Mike RussellMovie Reviews & Previews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mike Russell

Mike Russell
Mike Russell's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Oregonian

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
C- 13% Winter's Tale (2014) "Winter's Tale" wants to be a magical romance that leaves you feeling like the universe is full of secret purpose, but instead it's convoluted, over-narrated and deeply silly. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Feb 12, 2014
B 78% 2 Autumns, 3 Winters (2014) Betbeder's tale of aging Parisian art-school grads falling in love is told as a near-relentless collage of fourth-wall-breaking monologues -- "High Fidelity"-style -- and peppered with chapter breaks, dream sequences, and clips from other movies. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Feb 12, 2014
B+ 50% Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas (2014) "Age of Uprising" unsettles as it raises troubling questions about the price, morality and flexibility of a "principled stand." ‐ Oregonian
Posted Feb 4, 2014
B+ No Score Yet Cairo Drive (2013) In Elkatsha's editing bay, the frustrations of traffic become a potent metaphor for a nation's much-larger frustrations. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Feb 4, 2014
B 76% Bicycling with Moliere (2014) The island setting is lovely and the few forays into slapstick are fairly lame, but Wilson and Luchini's dramatic tanglings are fun to watch ... ‐ Oregonian
Posted Feb 4, 2014
B+ 78% Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1 (2010) The entire cast does the subtlest work we've seen in a Potter film, right down to the supporting and single-scene players. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Nov 20, 2013
B+ 89% The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) Jennifer Lawrence remains the series' biggest coup. "Catching Fire" asks the actress to add PTSD and romantic stirrings to Katniss' psyche, then cover it with a barely affixed public mask. Lawrence steps up. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Nov 19, 2013
B 73% Zero Charisma (2013) Overall the movie offers a funny, human take on a wounded person and the gaming subculture that consumes him. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Oct 22, 2013
81% Prisoners (2013) A fascinating, skillfully directed, overpoweringly atmospheric mystery. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Sep 19, 2013
C+ 42% Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013) Here's a poster blurb: "Your child's attention will be briefly diverted." ‐ Oregonian
Posted Aug 6, 2013
C 52% The To Do List (2013) There's a potentially innovative teen comedy in here somewhere, but it's surrounded by one that's much duller. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jul 25, 2013
B 86% The Conjuring (2013) It isn't particularly deep, but it's a grab-your-seatmate good time at the haunted house. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jul 18, 2013
A 98% Before Midnight (2013) If you've grown old with these characters, "Before Midnight" is an exhilarating and breathtakingly nervy experience. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jun 13, 2013
B 69% Fast & Furious 6 (2013) Whatever weird charisma lightning struck "Five" more or less strikes again here. ‐ Oregonian
Posted May 23, 2013
B- 66% The Iceman (2013) It's probably a superfeat that Shannon pulls a coherent performance out of the contradictions (and scene-to-scene changes in wardrobe and hairstyle) handed to him by the character and filmmakers. ‐ Oregonian
Posted May 16, 2013
B- 53% Oblivion (2013) It ends quite a bit doofier than it starts, but it's entertaining enough, and it is very, very pretty. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Apr 18, 2013
C 36% The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013) In its best moments, the movie approaches the mid-list success of the 2007 Will Ferrell vehicle "Blades of Glory." ‐ Oregonian
Posted Mar 14, 2013
B+ 91% The Sapphires (2013) The movie unfolds in the uplifting manner you'd expect, but its real pleasures lie in its terrific '60s pop-soul soundtrack and especially in its frequently funny performances. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Feb 7, 2013
D 19% Identity Thief (2013) I did not know I could yawn angrily. This movie somehow proved it possible. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Feb 7, 2013
A- 80% Ginger & Rosa (2013) It's quietly brutal stuff, beautifully acted by Fanning, Englert, Christina Hendricks and a word-twisting Alessandro Nivola. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Feb 7, 2013
B- 80% Warm Bodies (2013) It's got a big heart and high spirits on a low budget and actors who refuse to phone it in. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jan 31, 2013
C 28% Broken City (2013) A workmanlike drama with less-than-total command of its tone. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jan 17, 2013
B- 49% The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012) Bella's still a bit of a blank, but at least now she's a bit of a blank with superpowers. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Nov 15, 2012
C+ 31% Chasing Mavericks (2012) Never quite manages to feel like more than a surface-scraping, by-the-numbers sports flick. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Oct 25, 2012
B 73% Chicken with Plums (2012) It's fascinating as an offbeat storytelling exercise. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Oct 4, 2012
C 21% Taken 2 (2012) It'll have a great opening weekend, but it still seems a shame to have diluted the action-flick purity of the first "Taken" with this cash grab. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Oct 4, 2012
B+ 86% The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) The movie's perfectly understated, warts-and-all sense of time and place will send any suburban Gen Xer in the audience flashing right back to their less-cautious days, when mix tapes did heavy lifting as calling cards. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Sep 28, 2012
