Critics Consensus: Jack the Giant Slayer is Fee-Fie-Fokay

Plus, Phantom is out to sea, 21 and Over is short on laugs, and The Last Exorcism Part II wasn't screened for critics.

This week at the movies, we've got fairy tale swashbuckling (Jack the Giant Slayer, starring Nicholas Hoult and Ewan McGregor), submarine suspense (Phantom, starring Ed Harris and David Duchovny), excessive partying (21 and Over, starring Miles Teller and Skylar Astin), and devilish doings (The Last Exorcism Part II, starring Ashley Bell and Spencer Treat Clark). What do the critics have to say?

Jack the Giant Slayer

52%

With all the fairy tale adaptations Hollywood's been cranking out lately, Jack and the Beanstalk seems particularly ripe for a big-budget adaptation. And critics say that while Jack the Giant Slayer is briskly paced and occasionally thrilling, it's often more stylish than substantial. After unintentionally opening a portal to another world, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) fights to defend the earth from a group of giants who are attempting to reclaim their former realm. The pundits say Jack the Giant Slayer looks terrific, and it has some exciting set pieces, but it doesn't do much to distinguish itself from other fantasy adventures of its ilk. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down star Ewan McGregor's best-reviewed movies.)

Phantom

25%

Das Boot. The Hunt for Red October. Crimson Tide. There are plenty of good thrillers set on board submarines, but unfortunately, critics say the well-acted but poorly-scripted Phantom is unlikely to join their ranks. Ed Harris stars as the captain of a Soviet sub on a secret mission. However, several of the crew members, led by Bruni (David Duchovny), are planning to take over the ship and escalate conflict with the U.S. The pundits say Phantom is unfortunately short on tension, leaving its talented cast out to sea. (Watch our video interview with Harris and Duchovny.)

21 and Over

28%

If the premise of 21 and Over -- three dudes party and go on wild adventures unill somebody blacks out -- sounds a lot like The Hangover, well, that's because it shares screenwriters. What they don't share, say critics, is a steady stream of laughs. Jeff (Justin Chon) is turning 21, but has an important interview the next day. His two buddies (Miles Teller and Skylar Astin) demand they hit the town; intoxication and hilarity ensue. The pundits say 21 and Over has a couple of solid gags, but they're separated by long passages that are raunchy and politically incorrect rather than funny. (Check out this week's 24 Frames for a gallery of memorable movie benders.)

The Last Exorcism Part II

16%

Perhaps the studio behind The Last Exorcism Part II were afraid their film was less than bewitching, since it wasn't screened prior to its release. Following the events of the previous film, Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell) is found alive with no recollection of what became of her family. Soon, she's once again possessed by a demonic spirit. Time to play guess the Tomatometer again!

Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, props to Donald Whitman Jr. for guessing Dark Skies's 30 percent Tomatometer.

Comments

Teddy K.

Ryan Gavetti

That Last Exorcism poster. My God, I can't stop laughing. What were they thinking? That's just awful. I think I'll watch the Vikings premiere on History Channel before I'll watch any of these films this week.

Feb 28 - 05:56 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

Extreme yoga... They probably meant to call it the Last Exercise Part 2

Feb 28 - 06:27 PM

Teddy K.

Ryan Gavetti

Hahaha. And here I thought I'd stopped laughing uncontrollably.

Feb 28 - 06:40 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

I'm laughing crazily, too. I can hear an aerobics instructor going, "And one, and two..."

Mar 1 - 08:37 AM

Topher McDude

Topher McDude

Or get your head outta yer ass

Mar 1 - 03:12 PM

Topher McDude

Topher McDude

I mean the girl

Mar 1 - 04:32 PM

StonedMagician99

Andy Spencer

Was the first Last Exorcism prescreened for critics? Whatever. One thing that's always a bad thing is making the previous film exist in the next one, like The Human Centipede. Movies-within-movies in the horror genre aren't generally good.

Otherwise, a pretty meh week. Might ry to catch War Witch, but I doubt it's anywhere near me.

Feb 28 - 05:57 PM

Typhon

Typhon Q

Extreme yoga... They probably meant to call it the Last Exercise Part 2

Feb 28 - 06:27 PM

Teddy K.

