Critics Consensus: The Great Gatsby is a Case of Style Over Substance

Plus, Peeples is warm but predictable.

This week at the movies, we've got an enigmatic millionaire (The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan) and a tense family gathering (Peeples, starring Craig Robinson and Kerry Washington). What do the critics have to say?

The Great Gatsby

49%

Since its publication in 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby has beckoned filmmakers like a green light at the end of a pier. Unfortunately, their efforts have tended to be the cinematic equivalent of winning Daisy Buchanan's heart -- lavish exercises in futility. Critics say Baz Luhrmann's opulent take on Gatsby continues the trend -- it looks fantastic and features a fine lead performance from Leonardo DiCaprio, but it misses the nuanced, melancholy spirit of the novel. In case you slept through English class in high school, here's the plot: Yale grad and World War I vet Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) is drawn into the orbit of Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio), a mysterious millionaire who throws extravagant parties and flaunts the trappings of affluence in an effort to win the heart of Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), who's married to a rich jerk. The pundits say The Great Gatsby never lacks for spectacle, but what's missing is the heart beneath the glitz. (Check out this week's 24 Frames for a gallery of films based on classic books.)

Peeples

35%

If you're going to attempt a Meet the Parents-style comedy, you have to work hard to distinguish yourself. Unfortunately, critics say Peeples is a warm, amiable farce that offers a few chuckles but mostly falls back on predictable plotting and an overwrought message. Grace (Kerry Washington) joins her well-to-do family for a reunion in the Hamptons. Her fiancé, an aspiring musician named Wade (Craig Robinson), crashes the party to announce their impending nuptials and embarrasses himself in an attempt to fit in with the family. The pundits say Robinson and Washington are appealing as always, but there's only so much they can do with the film's clichéd script. (Check out this week's Total Recall for a countdown of the best-reviewed directorial work of Peeples producer Tyler Perry, as well as our video interviews with the cast.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Stories We Tell, director Sarah Polley's documentary portrait of her family and its secrets, is at 93 percent.
  • Sightseers, a comedy about a couple who go on a road trip to see various landmarks and inadvertently initiate a killing spree, is Certified Fresh at 83 percent.
  • The Painting, a French animated feature about groups of painted characters who go on a journey to understand the origin of their creation, is at 83 percent.
  • Venus And Serena, a documentary about the relationship between the tennis-star sisters, is at 80 percent.
  • The Source Family, a doc about the rock-'n'-rollin' new religious movement, is at 78 percent.
  • One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das, a doc about an aspiring rock singer who ditched his possessions and moved to India in search of enlightenment, is at 67 percent.
  • Aftershock, produced by and starring Eli Roth in a horror film about a group of clubgoers trapped underground after a massive earthquake, is at 42 percent (watch our interview with Roth here).
  • No One Lives, starring Luke Evans in a horror film about a man who turns the tables on a ruthless gang of kidnappers, is at 22 percent
  • And Now A Word From Our Sponsor, starring Bruce Greenwood and Parker Posey in a comedy about the head of an advertising agency who speaks only in commercial slogans after suffering a nervous breakdown, is at zero percent.
  • Java Heat, starring Mickey Rourke and Kellan Lutz in an action thriller about the hunt for a terrorist in Indonesia, is at zero percent.

Comments

This comment has been removed.

Armand Samaroo

Armand Samaroo

I'm calling bullshit, you're the supposed Gatsby and you don't say "old sport" at the end of every sentence, you are a FAKE, old sport!

May 9 - 06:14 PM

Killer Jay

Jay Catler

I tend to forget my way when I'm pissed, old sport.

May 9 - 06:25 PM

Karena Jhon

Karena Jhon

my neighbor's step-mother makes $67 an hour on the computer. She has been without work for 9 months but last month her pay check was $14029 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site... WWW.FOX86.COM

May 14 - 02:58 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

You people tend to forget that the novel was about EMPTINESS and ENNUI in the lives of Rich Folk, Old Sports. (so the movie is accurate in its portrayal --- Gatspy is the Less Than Zero of the roaring '20s. Brett Easton Ellis' novel is about the EMPTINESS and ENNUI in Rich Folks' lives in the mid 1980s.

