Critics Consensus: The Watch Falls Down On the Job

Plus, Step Up Revolution has nice dancing but a cliched script.

by Tim Ryan | Thursday, Jul. 26 2012

This week at the movies, we've got amateur crime fighters (The Watch, starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn) and politically active dancers (Step Up Revolution, starring Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick). What do the critics have to say?

The Watch

17%

At first glance, The Watch looks reasonably promising: it stars Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Jonah Hill as a group of average Joes battling a malicious interplanetary attack. Unfortunately, critics say the movie makes the least of its premise, uneasily mixing sci-fi elements with gross-out gags. Stiller stars as a Costco manager who forms a neighborhood watch group after the mysterious death of the store's night watchman. Soon, however, the would-be cops discover that their suburban community is ground zero for an alien invasion. The pundits say The Watch is pretty uninspired stuff, stranding its talented cast with a script that favors vulgarity over wit at nearly every turn. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down Vaughn's best-reviewed movies.)

Step Up Revolution

42%

You pretty much know what to expect from a Step Up movie at this point: great dance sequences interspersed with clichéd plotting. No surprise, then, that critics say Step Up Revolution is more of the same; its narrative is dull, but when people are dancing, it has moments of interest. Kathryn McCormick stars as Emily, a professional dancer who falls for the more streetwise Sean (Ryan Guzman). Sean's flash mob crew is threatened, however, when a businessman attempts to gentrify his dance turf. The pundits say Step Up Revolution is pretty generic, though it's lively in spots. (Check out our gallery of memorable dance movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Planet of Snail, a documentary about the relationship between a deaf and blind man and his wife, is at 100 percent.
  • Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, a doc about the life and trials of the famous Chinese artist and activist, is at 95 percent.
  • Searching for Sugar Man, a doc about the strange disappearance of 1970s cult rock fave Rodriguez, is at 94 percent.
  • Killer Joe, starring Matthew McConaughey and Emile Hirsch in a black comedy about a drug dealer who gets more than he bargained for when he hires a hitman to kill his mother, is Certified Fresh at 83 percent.
  • Klown, a Danish comedy about a pair of friends who behave very badly on a canoe trip, is at 79 percent.
  • The Chinese import Sacrifice, a historical drama about a child raised to avenge the murder of his parents, is at 75 percent.
  • Ruby Sparks, starring Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan in a comedy about a novelist who discovers his creation has come to life, is at 72 percent.
  • Burning Man, a dramedy about an emotionally damaged man reflecting on his turbulent life, is at 71 percent.
  • Nuit #1, a drama about a man and a woman who meet at a rave and divulge their deepest secrets to each other, is at 50 percent.
  • Big Boys Gone Bananas!*, a doc about a filmmaker's legal and public relations battle with the Dole Food Company, is at 50 percent.
  • Iron Sky, a sci-fi adventure about a group of Nazis invading the earth from outer space, is at 42 percent.

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