Ronnie Scheib
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For 527 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 54% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 40% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 1.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Ronnie Scheib's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 59
Highest review score: 100 The Arbor
Lowest review score: 10 Fading of the Cries
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 36 out of 527
527 movie reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    A killer ending does not a movie make, and ultimately In the Bedroom may be more interesting to talk about than sit through.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Certain moments in the film resemble nothing so much as attending a school reunion, being buttonholed by an old acquaintance and shown snapshots of the grandkids. A complacently conservative acceptance sometimes seems to blanket all of 56 Up, as if maturity entails a serene blessing of the status quo.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Gentle, muted film of limited aesthetic ambition.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Uniquely Southern documentary has become surprisingly timely this election year.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    For Semans’ conceit of an obsessively narrow world to really work, he needed to have established an initially more expansive milieu.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Unlike more generally philosophical, life-affirming autobiographical docus about dying, “One Cut, One Life” rehashes old problems and tries to resolve multiple unresolved issues already exposed in previous films, proving as exasperating as it is weirdly compelling.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Maxine Trump’s feature loses focus as it progresses, though its insights into guitar making, forestry harvesting and environmental shortages resonate strongly.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 40 Ronnie Scheib
    It's all so overdetermined -- each encounter of the present-day lovers mirrors some moment from the long-ago day when they parted -- that it reduces their whole affair to a matter of last-minute revisionism.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    As endless processions of friends and colleagues attest to Spinney’s genius, and the filmmakers wallow in never-before-seen behind-the-scenes imagery, they fail to fully capture the actual art of puppeteering, with woefully few substantial excerpts from the show itself.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Barsky wisely includes just enough dissenting voices and admissions of grievous error by Koch himself to prevent the picture from seeming like a 100% feel-good puff piece.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Though no "Love and Diane," this modest film nevertheless reveals the fragility of hope in survivalist mentalities pre-programmed to expect the worst.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    The major draw of Blank City lies in its generous glimpses of rare, virtually lost Super-8 and 16mm films.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    The ease with which the perky, big-eyed heroine ingeniously succeeds in improving the lot of everyone around her and the painterly manner in which reality in every inch of the frame is "improved" constitute both the "quirky" charm and the pure fishiness of the film.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Director-producer Aviva Kempner's well-researched but unchallenging docu, like "The Goldbergs" itself, has cross-cultural appeal for Jews and goyim alike.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 40 Ronnie Scheib
    Despite Almereyda's strong following in arthouse circles, William Eggleston in the Real World --which requires patient if not repeat viewing -- will probably not venture far into it.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Above and Beyond reps an uneasy combo of two very different kinds of documentary, one of them personalizing the past and the other “objectifying” political advocacy.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Documentary seems best suited to cable: Lake's informal, Oprah-like concern invites the intimacy of home viewing. But the chick-chat approach in no way undermines the gravity of the problems the docu addresses.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Perhaps the least accessible of Tian's films, this serenely elliptical poser will elude all but the most devoted arthouse auds.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    In an act of "selfless service," a group of American women, backed by industry giants like Clairol and Vogue, open a beauty school in war-ravaged Afghanistan. The anomalies are manifold: Gun-toting soldiers patrolling the streets are visible through the windows as rookie beauticians busily snip, perm and tweeze.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Its extremely narrow focus on the death throes of an art form, rather than the art itself, limits its appeal.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Documentarian Jarred Alterman emphasizes oddball lyricism in the one-of-a-kind Convento, in which a 400-year-old Portuguese monastery provides the canvas for a Dutch family's artistic experimentation.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    A Whisper to a Roar traces a too-familiar step-by-step political pattern: the transformation of a liberator into a despot, his subsequent reign of tyranny and the popular uprising against it.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    An admirable if downbeat character study, Gabriel still sinks into a psychological quagmire.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Neither newly revelatory nor formally innovative.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Less cohesive and accessible than "The Maid" (which the Chilean duo co-scripted and Silva helmed solo), picture nonetheless contains unforgettable scenes.