Michael Rechtshaffen

Select another critic »
For 1,133 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 52% higher than the average critic
  • 10% same as the average critic
  • 38% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Rechtshaffen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 57
Highest review score: 100 Kinsey
Lowest review score: 0 The Assignment
Score distribution:
1133 movie reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    As documentaries go, few arrive with as much ripped-from-the-headlines urgency as The Will to See, an eye-opening return visit to the backdrops of some of the world’s worst atrocities.
    • 51 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Rechtshaffen
    What starts out as a screwball “Squid Game” ultimately yields a paltry payoff in the case of “Stanleyville,” a self-consciously quirky social satire that is content to coast on its waning surface weirdness.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    As with his 2016 documentary “Tower,” which recounted a 1966 mass shooting in Texas, director Maitland is most concerned with those whose stories get buried beneath the headlines.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Preferring to maintain his focus on the tender relationship between father and son, as well as the gently amusing camaraderie that exists among groups of males in both countries, Koguashvili challenges conventional notions of masculinity to often delightful effect.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    It may not be so quixotic as to suggest the Middle East conflict could be resolved over a plate of creamy hummus, but the vibrant culinary documentary Breaking Bread nevertheless makes a mouthwatering case for dinner table diplomacy.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Informed by actual events, the unfailingly fervent Unsilenced overcomes some problematic scripting and evident logistical challenges to emerge as a moving portrait of conscious resistance in the face of political oppression.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Throughout, both the character and the film constantly keep one guessing as to whether Margrete’s driving impulse leans more in the direction of the maternal or the Machiavellian.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Taking a cue from its taciturn protagonist, I Was a Simple Man prefers to let its soulful poetic imagery do the bulk of the talking.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Some 40 years in the making, the remarkable Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time is a gorgeously rendered, unexpectedly moving appraisal of the life and craft of one of the best-loved literary voices of the late 20th century.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A uniquely compelling, exhaustively researched documentary by Israeli filmmaker Maya Sarfaty that never settles for pat answers.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    An achingly poignant testament to the unwavering strength of parental and filial bonds.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    After a while all the tasteful images of undulating waves and pulsating jellyfish can’t help but underscore the inescapable naval-gazing that goes with the territory.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A weakness for the formulaic, combined with a noticeably weighty running time, continually bumps up against the film’s many fine points.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Through an economy of exposition, Eyimofe, (translated as “This is My Desire”) delivers a timeless, universal portrait of human resilience while establishing Arie and Chuko as a welcome new addition to the filmmaking brood.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although Salomé’s lower-key approach to the material occasionally creates the sense that moments of ripe comedy have been left untapped, as well as a low-key ending that might have benefited from a final twist, there’s plenty to appreciate.
    • 39 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Returning director James McGrath and screenwriter Michael McCullers had an opportunity to build on an entirely workable formula, but instead have settled for a frenetic sugar rush of a retread that rapidly wears out its welcome. Pint-sized viewers might be distracted by the noisy, chaotic result, but most others will be hard-pressed to find the proceedings cute and adorable.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although the constant shifts between contemporary Toronto and ‘90s New York can at times cause confusion, the film remains firmly rooted in Williams’ quietly powerful, laser-focused performance.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    For an extreme sports documentary, Super Frenchie, tracking the increasingly dangerous exploits of gonzo skier/BASE jumper Matthias Giraud, can’t help but feel benignly pedestrian.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The upshot, deftly blending over-the-top violence and healing crisis management sessions, ultimately ties all the laugh-out-loud audacity and tender sweetness together with a festive Christmas bow
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Inextricably rooted in lead Arndis Hrönn Egilsdöttir’s quietly defiant performance, The County tells an immersive, timeless David vs. Goliath story set against a contemporary backdrop of shifting societal norms.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    If every picture tells a story, the body of work displayed in the hauntingly intriguing documentary “Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts” speaks volumes on the life and times of the artist in question.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Norbu charts an inspired, fittingly meditative journey to enlightenment.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The delightfully daft, dialogue-driven result makes for a languid farce that mischievously flips a funhouse mirror on jaded audiences to welcome, if fleeting, effect.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The Netherlands must be doing something right, and Blank’s generally breezy film, packed with playful Monty Pythonesque animations by Fiely Matias, effectively sums up the contented mood.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Accentuating the unrepentant Freedman (who has a distinctly monochromatic fashion sense) and her fellow interview subjects with fittingly artistic camera compositions, gallery-ready lighting and a refined strings-forward score, Made You Look makes for an exposé that’s suitable for framing.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Even as the concept of crowdsourcing isn’t as novel as it was at the time of the film’s predecessor and the 90-minute running time can feel unnecessarily expansive given the repetition of those pandemic-related sequences, “Life in a Day 2020” nevertheless serves as a telling time capsule. The world has never felt so compact.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Dispiritingly generic in both appearance and tone.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While the muted performances might have benefitted from the occasional more emotionally rooted response and the South Africa locations don’t quite convincingly double for John Ford country, it’s the inertness that ultimately stops Black Beauty in its tracks.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A CG-animated musical fantasy that still manages to infuse sufficient charm and genuine warmth into the inescapable familiarity.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Director Miranda de Pencier and writers Graham Yost and Moira Walley-Beckett haven’t dodged hard sociological truths lurking beneath the gentle humor, engaging performances and stirringly photographed tundra, lending The Grizzlies a decisive, transformative edge.

Top Trailers