Michael Rechtshaffen


Michael Rechtshaffen
Tomatometer-approved critic

movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year Review
80% 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
19% 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
44% 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
86% 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
75% 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
71% 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
95% 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
46% 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
20% 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
75% 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
88% 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
No Score Yet They Fight (2018) A slender but affectingly penetrating documentary. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 8, 2018
58% The Grinch (2018) Dr. Seuss' The Grinch is a vibrant, amusing CG animated feature that gives the big mean, green guy a kinder, gentler makeover. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 7, 2018
No Score Yet Better Angels (2018) Unfortunately, like the international co-production itself, they go all over the map and not in a good way. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
92% They'll Love Me When I'm Dead (2018) The impeccably assembled production employs Neville's virtuoso touch to provocative effect. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 1, 2018
45% Bullitt County (2018) Although a third act reveal doesn't quite pack the intended punch, "Bullitt County" nevertheless propels its characters in some unanticipated, intriguing directions. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
No Score Yet Brewmaster (2018) Their trials and tribulations, along with a selection of vintage beer commercials, lend the undemanding film an informally agreeable effervescence. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
29% Big Kill (2018) Those timeless New Mexico backdrops may lend the production its desired authenticity, but all those structural wide-open spaces stop "Big Kill" dead in its tedious tracks. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
No Score Yet The Advocates (2018) A straight-ahead but affecting documentary... - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
57% Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer (2018) The film never loses sight of the choir to which it is plainly preaching. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
20% Bigger (2018) Without a sturdier script featuring fully dimensional characters... the performances prove to be as unconvincing as their ethnic accents and period wigs. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 11, 2018
80% A River Runs Through It (1992) Redford directs with a fluid grace... to capture the idyllic, light-drenched aura of Maclean's early childhood memories. Even the seemingly unexciting fly-fishing sequences take on a magical air worthy of Spielberg. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 10, 2018
78% Black '47 (2018) A visually arresting, Anglo-Irish western-style revenge tale that maintains a firm directorial grip on the foreboding landscape. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
92% Heavy Trip (Hevi reissu) (2018) Remains knowingly true to its quirky quartet and milieu even as the plotting runs off the rails a tad in the third act. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Oct 4, 2018
No Score Yet The System (2018) "The System" compensates in compassion for what it lacks in a more accomplished delivery. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
17% The Healer (2018) Although the cause may be noble, the end effect is decidedly less rewarding. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
No Score Yet 3 Years in Pakistan: The Erik Audé Story (2018) Occupies a tone-deaf void somewhere between investigative documentary and movie of the week. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 27, 2018
89% Love, Gilda (2018) "Laughter - that's what hugs me and holds me," she confides on those muddy cassettes. So does the warm, tender embrace of "Love, Gilda." - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
No Score Yet American Dresser (2018) Ultimately, the most intriguing thing about the production is Billy Joel's consulting producer credit. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
76% Smallfoot (2018) Carries sufficient charm and a bit of unexpected depth to justify its breezy existence. - Hollywood Reporter EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 19, 2018
100% The Dawn Wall (2018) "The Dawn Wall" transcends initial conventional sports documentary trappings, emerging as an affecting portrait of conquering personal limitations. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
65% American Chaos (2018) Despite lacking a broader, more incisive scope, Stern's film has its share of engaging moments... - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
20% Game Over, Man! (2018) Try as one might to rise above the juvenility of it all, it's ultimately hard to be mad at something that manages to cram Mark Cuban, a fearlessly full-frontal Devine...and musician Shaggy forced at gunpoint to sing It Wasn't Me into the same production. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
50% Age of Summer (2018) "The Age of Summer" ultimately squeaks by on sun-kissed charisma. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 6, 2018
38% An Actor Prepares (2018) One keeps hoping director Steve Clark, who penned the script with Thomas Moffett, would plot a few unexpected turns along the way. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2018
48% Destination Wedding (2018) While Team Glum & Glummer clearly deserve each other, their audience deserves much better. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 30, 2018
36% Blue Iguana (2018) A talky comedy caper that manages to travel from quirky to irritating in no time flat. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018
52% Papillon (2018) The end result feels routinely anonymous. - Los Angeles Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Aug 23, 2018