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Though the picture meanders somewhat in the absence of a clear throughline, the focus on Scott's music and electronic experimentation remains strong throughout, thanks to an eclectic roster of musicians and scholars and a generous sampling of his compositions.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Swell never really gathers momentum, remaining a collection of moments, some more privileged than others.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Carefully crafted and impressively thesped, particularly by Margo Martindale, Zack Parker's ambitious, self-styled thriller channels a wide spectrum of high-concept classics, from "Rashomon" to "Memento." But the resolution of its conflicting truths proves so bizarre and idiotically off-the-wall that it mitigates all that precedes it.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    As fascinating as it is frustrating.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 40 Ronnie Scheib
    An unremarkable documentary about Harper Lee and her single literary masterwork, Hey, Boo features what the French call a "structuring absence," that of Lee herself.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Koons Garcia has obviously opted for an upbeat approach: Choruses of scientists and farmers sing the praises of organic farming while John Chater’s camera visually devours the fruits, vegetables and livestock produced by healthy dirt.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Teper buries his material in gimcrack mod trappings that trivialize rather than celebrate Sassoon's accomplishments.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    The indomitable siblings' unusual background, huge size and highly developed intellects, as well as the dramatic ups, downs and rebounds of their interwoven sagas, should result in a fascinating dual biodoc. But the two-hour pic's lack of economy makes for heavy slogging, with no boxing minutiae too small for exhaustive exposition.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Revenge is a disappointment. Admittedly, the picture deploys the same kind of cinematic bells and whistles that made "Killed" so enjoyable. But without true tension, the documentary feels as slickly manufactured as its va-va-voom subject.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Picture loses its delicate edge when it builds to a prescribed dramatic flashpoint within an overly compressed timeframe
    • 63 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Unfortunately, picture's concept doesn't stretch to 74 minutes.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Racks up damning anecdotal evidence without substantially altering the discussion.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Though it retains the narrative complexity of the Swedish bestseller on which it's based, WWII saga Simon and the Oaks never creates an emotional or intellectual throughline of its own.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    May shock many viewers, especially political liberals.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Schwarz lacks the writing chops to adequately embed the character’s predictable learning curve into a richer narrative fabric, but Dunne’s perf is pitch-perfect.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Moving, engagingly low-key curio.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    In his intriguing take on the Frankenstein myth, first-time scripter/helmer James Bai establishes an entire alternate universe with consummate mastery only to fail to coax a convincing performance out of his lead actor.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Kagan's green-screen filmization, in its over-busy editing, ever-changing angles and constantly shifting backdrops, strips the play of its starkness, leaving disproportionate schmaltz and propaganda.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    The idea of framing Holocaust atrocities in contemporary genre terms, although intriguing, is not without its perils, and the secret, when revealed, looms too large to fit within the plot’s parameters, creating strange disconnects between form and content.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    As a character study and revelation of a possible answer to addiction, the docu rocks. But Negroponte's low-res video camera, trivializes the film's already crude approximations of psychedelic experiences and its recordings of shamanistic rituals.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    In its reliance on emotionally loaded voiceover and its disconcertingly direct appeals for support, Len Morris' old-fashioned docu seems more designed for fund-raising pitches than theatrical release.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Aggressively upbeat docu, helmed by two males ill-equipped to bring any distance to the camp's pervasive feel-good feminism, tends to relentlessly reiterate points better served by example.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Ronnie Scheib
    Documentary's insistent inflation of buried gold jewelry and watches into symbols of heroic defiance and transcendental tragedy rings hollow in the wake of weightier Holocaust testimonials.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Winner of the Golden Starfish fiction competition at the Hamptons fest, pic's gutsy, madly ambiguous unleashing of a mixed bag of religious reactions attests to a genuine sense of regionalism.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 40 Ronnie Scheib