May 9 - 08:20 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Less Than Zero 3D!!! It's like Robert Downey Jr. is morally crumbling right AT ME!

May 9 - 09:20 PM

Ciaran C.

Ciaran Campbell

I don't know what the Less Than Zero movie was but it was far from an adaptation of the book

May 10 - 04:27 AM

Michael Weiss

Michael Weiss

The sequel to Zero fits the original's film into context with Ellis' world in an interesting way. Imperial Bedrooms is interesting for any Ellis enthusiast.

May 11 - 08:36 AM

Ken Wolfson

Ken Wolfson

and that is why I like the book so much, old sport

May 10 - 10:32 AM

Gage Kent

Gage Kent

*yawn*
what a surprise. two movies that we knew were going to suck ended up sucking.

May 9 - 05:00 PM

Killer Jay

Jay Catler

SHUT UP! I am the Greatest man who ever lived. Gatsby!

May 9 - 05:01 PM

Noach Kowalski

Noach Kowalski

*like*

May 9 - 05:19 PM

Nexus 6

Dyun1 dyun1

It never bodes well when ever studio execs delay the release of a movie.

May 10 - 07:06 AM

Michael Weiss

Michael Weiss

What to always expect from Baz Luhrmann: 'style over substance.'

May 11 - 08:36 AM

Killer Jay

Jay Catler

SHUT UP! I am the Greatest man who ever lived. Gatsby!

May 9 - 05:01 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Is anyone keeping track of how many weeks this year that all the wide releases are rotten?

I'll definitely be checking out "Sightseers", "The Painting" (I'm a sucker for these recent French cartoons), and even "No One Lives" (from the director of "Midnight Meat Train"), but I don't think I'll try to track any of them down at a theater (if any actually play near me). The docs look good, for the most part. I'm not interested in what's been happening with the guy who was almost a singer for Blue Oyster Cult. But "Source Family" is very interesting. If anyone didn't know, the Phoenix family (River, Joaquin, Rain) were members.

May 9 - 05:14 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

20? (Hollywood is ROTTEN) . . . when I used to go to Times Square (in New York City) every week, I would see all the name Hollywood Stars (like James Spader, David A Grier, Richard Thomas, et. al) on theater marquees. All the stars who enjoy doing films of good quality have left Hollywood en masse . . . even Denzel Washington is looking to do a Broadway Play . . . HOLLYWOOD SUCKS! and every intelligent writer, actor, and director realizes this.

May 9 - 08:26 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Sorry, David A Grier isn't a "name Hollywood Star". I'm glad he's got better things to do other than this Tyler Perry film.

May 9 - 09:21 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

I'm not sure Spader is either.

May 9 - 10:00 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Spader thought those golden feathers would last forever. But lest you not forget, he was a star once.

May 10 - 01:14 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Him and Kyle MacLachlan are sitting at some bar in some hotel going, "how did we end up in shitty tv dramas and dying sitcoms?"

May 10 - 01:38 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'd pay to see that movie. Throw in Eric Stoltz, Andrew McCarthy and C. Thomas Howell. Make it 3D even. Ticket, please.

May 10 - 03:47 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

Maybe David Lynch will cast Kyle Maclachan in his next film and revitalize his career? Maybe?

May 11 - 08:42 AM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

They could do a play on The Expendables and call it The Has-Beens. Michael Biehn could be the bad guy.

May 11 - 04:51 PM

Noach Kowalski

Noach Kowalski

*like*

May 9 - 05:19 PM

Duddy112

Fuddy Duddy

Well I knew this movie wasn't going to get good reviews. Many critics seem to be blaming the director baz luhrmann. I never thought he was the right person to direct this , and I'm not really into his films either. I did see Romeo and Juliet and that film was just terrible In my opinion. I never saw Moulin Rouge , and i think I saw maybe 20 minutes of Australia before shutting the tv off. I don't even think the cast of great gatsby is outstanding aside from Leonardo DiCarprio. The reviews aren't gonna help so I don't see this movie doing well at the boxoffice.

May 9 - 05:23 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

his movies are all panned when they come out then 4 years later are praised as ambitious. I swear everyone hated Moulin Rogue the first month it was released then suddenly loved it.

Personally I can't stand any of them.

