Critics Consensus

Friday, Nov. 16 2012, 12:09 PM

This week at the multiplex, we've got "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2," starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in the final installment of the wildly popular vampire franchise, and Steven Spielberg's hotly-anticipated biopic "Lincoln," starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Honest Abe. And in limited release, we've got "Silver Linings Playbook," a romantic comedy starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, as well as Joe Wright's unorthodox adaptation of "Anna Karenina," starring Keira Knightley in the title role. There's no middle ground on the Twilight series: either you're enraptured by the tale of Bella Swan and her supernatural paramours, or you're mystified by its appeal.

Friday, Nov. 09 2012, 12:04 PM

This week at the movies brings only one new wide release: Skyfall, the latest James Bond adventure, starring Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem. What do the critics have to say? Director Sam Mendes is best known for his portrayals of suburban malaise (his credits include American Beauty and Revolutionary Road), so at first blush he?d seem to be an odd choice to direct a James Bond movie. However, critics say Skyfall is a nearly perfect balance of drama and action that winks at 007?s storied cinematic past while delving deeper into the psyche of the most iconic of movie characters.

Friday, Nov. 02 2012, 01:58 PM

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 the RZA). 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. 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.

Thursday, Oct. 25 2012, 04:20 PM

This week at the movies, we've got time-spanning connectedness ( Cloud Atlas, starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry); a Halloween escapade (Fun Size, starring Victoria Justice and Chelsea Handler); a legendary surfer (Chasing Mavericks, starring John Weston and Gerard Butler); and a demonic town (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, starring Adelaide Clemens and Sean Bean). The Wachowskis have never been short on ambition; they've been blowing minds (or trying to) ever since The Matrix put them on the map. Now they're back with Cloud Atlas, and critics are divided -- some say it's an awe-inspiring work of visual and emotional daring, while others say it's muddled, pretentious, and overlong.

Friday, Oct. 19 2012, 01:24 PM

This week at the movies, we've got ghostly video recordings (Paranormal Activity 4, starring Katie Featherston and Kathryn Newton) and a killer on the loose (Alex Cross, starring Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox). The first three Paranormal Activity films were able to wring a surprising amount of scares out of purported found footage from stationary cameras. However, all good things must come to an end, and critics say Paranormal Activity 4 finds the franchise repeating itself. Despite the middling critical response to Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider, detective Alex Cross gets another shot at big screen glory. Unfortunately, critics say Alex Cross is a thoroughly generic action thriller.

Friday, Oct. 12 2012, 10:37 AM

This week at the movies, we've got a daring escape (Argo, starring Ben Affleck and Alan Arkin); a tough teacher (Here Comes the Boom, starring Kevin James and Salma Hayek), frightening footage (Sinister, starring Ethan Hawke and Juliet Rylance); criminal cinephiles (Seven Psychopaths, starring Colin Farrell and Christopher Walken); and striking capitalists ( Atlas Shrugged: Part II, starring Samantha Mathis and Jason Beghe). What do the critics have to say? As a director, Ben Affleck is on a roll. With two Certified Fresh films (Gone Baby Gone and The Town) under his belt, critics say Affleck scores again with Argo, a tense, darkly comic thriller.

Thursday, Oct. 04 2012, 05:00 PM

This week at the movies, we've got a kidnapping plot (Taken 2, starring Liam Neeson and Famke Janssen), a reanimated pooch (Frankenweenie, with voice work from Charlie Tahan and Winona Ryder), and a cappella all-stars (Pitch Perfect, starring Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow). What do the critics have to say? Why would anyone mess with Liam Neeson's family again, given the brutal swath he cut in the first Taken? That's a great question, say critics, who find Taken 2 to be largely bereft of the kinetic thrills -- and surprises -- that made the original a hit. Tim Burton has always had a taste for the macabre, and a love for outsiders. Critics say those fixations dovetail nicely in Frankenweenie.

Thursday, Sep. 27 2012, 04:20 PM

This week at the multiplex, we've got a futuristic hitman ("Looper," starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a monster bash ("Hotel Transylvania," with voice work by Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg), and a pair of education advocates ("Won't Back Down," starring Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal). Find out what the critics have to say! The fanboy anticipation for Looper has grown to a fever pitch over the last few months. It appears the wait was worth it; critics say Rian Johnson's third feature pulls off that rarest of trifectas -- it's at once a provocative head trip, a tense thriller, and an intriguing character study.

Thursday, Sep. 20 2012, 04:30 PM

This week at the movies, we've got an aging baseball scout (Trouble with the Curve, starring Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams); a deadly judge (Dredd 3D, starring Karl Urban and Olivia Thirby); cartel-busting cops (End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena); a religious leader (The Master, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman); and a creepy dwelling (House at the End of the Street, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Elisabeth Shue). Plus, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, starring Logan Lerman and Emma Watson in a coming-of-age drama about an awkward teenager coming out of his shell, is in limited release.

