinitely more satisfying than "The Big Lebowski" or "Intolerable Cruelty".
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    Wolfgang Petersen's popcorn epic doesn't fail exactly. It just takes on too much. Modern man is at something of a disadvantage-even aided by his trusty muse, the computer-when presuming to bring the stuff of gods, myths and timeless sacred texts to the big screen.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    It may not be great but you're guaranteed to feel great walking out the theater door.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Rick Kisonak
    Watanabe's charismatic performance and a couple of colorful minor characters aside, The Last Samurai has little to recommend it.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    A good laugh is almost never a bad thing and almost every frame of Old School is grade A goofball fun.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 10 Rick Kisonak
    Down With Love has little to offer besides hip sixties references better films have already made and made infinitely more hip.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    Who's responsible for this comedy proving such a disappointment- Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler or director Peter Segal? Nope. The correct answer: screenwriter David Dorfman.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    Rowan Atkinson's spy spoof is wildly uneven and yet, at times, nothing less than wildly entertaining.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 70 Rick Kisonak
    A fine cast, understated treatment and tantalizing premise make for a movie well worth seeing even if you don't come away believing.
    • 50 Metascore
    • 60 Rick Kisonak
    Has its rollicking moments and snappy lines but even Pacino can't elevate them into more than a fleetingly juicy treat. This is a movie that desperately wishes it had been written by David Mamet.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Rick Kisonak
    Recycles a great many motifs from "Truman" but never comes close to putting on as good a show.

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