Joshua Rothkopf

Joshua Rothkopf
Tomatometer-approved critic
Biography:
Senior Film Critic for Time Out New York
Official Websites: inthesetimes.com

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
3/5 87% Crawl (2019) One day destined to be seen as a stealth metaphor for climate-change denial -- a brutal Florida hurricane plunges a house and its broken family into disaster -- Crawl will, for the time being, serve nicely as a merely okay giant alligator movie. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 12, 2019
3/5 59% The Lion King (2019) This new Lion King is an invader of the real world, its characters akin to stuffed trophies mounted on the wall. They're lifelike, yes, but somehow not alive. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jul 11, 2019
3/5 90% Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Almost aware of how thirsty it is, the new movie -- meta, irreverent and nowhere near a bad time -- works best when it plays like a vacation from seriousness. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 27, 2019
2/5 64% Annabelle Comes Home (2019) When the doll has more vitality than the movie around it, there's a problem. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2019
2/5 63% Child's Play (2019) Not helping matters is dead-eyed snark source Aubrey Plaza, somehow less expressive than the doll itself (creepily voiced by Mark Hamill). - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 20, 2019
5/5 82% Midsommar (2019) A savage yet evolved slice of Swedish folk-horror, Ari Aster's hallucinatory follow-up to Hereditary proves him a horror director with no peer. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
2/5 22% Men in Black International (2019) It won't exactly make you hate movies, full stop, but Men in Black: International imposes such a generic dullness, it will have you seriously examining your entertainment choices. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
5/5 96% In Fabric (2019) If you haven't yet guessed, Strickland's real terror concerns our addiction to buying things, and In Fabric goes way beyond zombies in a mall. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
2/5 33% Domino (2019) The creative exhaustion is palpable, a near-total artistic disinterest. You can almost hear the director doing that impatient "get on with it" thing with his hand whenever the actors are emoting. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 3, 2019
3/5 55% Ma (2019) It's an unusually potent atmosphere for a quickie Blumhouse horror project; you can't say this one is elevated by the presence of Octavia Spencer -- it's more that she allows herself to descend to the crazy-eyed pleasures of being monstrous. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2019
3/5 41% Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) If you go to these things to see cities flambéed and flattened, you won't leave disappointed. At the same time -- almost impressively -- director and co-screenwriter Michael Dougherty is savvy enough to make the human drama monster-shaped. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted May 28, 2019
4/5 97% Booksmart (2019) Actor-turned-director Olivia Wilde (shockingly, this is her behind-the-camera feature debut) shows off something rarer than technique or comic timing. She's got loads of compassion and has somehow managed to make a high-school movie without villains. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted May 14, 2019
4/5 88% Arctic (2019) Brazilian director Joe Penna, a former viral YouTube star, seems to relish the chance to stretch out and slow down, training the focus of his almost John Carpenter-esque feature debut (shot in gorgeous Icelandic locations) on small acts of process. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
4/5 90% John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019) Director Chad Stahelski is a fight-scene Fosse and Reeves is his Gwen Verdon: Parabellum takes the hall-of-mirrors high style of the second film and pushes it into overdrive. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted May 13, 2019
1/5 14% The Hustle (2019) Actual laughs would have gone a distance, but even still, The Hustle would forever serve as incontrovertible evidence that flipping the script to create opportunities for women can sometimes result in the creation of an accidental Pandora's box. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
3/5 81% Long Shot (2019) Eventually, a phoniness takes root in the script (credited to Dan Sterling and The Post's Liz Hannah), which morphs from scoring feminist points against a thinly veiled Fox News to selling out its Charlotte just when she needs her courage the most. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted May 3, 2019
4/5 94% Avengers: Endgame (2019) Endgame often pays tribute to itself, which makes it as fascinating as it is self-serious. It taps into a live wire of doomy tragedy and phoenix-like rebirth that comics do so well. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2019
2/5 31% The Curse of La Llorona (2019) It may further the brand a bit, but it's the opposite of frightening: a sludgy collection of tired jump scares, inexpertly mounted period décor -- this time we're in a too-shiny 1973 Los Angeles -- and a continued slump into generic blahness. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
4/5 97% Hail Satan? (2019) Religious plurality is a cornerstone of constitutional freedom, and sometimes it takes a protester wearing Day-Glo-pink horns to remind us of that. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
4/5 91% Shazam! (2019) For a long, glorious stretch, Shazam! plays like the anti-Nolan antidote it is. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 5, 2019
3/5 94% Us (2019) Us is too confidently made, too expert in its scene-to-scene command, to call it an example of sophomore slump. Still, [...] you feel a slight letdown. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
3/5 94% The Mustang (2019) You can't help but be swept up by the sincerity here -- that and the sight of a hard man softening to a sympathetic nuzzle. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 15, 2019
4/5 91% Gloria Bell (2019) It really should be a Marvel-level event that Gloria Bell sees Moore adding to her L.A. pantheon in a major way. Don't let the movie's deceptively banal title fool you -- this is as complete and full-bodied a performance as you're likely to see all year. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 8, 2019
3/5 78% Captain Marvel (2019) Scenes between Fury and Larson's Carol Danvers, rediscovering her human past, are oddly inert, and the film's much-vaunted feminism, promised in months of run-up advertising and interviews, gets short-shrift. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 5, 2019
