Robert Koehler

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For 508 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 45% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 52% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 10.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Robert Koehler's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 51
Highest review score: 100 Neil Young: Heart of Gold
Lowest review score: 0 Outta Time
Score distribution:
508 movie reviews
    • 90 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    Plentiful screen time for three generations of femme jazzers, led by energetic and witty gals from the golden age of big band and swing who unlock a treasure trove of memories, make this a real crowdpleaser.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Koehler
    One of the most wildly entertaining docs of recent years.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    With an accountant's eye for precision and a political scientist's grasp of the machinations that move national policy, Charles Ferguson's No End in Sight itemizes the errors, misjudgments and follies that have defined the Bush Administration's invasion of Iraq.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    Its mind-bending storytelling and themes of play and paranoia make it perhaps the quintessential Gallic movie of its era.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    A blast and a half -- as entertaining as mainstream American docus get.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    So harsh and damning is the pic toward the current Catholic leadership -- personified by Los Angeles-based Cardinal Roger Mahony, who oversaw O'Grady's stewardship at various central California parishes in the 1970s and '80s, that charges the church operates "like the Mafia" sound spot-on.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    Los Angeles may be the most photographed city in the world, but it has never have been captured with such complex layers of meaning and fascination as in Thom Andersen's remarkable Los Angeles Plays Itself.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    Belzberg's unsparing camera sometimes portrays a level of cruelty that tests viewers' tolerance, but her fearless aesthetic is also a measure of the film's brilliant indictment of any society that can allow its most vulnerable to slip into oblivion.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    Ghobadi in this pic displays a complete command of his art as he shifts between -- and even blends -- wrenching tragedy and amusing comedy.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Koehler
    The concert film has never looked or sounded classier than Jonathan Demme's superbly crafted Neil Young: Heart of Gold.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Koehler
    A rock-ribbed sense of committed, personal cinema and a core belief in people being able to pull themselves out of misery supports Ballast, an extraordinary debut by editor-writer-director Lance Hammer.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    As beautiful as it is unrevealing, James Longley's Iraq in Fragments rests on a debatable but firm premise -- that the embattled country is irrevocably separated by its three dominant groups, Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds -- but brings back nothing journalistically substantial from the war front .
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    Though tinged with the sheer gumption and personal resolve of amateur vidmaker and would-be rapper Kimberly Roberts, this is ultimately a minor doc contribution to the bulging library of Katrina-related films and TV reports.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    This edition of the seminal example of genre sensationalism refined by the cream of Hollywood craftsmanship is more complicated than a standard director's cut.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Melds a great cause and Dominique's incandescent charisma with care using research from nine years of filming and reporting.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    No trendsetter or breakthrough, this is more than anything else a welcome chance for the fine actor Melissa Leo to finally dominate a film in a terrific and affecting lead role.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    It's the soundtrack, as much as the opticals, which makes this brief Imax trip a thoroughly sensory experience.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Made with gentle grace and sensitivity.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    Similar in its battlefield passages to last year's Danish-made "Armadillo," Dennis' film scores a layered perspective that follows Marine Sgt. Nathan Harris into combat and back home.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    Departing from two decades' worth of domestic and personal dramas and returning to his roots as Japan's maestro of mayhem, Kinji Fukasaku has delivered a brutal punch to the collective solar plexus with one of his most outrageous and timely films.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Tender, sensitive Sunset Story sidesteps a maudlin tone for a wide-ranging account of two fragile but opinionated retirees.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    While a local filmmaker’s perspective may have brought more dimensions, the coverage of events here is impressive and on the mark.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Solnicki demonstrates that a work of art can be made from the humble materials of home-shot video and various 8mm formats, especially when the eye and ear behind the camera are as observant and unabashed as they are here.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Adopting a postmodern method quite different from that of his remarkable "The Inner Tour," Ra'anan Alexandrowicz poses his questions from a legal angle, and finds these minds stumped by a system they've professionally defended.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    Imax 3-D process has lost its original novelty, and little is done in Deep Sea to find new and exciting ways of using the medium.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    A beautifully observant and wholly unpretentious film with roots more in Cassavetes than Sundance-style showbiz.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    The balance between feeling and distance is never a contradiction here but, rather, the dynamic that makes this film an especially humanistic entry in the Maysles canon.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    While the point of view of privileged, Anglo observers on African issues usually raises hackles, such is not the case with The Devil Came on Horseback, a tense account of former Marine Capt. Brian Steidle's witnessing of the genocide in Sudan's western province of Darfur.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Smith's utterly natural filmmaking there is impressive.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    Observing locally and thinking globally, Laura Dunn's astonishing debut doc feature The Unforeseen is the kind of transformative viewing experience that has made the current period a golden age for nonfiction film.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Christian Bauer's engaging The Ritchie Boys captures the excitement, ironies and "good war" feel of World War II.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    First-time feature director's disciplined objectivity is coupled with humanism in this collaboration with a gifted cast and cinematographer. The artistic success, though, may be a bit too cool.