Joshua Rothkopf

Joshua Rothkopf
Tomatometer-approved critic

Movie Reviews Only

Rating T-Meter Title | Year Review
4/5 67% Vice (2018) The ensemble is magnificently rude and amoral, but even better is Vice's thrusting spirit of montage -- daredevil editing that hasn't been attempted since the high-flying heyday of Oliver Stone.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018
2/5 60% The Mule (2018) Tonally, this thing is a disaster, and you can only conclude that its maker, capable of sharp ironies as recently as 2014's American Sniper, didn't fully digest the material.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Dec 14, 2018
4/5 78% Mary Poppins Returns (2018) When Blunt, in strong voice, sings a new song, "The Place Where Lost Things Go" (an exquisite lullaby that already feels like a classic), she's offering up a cosmic coping strategy.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Dec 12, 2018
3/5 69% Aquaman (2018) Aquaman is more seawater than bongwater, unfortunately, but when it gets trippy, it floats within hailing distance of Doctor Strange.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Dec 11, 2018
4/5 82% Green Book (2018) Call this actors' duet sentimental and simplistic at your own peril. Green Book may well move you, possibly to tears, at the thought of real social change and kindness (at a time when we need it badly).‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
4/5 98% Free Solo (2018) Free Solo is about getting dangerously close to the edge, where some people feel most alive. We get to experience that thrill secondhand, and that's enough.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Dec 6, 2018
4/5 92% The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Loose-limbed, rascally and Texan to its bones, The Old Man & the Gun is a throwback to an era when making beautifully understated crime comedies was the peak of Hollywood's ambition (before all the spandex took over).‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Nov 30, 2018
4/5 83% Creed II (2018) If the results aren't as artful as those by Creed director Ryan Coogler (Steven Caple Jr. steps in), they still feel earned.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
3/5 62% Mary Queen of Scots (2018) ...visually dull and intriguing in only the most generic sense, but still a showcase for the twin talents of Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
2/5 16% Robin Hood (2018) Several dueling shades of dull, this umpteenth retooling of the outlaw legend is desperate to convince viewers that Christopher Nolan had something to do with it (he didn't).‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Nov 21, 2018
96% The American Meme (2018) Suffused with vapidity, the doc somehow finds its way to an unexpected sadness and maybe something deeper and cautionary.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Nov 16, 2018
3/5 59% The Front Runner (2018) The film is so desperate to come off like a wry, coffee-stained media satire (à la Robert Altman's classic HBO series Tanner '88) that it misses the deeper story, that of a woman being treated shabbily on a man's way to the top.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Nov 9, 2018
2/5 37% X-Men Origins - Wolverine (2009) Revenge soon grips Logan when his love is taken away, but Tsotsi director Gavin Hood seems bored by the sibling rivalry; even the Frankensteinian weaponizing of a human body feels rushed. ‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Nov 5, 2018
4/5 88% Bodied (2018) Bodied is a deliriously rude provocation, maybe the most daring race-related movie since Spike Lee's Bamboozled.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Nov 4, 2018
4/5 89% A Private War (2018) It feels like the kind of movie that would have been designed for Meryl Streep or Sigourney Weaver back in the day, ragged yet sumptuous, filled with moments for devastating monologues yet never so obvious as to be self-aggrandizing.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
2/5 41% The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) Call it a spectacular failure to read the room that the new action-tooled The Girl in the Spider's Web -- James Bond without the bondage -- strips its hero of everything that made her spiky and singular.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
4/5 81% Boy Erased (2018) Edgerton mostly steers his tale away from its more obvious dimensions (an early rape scene is a regrettable exception), focusing more on the confusion of decent people.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Nov 2, 2018
2/5 37% Hunter Killer (2018) Splitting the difference between scenes of Navy SEAL rescue attempts, underwater evasive maneuvers and your own countdown clock toward an incipient nap, Hunter Killer feels both generic and underheated.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Oct 26, 2018
4/5 98% Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) Paul Simon's percolating, anxious "Can't Run But" dominates the movie's soundtrack, and no number of scenes shot in Julius's warm bar, the whiskey flowing, can shake that restless mood. It's atmosphere brewed to an expert degree of exactitude.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Oct 23, 2018
3/5 76% Mid90s (2018) Hill is content to coast like Stevie toward a pink-hued horizon, hoping the pavement isn't too bumpy. The movie is nostalgia, pure and simple, unfettered by examination.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Oct 18, 2018
4/5 68% Beautiful Boy (2018) Parents will feel heard by this movie in a way that few other films have tried. Everyone else should go for the kid, who's a rocket taking off. You want to be able to say you were there when it happened.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Oct 13, 2018
5/5 90% Widows (2018) To watch them coalesce into a hard-nosed crew of heisters is the year's most purely pleasurable piece of transformation.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Oct 12, 2018
4/5 79% Bad Reputation (2018) Jett is so free, she doesn't feel the need to speak to her private life. In her own way, that's as rock 'n' roll as it gets.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
2/5 29% Venom (2018) Why can't the movie make Venom properly dirty? The PG-13 rating seriously hurts. ‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Oct 3, 2018
4/5 96% Bisbee '17 (2018) It would be enough for any documentary to tell this piece of hushed-up history, but Bisbee '17 is onto something more radical; watching it is like witnessing the defusing of a time bomb from a foot away.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2018
4/5 94% The Favourite (2018) What makes The Favourite work are its women -- who rule, both literally within the movie and outwardly, dominating our enjoyment.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Sep 30, 2018