    This black comedy on the making of a documentary about mail-order wives finally breaks down under the weight of its twists and turns, but mostly maintains a creepy fascination with its scuzzy characters.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    A venerable cast of Broadway vets interminably wanders through the clan's Connecticut mansion with no apparent goal, carrying the remains of never fully explained resentments.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    The improvisational zeal with which Cusack approaches his role (absent from his miscast villainous turn in “The Paperboy”) is particularly fun to watch.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Of particular interest to gay-rights activists and their adversaries, this "War Room"-like but extremely civil documentary seems best suited to community venues and the smallscreen.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Never completely takes off, yet somewhat overestimates the surrounding zaniness. Still, any opportunity to witness the improvisatory skills of Sarah Silverman, Bonnie Hunt and Amy Sedaris should not be missed.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    In striving simultaneously to cover the transplanted rap scene, sample a wide range of groups, and give an unbiased picture of Cuban society, helmers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who have hitherto worked in short-form, blur the overall shape of their picture.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    The filmmakers' metaphor of the housing market as a casino, with hard-working people's homes used as chips, although apt, may lack the visual and visceral excitement.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    A lightly feminist, good-naturedly comic sketch of a Chinese-American family in crisis. But despite pic's earnestness and obvious good intentions, narrative elements, carefully set forth though they may be, fall back on overfamiliar, underdeveloped tropes.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Marquardt never buries her symbolic subtext very deep, what with a woman who freezes her eggs and a man who ensures that his patients feel nothing.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Although Dyer's sophomore feature clearly intends to capture the magical otherness of a child's p.o.v., nothing in her strangely aloof mise-en-scene or her late sister Gretchen's script yields anything more than a group of well-thesped, believable suburban kids upset by their parents' behavior.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Meandering mindlessly, Wizards comes off as yet another humdrum Pottery artifact.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Beginning promisingly enough, "Handsome" soon turns monotonously angst-ridden, with all humor and personality falling by the wayside.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Thanked and vilified from coast to coast, Carter remains steadfast in his belief that Israel's policies in the Occupied Territories are unjust and counterproductive.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Despite lively commentaries by a pantheon of master musicians and magnificently performed classical pieces, "Exiles" only distantly echoes Huberman's visionary adventure.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Despite a comic Yiddishe mama turn by Meryl Streep and a sensitively nuanced performance by Uma Thurman in a convincing changeup from her recent kickass action roles, Prime remains an oddly juiceless older woman-younger man romance, with a Freudian twist.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Engages but underwhelms.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Holiff Sr.’s extensive audio diaries and taped phone conversations with Cash give authentic voice to the film’s otherwise stodgy re-creations of this true odd couple’s stormy relationship.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Covering familiar ground from an unfamiliar angle, Ted Woods' oddball documentary White Wash examines the history of African-American disenfranchisement from a black surfer's viewpoint, in the process countering the racist myth that black people don't swim or surf.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Burns' always impressive sense of place lends authenticity to the pals' perambulations, and the stellar cast brings a welcome overabundance of personality to regrettably one-note roles.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Safer, more conventional and closer to broad TV sketch humor than Christopher Guest's comedies of manners, The Grand never quite recoups in laughs what it loses in spontaneity.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    This inordinately likable and consistently funny boxing saga-cum-romantic comedy doesn't so much ridicule the "Rocky"-type inspirational sports fable as gently deflate its heroic overdrive.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Greif obviously ascribes to the Blake Edwardian school of comedy, laying out gags with commendable topographical precision. But, unlike Edwards' unique mixture of sophistication and slapstick, Funny Money falls squarely in the tradition of pure farce, itself an anomaly in this age of aggressively abrasive personality comedies.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 40 Ronnie Scheib
    The result is Sam (Mark Duplass, "The Puffy Chair" and "Humpday"), a 34-year-old unemployed rocker whose mediocre musicianship is matched only by his abysmal people skills; he's like Jack Black without any energy or confidence.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Collectivist in spirit, this mostly entertaining film lacks an official host or voiceover narration, which first works swimmingly but eventually becomes too diffuse.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Happily, "Upwards" picks up immeasurably when three legit luminaries (Andrea Martin, Julie White, Peter Friedman) enter the picture as the couple's parents.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Hearing the majestic iambic pentameter rendered in the sharply rising and falling cadences of colloquial Yiddish proves wackily charming, but the lack of correlation between the two plots makes the result feel unfocused.