May 10 - 08:22 AM

Sean D.

Sean D

"The Great Gatsby is style over substance"?
So it's another Baz Luhrmann film...

May 9 - 05:34 PM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

Nice. 10/10.

May 9 - 05:35 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

A thank you :)

May 11 - 08:43 AM

Killer Jay

Jay Catler

Well, girls do say I'm stylish.

May 9 - 05:48 PM

Tallulah Robinson

Tallulah Robinson

Bloody exactly. What were they thinking? I'm a random occasional movie-goer who doesn't even give a shit about this movie and predicted this *exact* outcome.

May 9 - 06:04 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

Moulin Rouge was OK. But I doubt people will catch on to the scam. I wanted it to be good. I really like Gatsby novel. But I am not surprised he cocked it up.

May 11 - 08:44 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

3D Gatsby. Mmm, gee. By the way, I like how the poster is still listing its Christmas release.

May 9 - 06:24 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

lol I think delay was because Luhrmann didn't think it was stylish enough.

May 11 - 08:45 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

ZING!

May 10 - 08:22 AM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

Nice. 10/10.

May 9 - 05:35 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

A thank you :)

May 11 - 08:43 AM

Killer Jay

Jay Catler

Well, girls do say I'm stylish.

May 9 - 05:48 PM

Tallulah Robinson

Tallulah Robinson

Bloody exactly. What were they thinking? I'm a random occasional movie-goer who doesn't even give a shit about this movie and predicted this *exact* outcome.

May 9 - 06:04 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

Moulin Rouge was OK. But I doubt people will catch on to the scam. I wanted it to be good. I really like Gatsby novel. But I am not surprised he cocked it up.

May 11 - 08:44 AM

Armand Samaroo

Armand Samaroo

I'm calling bullshit, you're the supposed Gatsby and you don't say "old sport" at the end of every sentence, you are a FAKE, old sport!

May 9 - 06:14 PM

Killer Jay

Jay Catler

I tend to forget my way when I'm pissed, old sport.

May 9 - 06:25 PM

Karena Jhon

Karena Jhon

my neighbor's step-mother makes $67 an hour on the computer. She has been without work for 9 months but last month her pay check was $14029 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more on this site... WWW.FOX86.COM

May 14 - 02:58 PM

Jonathan Edward O.

Jon Owens

I'm still seeing Gatsby... It's one of my favorite novels, when I was in high school we either had the class that read Gatsby or Catcher in the Rye and I was put in the Catcher in the Rye class... I went out of my way that year to get a copy of Gatsby and read It on my own terms... one of the best decisions I've ever made!

May 9 - 06:24 PM

Killer Jay

Jay Catler

Thanks, old sport

May 9 - 06:30 PM

Michael M.

Michael Murray

Catcher in the Rye is a better novel. Both books should be read by every American high schooler. While I'm at it My Brother Sam is Dead should be read by every middle schooler. That book taught me the joy of reading and I still read it every decade.

May 10 - 04:51 AM

Tallulah Robinson

Tallulah Robinson

This adds to my theory that in a lot of ways you have to be American to truly appreciate those novels. Though Gatsby is beautifully written compared to the awfulness that is Catcher in the Rye, it's fair to say both went over my head.

May 10 - 07:49 AM

Ezra Hsieh

Ezra Hsieh

Actually, the Catcher in the Rye is very popular in other country as well, it has a very high reputation in China

May 10 - 11:50 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Somebody got dropped in the rye...

May 10 - 01:15 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I disagree. Catcher in the Rye is not a better novel not to say it isn't good. I guess I just read it at a time when Holden Colfield was common place in society and not society's dark little secret.

May 10 - 08:24 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

There's always been idiots (or "phonies) in society. The book is pretty universal in dealing with disillusionment.

May 10 - 01:17 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

It's not the phonies that I meant by common place, its the clinically depressed. I knew ton's of depressed kids growing up. Holden Colfield didn't have a special unheard voice, he had an every day voice. Least in my School experience. It's a fantastic book I just never quite understood why a character who sounded like everybody else was so near and dear to so many people. I've been told that because in the time it was written if you were depressed you dealt with that all on your own in those days.