4/5 81% Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018) But what makes Moore's latest so ferocious -- and pound for pound his most effective piece of journalism -- is the way it pivots to a meaty central subject that isn't Trump but has prescient echoes.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Sep 20, 2018
3/5 92% Mandy (2018) Cosmatos needs you to be charitable toward his performances. Or, barring that, he needs you to be stoned. Many will oblige.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
3/5 85% A Simple Favor (2018) It's gratifying to see Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick both earning their keep in director Paul Feig's borderline-nutso crime comedy, one that won't be confused for a new Gone Girl. But even second-rate trashy turnarounds are worth savoring.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Sep 14, 2018
4/5 88% First Man (2018) Thrilling when it escapes the gravity of drab living rooms and offices, First Man does an admirable job of complexifying a well-told tale.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Sep 12, 2018
4/5 79% Halloween (2018) That's a great reason to remake it: Everyone's waving around a gun these days, and the idea that the survivor of the so-called "Babysitter Murders" is, 40 years later, a militia-worthy nut with murderous instincts of her own has a sad symmetry to it.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Sep 10, 2018
3/5 33% The Predator (2018) It's aggressively pacey, overloaded with smug one-liners, gore-laden and unlikely to have much of a future.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Sep 7, 2018
5/5 63% Suspiria (2018) Traditional horror fans won't be pleased: Almost transgressively, Guadagnino has deprioritized the shocks, even the fear. But in their place, he's pumped up the exotic strangeness and crafted a movie you can get lost in, which is the ultimate tribute.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Sep 1, 2018
4/5 90% A Star Is Born (2018) Calling the new A Star Is Born a "valentine" from its star, Lady Gaga, to her fans sounds a bit coy and delicate, so let's call it what it really is: a hot French kiss (with full-on tongue), filled with passion, tears and a staggering amount of chutzpah.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Aug 31, 2018
1/5 23% The Happytime Murders (2018) And what are Maya Rudolph -- playing a human secretary called Bubbles -- and Elizabeth Banks doing in this thing? Calling it fluff would be too kind.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2018
3/5 53% Papillon (2018) Amazingly, the remake -- by Danish director Michael Noer -- is nearly as long and equally as depressing. But he's made a slightly more exciting movie.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Aug 22, 2018
4/5 66% Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018) The Littlest Reich is no Shoah but it does play around in the slop of real-life genocide and that makes it strangely transgressive. If you're in the right mood -- not too self-serious -- you'll get off on its vengeful payback.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2018
3/5 79% Alpha (2018) Evidently, facts aren't terribly important here (even the movie's title comes from a civilization that's still millennia away), but if you can get past that, there's a moderately gripping tale of survival and natural kinship to be had.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Aug 17, 2018
3/5 89% Skate Kitchen (2018) Unlike the skaters -- always magnetic when they ollie and rail -- Moselle has only one move as a filmmaker: rhapsodic slo-mo and drony guitar rock on the soundtrack. ‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Aug 10, 2018
2/5 46% The Meg (2018) The Meg proves only that, at least cinematically speaking, great-white movies may have finally jumped the shark.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Aug 8, 2018
3/5 93% First Reformed (2018) The filmmaker's return to a somber Bressonian mode will work like catnip on his superfans, especially after Schrader's exploitative 2013 Lindsay Lohan disaster The Canyons (little more than dirty-old-man cinema) and two terrible Nic Cage movies.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted May 17, 2018
5/5 57% Under the Silver Lake (2019) It's the kind of raggedy-ass thriller that only gets made when a young filmmaker, emboldened by success, moves past virtues of concision, hoping to summon the full, meandering spell of a paranoid dream. Don't hold it against him.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted May 16, 2018
4/5 94% RBG (2018) Finding reciprocity -- in the eyes of the law, your partner, your colleagues -- is the essence of this documentary, one that comes at a moment that desperately lacks it.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted May 4, 2018
4/5 85% Tully (2018) ...a major movie about motherhood in which Cody's signature sarcasm has deepened into anxiety, exhaustion and wisdom -- she's truly becoming a voice for the ages.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Apr 30, 2018
2/5 40% The Strangers: Prey At Night (2018) In a moment when horror movies like Get Out and the forthcoming Hereditary earn praise for their adventurousness, these retro scares feel especially out of touch.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Apr 25, 2018
3/5 84% Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War -- an overstuffed sausage of summer entertainment -- is the Ocean's Thirteen of spandexed heroism, if you can imagine a version of that movie with two times as many Brad Pitts and no poker dealers.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Apr 24, 2018
2/5 15% Blumhouse's Truth or Dare (2018) Those brief bits of digitally inserted spookiness are the only glints of interest in a plot that otherwise makes more Mexican border crossings (it's where the game starts) than an alarmist Trump speech.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2018
4/5 96% Zama (2018) The material comes from a celebrated 1956 novel of the same name by Antonio di Benedetto, but Martel's close-ups of her red-faced leading man -- scored to a plummeting synth straight out of Scarface -- edge the film into comic territory.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Apr 20, 2018
2/5 36% The Leisure Seeker (2018) There are quieter moments during which the glances between Sutherland and Mirren -- containing memories better left unvoiced -- suggest something worthier than the dreck they're trapped in.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Apr 13, 2018
4/5 83% Blockers (2018) Mining uptightness for all its comic potential, Blockers comes down, proudly, on the side of the unblocked.‐ Time Out
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2018