Critics Consensus: Cloud Atlas Is a Beautiful Mess

Plus, Fun Size is likeable but bland, Chasing Mavericks is a so-so sports flick, and Silent Hill: Revelation 3D wasn't screened -- guess the Tomatometer!

This week at the movies, we've got time-spanning connectedness (Cloud Atlas, starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry); a Halloween escapade (Fun Size, starring Victoria Justice and Chelsea Handler); a legendary surfer (Chasing Mavericks, starring Jonny Weston and Gerard Butler); and a demonic town (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, starring Adelaide Clemens and Sean Bean). What do the critics have to say?

Cloud Atlas

66%

The Wachowskis have never been short on ambition; they've been blowing minds (or trying to) ever since The Matrix put them on the map. Now they're back with Cloud Atlas, and critics are divided -- some say it's an awe-inspiring work of visual and emotional daring, while others say it's muddled, pretentious, and overlong. It's a series of interconnected vignettes that follows a variety of characters (played by, among others, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, and Jim Broadbent) across centuries, as seemingly small actions and events have monumental repercussions. The pundits agree that Cloud Atlas is a singular film, but while some are thrilled by its monumental scope and big ideas, others say it's too undisciplined and disjointed to realize its outsized aims. (Check out this week's Total recall, in which we count down Hanks' best-reviewed films, as well as our 24 Frames gallery of epic sci-fi movies.)

Fun Size

25%

Most Halloween releases feature mad slashers and teens in distress, so it's refreshing that Fun Size offers a more mirthful take on All Hallows Eve. Unfortunately, critics say the movie is a slight, middling romp that's breezily likable but mostly forgettable. Victoria Justice stars as Wren, a high school senior tasked with watching her little brother Albert on Halloween. However, the little guy gets lost while trick-or-treating, and Wren must round up a posse to track him down; hilarity ensues. The pundits say Fun Size is pleasant but innocuous, decent teen fare with a few laughs and a lot of predictability.

Chasing Mavericks

31%

Chasing Mavericks doesn't stray too far from the inspirational sports movie playbook: it's got a talented kid, a wise mentor, and a big obstacle to overcome. And that's part of the problem, critics say: while the film features some remarkable images and strong performances, it can't quite muster the strength to break free from formula. Jonny Weston stars as real-life surfing star Jay Moriarity who discovers that a legendary wave can be found close to his home. In order to gain the skills necessary to ride such a dangerous patch of water, Jay teams up with Frosty (Gerard Butler), an experienced surfer who acts as both a coach and father figure for the wave-riding prodigy. The pundits say Chasing Mavericks' surfing scenes feel authentic, and Weston and Butler share an easy chemistry, but the film's devotion to sports movie cliches and inspirational platitudes sap it of its power.

Silent Hill: Revelation 3D

5%

It appears the folks behind Silent Hill: Revelation 3D were afraid their film wouldn't be worth a trip, since it wasn't screened prior to release. After a series of vivid nightmares, Heather Mason (Adelaide Clemens) finds herself bedeviled across dimensions by the inhabitants of Silent Hill. Hey everyone, put down your game controllers and guess the Tomatometer!

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Revisionaries, a documentary about ideological battles over science education, is at 88 percent.
  • The Loneliest Planet, starring Gael García Bernal in a drama about a young couple whose vacation takes a shattering turn, is at 86 percent.
  • Sleep Tight, a thriller about a Barcelona doorman obsessed with wrecking the life of an unsuspecting woman, is at 86 percent.
  • The Other Son, a drama about an Israeli and a Palestinian child switched at birth, is at 71 percent.
  • Pusher, a remake of Nicolas Winding Refn's thriller about a drug dealer pursued by a crime boss after a botched deal, is at 53 percent.
  • The Black Tulip, a drama about an Afghan family that opens a café and encourages free expression, is at 40 percent.
  • Dinotasia, featuring CGI dinosaurs going about their daily business, is at 33 percent.

Comments

Geoffrey K.

Geoffrey Kemp

Silent Hill Tomatometer:
9%

Oct 25 - 04:47 PM

Dominic Santiago

Dominic Santiago

:O almost

Oct 26 - 07:10 PM

Allen Roden

Allen Roden

silent hill iam bet for these films they make around the 20s so 26%

Oct 25 - 04:53 PM

Dave J

Dave J

"Cloud Nine" at 59% is so close yet so far!

Oct 25 - 05:16 PM

Movie Monster

Bentley Lyles

23% for Silent Hill: Revelation. I was worried about how the critical reception for Cloud Atlas would turn out ever since I saw the trailer. At 59%, I'm hoping the movie would be decent.

Oct 25 - 05:19 PM

Billy B.

Billy Barnett

Probably not.

Oct 27 - 06:03 AM

Jason H.

Jason Huang

well i'm just waiting for skyfall...

Oct 25 - 05:25 PM

Daniel Irwin

Daniel Irwin

in IMAX, no less??

Oct 26 - 08:08 AM

Myron

Myron Kinsey

Looks like Cloud Atlas outreached its grasp (I knew it would) but I'll still go and see it because it looks like a good date movie.

Oct 25 - 05:25 PM

Dane Larson

Dane Larson

That's up for debate. I thought it was masterfully done.

Oct 30 - 01:21 PM

Myron

Myron Kinsey

Polarized audiences right down the middle, got mixed reviews, and flopped at the box office, yeah, I think Cloud Atlas exceeded its own grasp.