May 10 - 08:32 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

It's not just "depression", but the adolescent recognition that the world isn't as ideal as you think it should be, and the alienation that comes from this. People handle it in different ways. For example, I post on RT. I'm catching all you sonzabiches.

May 10 - 10:12 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Fantastic!

May 11 - 06:59 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

3D Gatsby. Mmm, gee. By the way, I like how the poster is still listing its Christmas release.

May 9 - 06:24 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

lol I think delay was because Luhrmann didn't think it was stylish enough.

May 11 - 08:45 AM

Killer Jay

Jay Catler

I tend to forget my way when I'm pissed, old sport.

May 9 - 06:25 PM

Killer Jay

Jay Catler

Thanks, old sport

May 9 - 06:30 PM

Matt Scott

Matt Scott

Rumor has it, the reason Gatsby wears so many hats is because he's light in his loafers...

May 9 - 07:09 PM

Vits

Vicente Torres

GATSBY looked uninteresting from the almost incomprehensible trailer. PEEPLES doesn't seem to rip-off just MEET THE PARENTS, but also GUESS WHO, which was a remake anyway. As a Chilean, I feel bound to watch AFTERSHOCK. Don't get me wrong. Nicolás Lopéz is actually a cool genre director. But I haven't been impressed with other Eli Roth projects (I hated CABIN FEVER).

May 9 - 07:10 PM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

I thought Cabin Fever was his best movie. But of course that isn't saying a lot.

May 9 - 09:11 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

I liked Cabin Fever.

May 9 - 09:25 PM

Bazooka Jew

Bazooka Jew

I liked it as well. Solid little movie. But Hostel 1 & 2 were complete shit.

May 9 - 11:43 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

You people tend to forget that the novel was about EMPTINESS and ENNUI in the lives of Rich Folk, Old Sports. (so the movie is accurate in its portrayal --- Gatspy is the Less Than Zero of the roaring '20s. Brett Easton Ellis' novel is about the EMPTINESS and ENNUI in Rich Folks' lives in the mid 1980s.

May 9 - 08:20 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Less Than Zero 3D!!! It's like Robert Downey Jr. is morally crumbling right AT ME!

May 9 - 09:20 PM

Ciaran C.

Ciaran Campbell

I don't know what the Less Than Zero movie was but it was far from an adaptation of the book

May 10 - 04:27 AM

Michael Weiss

Michael Weiss

The sequel to Zero fits the original's film into context with Ellis' world in an interesting way. Imperial Bedrooms is interesting for any Ellis enthusiast.

May 11 - 08:36 AM

Ken Wolfson

Ken Wolfson

and that is why I like the book so much, old sport

May 10 - 10:32 AM

Jake Cecena

Jake Cecena

That awkward moment when The Great Gatsby has a lower TomatoMeter rating than Peeples.

May 9 - 08:22 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

20? (Hollywood is ROTTEN) . . . when I used to go to Times Square (in New York City) every week, I would see all the name Hollywood Stars (like James Spader, David A Grier, Richard Thomas, et. al) on theater marquees. All the stars who enjoy doing films of good quality have left Hollywood en masse . . . even Denzel Washington is looking to do a Broadway Play . . . HOLLYWOOD SUCKS! and every intelligent writer, actor, and director realizes this.

May 9 - 08:26 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Sorry, David A Grier isn't a "name Hollywood Star". I'm glad he's got better things to do other than this Tyler Perry film.

May 9 - 09:21 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

I'm not sure Spader is either.

May 9 - 10:00 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Spader thought those golden feathers would last forever. But lest you not forget, he was a star once.

May 10 - 01:14 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Him and Kyle MacLachlan are sitting at some bar in some hotel going, "how did we end up in shitty tv dramas and dying sitcoms?"

May 10 - 01:38 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I'd pay to see that movie. Throw in Eric Stoltz, Andrew McCarthy and C. Thomas Howell. Make it 3D even. Ticket, please.

May 10 - 03:47 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

Maybe David Lynch will cast Kyle Maclachan in his next film and revitalize his career? Maybe?

May 11 - 08:42 AM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

They could do a play on The Expendables and call it The Has-Beens. Michael Biehn could be the bad guy.

May 11 - 04:51 PM

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