Ruthe Stein

Ruthe Stein

Agrees with the Tomatometer 75% of the time.

Biography:
Film Critic, San Francisco Chronicle
Publications:
San Francisco Chronicle
Critics' Group:
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Total Reviews:
468

Listing Of All Reviews & Articles

Showing 51 - 100 of 468
Rating T-Meter Title | Year Add Date
2/4 22% Never Back Down (2008) " The fights are parceled out at intervals during the last half, all leading to a climactic battle. But it's hard to build suspense when you know it is coming and you know who will win." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Mar 14, 2008
2/4 53% David & Layla (2007) " Jay Jonroy, who wrote and directed David & Layla, has come up with some potentially funny material that doesn't quite work." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Mar 7, 2008
4/4 77% Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008) " Frothy and exuberantly entertaining -- in part because of the sexual innuendoes -- it's the best romantic comedy so far this year." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Mar 7, 2008
3/4 76% Cidade dos Homens (City of Men) (2007) " A compelling and visually arresting drama from Brazil." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Feb 29, 2008
2/4 27% Step Up 2 the Streets (2008) " A finale has the young people all dancing in the rain. Like almost everything else about the movie, it has been done before. But it's still foot-stomping fun." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Feb 13, 2008
3/4 53% Romance and Cigarettes (2007) " Romance & Cigarettes is not your usual drama about a troubled marriage. It attempts something startlingly original by melding light opera with soap opera." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Nov 21, 2007
1/4 36% Southland Tales (2007) " The movie's failure to come together -- indeed to make sense for most of its 144 minutes, each one passing with the speed of molasses -- is a major disappointment." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Nov 16, 2007
1/4 33% Rails & Ties (2007) " One highly unlikely circumstance after another become laughable, preventing you from being moved by the family tragedies depicted. They beg for tears, but a script this chock-full of holes is unlikely to elicit the desired effect." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Nov 9, 2007
3/4 66% Wristcutters - A Love Story (2007) " Wristcutters is a cut above most low-budget American indies, with something original to say about the human condition and an artful way of saying it." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Nov 2, 2007
3.5/4 44% Bella (Beauty) (2006) " A tearjerker that earns its sobs with heartfelt emotions." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Oct 26, 2007
2/5 36% Sleuth (2007) " Shaffer, who adapted the 1972 version himself, surely would be less than thrilled by the post-modern, minimalist interpretation given to his best-known work, and understandably so." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Oct 19, 2007
3/4 35% Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) " The danger in making a costume drama is that all of it will be as lifeless as wax figures. Kapur escapes this fate by relying on sex and a luminous star capable of being at once regal and alluring." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Oct 12, 2007
2/4 14% The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007) " Ludwig, a relative unknown with some TV and film experience, is awfully cute, but lacks the needed gravitas and charm to turn Will into more than a caricature." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Oct 5, 2007
2/4 74% Outsourced (2007) " The problem with making a movie on topical subjects is that by the time of its release, it can seem awfully stale." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 28, 2007
3/4 65% The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) " Austen devotees are sure to lap up the central premise that her notions of love and friendship are as relevant today as ever." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 21, 2007
2.5/4 43% The Brave One (2007) " You long for all this combined talent to be in the service of something more deserving than a retread of a story that has lost the edge it had 33 years ago." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 14, 2007
2/4 25% The Darwin Awards (2006) " The humor dissipates as we watch one weird death after another." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 7, 2007
1.5/4 67% Shoot 'Em Up (2007) " Even more distressing is the presence of Owen and Paul Giamatti. I understand the concept of working as much as possible while you're hot, but it's a slippery slope." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Sep 7, 2007
2/4 63% Ladron Que Roba A Ladron (2007) " Needlessly complicated and kind of silly." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Aug 31, 2007
2.5/4 50% Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007) " An only intermittently funny sequel that finally livens up in the last third. But that part -- a hilarious putdown of the pretension at the Cannes Film Festival -- is worth sticking around for." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Aug 24, 2007
4/4 61% Death at a Funeral (2007) " Screenwriter Dean Craign exhibits a real feel for the way that a crisis brings out age-old hostilities. Craig uses humor as a cover-up to say something about the way families pull apart as well as together at difficult times." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Aug 17, 2007
2/4 18% Rush Hour 3 (2007) " Although the formula seems a tad tired, it's still more entertaining than most sequels to a sequel." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Aug 10, 2007
2/4 9% Bratz: The Movie (2007) " The proud owners of Bratz dolls almost surely have had more imaginative fantasies about them than anything onscreen." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Aug 3, 2007
2.5/4 75% Lady Chatterley (2007) " This latest effort, winner of five C├ęsar awards (the French Oscar) including for best film and actress, is supremely sensuous -- while presenting an intriguingly complex Constance." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jul 20, 2007
2/4 82% Talk to Me (2007) " Watching it becomes an exercise in frustration when a potentially great movie winds up buried inside a just OK one." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jul 14, 2007
