Richard Schickel

Richard Schickel

Agrees with the Tomatometer 73% of the time.

Richard Schickel's reviews (from any publication) always count toward the Tomatometer because this critic is a Tomatometer-approved critic.

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review

Presumed Innocent (1990)

"Conscientiously as this movie has been made, it does not work as well as the novel did or as some of Pakula's other films have." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jul 31, 2013

An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

"It is full of bang-on melodramatics and simple, romanticized characters with carefully supplied motivations." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jul 31, 2013

Midnight Run (1988)

"A performance like De Niro's, in a well-made entertainment like Midnight Run, is cheap at any price. And capable of restoring the audience's faith in the form." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jul 30, 2013

Dying Young (1991)

"Hilary O'Neil is poor but healthy, uneducated but full of spunky common sense. Victor Geddes is rich but mortally ill, overeducated and understandably fearful and withdrawn. In other words, they are made for each other." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jul 1, 2013

The Untouchables (1987)

"It goes to that place that all films aspiring to greatness must attain: the country of myth, where all the figures must be larger and more vivid than life." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jun 25, 2013

Speed 2 - Cruise Control (1997)

"The human propensity to tamper with a good thing is probably ineluctable." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted May 28, 2013

Battlefield Earth (2000)

"The worst movie in living memory." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted May 28, 2013

The House of the Spirits (1994)

"The thing works in its goofy way, mainly because Bille August is a man of apparently dauntless conviction. He has written and directed every scene with serene authority." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted May 20, 2013

Freebie and the Bean (1974)

"Freebie (James Caan) is a cop whose corruption is supposed to be charming." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted May 17, 2013

Fight Club (1999)

"It is working American Beauty-Susan Faludi territory, that illiberal, impious, inarticulate fringe that threatens the smug American center with an anger that cannot explain itself, can act out its frustrations only in inexplicable violence." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Apr 22, 2013

Superman II (1981)

"Let's face it, times change, and Superman and friend have sweetly embraced the spirit of the '80s as well as each other." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Apr 12, 2013

Basic Instinct (1992)

"[The film has] a smug faith in the ability of its own speed, smartness and luxe to wow the yokels." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Mar 25, 2013

Dirty Dancing (1987)

"If the ending of Eleanor Bergstein's script is too neat and inspirational, the rough energy of the film's song and dance does carry one along, past the whispered doubts of better judgment." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Mar 25, 2013

F.I.S.T. (1978)

"F.I.S.T. stands for nearly 2 1/2 hours of almost unmitigated boredom-a misfired would-be proletarian epic with Sylvester Stallone misplaying the Jimmy Hoffa part with a self-confidence that borders on the sublime." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Mar 25, 2013

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

"The result is mainstream moviemaking at its highest, most satisfying level." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Feb 24, 2013

Argo (2012)

"The picture finds a way to blend, of all things, quite funny Hollywood comedy -- yes, you read that right -- with not-so-funny derring-do in Tehran." ‐ Truthdig
Posted Jan 8, 2013

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

"The Dark Knight Rises simply wanders fecklessly to some kind of a conclusion, aspiring, sometimes, to a tragic note but mostly out for a good time, which it rarely achieves." ‐ Truthdig
Posted Jul 16, 2012

The Turning Point (1977)

"You yield to The Turning Point relucantly, knowing well that it is conning you -- with sentiment, with flamboyance, with sheer slickness." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jan 30, 2012

Black Hawk Down (2001)

"Black Hawk Down makes that point without preachment, in precise and pitiless imagery. And for that reason alone it takes its place on the very short list of the unforgettable movies about war and its ineradicable and immeasurable costs." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Nov 8, 2011

Top Secret! (1984)

"This time, though, the creative group has neglected to build to the kind of giddy, everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink climax that made Airplane! such a memorable exercise in anarchy." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Oct 18, 2011

The Long Riders (1980)

"Hill is very much in the American grain, the inheritor of the Ford-Hawks-Walsh tradition of artful, understated action film making." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Oct 7, 2011

The Right Stuff (1983)

"Moviegoers seeking a grand yet edifying entertainment, right-stuffed with what Kaufman calls "seriousness of subject matter and a wild humor that comes out of left field," now know where to look..." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Oct 5, 2011

The Big Easy (1987)

"A movie that manages to be atmospherically rich while also satisfying the slash-crash imperatives of the police-action genre." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Oct 4, 2011

The Onion Field (Campo de Cebollas) (1979)

"The Onion Field is a serious and most uncompromising movie. It lacks, however, the sort of disciplined craft that might have made it a powerful and affecting one." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Sep 10, 2011

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

"Raiders of the Lost Ark has it all -- or, anyway, more than enough to transport moviegoers back to the dazzling, thrill-sated matinee idyls of old." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Aug 8, 2011