Ryan Gavetti

Hahaha. And here I thought I'd stopped laughing uncontrollably.

Feb 28 - 06:40 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

I'm laughing crazily, too. I can hear an aerobics instructor going, "And one, and two..."

Mar 1 - 08:37 AM

Typhon

Typhon Q

I dont think that they were trying to make Jack the Giant Slayer look even remotely real.

Feb 28 - 06:29 PM

Teddy K.

Ryan Gavetti

Hahaha. And here I thought I'd stopped laughing uncontrollably.

Feb 28 - 06:40 PM

Stepping Razor

Stepping Razor

I'm laughing crazily, too. I can hear an aerobics instructor going, "And one, and two..."

Mar 1 - 08:37 AM

shadypotential

Chris Cox

Bryan Singer exposing himself for the hack he is. He has one good film and the screenwriter was the star of it. a monkey could have made The Usual Suspects and it would have turned out amazing. I can't wait for DOFP to see him mess up X-Men even more. smh

Feb 28 - 06:56 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The first two "X-Men" movies are great, as is "Apt Pupil" and "Valkyrie". Screenwriter McQuarrie proved he couldn't turn one of his scripts into a film as good as "Suspects" with his "Way of the Gun".

Feb 28 - 07:08 PM

Jameson B.

Jameson Bradford

Loved "Apt Pupil," forgot about that one. Shame about Brad Renfro. He was so good in that, as well as "Sleepers" and "The Client."

Mar 1 - 06:57 AM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

As someone who has owned The Way of the Gun on three different formats, my response to that is BOOOOO. It is slowly starting to gain a cult following. McQuarrie is one of the four writers for Giant Slayer, so maybe it will have 25% of The Usual Suspects' awesomeness?

Singer's only poor film is Superman Returns. X-Men 1 and 2, along with Raimi's Spider-Man, helped revive the comic book genre that Batman and Robin helped to destroy.

Mar 1 - 11:18 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I largely agree. And I'm disappointed in what I've seen of "Jack" because I like Singer. "Way of the Gun" isn't bad, but "Suspects" was one of the great crime films of the 90s.

Mar 1 - 11:41 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

I'd have to agree that aside from Suspects and Pupil, Singer is an extremely mediocre director.

Mar 1 - 08:16 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'm sick of this amnesia over Singer's X-Men movies. They are the reason why Marvel has had any success over the last decade, and also why Hugh Jackman is a star. The first two are still not just some of the best Marvel films, but among the best superhero films.

Mar 1 - 10:49 AM

Mavent

Juan Valdez

Actually, you're full of crap, Janson. The reason Marvel had success this last decade is that they finally STOPPED listening to morons like Singer, who were continually telling them that they had to hide their superheroes behind black leather and angst.

Mar 1 - 06:07 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Black leather and angst". What are you, Amish? And all that devilish rock and roll too, am I right?

Mar 1 - 11:25 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

I thought the first X-men was 'ok', the second one unmemorable. His films are like corporate restaurant food - decent but not amazing.

Mar 2 - 08:24 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The first two "X-Men" movies are great, as is "Apt Pupil" and "Valkyrie". Screenwriter McQuarrie proved he couldn't turn one of his scripts into a film as good as "Suspects" with his "Way of the Gun".

Feb 28 - 07:08 PM

Jameson B.

Jameson Bradford

Loved "Apt Pupil," forgot about that one. Shame about Brad Renfro. He was so good in that, as well as "Sleepers" and "The Client."

Mar 1 - 06:57 AM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

As someone who has owned The Way of the Gun on three different formats, my response to that is BOOOOO. It is slowly starting to gain a cult following. McQuarrie is one of the four writers for Giant Slayer, so maybe it will have 25% of The Usual Suspects' awesomeness?

Singer's only poor film is Superman Returns. X-Men 1 and 2, along with Raimi's Spider-Man, helped revive the comic book genre that Batman and Robin helped to destroy.

