Michael Rechtshaffen

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For 988 reviews, this critic has graded:
  • 53% higher than the average critic
  • 10% same as the average critic
  • 37% lower than the average critic
On average, this critic grades 7.3 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)

Michael Rechtshaffen's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average review score: 56
Highest review score: 100 Cinderella Man
Lowest review score: 0 Unfallen
Score distribution:
988 movie reviews
    • 37 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Director George Gallo, taking a cue from his 1991 film, “29th Street,” romanticizes everything in a nostalgic glow, but without a sturdier script featuring fully dimensional characters at his disposal, the performances prove to be as unconvincing as their ethnic accents and period wigs.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The film adopts a sanctimonious tone that’s anything but subtle.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Playing like a Nordic “This is Spinal Tap,” the Finnish import Heavy Trip, a satire about an aspiring heavy metal band’s efforts to land its first legitimate gig, proves as affably goofy as its characters.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The mournful film, which includes equally sturdy performances from old reliables Stephen Rea and Jim Broadbent, admittedly puts a hefty premium on tone at the expense of more intricate plotting and character development.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Taking aim at American society’s seriously broken criminal justice system, Iroc Daniels’ well-intentioned multi-character drama The System compensates in compassion for what it lacks in a more accomplished delivery.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Padding Audé’s first-person account — and those hammy dramatizations — with glowing testimonials from family and friends including José Canseco and, distractingly, the director herself, the overlong hodgepodge proves to be an ordeal in and of itself.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Perhaps in the unique case of The Healer, it could just be said that although the cause may be noble, the end effect is decidedly less rewarding.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    A stirring valentine of a documentary.
    • 24 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Riddled with as many plot holes as those highways and byways have potholes, the heavy-handed writing and direction, with its awkward close-ups and purposeful, sustained takes does its cast few favors.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While it only occasionally rises to the clever levels of its inspired jump-off point, Smallfoot, an animated romp about a civilization of Yetis who make the discovery that the legendary pint-size human isn’t a mythological creature after all, carries sufficient charm and a bit of unexpected depth to justify its breezy existence.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    The Dawn Wall transcends initial conventional sports documentary trappings, emerging as an affecting portrait of conquering personal limitations.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While an argument can be made for it being either “too late” or “too soon,” James D. Stern’s American Chaos nevertheless serves as a handy look back on the poll-defying perfect storm that cleared Donald Trump’s path to the White House.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Although it’s all bathed in a warmly nostalgic glow courtesy of cinematographer Darin Moran, and the cast, including Peter Stormare as an oddball shaman called the Rock God, is uniformly engaging, too often the familiar proceedings get bogged down by extensive slo-mo surfing sequences and pointless “Wonder Years”-style narration.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    My Favorite Year” meets “Nebraska” in An Actor Prepares, a comedic road movie that doesn’t take any fresh detours from its well-traveled route despite the presence of a very game Jeremy Irons.
    • 46 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder may have worked together in the past (most notably in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”), but Destination Wedding, a painfully indulgent anti-romantic comedy about a pair of miserable misanthropes who bond over their shared contempt of the universe, forces their screen chemistry well beyond any reasonable limits of tolerance.
    • 30 Metascore
    • 30 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Writer-director Hadi Hajaig was obviously shooting for a mid-1980s indie vibe along the lines of Jonathan Demme’s “Something Wild,” but aside from an overstuffed soundtrack that goes heavy on the B-52’s, there’s nothing particularly engaging or nostalgic going on beneath all the forced irreverence.
    • 52 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    What’s missing is a more personal directorial imprint.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    With its probing camera and spare piano score, the film effectively creates a clinically sterile environment that’s as spiritually devoid as the soul of its protagonist, and while the inevitable twist ending doesn’t land with the unsettling thud it might have, getting there is quite the page-turner.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Filmed in Nashville several years ago, it isn’t really surprising that this poorly paced production has spent so long on the sidelines.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie transcends the trippy nostalgia to deliver a moving message about the healing power of reconciliation.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 90 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Beautifully performed and penetratingly photographed, Jalilvand’s assured second feature bears the probing precision of one of those meticulous autopsies.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    In interposing haunting footage of the destructive wake of the Fukushima tragedy with Sakamoto’s evident, childlike delight in coming up with the perfect tonal combinations, the film serves as a stirringly poetic meditation on the pursuit of creation in the face of mortality.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Mott, who started out in Hollywood working in the fabled William Morris Agency mailroom, nimbly choreographs all the updating, resulting in a breezy, cute-and-clever confection that’s tailor-made for a sultry midsummer’s night.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Pure gold, no Whammies.
    • 54 Metascore
    • 60 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Given all the intriguing stuff he had at his disposal...it’s a shame Berman isn’t able to bring the enigmatic man of the hour (plus 17 minutes) into greater focus.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Despite its undeniable visual artistry, the latest incarnation of White Fang fails to leave a lasting indentation.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    In the absence of more intricate, involving plotting, the tongue-in-cheek characterizations and eye-catching production design only take things so far, and the novelty begins wearing off well before that dog-eared copy of “6 Dynamic Laws” reveals its final chapter.
    • 49 Metascore
    • 50 Michael Rechtshaffen
    While the always affable Rudd is up to the more serious task at hand, the overly studied direction by Australian Ben Lewin frustratingly keeps the audience at arm’s length from both its lead and that surprising chain of events, which feel as palpably pieced together as the stitching on Berg’s baseballs.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 70 Michael Rechtshaffen
    Making a late appearance in the Iraq War movie cycle, the impressively acted “The Yellow Birds” manages to leave an affecting mark even as it constantly struggles to find a distinctive voice of its own.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 40 Michael Rechtshaffen
    You don’t need to be well-versed in rom-coms to know that, in the process, Harper and Charlie will ultimately fall into each other’s arms, but getting there proves to be a slog courtesy of screenwriter Katie Silberman’s talky, sitcom-ready dialogue and director Claire Scanlon’s ponderously uneven pacing.

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