3/4 52% Introducing the Dwights (2007) " Ultimately this wondrous film is about letting go -- of old wardrobes, bad jokes, unrealistic dreams and of children and parental ties. You leave glad to have met the Dwights and applauding their adaptability, if not Mom's jokes." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jul 13, 2007
3/4 98% Ten Canoes (2007) " Australian writer-director Rolf de Heer is an extremely visual filmmaker, and his images stay with you. Ten Canoes' authenticity is guaranteed by a close collaboration with the Aboriginal community." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jul 13, 2007
2.5/4 64% Vitus (2007) " Director Fredi Murer strains too hard for it to be something more, a magical opus about childhood and taking flight, in this instance literally and figuratively. You wind up feeling manipulated instead of emotionally moved." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jul 13, 2007
3.5/4 86% When the Road Bends...tales of a Gypsy Caravan (2007) " Caravan sounds great and if nothing else should help diminish the stereotype, blasted by the film's subjects, of Gypsies as little more than pickpockets whom travelers need to be wary of." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jul 6, 2007
64% Broken English (2007) " Broken English doesn't break any code or offer original insights on the subject. But there's a spark whenever Posey and Poupaud are together, and Paris and Manhattan glisten in the background." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jul 6, 2007
2.5/4 48% Macbeth (2006) " A novelty that the Bard's worshipers will probably find blasphemous and everyone else a puzzlement, although far from a bore." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jun 29, 2007
2.5/4 75% Pierrepoint - The Last Hangman (2007) " Grim and disturbing yet perversely riveting." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jun 22, 2007
3/4 90% Colma: The Musical (2006) " Deserves to be seen for its sheer originality and audacity." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jun 22, 2007
3.5/4 79% A Mighty Heart (2007) " Much of A Mighty Heart plays like a documentary. It feels truthful instead of puffed up to be more commercial." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jun 22, 2007
3/4 92% Brand Upon the Brain! (2006) " Brand Upon the Brain! is like no other movie you're likely to see this year -- or any other year. It won't be to everyone's taste. But for those who like their cinema weird, it doesn't get any weirder or more oddly fascinating than this." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jun 15, 2007
2/4 79% Private Fears in Public Places (Coeurs) (2007) " Private Fears suffers from [director Alain] Resnais' inability to open it up and give it the look and pulse of a film." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jun 15, 2007
2/4 50% Nancy Drew (2007) " Director Andrew Fleming loses his footing trying to shoehorn Nancy into contemporary times. It's a bad fit, reminiscent of Woody Allen's short story about a professor who whisks Madame Bovary into modern-day Manhattan." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Jun 15, 2007
3/4 97% Once (2007) " Once proves once and for all that imagination trumps big bucks." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted May 25, 2007
4/4 94% Away from Her (2007) " Away From Her got to me in a way no other movie has this year, eliciting copious tears." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted May 11, 2007
1/4 12% The Salon (2007) " After scripting both Barbershops, writer-director Mark Brown appears to have exhausted his ability to create new and interesting characters to inhabit The Salon." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted May 11, 2007
2/4 56% Civic Duty (2006) " The filmmakers aren't able to pull it off but deserve credit for their attempt to be thought-provoking." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted May 4, 2007
1.5/4 70% Diggers (2007) " [Director] Dieckmann fails to stage scenes in a compelling manner. Diggers bumps along from trauma to trauma like a clam-digging boat on choppy waters." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 27, 2007
3.5/4 64% The TV Set (2007) " A wickedly funny satire about the vast wasteland takes the position that shows aren't born dumb. They get that way because of network meddling and a widely held assumption that audiences prefer pabulum." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 20, 2007
3.5/4 69% Year of the Dog (2007) " Year of the Dog is one of those quirky little movies that you marvel ever got made while being supremely grateful that it did. It's hard to even categorize." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 20, 2007
3/4 76% Black Book (Zwartboek) (2007) " Some may find scenes excessive and take offense at the suggestion that there were good Nazis like Ludwig. But one thing that can be said for Black Book: It's never boring." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 13, 2007
3/4 68% Disturbia (2007) " Caruso, a very visual director, serves up some surprises and scares, and he's paced his movie briskly. You're out of this disturbing suburbia before you know it, shaken and even stirred." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 13, 2007
1/4 8% The Reaping (2007) " What could Swank really have done with such a cliche-ridden screenplay, except turn it down?" — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 10, 2007
2/4 58% First Snow (2007) " [The filmmakers] pay homage to the genre without bringing much new to it." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 7, 2007
4/4 88% The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2007) " The humanity that Loach and his compassionate screenwriter bring to their story prevents it from being another polemic about how the British screwed Ireland." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Apr 7, 2007
3/4 36% The Situation (2006) " The Situation' is bound to stir up controversy because of the way Americans are portrayed, and anything that gets people talking and thinking is for the good. It brings the war home, where our soldiers should be." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Mar 30, 2007
3/4 69% Blades of Glory (2007) " It's worth the admission price just to watch Ferrell and Heder, both more than 6 feet tall, take turns lifting each other and to see Heder's ankles wrapped around his co-star's neck." — San Francisco Chronicle
Posted Mar 30, 2007
Showing 51 - 100 of 468
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