Mar 1 - 11:18 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I largely agree. And I'm disappointed in what I've seen of "Jack" because I like Singer. "Way of the Gun" isn't bad, but "Suspects" was one of the great crime films of the 90s.

Mar 1 - 11:41 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Stoker" is the one film here worth paying attention to. In a sane and halfway fair world, it would be going wide in the place of "The Lastest Exorcist".

Nice stealth marketing for "Phantom". No, we didn't see that coming, due to zero advertising. But there have been TV spots for "Stoker" so, go figure why one is going wide instead. "Giant Slayer" looks like skittle-vomit, much like "Oz", and the film responsible for both being green-lit, "Alice in Wonderland". Yawn. "War Witch" looks good. Despite the prosaic description, the stills from "Leviathan" look extraordinary - this looks like a beautiful film. Then we got docs on hunger and le'chaim.

"Stoker". It just stands on the tongue. Harass your theaters. Ask them why they wouldn't carry this movie. Point to "Least Exorcist" and "Project Hangover" and beg, "Is this what you think of us?"

Feb 28 - 07:24 PM

David Tanny

Big Fat Jewish Guy

I have to wait until next weekend to see Stoker. The local independent theater isn't showing it this week for some reason. But I agree, the one film here worth paying attention to.

Feb 28 - 08:29 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

I watched IRON SKY based on your recommendation: it was some crazy shit, I tell you! Udo Kier as the Moon Fuhrer? Actually the special effects were quite good considering the budget they had; the director on the commentary boldly proclaims the film as the "greatest the universe has ever seen." If that doesn't tell you to not take the film seriously, then forget it LOL. It was actually funny though, loved the Sarah Palin imitation!

Feb 28 - 09:39 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Julia Dietze was smokin' hot in that movie. It was pretty awful, but it had it's moments.

Mar 1 - 08:14 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

HA! Well, glad you took that tongue-in-cheek recomendation for what it was worth. Lotta fun.

Mar 1 - 10:51 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Now you gotta watch The FP. It's very tongue-in-cheek 80s dance/rival gang/coming of age movie. Ridiculous. Both Iron Sky and The FP are streaming on Netflix.

Mar 1 - 04:38 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The Mystery Science Theater classics of tomorrow.

Mar 1 - 11:28 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Normally, I would be checking my expectations somewhat when a movie I am really looking forward to only hits the 60s on the T-meter, but Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance currently sits at 55% on here, and I think that film is a masterpiece, so I my excitement for a new Park film cannot be contained regardless of what critics say.

Feb 28 - 11:46 PM

David Tanny

Big Fat Jewish Guy

I was shocked to see the score for Sympathy. It's a great film. In my opinion, the weakest film in Park's "Vengeance Trilogy" is Lady Vengeance.

P.S. Forgot to give my score for Exorcism: 23%

Feb 28 - 11:56 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Agree on Lady Vengeance being the weakest, but I still think it is a very good movie. It just lacks the gut punches that made Oldboy and Sympathy such memorable cinematic experiences. Sympathy is probably the most realistic of the trilogy, and it is a beautiful film filled with melancholy and tragedy.

Mar 1 - 07:14 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I've found that movies in the 60s and 70s are fine for me. I don't mind, and sometimes prefer, the kinds of films that piss off just the right kinds of critics. And this film's detracters are my critics to confuse: Owen Gleibermann, Joe Neumeier, Andrew O'Heir, Rex Reed, David Edelstein, Claudia Puig, etc. Boring, cocktail-taste types of critics.

Mar 1 - 10:59 AM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Ha ha. Yes, Gleibermann has made me bang my head on my desk many times.

Mar 2 - 01:49 AM

Ralph

Ralph Myers

"21 and Over has a couple of solid gags, but they're separated by long passages that are raunchy and politically incorrect rather than funny," sounds like exactly what i wanted to here, can't wait!

Feb 28 - 07:29 PM

David Tanny

Big Fat Jewish Guy

I have to wait until next weekend to see Stoker. The local independent theater isn't showing it this week for some reason. But I agree, the one film here worth paying attention to.

Feb 28 - 08:29 PM

SAMfromCALGARY

Samuel C

19% Tomatometer on The Last Exorcism Part II.
I mean, the title doesn't even make sense!

