Michael Rechtshaffen

Michael Rechtshaffen
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
75% Loopers: The Caddie's Long Walk (2019) While it may not put a fresh spin on the sports documentary format, "Loopers" gives the bag-carrying faithful a well-earned moment in the sun. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 7, 2019
67% Yomeddine (2019) As Gamal, himself raised in a leper colony, knowingly navigates the uncomfortable glares he encounters along the way, "Yomeddine" (Arabic for "judgment day") takes an affecting path toward belonging and acceptance. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 30, 2019
100% The Silence of Others (2019) It may be more than 40 years since the death of Gen. Francisco Franco, but the chilling effects of his brutal regime continue to reverberate as affectingly illustrated in "The Silence of Others." - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
57% The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) Sufficiently buoyant to charm the audiences that turned SLOP into a record-breaking box office proposition. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
90% Q Ball (2019) Far more than simply "The Longest Yard" with hoops, the remarkable "Q Ball" serves as a potent illustration of the redemptive powers of team camaraderie. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
97% Carmine Street Guitars (2019) [A] leisurely Sunday stroll of a documentary about the cozy Greenwich Village mainstay in New York City that has served as a sanctuary for musicians. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 9, 2019
66% Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019) Still, there's enough here to please both Pokemaniacs and the Poke-non. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
81% He Got Game (1998) As a director, Lee continues to hone his considerable craft and is unafraid to take creative risks along the way. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
81% Hesburgh (2019) [A] thoroughly engaging documentary chronicle of the life and turbulent times of longtime Notre Dame president Father Theodore M. Hesburgh, whose tenure coincided with a particularly pivotal stretch of American history. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
77% Friday (1995) While the character-driven script has a weakness for toilet humor (Mel Brooks would be proud), its inhabitants are given some oddball quirks and tics that keep things percolating when the plot development runs a little thin. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
No Score Yet Mosul (2019) While not exactly uncharted documentary territory, the Iraq conflict is thought-provokingly portrayed in "Mosul." - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
71% Instant Dreams (2019) For a documentary examining the enduring affection for the late Polaroid camera Willem Baptist's "Instant Dreams" proves to be an awfully drawn-out process. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2019
97% Hail Satan? (2019) Boasting wild archival clips and a 7-foot Baphomet statue with a goat head and an Iggy Pop torso, "Hail Satan?" could easily be taken for the impish spawn of Michael Moore and Kenneth Anger. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
88% Satan & Adam (2019) [O]ver the course of the 23 years it would take Balcerek to make the film, their unconventional professional collaboration and sustained friendship serves as a moving testament to the boundary-shattering language of music. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 17, 2019
92% The Accused (Acusada) (2018) [Espósito] gives a compellingly spare, tight-lipped performance that handily carries this incisively observed character study - one in which the notion of guilt is collectively split among many a bloodstained hand. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
45% William (2019) In Disney's hands, "William" eschews freak show theatrics for something much weightier. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 12, 2019
100% Penguin Highway (2019) A coming-of-age story outfitted with an engaging anthropomorphic overlay that can make you forget you're watching an intimately filmed documentary instead of an animated adventure. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
42% Bad Boys (1995) ... the pairing of Martin Lawrence and Will Smith generates a winning comic chemistry. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
66% Storm Boy (2019) At once uplifting and melancholic, it's the right "Storm Boy" for our turbulent times. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
No Score Yet The Holy Fail (2019) Committing the cardinal sin of neglecting to make its romantic leads sympathetic, "The Holy Fail" is a particularly charmless Irish comedy about a young couple who commit a robbery in a bid to put the spark back into their troubled marriage. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
89% Missing Link (2019) A globe-trotting Victorian-era adventure that, while often a magnificent sight to behold, never goes the distance in terms of engaging characters and involving plotting. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2019
93% Screwball (2019) Inevitably, the oddball Elmore Leonard-meets-the Little Rascals conceit loses some of its wacky effectiveness, but while Corben might not hit this one out of the park, "Screwball" energetically rounds the bases. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
92% The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story (2019) It may be an all-too-familiar refrain - trusted music manager rips off his clients - but "The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story" sets it in the broader, more intriguing context of the age-old pursuit of those twin trappings, fame and fortune. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 26, 2019
90% Legend Of The Demon Cat (Kûkai) (2019) Although the often humorous film may not quite rank among Chen's best and that CGI-enhanced feline isn't always convincingly up to scratch, the buoyant yarn nevertheless casts a beguiling spell. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
No Score Yet Bruce!!!! (2019) Marryshow, in his various capacities, has neglected to instill his terminally obnoxious character with a vital shred of audience empathy, let alone to provide sufficient comedic beats that would have better engaged his thoughtfully diverse cast. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 14, 2019
