Critics Consensus: Fast & Furious 6 is Certified Fresh

Plus, The Hangover Part III is short on laughs, and Epic is a solid animated fantasy.

This week at the movies, we've got racing renegades (Fast & Furious 6, starring Vin Diesel and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson); the Wolfpack on the prowl (The Hangover Part III, starring Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms): and a fantastical forest (Epic, with voice work by Amanda Seyfried and Beyoncé Knowles). What do the critics have to say?

Fast & Furious 6

68%

While most movie franchises find themselves running on fumes after one or two sequels, the Fast & Furious movies have improved as they've gone along. Critics say Fast & Furious 6 shows the series still has plenty left in the proverbial tank -- its absurd plot is merely an excuse to stage (even more) deliriously exciting chases, stunts, and crashes. This time out, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his merry band of thieves postpone retirement when government agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) asks for their help in taking down a vicious criminal gang that counts old friend Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) among its members. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Fast & Furious 6 is as gleefully preposterous as previous installments, and if you're in the mood for exhilarating, supercharged action set-pieces, you've come to the right place. (Check out this week's 24 Frames for a gallery of the cars of Fast & Furious.)

The Hangover Part III

19%

The Hangover Part II was mostly content to recycle its predecessor, so switching things up for the second sequel was probably a good idea. Unfortunately, critics say The Hangover Part III is so joke-free that it barely qualifies as a comedy, and while the stars make for good company as usual, the energy level isn't particularly high. Phil and Stu (Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms) decide to get their out-of-control buddy Alan (Zach Galifianakis) into rehab, but their plan is foiled when a mobster (John Goodman) forces the Wolfpack to track down their old frenemy Chow (Ken Jeong). The pundits say The Hangover Part III is substantially darker than the previous installments, and it lacks the go-for-broke exuberance that made the original a massive hit. (Check out this week's Total Recall for a countdown of Cooper's best-reviewed movies, as well as our interviews with the stars.)

Epic

64%

Given the advances in CGI, it takes more than pretty pictures to make an animated feature worthwhile. Still, critics say Epic is so visually stunning and briskly-paced that it (mostly) overcomes its generic storytelling. While looking for her missing father in a forest, a teenage girl (voiced by Amanda Seyfried) stumbles across fantastical creatures and finds herself in the midst of a battle between good and evil. The pundits say say Epic's plot will seem familiar even to small children, but it's a beautifully animated fantasy with an inspired vocal cast.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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