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Israeli helmer Dror Sahavi's well-meaning but simplistic terrorist melodrama, gingerly counterbalancing religious fanatics on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian divide, utilizes a lyrical "Romeo and Juliet"-type encounter between a reluctant suicide bomber and a Jewish escapee from Orthodox closed-mindedness to plead mutual tolerance.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    A strong cast, formal visual style and cynical voiceover that propels the action help elevate this Seattle-set gay romp from the ranks of the stereotypical.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Confusing lack of historical set-up considerably dims the potential luster of a great true story: Helmer Alberto Negrin relies instead on competently rendered but cliche-ridden melodrama of nasty Nazis and suffering Jews.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    For Fry, the music's complexity, ambiguity, innovation and humanity far surpass Wagner's personal limitations. He may not convince his viewers of the rightness of his conclusions, but he certainly makes a fervent case for the triumph of art over biography.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Filmmakers underline the immediate relevance of their conclusion: In matters of war and peace, who we elect president is crucial.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 40 Ronnie Scheib
    Partly produced by Lifetime, the pic attempts to elevate the disease-of-the-week movie into a moral dialectic between conformity and imagination.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    The pleasures of well-observed characters and small epiphanies are undeniable, and Alex of Venice, actor Chris Messina’s directing debut, is amply supplied with both, thanks to Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s extraordinary performance: Registering profound shocks with slight ripples rather than big emotions, she quietly commands attention.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Luckily, the music trumps the indifferently shot concert footage and lends shape to the evocatively lensed recording sessions in iconic locations. Nothing, unfortunately, mitigates Markus' sincere but trite and awkward narration.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 40 Ronnie Scheib
    This scattershot documentary — an undiluted advertisement for this temple of high-end consumerism — jumps skittishly from subject to subject, disjointed and repetitive for all but dyed-in-the-wool fashionistas.
    • 55 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    With Swaziland providing this mother lode of material, helmer Michael Skolnik extracts only the most pedestrian of films.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Though conceptually intriguing, the mix of downward drug spiral with uphill struggle for good never really coalesces.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 40 Ronnie Scheib
    Once Mulholland has established that both men hark back to a bygone, Teddy Roosevelt-fostered image of laconic masculinity, his peculiar vantage point generates little insight into the psychology and accomplishments of either man, as “The True Gen” abandons biographical logic in favor of a catalogue of arbitrary differences and similarities.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    This offbeat charmer succumbs to the same airless artificiality that has claimed many recent efforts in the genre.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Dave Boyle's picture is fueled by no overriding visual style, relying completely on its actors' chemistry for momentum. Unfortunately, the two strike no sparks.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Ronnie Scheib
    Unlike "Unzipped," with its single focus on the charismatic Mizrahi, Seamless follows three of the 10 finalists, furnishing a quietly fascinating contrast in persona, approach and design.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Ronnie Scheib
    A humorless, relentlessly ethnocentric docu about Jews in basketball.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Bubbles along with a jaunty but unoriginal blend of the sweet, tart, cute and weepy.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Loveless exerts a low-energy, dread-tinged fascination that intrigues rather than wows.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Ronnie Scheib
    Scripter Lund, himself an ex-teacher, delivers a story that lacks nuance, and mixes badly with Kaye's impatient edits, Dutch angles and extreme close-ups.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Ronnie Scheib
    This ongoing improvisation, along with the completed passes and resulting chest-bumping celebrations or recriminations, serves to define these otherwise "ordinary" ciphers and lend shape and momentum to an otherwise plotless movie.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    A convoluted bilingual thriller about a kidnapping in Colombia, Towards Darkness may be too clever for its own good. Frosh director Antonio Negret intertwines so many disparate characters, each with a flashback-studded backstory, that after a while the exhausted viewer, assaulted by sudden time-jumps, agitated handheld camerawork and tediously protracted suspense, ceases to care.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Though stylistically incoherent at times, picture benefits from the percussionist's plainspokenness.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Live From New York! registers as simultaneously too outsider and too insider — a perfect definition of mainstream media itself.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Although it avoids overt moralizing or clunky lesson-learning, pic's careful balancing act between tragedy and comedy eventually becomes its sole raison d'etre.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 50 Ronnie Scheib
    Virtually dialogue-free, the film opts for an almost perverse minimalism; even the camera is limited to the topography within the kids' purview.

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