B 67% Lawless (2012) The film's climax is a bit of a jumble, but by then Hillcoat has built his world so vibrantly that it hardly matters. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Aug 29, 2012
B- 30% Total Recall (2012) Wiseman may lack a bold singular vision, but he tries to make up for it with sheer density, effort and expense. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Aug 2, 2012
B 69% Extraterrestrial (2012) Vigalondo makes the most of a handful of locations while bouncing romantic farce off a (largely unseen) world-changing event. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jul 26, 2012
C 17% The Watch (2012) Mediocre, slightly sloppy and a mild waste of a great cast. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jul 26, 2012
B- 54% People Like Us (2012) It's weirdly refreshing that Kurtzman has used his clout to make a mid-list dramedy that feels aimed at the actual adults the cineplex rarely tries to court nowadays. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jun 28, 2012
41% Rock of Ages (2012) This movie asked me to accept a lot, and occasionally I did -- but even I drew the line at one of these "American Idol" wannabes writing "Don't Stop Believin'." ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jun 14, 2012
D+ 34% Battleship (2012) There's almost nothing to "Battleship" beyond its grindingly dull, digitally rendered naval warfare; the flick could easily be retitled "Flying Ordinance and Forgettable Stars: The Motion Picture." ‐ Oregonian
Posted May 17, 2012
B- 75% Sound of My Voice (2012) Batmanglij and co-writer Marling do a calm job of muddying the relationship waters, playing with cult logic and patiently introducing side elements that cast a curious light on Maggie's claims. ‐ Oregonian
Posted May 10, 2012
B 86% The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012) It starts out as a fairly easy spoof of the pirate-movie tropes resurrected by Depp and Disney but quickly finds humor in Victorian science, awards shows, Jane Austen and Elephant Man cameos while mostly avoiding the easy pop-culture gag. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Apr 26, 2012
C 20% The Lucky One (2012) When the film tries to inject anything resembling high drama, it gets dumb in a hurry. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Apr 19, 2012
F+ 43% American Reunion (2012) Scenes will wander from gross-out gag to sentimental schmaltz to pervy leer to cheap nostalgia within a 30-second span, utterly free of clear directorial guidance. Even worse, very little of it is remotely funny. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Apr 5, 2012
B 86% Boy (2012) Waititi does a nice tonal juggling act, balancing eccentric characters, a 1980s setting, child-drawn animation and Maori-inflected restagings of Michael Jackson videos with the painful consequences of parental neglect. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Apr 5, 2012
B 51% John Carter (2012) Stanton is gleefully committed to letting this universe run wild on a big screen. The film's best qualities are its gigantic, densely packed, slightly loopy world-building and its unironic senses of humor and fun. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Mar 8, 2012
C+ 53% Safe House (2012) It's been a while since I watched a movie that felt as nakedly reverse-engineered as "Safe House." ‐ Oregonian
Posted Feb 9, 2012
C 66% The Woman in Black (2012) To my thinking, this splendid low-key bummer of a ghost story was eventually undermined by the film's increasing reliance on shock-scares, in which something suddenly and noisily jumps into the frame, over and over and over. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Feb 2, 2012
C 66% We Bought a Zoo (2011) "Zoo" leaves you wondering whether Crowe was spooked by the mixed reaction to "Vanilla Sky" and "Elizabethtown" and chose to play it safe, remixing echoes of his usual screenwriting devices, in pursuit of a surefire hit. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Dec 22, 2011
B- 60% Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011) Law and Downey remain a lot of fun to watch together, and their chemistry covers a lot of silliness. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Dec 15, 2011
B 92% Arthur Christmas (2011) Arthur is sort of a dull hero, but the grandfather is classic, hilarious Aardman -- a thoroughly British eccentric prone to weird nostalgic/fatalistic utterances. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Nov 22, 2011
B 36% In Time (2011) Niccol is practicing the old-school craft of making a barn-broad alternate-reality that forces you to think about the way we all consensually agree to participate in systems -- even when those systems are hopelessly screwed up. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Oct 27, 2011
C+ 88% Margin Call (2011) Chandor writes monologues for seemingly every member of the ensemble, which gets a bit wearying, but is also how I'm guessing he attracted this stellar cast. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Oct 20, 2011
B 80% Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2011) In their best moments, Hark's action movies have a what-did-I-just-see giddiness, as if their choreography were springing straight from a cartoon id. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Oct 13, 2011
C 59% Real Steel (2011) Mostly it's dopey. The movie just begs too many logical questions for its own good. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Oct 6, 2011
C 81% Dolphin Tale (2011) It's a mild shame that "Dolphin Tale" director Charles Martin Smith and his screenwriters have chosen to lard the true-life saga up with a bunch of easily digested imaginary detail straight out of the bland Hollywood feel-good recipe mix. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Sep 22, 2011