The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
The always remarkable Penn infuses Sam Bicke with more originality than the plot allowed. Mueller took a real-life incident now lost in the history books and re-created a sympathetic back story for Bicke.
By the time Bicke crosses the line from passive sad sack to murderer, The Assassination of Richard Nixon has made an eloquent case for explaining the seemingly unexplainable. But the movie doesn't make you care.
The movie really misses something by ignoring poor Officer Ramsburg, and also the other cop who intervened. I could see how that movie would work: It could cross-cut dynamically between the mentally ill man and the two officers.
This is a character study of a marginal man who goes off the rails, and Penn is brilliant at evoking how daily life itself is filled, for Bicke, with countless challenges to his rigid sense of right and wrong.
Sam would be a cliché in the hands of many actors. But Mr. Penn, not surprisingly, turns him into a vivid and very specific character, familiar not just from the movies but any number of down-and-out corners of real life.