Critics Consensus: Wreck-it Ralph, Flight Are Certified Fresh

Plus, The Man With the Iron Fists is a spirited tribute to classic martial arts films.

This week at the movies, we've got a sensitive villain (Wreck-it Ralph, with voice work by John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman), a troubled pilot (Flight, starring Denzel Washington and Don Cheadle), and a fighting blacksmith (The Man With the Iron Fists, starring Russell Crowe and RZA). What do the critics have to say?

Wreck-it Ralph

86%

What do video game characters do when the lights go off at the arcade? That's the inspired premise of Wreck-it Ralph, which critics say is a visual phantasmagoria with a clever story and heartfelt characters that should appeal to kids and their parents. Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is the bad guy in a retro arcade game, but he longs for acceptance and love from his fellow video game characters. So he ventures out of his game in search of adventure and respect -- a trek that could have devastating consequences for his pixelated peers. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Wreck-it Ralph falls a little short of the Toy Story movies, but it's a deft mix of strong storytelling and sensorial ingenuity. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we run down memorable video game movies.)

Flight

78%

Flight is the tale of the flawed man behind a great act of courage, and critics say it features a terrific performance from Denzel Washington, while director Robert Zemeckis successfully balances white-knuckle action with a perceptive look at a vulnerable, troubled man. Washington stars as Whip Whitaker, a commercial airline pilot whose mid-air heroics help to avert a catastrophic crash. Soon, however, his halo is tarnished, as investigators examine whether Whip was under the influence while flying. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Flight is effectively unsettling, a smart, surprisingly entertaining film about addiction that never lets its message overwhelm its narrative.

The Man With the Iron Fists

49%

As the mastermind of the Wu-Tang Clan's sound, RZA famously sampled dialogue and sound effects from classic martial arts films. And he basically does the same thing in his directorial debut, The Man With the Iron Fists, which critics say is a disjointed but spirited and exciting pastiche of movie styles. RZA stars as a blacksmith who tries to defend his village against a bloodthirsty clan that descends on the town in search of gold. The pundits say The Man With the Iron Fists overcomes its narrative flaws to deliver an action-packed spectacle that brims with over-the-top exuberance. (Check out 24 Frames for a crash course in martial arts movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, props to Linda Burke for coming the closest to guessing Silent Hill: Revelation 3D's five percent Tomatometer.

Comments

Dave J

Dave J

Denzil Washington has an excellent film presence!

Nov 1 - 05:08 PM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Dave, I love ya man, but you make it so easy sometimes. Of course he has an excellent screen presence. Thats why he's one of the biggest actors of all time. He's a fucking awesome performer that can make even the worst of movies tolerable. It's like saying James Earl Jones has a good voice. Oh ya, EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!

Nov 2 - 01:02 AM

Doris M.

Doris Miller

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Nov 5 - 06:20 AM

Movie Monster

Bentley Lyles

What a good week and things are going to get better with Skyfall next weekend. I gotta see Wreck-It Ralph. It looks great.

Nov 1 - 05:13 PM

Kriftonucci

Jim Ylonen

Hah! Look out, Pixar, Disney finally figured you out!...Oh wait, John Lasetter works with Disney now. My bad :P
Flight looks boring, actually. I mean, compared to Robert Zemeckis' past filmography, I'm not sure if his mature roots will be as interesting (yes they're better, but I await the day he comes out with another Beowulf)
The Man With the Iron Fists looks like The Expendables 2 if Jet Li decided to not only appear more but breath inspiration into it..now THAT movie I can dig.

Oh, and This Must Be the Place looks the most interesting, even for a Sean Penn vehicle. Glad that they decided to release it wide rather than go with the predictable and therefore stupid option.

Nov 1 - 05:34 PM

Eric I.

Eric Irvan

Well, since Disney owns Pixar now, they are one and the same you know.

Nov 2 - 05:00 AM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

I don't what I'm gonna see this weekend. But I'm glad the November movie season is here.

Nov 1 - 05:37 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Flight" is the one. Of the limited releases, I will be seeing "A Liar's Autobiography", the critics be damned as dogs! You telling me that film is less worthy than a half dozen mountaineering/skateboarding docs, the Sean Penn Robert Smith-wanna be film that's sat on the shelf for over a year, or a Barry Levinson found footage horror film (W/T/F?!?!?!?)? Bloody Belgian Bastards...

Nov 1 - 07:04 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

And congrats to Linda B for her "Silent Hill" pessimism. Hope the power's back soon...

Nov 1 - 07:05 PM

Linda B.

Linda Burke

Silent Hill deserves nothing but pessimism. Then again, I'm not a big gamer, so maybe fans of the franchise will get something out of it. The power is back after a five-day leave of absence. I missed you all *sniffles*

Nov 2 - 05:52 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Frankenstorm in the Thunderdome! One girl leaves...

Nov 3 - 01:54 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

Wreck It Ralph, Flight, and The Man With the Iron Fists are all must sees for me. I'm finally glad Denzel took on a movie that gives him some great material to work with; his recent preference for hyper-active action movies was getting a little old. Iron Fists just looks like a gloriously ridiculous good time.



Nov 1 - 07:04 PM

Justin D.

Justin D.

I agree.

Nov 4 - 12:40 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

And congrats to Linda B for her "Silent Hill" pessimism. Hope the power's back soon...

Nov 1 - 07:05 PM

Linda B.

Linda Burke

Silent Hill deserves nothing but pessimism. Then again, I'm not a big gamer, so maybe fans of the franchise will get something out of it. The power is back after a five-day leave of absence. I missed you all *sniffles*

Nov 2 - 05:52 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Frankenstorm in the Thunderdome! One girl leaves...

Nov 3 - 01:54 PM

Superzone

Link O'Fett

Wreck-It Ralph this weekend. Skyfall next weekend. Can't wait.

Nov 1 - 09:28 PM

Bertram Krogh

Bertram Krogh

My three picks this week would be Wreck-It Ralph, Flight, and A Late Quartet.

Nov 2 - 12:43 AM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Dave, I love ya man, but you make it so easy sometimes. Of course he has an excellent screen presence. Thats why he's one of the biggest actors of all time. He's a fucking awesome performer that can make even the worst of movies tolerable. It's like saying James Earl Jones has a good voice. Oh ya, EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!

Nov 2 - 01:02 AM

Eric I.

Eric Irvan

Well, since Disney owns Pixar now, they are one and the same you know.

Nov 2 - 05:00 AM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

For the First time in what seems like forever, i want to see both the headlining movies releasing this weekend.

Nov 2 - 12:05 PM

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