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    The film is, at times, emotionally riveting -- yet also has an institutional feeling, largely because it attempts to cover too much ground in too little time.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    Before the music takes over, the film inserts a few bits of charm, such as Emmylou Harris excitedly following the latest Major League Baseball scores.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Superbly researched and constructed, pic is an improvement over last year's "The Weather Underground," which backed away from judging political terror on the left.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    An intelligent overview that makes a radical artist's work comprehensible to audiences with no previous awareness of her or her chosen path.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    An unusual example of what can be termed a "gay Christian" film, Cone's feature is among the best of a recent spate of dramas observing American Christian life.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Eye-popping lensing and an appreciation of social complexities combine for an entirely satisfying experience.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    The title is an apt one, suggesting that for all its staging and overt theatrics, independent (read: non-WWF) pro wrestling makes huge demands on the body and spirit.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Often mocked and rarely understood, the movement in communal living that blossomed with Flower Power in the '60s gets its most honest appraisal yet on film with Jonathan Berman's Commune.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Because it's bolstered by proud memories of Vietnam vets who turned against the war, Sir! No Sir! rings with an exultant, even elated tone.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    At its best, Garbus' account quietly depicts a set of wasted lives, and a closing image of Allen's plywood casket carted away by a bulldozer is emblematic of the tragedy.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Taking the genre to a higher level of intensity, the Welsh-born Evans continues what he started in previous Indonesia-set actioner "Merantau," but this picture will seal his cult status.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    De Felitta seems a born documaker. He brilliantly constructs a tale born of a genuine love of jazz and a need to understand how Paris went from sensation to footnote in a generation.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    A gently and genuinely observed film whose subject is a garish, artificial display of mayhem.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Building his dry comedy out of a basic confusion of names, an Army recruitment slip and one man's curiosity, Jacobs creates a droll, meandering and defiantly uncommercial film.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Haroun’s tender but unsentimental regard for his characters allows his storytelling a natural gravitas thoroughly suited to the simultaneously unfolding private and national tragedies.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    The deft shading he (Byler) elicits from his thesps is of a piece with his dramatics and his understated, artful approach to compositions and movement.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    Fascinating if overly self-involved Slamdance entry is among the few U.S. pics that deliberately smudges the line between non-fiction and invention as it tells how Crumley and Buice meet online and develop a relationship.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    Jeter's film takes on the quality of a sustained dream, as if the theatrical conceits of Jean Genet were married to a children's story retold via William Faulker's Southern brand of stream of consciousness.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Ghost throws its most powerful punch in its second half, reporting on contempo events as a direct repeat of the ghastly Leopold era.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Departing less from his horror bailiwick than he did with "Music Of The Heart" in 1999, Wes Craven retains shocks but dispenses with scares in the negligible Red Eye.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    It will serve as a fine entry point for younger auds interested in learning about the price paid by moviemakers and their families swept up in the 1950s anti-Communist net.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Perky and effortlessly smooth.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Ingmar Bergman lays his soul on the line in Marie Nyreroed's gentle, intimate and thorough documentay.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Full of bold dramatic strokes and complex character shadings.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    When this "Enemy Within" settles into key action sequences, such as a stunning nighttime ambush or a daytime battle against Fabio, it becomes wildly entertaining.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    The film observes a guy verging on poverty or riches with a bounty of beautiful imagery and fresh angles on skateboarding culture.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Detailing the birth, life and death of America's first major urban housing project in St. Louis, Chad Freidrichs' The Pruitt-Igoe Myth combines concise but thoroughgoing sociological-historical analysis and elegant cinematic resources in service of an uncommonly artful example of film journalism.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    The temptations of allowing a promotional video to seep inside a genuine non-fiction study nearly overtake East of Havana and its look at a bubbling hip-hop culture in Cuba.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Magnificently renders a fresh view of life on planet Earth.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Light, taut and compact, the zippy adventure is sometimes much too hip for the room.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    Zhang Yimou's strangest and most troubled film, abounds in hysterical, mannered Tang Dynasty-era palace intrigue and dehumanized CGI battle sequences.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Oil companies aren't the only ones profiting from a spike in prices at the gas pump. It's likely also to boost the prospects of Who Killed the Electric Car? a likable if partisan post-mortem on the now-defunct auto.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    Unlikely to draw new fans but destined to please followers who couldn't catch the live act.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    An especially dramatic, if needlessly frantic, work of polemical reportage on racism in America.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 100 Robert Koehler
    An exquisite ode to a working-class hero, Cinderella Man takes the almost impossibly perfect elements of the saga of underdog boxer James J. Braddock and fills it with emotional gravitas, wrenching danger and a panoramic sense of American life during the Great Depression.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Robert Koehler
    Von Trotta’s Arendt biopic feels like a movie stuck in another era, stolid and rote, more of an outline for a dramatic treatment than the real thing.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    The Francises are aces behind the camera, displaying an elegant sense of composition that makes their subject visually ravishing. Andreas Kapsalis' gorgeous score lends doc a grand quality.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Burning with a quiet intensity, Monster's Ball is bolstered by a poetic, intelligent sensibility not seen in an American film since Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line."
