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
B+ 90% Attack the Block (2011) Cornish makes a feature debut here that's almost as stunning as when his pal (and executive producer) Edgar Wright invaded the cineplex with "Shaun of the Dead." ‐ Oregonian
Posted Sep 8, 2011
B 72% Fright Night (2011) "Fright Night" joins "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" as proof that you actually can do this sort of thing correctly. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Aug 18, 2011
B- 44% 30 Minutes or Less (2011) The movie isn't a frame longer than necessary, the car stunts are cool, and the scenes with Ansari and Eisenberg pop -- particularly during their laugh-out-loud amateur robbery. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Aug 11, 2011
64% Another Earth (2011) "Another Earth" looks great, and I gather that Marling and Cahill squeezed a surprising amount of production value out of their tiny budget. But story-wise, this is a shallow exercise with arty trappings. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Aug 4, 2011
B 43% Cowboys & Aliens (2011) I hope this kicks off a late-career reinvention that finds Ford spending his remaining years playing cowboys sans aliens. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jul 28, 2011
B 68% Horrible Bosses (2011) The movie's amusing enough, and its plot twisty enough, that you can gloss over the half-baked elements. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jul 7, 2011
B 39% Cars 2 (2011) If it's going to be diet Pixar, at least it's action-packed diet Pixar -- with overwhelming, detail-choked production design that occasionally had my jaw lowering like a forklift. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jun 23, 2011
B+ 86% Submarine (2011) This is Ayoade's feature debut, and it's fairly stunning. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jun 16, 2011
B 86% X-Men: First Class (2011) "X-Men: First Class" recaptures the character-driven strengths of the first two films in this superhero series -- while adding a surprising dash of '60s spy-movie style. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jun 2, 2011
C 32% Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) I wouldn't call "On Stranger Tides" a disaster, but it does take everything that was charming about the first film and remixes it far less carefully and at a slower pitch, rendering it mildly diverting and shockingly sludgy. ‐ Oregonian
Posted May 19, 2011
B 90% Bridesmaids (2011) In an age of increasingly bland, formulaic rom-coms that seem to star the same three actresses, "Bridesmaids" is almost a revelation. ‐ Oregonian
Posted May 12, 2011
C+ 40% Henry's Crime (2011) The film feels a bit enervated, even when the script asks it to fly off the rails toward the end. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Apr 28, 2011
B- 77% Fast Five (2011) Between this and last year's overlooked "Faster," it's great to see The Rock re-embracing the action genre, and when his clobbering match with Diesel finally happens, it's as outlandishly room-wrecking as I'd hoped. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Apr 28, 2011
B 49% Super (2011) I suspect audiences will divide sharply on the movie's wild tone shifts. I found them sort of fearless. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Apr 14, 2011
C 26% Arthur (2011) A tired story full of pratfalls, barn-broad gags, cartoonish stuffed shirts, and the exact same story beats you've seen in a million rom-coms, right down to the wedding-aisle confrontation. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Apr 7, 2011
B- 53% The Mechanic (2011) The film doesn't break a centimeter of new ground, but its stripped-down mayhem and more-nuanced-than-necessary performances are a modest surprise. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jan 27, 2011
C 72% I Love You Phillip Morris (2010) Carrey fearlessly gives it his best shot, but this fundamental schizophrenia strong-armed me out of the film, and left me feeling like McGregor's more grounded performance existed in another movie entirely. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Dec 16, 2010
C 36% Burlesque (2010) A clichéd drag that wastes talented actors. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Nov 23, 2010
B+ 87% Unstoppable (2010) The stunts here are metal-crushingly spectacular and refreshingly physical, and Scott doles them out sparingly enough that they're dramatic instead of merely noisy. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Nov 11, 2010
C 40% Due Date (2010) This feels like minor Phillips to me -- something in the neighborhood of 2006's "School for Scoundrels," quality-wise, though with a much grimmer heart. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Nov 4, 2010
B- 67% Conviction (2010) It earns head-pat adjectives like "admirable" and "inspiring" and "restrained" and "well-acted" and "solidly crafted," but never quite stirs the deeper passions. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Oct 21, 2010
B- 63% Secretariat (2010) The actors and the film's genial nature help it go down fairly easy. The racing scenes are well-shot and surprisingly thrilling, given the preordained outcome. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Oct 7, 2010
94% The Town (2010) Story-wise, The Town isn't nearly as tight as Gone Baby Gone. But Affleck mostly makes up for that by revealing two additional filmmaking gifts: He's really good at staging unpretentious action scenes and at directing himself as an actor. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Sep 17, 2010
B- 59% Centurion (2010) If I believed in the concept of "guilty pleasures," I'd classify Centurion as one, but I think I maybe just kind of enjoyed it. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Sep 10, 2010
B 55% Flipped (2010) The kids provide an earnest emotional through line to a tiny story, and I sort of hope it kicks off a new mature period for Reiner as a filmmaker. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Sep 10, 2010
B 72% The Last Exorcism (2010) I like that director Daniel Stamm tries to con me with faux supernatural realism in the same way Cotton tries to con the girl he's "exorcising." ‐ Oregonian