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

"Here is a dream as old as adolescence, and it is fun to be reminded of its ageless potency, especially in a movie as good-hearted as this one." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Aug 8, 2011

Rocky (1976)

"The story is achingly familiar, and though Stallone has a certain power, he is certainly not the subtlest actor to crawl out from under Marlon's overcoat." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jul 26, 2011

Network (1976)

"The plot that Paddy Chayefsky has concocted to prove this point is so crazily preposterous that even in post-Watergate America -- where we know that bats can get loose in the corridors of power -- it is just impossible to accept." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jul 18, 2011

Falling Down (1993)

"Let's face it, there is an element of truth in the character of D-FENS. But it is, finally, tabloid truth." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jul 18, 2011

Silkwood (1983)

"The facts it can lay its hands on do not support a politically alarming or dramatically compelling conclusion to the mysteries of this case. Nor do they lead to a very uplifting statement about the motives and character of its central figure." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jun 30, 2011

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

"Freeman, who is simply a great actor, a man who has never struck a false note in his career, both narrates this tale and anchors it with his authoritative playing." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jun 15, 2011

On Golden Pond (1981)

"When it sometimes seems the whole society has spiritually decamped for Tinseltown, the movie offers the hope that people can come home again-at least for a visit." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jun 7, 2011

Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986)

"On the basically farcical level where it chooses to stay, it is a funny and likable movie." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted May 23, 2011

No Way Out (1987)

"Viewers who arrive at the movie five minutes late and leave five minutes early will avoid the setup and payoff for the preposterous twist that spoils this lively, intelligent remake of 1948's The Big Clock." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted May 23, 2011

Sorcerer (1977)

"The new movie is handsomely shot and crisply edited. Why, then, does one rather distantly respect it instead of just plain liking it? It is an odd, disappointing feeling to take away from a summertime movie." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted May 20, 2011

American Gigolo (1980)

"Schrader's development of the frame-up story is mechanically melodramatic, and Gere, essentially a boring actor, doesn't help much either. He just cannot carry a picture, even when his passivity and gentleness well serve some aspects of his character..." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted May 9, 2011

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

"Grail is as funny as a movie can get, but it is also a tough-minded picture -- as outraged about the human propensity for violence as it is outrageous in its attack on that propensity." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Mar 29, 2011

The Mirror Crack'd (1980)

"The good lines make Mirror more fun to watch than it has any right to be." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Mar 23, 2011

The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie (1979)

"This modest retrospective provides a fine occasion to salute an American original working in a medium that will never get its critical due, but continues to exercise a mighty claim on affectionate memory." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Mar 22, 2011

The Natural (1984)

"Levinson must have felt he had to swing for the fences. He can be forgiven for choking up with all The Natural's fans looking on dubiously. In fairness, the official scorer must credit him with a single. And Redford with an RBI." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Mar 21, 2011

Cobb (1994)

"This is a messy movie, sometimes repetitive, sometimes too compressed and allusive. But that's like saying Ty Cobb was not a very good sport -- irrelevant in comparison to the horrific fascination of his story." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Mar 21, 2011

Children of a Lesser God (1986)

"Children of a Lesser God, though given a handsome openness in Director Haines' production, cannot transcend the banalities of the play. But Matlin does. She is, one might say, a miracle worker." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Mar 16, 2011

Contact (1997)

"Something like one of those mysterious asteroids that get the astronomers all worked up: a large body of gaseous matter surrounding a relatively small core of solid substance." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Feb 16, 2011

Spaceballs (1987)

"The crew flings itself energetically through space in search of laughs, but it will never penetrate the galaxy where Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein traced their giddy orbits." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Jan 18, 2011

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

"This film wants to have it both ways: to have a more urbane, more "important" scope than the original, and yet retain some of its inexpensive intimacy as well." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Oct 22, 2010

The Shining (1980)

"Kubrick has made a movie that will have to be reckoned with on the highest level." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Oct 21, 2010

Fame (1980)

"Every once in a while what appears to be the entire student body pours out into the street to do song-and-dance numbers, some of which are cheerful enough, but all of which break faith with the film's realistic premise." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Sep 8, 2010

The Freshman (1990)

"No film offering the spectacle of a Komodo dragon being transported across a state line for immoral purposes can be lightly dismissed." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Sep 8, 2010

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

"This horrific tale is told with marvelous shadowy indirection and delicate lyricism. " ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Aug 30, 2010

Dead Poets Society (1989)

"Williams, who has comparatively little screen time, has come to act, not to cut comic riffs, and he does so with forceful, ultimately compelling, simplicity." ‐ TIME Magazine
Posted Aug 24, 2010