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Smartly engineered to engage sports fans and non-fans, the picture's account of Lithuania's 1992 Olympics bronze medal-winning team, presented as a symbol of post-Cold War freedom.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    Falco, light years from "The Sopranos," is exquisitely vulnerable and her scenes play well with Hutton, in his finest role in years as a good man who knows he's sold out.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    Alternates too deliberately between jaunty comedy and serious message-making.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 30 Robert Koehler
    Doubly disappointing considering that it marks the first feature by Rwandan filmmakers to address the country's 1994 Hutu-on-Tutsi genocide, Kinyarwanda awkwardly and fitfully patches together a half-dozen story strands meant to provide a panoramic view of war and reconciliation.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Balances intelligent humor, slapstick, Blighty reserve and Yank spunk along with environmentalism.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    Captures the excitement of lightning in a bottle.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 40 Robert Koehler
    Although guided by considerable empathy toward its small circle of kinfolk eking out a living in southern Texas, Eska's tale of a woman's unconditional support of her father-in-law is told with a faux-poetic sensibility that never really connects with his characters' lives.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Proves that few can maneuver one of Cohen's dusky, lovelorn songs like Cohen himself.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Fascinating assemblage combines strike footage first shot in 1979 by Perry when he was working for the Texas Farm Workers Union with film and video lensed over the ensuing 20-plus years.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    A refreshingly honest film about the life and times of Hollywood uber-power player Lew Wasserman.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    Picture sets the gold standard for political documentaries.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Smartly and seamlessly blending a cast of talented Argentine and Spanish thesps, Pineyro seems to be testing how much cinema he can derive from a restricted space.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    The forthcoming line of high-octane summer entertainments will be hard-pressed to top this one for both thrills and wit.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    The elusive, quicksilver nature of young love is often reduced to crude simplicities by the movies, but director Sebastien Lifshitz and writing partner Stephane Bouquet have observed it with a superb balance of aesthetics and insight in Come Undone.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Though quite routine on the logistics of deep-sea exploring, pic develops a visual style as it replays the events of the sinking that some viewers may find more visually exciting and satisfying than what Cameron staged in his original mega-blockbuster.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Closer to pics like “The Hit” and “Miller’s Crossing” than to McDonagh’s bristling, funny plays, this half-comic, half-serious account of two Irish hitmen who are sent to the titular Belgian burg to cool their heels after a job is moderately fair as a nutty character study, but overly far-fetched once the action kicks in.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Lacking the outrage and wit of Michael Moore's "Sicko," which dealt with the different matter of health insurance, this documentary is stronger on finding viable solutions.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    Writer-director Montiel creates a movie of many parts that don't always congeal. Mix this with the many meaty scenes and a roster of often exceptional actors and the effect is one of a fabulous acting showcase more than a wholly finished work.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Close encounters of the charming kind infuse The History of Future Folk, which will likely be remembered as the first neo-hipster Brooklyn sci-fi movie.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 90 Robert Koehler
    A powerful and creative film.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Irresistibly entertaining and full of unique character portraits.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Viewers unaware of the music --hugely popular among Mexicans -- and the often intensely nationalist sentiments behind it, may blanch at the open chauvinism and celebration of outlaw lifestyles. But part of the pic's strength is its presenting the cultural strain as it is, without comment.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    A sweetly raucous adventure. Widely quoted comparisons to "Billy Elliot" and Tim Burton overstate the case for what is really a modestly eccentric entertainment.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    Though it never disguises its sympathies for Kasparov and contempt for a powerful corporation's machinations, documentary is finally a speculation on the limits of the human mind and how truth can never be fully known.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    The textured, thoughtful results may prove too cerebral and abstract for audiences beyond Smith's hardcore followers,
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Robert Koehler
    Disney's tradition of intelligent, live-action family period cinema is magnificently revived in Tuck Everlasting.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    Deeply influential, even to his enemies, Atwater's career is viewed here with fascination and some sympathy.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Robert Koehler
    A satire for its time. What Judge is less sure of here than in his previous, perfectly pitched live-action comedy "Office Space," is how to build a complete movie around his key ideas.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Robert Koehler
    With Iraqis pointing cameras at each other, the result is cheerier than might be expected.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 40 Robert Koehler
    May leave itself open to charges of being little more than a promo feature posing as a documentary, but pic nevertheless is a warts-and-all look at a group of musicians -- and the music biz -- likely to make most record label flacks flinch.

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