Posted Aug 26, 2010
B+ 78% The Other Guys (2010) McKay (mostly) pulls off something kind of fascinating here: He's made a huge comedy that ruthlessly rips on corporate corruption through a lens of absurdist gags... ‐ Oregonian
Posted Aug 6, 2010
C 70% Ramona and Beezus (2010) King is good enough that you can't help but root for her. But frankly, I can't imagine paying full ticket price plus concessions for that privilege. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jul 22, 2010
B- 41% The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010) Turteltaub has a workmanlike touch and an easy sense of humor here, and he and his team do a better-than-expected job of keeping you interested in the story, despite it being yet another Tale of a Reluctant Young Man With A Supernatural Hero's Calling. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jul 14, 2010
B- 64% Predators (2010) A pretty decent, grim little lost-patrol mash-up of the original Predator and Pitch Black -- a perfectly fine night at the beer-theater, in other words. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jul 8, 2010
C 49% The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) It's stagnant to the degree that screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg pads out the narrative with no fewer than three narrated costume-drama flashbacks. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jun 29, 2010
B 52% Knight & Day (2010) If you can settle into its odd, low-key groove, I think you'll find it's a light pop beverage that goes down easy during one of the lamest blockbuster summers in recent memory. My parents are really going to like it. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jun 23, 2010
A 99% Toy Story 3 (2010) The studio's third outing with the motley crew of talking toys is ridiculously entertaining, tightly plotted, laugh-out-loud funny and emotionally true. It might even be the best in the series. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jun 17, 2010
B 66% The Karate Kid (2010) So here's a pleasant surprise: The 2010 remake of The Karate Kid is charming, thoughtfully paced and even a bit emotionally involving, with what might be a movie-star turn by a movie star's son. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jun 10, 2010
B+ 83% The Good, the Bad, the Weird (Joheun-nom, Nabbeun-nom, Isanghan-nom) (2010) Did you really just watch 50 guys on trucks and horses blast one another to bits while chasing one guy on a motorcycle? You did. And it was awesome. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jun 3, 2010
36% Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) It finally just grinds you down with its sheer dull busy-ness. ‐ Oregonian
Posted May 27, 2010
B 74% The Exploding Girl (2010) Kazan has a gift for letting you see her think, even when she's perfectly still; the film's title refers to the ferocious trauma happening between Ivy's ears and her silent struggle to keep it in check. ‐ Oregonian
Posted May 20, 2010
B- 58% Shrek Forever After (2010) It coasts a bit, but it's slick, and enough jokes and characters connect that you can't quite dismiss it. ‐ Oregonian
Posted May 20, 2010
B+ 91% The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos) (2010) The actors give full-bodied, warm, melancholic performances, and their easy chemistry grounds the film even when it flirts with the cliched and the downright bizarre. ‐ Oregonian
Posted May 6, 2010
B+ 63% Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) The movie's as casual as its lead characters' approach to changing history; it's also lewdly and frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious -- especially if you wasted any of your youth watching a certain brand of '80s comedy schlock on HBO at 2 a.m. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Mar 25, 2010
B+ 98% How to Train Your Dragon (2010) Take your kids and start saving up for the DVD, because I suspect they'll be asking you to buy it as soon as they leave the theater. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Mar 25, 2010
D 58% She's Out of My League (2010) Its gormless, assertion-free protagonist offends as a role model for idiot youths, and, even worse, offends as drama. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Mar 12, 2010
C 43% Brooklyn's Finest (2010) I was emotionally involved in the film's final showdowns. It's a shame this involvement is largely earned by Gere, Snipes and Fuqua in spite of some false moments on the page that hold the film back from the greatness it craves. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Mar 4, 2010
B- 84% North Face (Nordwand) (2010) North Face is a spectacular, suspenseful bummer. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Feb 4, 2010
56% Edge of Darkness (2010) Edge of Darkness fails as a comeback vehicle, as a remake and, to a lesser degree, as a popcorn thriller. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jan 28, 2010
C+ 48% The Book of Eli (2010) The story sort of plays like a thrill-ride version of The Road, with healthier-looking cannibals and a sillier ending. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Jan 14, 2010
C+ 57% It's Complicated (2009) At its core, it's another glossy rom-com about a woman dithering in an unhealthy relationship while another, better, meeker suitor waits in the wings. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Dec 25, 2009
C 23% Serious Moonlight (2009) I appreciate that talented people wanted to honor Shelly by making this film. They likely would have better honored her by mounting her script as a play. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Dec 11, 2009
B+ 89% The Messenger (2009) Harrelson gives what might be a career performance as a jaded mentor who tries to conduct each notification using a well-rehearsed set of rules of engagement. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Dec 3, 2009
F- 5% Old Dogs (2009) Really, what it affirms is that studio executives are already making movies for the future-audience from Idiocracy. ‐ Oregonian
Posted Nov 29, 2009