Critics Consensus: Green Zone Feels Stale
Plus, She's Out of My League, Remember Me, and Our Family Wedding are all rotten.
At their best, the Bourne movies were models of mainstream filmmaking -- intelligent, suspenseful, and timely. However, critics say that if you got a little queasy with those films' use of the shaky-cam, you'll need a suitcase full of Dramamine for Green Zone, Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass' latest collaboration. Damon stars as an Army inspector in Bagdad in the early days of the Iraq War, on the trail of those pesky weapons of mass destruction. What he finds instead is a hotbed of intrigue, with various officials spinning the truth. The pundits say Green Zone is smarter than average, and features typically assured work from Damon. However, others say it feels a bit stale and simplistic, and its overdone technique does the material few favors. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down Damon's best-reviewed films.)
Can a dorky guy and a smoking-hot girl find love? This central conceit has been the basis for a number of comedies. She's Out of My League, critics say, is periodically funnier and more insightful than most -- until it gets bogged down in excessive vulgarity and buffoonish behavior. Kirk (Jay Baruchel) is an average Joe who, after a meet-cute, finds himself dating the stunning Molly (Alice Eve), much to the incredulity of Kirk's friends and family. Is love truly blind? Maybe so, pundits say, but She's Out of My League is often (tone-) deaf, squandering its smarter-than-average moments by taking the low road once too often.
Nobody can blame Robert Pattinson for trying to stretch beyond the sparkly confines of Twilight-land. However, critics say he's going to have to find better vehicles than Remember Me, a so-so romantic drama with a tasteless final twist. Random happenstance unites Tyler (Pattinson) and Ally (Emilie de Ravin), two young New Yorkers with family issues -- and more baggage than LaGuardia. Can these crazy kids make it work? Unfortunately, pundits say Remember Me isn't elevated by its likable leads -- it's mannered and sluggish, and the film's finale is just... wrong.
Weddings are usually joyous occasions, but they can also bring out the worst in people. Our Family Wedding attempts to mine this territory for laughs, but critics say it's mostly an implausible, laugh-free affair. Mexican-American Lucia (America Ferrera) and African-American Marcus (Lance Gross) are deeply in love, but their families aren't as smitten with one another, tossing bitter insults in lieu of rice. The pundits say whatever humor could be derived from this promising scenario -- and the film's stellar players -- is strenuously avoided, with crassness and broad contrivance carrying the day.
Also opening this week in limited release:
- Bong Joon-ho's Mother, a drama about a woman fighting for her mentally impaired son, is at 87 percent.
- Children of Invention, about a single mother who gets mixed up in some financial crimes, is at 83 percent.
- The Exploding Girl, starring Zoe Kazan as a young woman in the midst of a romantic breakdown, is at 67 percent.
- The Romanian import Delta, about a complex relationship between a long-lost pair of siblings, is at 67 percent.
- Tales from the Script, a doc in which a group of distinguished screenwriters talk about their trade, is at 63 percent.
- Stolen, starring Josh Lucas and Jon Hamm as two men looking for their missing sons, is at zero percent.