Oct 31 - 02:34 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I still look forward to seeing cloud atlas streamed on Netflix. Kind of shocked it missed the Fresh rating by just 1%.

I hope THe Loneliest Planet is playing in a theater near me in the next couple of weeks.

Oct 25 - 06:16 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

How the hell is "Dinotasia" at 33%? That stuff looks awesome. Jaded snots! Was "Walking With Dinosaurs" so far away? Did 9/11 change that too?

"Cloud Atlas" is the obvious choice. Will it be any good? I'm sure it will be interesting to put it to the test. Plus, "Sleep Tight", by the director of the "[REC]" films. Something tells me that Refn's "Pusher" series should be seen before this imposter Pusher. "Revisionaries" could be the scariest film of the weekend. I hope there's an exorcism in there somewhere.

Oct 25 - 06:33 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Like I said below, the first Pusher film is pretty bland and not too memorable except for Mikkelsen's scenes early on. Judging from the trailer, the remake sticks very close to Refn's original, except the visuals and tone seem to be more energetic and propulsive than Refn's style of subduing everything. The second and third one are well worth a watch, though. Refn does much more interesting things thematically with the other two than the rather straighforward original. Watch the entire trilogy just because the first gives some context to the two films.

Oct 25 - 07:15 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Rec you say? That scared me awake all night. Seriously, I had to marathon Mass Effect until the Sun came up and my rational was back in control. Looking forward To Sleep Tight. as always, Thanks for the Random drops of knowledge.

Oct 25 - 07:22 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

I'm more of a Prehysteria fan.

Oct 25 - 11:20 PM

Hunter Eitel

Hunter Eitel

Spent hill gets a 17% on the tomatometer.

Oct 25 - 06:34 PM

Jaxx Raxor

Adam Jones

I'm surprised a New Silent Hill movie was made. That franchise lacks the popularity of Resident Evil both for the original video game franchises and the movie ones. My guess it gets around 10%, it looks rather horrible.

I feel that this last weekend in October will be fairly weak as none of the wide release films seem like they will draw a large audience. Cloud Atlas is the most likely but we have to see with the mixed reviews it's getting if it can get a decent weekend through.

Oct 25 - 06:35 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

I don't understand why they think CGI is scary. They could have cut the CGI budget in half, use traditional effects and pay a screenwriter a little more and probably make a damn better movie.

Oct 25 - 11:23 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I think a combination of Puppeteer work and CGI has always come across as best as far as "That thing looks alive!" goes.

Oct 26 - 08:07 AM

Total  S.

Total Stranger

Empire and Returns puppet Yoda look so much better then CGI Yoda in the later films, hands down. And I don't give a shit about Yoda lightsaber fighting. It looked stupid.

Oct 26 - 09:51 AM

ap sirius

karl anderson

absolutely agree...they need to get back to real effects. It definately has a more tactile feel to it. As soon as I start seeing CGI in a horror film, I tend to tune out.....

Oct 27 - 02:38 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Jurassic Park" is still in many ways the gold standard for quality CGI, and it is a hybrid, using CGI to smooth out the movements and details of models. Unfortunately, the "bad" CGI tends to be an entirely CGI image without an actual physical foundation. I wish more studios could learn this lesson. As expensive as CGI processing is, it seems ridiculous to argue about the costs of using a modeling FX team.

Oct 28 - 10:13 PM

Total  S.

Total Stranger

JP is the perfect example Janson. Totally agree. It still looks great, and that movie is tacking on some years by now too...

Oct 31 - 11:23 AM

Pep Danguilan

Pep Danguilan

16% percent for Silent Hill.

Oct 25 - 06:49 PM

Kriftonucci

Jim Ylonen

Say wat you want about Cloud Atlas, it's still a step up for the Wachowskis compared to their previous outings.

As for Silent Hill, I'm going with whatever score The Last House on the Left got.

Oct 25 - 06:52 PM

Kriftonucci

Jim Ylonen

*HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET

Aww f it, they both suck enough to be below 50 anyway!

Oct 26 - 05:12 PM

Linda B.

Linda Burke

3% for Silent Hill.

Oct 25 - 06:59 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

The first week in a while that is pretty much disappointing across the board. With that said, I still really want to see Cloud Atlas, as it looks incredibly ambitious, and I can admire that even if it does not wholly succeed.

Was not too keen on a remake of Pusher to begin with, even with Refn producing. Out of the original Pusher Trilogy, I found the first film to easily be the weakest in virtually every aspect. I think Pusher II is a truly great film, though, and hope it is not remade. Mads Mikkelsen gives an incredible performance in that movie, and he is pretty much the reason it works so well, because he is so magnetic and watchable that he makes you completely forget that the movie is very episodic and goes from moment to moment in a meandering manner. Pusher III is very good, as well.

Oct 25 - 07:07 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

11% for Silent Hill.

Oct 25 - 07:08 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

11% for Silent Hill.

Oct 25 - 07:08 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Like I said below, the first Pusher film is pretty bland and not too memorable except for Mikkelsen's scenes early on. Judging from the trailer, the remake sticks very close to Refn's original, except the visuals and tone seem to be more energetic and propulsive than Refn's style of subduing everything. The second and third one are well worth a watch, though. Refn does much more interesting things thematically with the other two than the rather straighforward original. Watch the entire trilogy just because the first gives some context to the two films.

Oct 25 - 07:15 PM

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