No Score Yet Beers of Joy (2019) "Beers of Joy," profiling a quartet of enthusiastic ale aficionados, is tediously tapped out long before it hits the all-too-apparent two-hour mark. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2019
100% Sharkwater Extinction (2019) [Stewart's] passionate documentary, boasting stirring underwater photography and an equally poignant Jonathan Goldsmith score, speaks urgently on his behalf. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 28, 2019
81% Pig (2018) With its parade of finger-pointing vloggers, picture-posting stalkers and hijab-wearing, smartphone-clutching schoolgirls, "Pig" ("Khook") makes it savagely clear Western society hasn't cornered the market on selfie-centered behavior. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 14, 2019
No Score Yet Beneath the Leaves (2019) A committed cast fails to elevate "Beneath the Leaves," an otherwise draggy and derivative thriller about a psychotic killer whose M.O. involves fatally injecting his victims with potassium chloride before harvesting their fingernails. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 8, 2019
13% Berlin, I Love You (2019) The wildly uneven anthology "Berlin, I Love You" exhibits telltale signs of jet lag. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 7, 2019
45% A Breath Away (Dans la brume) (2019) [A] contained, atmospheric French thriller that ultimately gets lost in the haze of a problematic script. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 1, 2019
85% The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) Proves every bit as repetitive and uninspired as its glib title, bringing little that's fresh or funny to the interlocking brick table despite boasting a script penned by originators Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 26, 2019
No Score Yet Extreme Job (2019) It's all quite amusing up to a point, but unfortunately that point arrives early on in this practically two-hour-long take on a one-gag premise. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
14% An Acceptable Loss (2019) Though Sumpter lends her role the requisite controlled, inner strength and Jamie Lee Curtis utilizes her trademark fierce resolve to good effect as an intimidating commander in chief, the politics prove as tenuous as the nonexistent thrill factor. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
77% Genesis 2.0 (2019) [A] fascinating and somewhat frightening documentary set in the fast-forward arena of synthetic biology. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
75% Alone (Solo) (2018) [Alain] Hernández ultimately fails to inject sufficient empathy into his moody character, while all those alternating flashbacks and episodes of delirium take a toll on the film's ability to maintain a firm grip of its own on viewer engagement. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 17, 2019
92% And Breathe Normally (2018) [T]he film... covers considerable, resonant socio-political ground while being anchored by the compelling performances of its' leads. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 10, 2019
91% How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) All told, by the time How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World nears the end of its Harry Potter-esque closing trajectory, in which Hiccup must learn how to let go, the bittersweet result will have audiences finding it equally hard to say goodbye. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 2, 2019
No Score Yet That Way Madness Lies... (2018) Luckow, whose film takes its title from "King Lear," ultimately finds not so much in the way of closure as she does a vital shred of self-preservation. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 13, 2018
55% Swimming with Men (2018) You don't need a pair of diving goggles to see where all this is going. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
No Score Yet Making The Five Heartbeats (2018) Robert Townsend's reflective "Making the Five Heartbeats" serves as an illuminating documentary detailing the considerable passion and perseverance that went into bringing his dream project to the big screen. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
88% The Great Buddha+ (2018) As savagely satirical as it is gorgeously surreal, "The Great Buddha+" is something else again - an outrageous, poignant punk Taiwanese black comedy marking the feature arrival of fresh filmmaking talent Huang Hsin-Yao. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
100% Toy Story (1995) With "instant classic" written all over it, Toy Story, the first full-length feature entirely composed of computer-generated animation, is a visually astounding, wildly inventive winner. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 29, 2018
52% Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (2018) Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle may have intended to offer a darker, grittier take on the classic Kipling stories, but the end result proves to be more of a murky muddle. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2018
100% The World Before Your Feet (2018) Filmmaker Workman, who's behind [Green] every step of the way without ever getting in the way, allows the city and its colorful denizens to take center stage. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 20, 2018
No Score Yet The Gilligan Manifesto (2018) "The Gilligan Manifesto," is conceptually shipwrecked well before completing its one-and-a-half-hour tour. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
76% The Long Dumb Road (2018) Neither long nor dumb, Hannah Fidell's "The Long Dumb Road" is in reality a terrifically entertaining odd couple road comedy expertly navigated by costars Tony Revolori and Jason Mantzoukas. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 15, 2018
65% Jonathan (2018) The clinically distancing production never forms a meaningful bond with its audience. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
89% Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) Deftly defying expectation, the inevitable sequel to 2012's... Wreck-It Ralph, absolutely crushes it. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 14, 2018
No Score Yet Philosopher King (2018) Instead, the jumble occupies an unfortunate space situated somewhere between the ponderously pretentious and the just plain ridiculous. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018