2/5 69% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) Taking over screenwriting duties from the original's Scott Lobdell and straining the silliness past breaking, director Christopher Landon mounts a sequel that forgets to be scary. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 12, 2019
4/5 92% Fighting with My Family (2019) The boastful, performative nature of WWE, spiked with mini dramas and constant role-playing, becomes the lingua franca of an atypical household in Fighting with My Family, the sweetest of comedies despite a sizable number of body slams. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
5/5 90% The Souvenir (2019) To watch Swinton-Byrne's 24-year-old Julie -- angelically innocent, soft in voice, curious, a touch embarrassed by her Knightsbridge privilege -- is to make the kind of immediate heart-to-heart connection with an actor that only the movies can broker. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
3/5 94% The Report (2019) You can agree with its thrust while still feeling something majorly irresponsible has happened with Scott Z. Burns's tunnel-visiony direction and hectoring script; he makes Aaron Sorkin seem restrained. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
5/5 93% The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019) A shot of a lonely man rowing through choppy waters under the Golden Gate Bridge sends things into the realm of purest urban poetry. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
5/5 99% Apollo 11 (2019) Apollo 11 will bring you to tears -- it's a reminder of national functionality, of making the big dream happen without ego or divisiveness. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
3/5 54% After the Wedding (2019) We're waiting for this pressure cooker of a scenario to go nuclear and spill gunk all over the pretty, expensive stuff. It never quite happens and, for all the actors' impeccable restraint, something is missing. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
4/5 92% MEMORY - The Origins of Alien (2019) Memory is most valuable for its fresh recontextualization of Alien in the same feminist air space as Kramer vs. Kramer and Manhattan, films that vibrate with late-'70s family panic. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
3/5 78% Never Look Away (2019) In a larger sense, the film is about the postwar generation of Germans desperate for a new direction, and when Henckel von Donnersmarck focuses on the artmaking, it's powerful -- a persuasive statement about the transformative power of representation. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
1/5 20% Serenity (2019) This is the type of twist that turns a mere mediocrity into a hoo-boy January stinker that clears out multiplexes faster than rotten meat in a refrigerator. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
2/5 38% Glass (2019) The Sixth Sense, still his only great film, is also a therapy psychodrama, but whereas that ghost story reckoned with bedrock matters of loss and child abuse, Glass assumes that we're all going to lean in at dialogue about comic books. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 9, 2019
3/5 82% Ben is Back (2018) The miniaturization of scope ends up making everything feel intensely melodramatic, while the frenetic, breathless editing -- capably realized by Ian Blume -- transforms even the most innocuous kitchen argument into a drug-induced fit of mania. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
1/5 11% Holmes and Watson (2018) If a comedy falls in the forest and nobody laughs, did it even exist? - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2018
3/5 62% Vox Lux (2018) If you'll pardon another pop-writing cliché, there are plenty of killer singles here but not a full-length album. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2018
2/5 74% Destroyer (2018) Destroyer is a movie that confuses Kidman's unmodulated funk for actual depth. In fairness, a brooding depression may be the reality of much police work, but onscreen it plays like a two-hour murder of our patience. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 22, 2018
4/5 66% Vice (2018) The ensemble is magnificently rude and amoral, but even better is Vice's thrusting spirit of montage -- daredevil editing that hasn't been attempted since the high-flying heyday of Oliver Stone. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
2/5 70% The Mule (2018) Tonally, this thing is a disaster, and you can only conclude that its maker, capable of sharp ironies as recently as 2014's American Sniper, didn't fully digest the material. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
4/5 79% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) When Blunt, in strong voice, sings a new song, "The Place Where Lost Things Go" (an exquisite lullaby that already feels like a classic), she's offering up a cosmic coping strategy. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
3/5 65% Aquaman (2018) Jason Momoa's surf-bro superhero is a welcome addition to a ponderous genre, but his movie as a whole is waterlogged. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
4/5 78% Green Book (2018) Call this actors' duet sentimental and simplistic at your own peril. Green Book may well move you, possibly to tears, at the thought of real social change and kindness (at a time when we need it badly). - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
4/5 97% Free Solo (2018) Free Solo is about getting dangerously close to the edge, where some people feel most alive. We get to experience that thrill secondhand, and that's enough. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
4/5 93% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Loose-limbed, rascally and Texan to its bones, The Old Man & the Gun is a throwback to an era when making beautifully understated crime comedies was the peak of Hollywood's ambition (before all the spandex took over). - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
4/5 84% Creed II (2018) If the results aren't as artful as those by Creed director Ryan Coogler (Steven Caple Jr. steps in), they still feel earned. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
3/5 63% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) ...visually dull and intriguing in only the most generic sense, but still a showcase for the twin talents of Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
2/5 15% Robin Hood (2018) Several dueling shades of dull, this umpteenth retooling of the outlaw legend is desperate to convince viewers that Christopher Nolan had something to do with it (he didn't). - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
94% The American Meme (2018) Suffused with vapidity, the doc somehow finds its way to an unexpected sadness and maybe something deeper and cautionary. - Time Out EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018