Feb 28 - 08:29 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

I watched IRON SKY based on your recommendation: it was some crazy shit, I tell you! Udo Kier as the Moon Fuhrer? Actually the special effects were quite good considering the budget they had; the director on the commentary boldly proclaims the film as the "greatest the universe has ever seen." If that doesn't tell you to not take the film seriously, then forget it LOL. It was actually funny though, loved the Sarah Palin imitation!

Feb 28 - 09:39 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Julia Dietze was smokin' hot in that movie. It was pretty awful, but it had it's moments.

Mar 1 - 08:14 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

HA! Well, glad you took that tongue-in-cheek recomendation for what it was worth. Lotta fun.

Mar 1 - 10:51 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Now you gotta watch The FP. It's very tongue-in-cheek 80s dance/rival gang/coming of age movie. Ridiculous. Both Iron Sky and The FP are streaming on Netflix.

Mar 1 - 04:38 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The Mystery Science Theater classics of tomorrow.

Mar 1 - 11:28 PM

Myron

Myron Kinsey

Saw War Witch on a streaming website the other day, very good film.

Feb 28 - 11:00 PM

Movie Monster

Bentley Lyles

Am I the only one unimpressed with the look of the giants in Jack the Giant Slayer? The CGI looks horrible! The film never caught my interest and it will undoubtedly bomb like John Carter last year.

23% for The Last Exorcism Part 2. I'm growing tired off all these possession movies coming out. The title also sounds funny. The LAST Exorcism PART 2. If it was the LAST EXORCISM, then why is there another one?

Feb 28 - 11:26 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

The trailer might not have looked good, but on the big screen some of the effects were actually quite well done.

Mar 2 - 08:38 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I will be seeing War Witch and Stoker if they open closer to me in the future, both look excellent.

Jack the Giant Slayer never had much buzz, hope Singer can get his mojo back with X-Men.

8% for Last Exorcism 2.

Feb 28 - 11:41 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Normally, I would be checking my expectations somewhat when a movie I am really looking forward to only hits the 60s on the T-meter, but Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance currently sits at 55% on here, and I think that film is a masterpiece, so I my excitement for a new Park film cannot be contained regardless of what critics say.

Feb 28 - 11:46 PM

David Tanny

Big Fat Jewish Guy

I was shocked to see the score for Sympathy. It's a great film. In my opinion, the weakest film in Park's "Vengeance Trilogy" is Lady Vengeance.

P.S. Forgot to give my score for Exorcism: 23%

Feb 28 - 11:56 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Agree on Lady Vengeance being the weakest, but I still think it is a very good movie. It just lacks the gut punches that made Oldboy and Sympathy such memorable cinematic experiences. Sympathy is probably the most realistic of the trilogy, and it is a beautiful film filled with melancholy and tragedy.

Mar 1 - 07:14 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I've found that movies in the 60s and 70s are fine for me. I don't mind, and sometimes prefer, the kinds of films that piss off just the right kinds of critics. And this film's detracters are my critics to confuse: Owen Gleibermann, Joe Neumeier, Andrew O'Heir, Rex Reed, David Edelstein, Claudia Puig, etc. Boring, cocktail-taste types of critics.

Mar 1 - 10:59 AM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Ha ha. Yes, Gleibermann has made me bang my head on my desk many times.

Mar 2 - 01:49 AM

David Tanny

Big Fat Jewish Guy

I was shocked to see the score for Sympathy. It's a great film. In my opinion, the weakest film in Park's "Vengeance Trilogy" is Lady Vengeance.

P.S. Forgot to give my score for Exorcism: 23%

Feb 28 - 11:56 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Agree on Lady Vengeance being the weakest, but I still think it is a very good movie. It just lacks the gut punches that made Oldboy and Sympathy such memorable cinematic experiences. Sympathy is probably the most realistic of the trilogy, and it is a beautiful film filled with melancholy and tragedy.

Mar 1 - 07:14 PM

Bertram Krogh

Bertram Krogh

The Last Exorcism Part II 6%

Mar 1 - 01:42 AM

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