Friday, Sep. 14 2012, 12:13 PM

This week at the movies, we've got a zombie apocalypse (Resident Evil: Retribution, starring Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez) and a Pixar classic (Finding Nemo 3D, with voice work by Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres). When the apocalypse comes, the only things likely to survive will be cockroaches and the Resident Evil franchise. Unfortunately, Resident Evil: Retribution wasn't screened for U.S. critics prior to its release, so we can't tell you how it stacks up with its four (critically panned) predecessors. Pixar doesn't lack for masterpieces, but Finding Nemo is a jewel that shines particularly brightly in the studio's crown.

Friday, Sep. 07 2012, 03:03 PM

This week at the movies, we?ve got a literary fraud (The Words, starring Bradley Cooper and Zoë Saldana) and a kidnapping plot (The Cold Light of Day, starring Henry Cavill and Bruce Willis). The Words is an ambitious film with an undeniably intriguing premise: how does someone rationalize reaping the rewards of a big con? Unfortunately, critics say The Words is mostly a missed opportunity ? despite the best efforts of its talented cast, the film is elaborately structured but rarely emotionally fulfilling. Not all globetrotting spy thrillers are created equal. Take, for example, The Cold Light of Day, which critics say borrows liberally from the Taken and Bourne playbooks without adding much.

Thursday, Aug. 30 2012, 04:20 PM

This week at the movies, we've got bootlegging brothers (Lawless, starring Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy), a bedeviled box (The Possession, starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick), and some bewitching balloons (The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure, featuring Toni Braxton and Christopher Lloyd). Director John Hillcoat (The Road) has carved out a niche as a filmmaker skilled at wringing empathy from bleak and bloody scenarios. Critics say his latest, Lawless, is brilliantly acted and evocatively atmospheric, which helps it to overcome the script's sometimes slack narrative. The Possession earns points for injecting a dash of Jewish mysticism into the bedeviled-tot subgenre. Otherwise, critics say, this is a pretty ho-hum frightfest.

Friday, Aug. 24 2012, 11:42 AM

This week at the movies, we've got a risky road trip (Hit & Run, starring Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard), a dangerous delivery (Premium Rush, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon), and a haunted house (The Apparition, starring Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan). What do the critics have to say? Take two people, put them in a classic car, have them be hounded by various eccentrics, and what do you get? Hit & Run, which critics say is an odd and only occasionally satisfying mix of romance, comedy, and Tarantino -esque plot twists. If you're in the mood for a good old-fashioned chase movie, critics say you could do a lot worse than Premium Rush.

Thursday, Aug. 16 2012, 04:30 PM

This week at the movies, we've got macho mercenaries (The Expendables 2, starring Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham); a zombified community (ParaNorman, with voice work by Kodi Smit-McPhee and Casey Affleck); an arboreal child (The Odd Life of Timothy Green, starring Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton); and troubled songstress (Sparkle, starring Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston). You pretty much know what you're getting with The Expendables 2: a group of past-and-present action stars wisecracking and blowing stuff up real good. The surprise, say critics, is that this sequel tops its predecessor in just about every way; sure, it's dumb, loud, and a little too self-conscious, but it's got enough muscular action and funny one-liners to delight the popcorn crowd.

Friday, Aug. 10 2012, 08:46 AM

This week at the movies, we've got a man on the run The Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz), a pair of congressional hopefuls (The Campaign, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis), and spouses in a rut (Hope Springs, starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones). With Matt Damon in the title role, the Bourne franchise was a commercial and critical juggernaut. Now, Jeremy Renner tries to give the series a reboot, and while critics say The Bourne Legacy is a bit overlong and more disjointed than previous installments, it's still a capable chase thriller with strong action scenes.

Friday, Aug. 03 2012, 09:31 AM

This week at the movies, we've got artificial memories (Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale) and summertime blues (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, starring Zachary Gordon and Steve Zahn). If you're going to remake a modern classic, you'd better bring something new to the table. Unfortunately, critics say this new Total Recall is visually impressive, but it swaps out the existential anxiety and eccentric panache of Paul Verhoeven's 1990 film for an overabundance of action set-pieces. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise has been nothing if not consistent; each movie chronicles the terrors of middle school with moderate wit and little elegance.

Thursday, Jul. 26 2012, 04:20 PM

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? 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. You pretty much know what to expect from a Step Up movie at this point: great dance sequences interspersed with clichéd plotting.

Thursday, Jul. 19 2012, 04:25 PM

We've only got one new wide release in theaters this week, but it's one of the most hotly-anticipated movies of the summer: "The Dark Knight Rises," the final installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, starring Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, and Tom Hardy. Find out what the critics have to say on Rotten Tomatoes. With "Batman Begins" and (especially) "The Dark Knight," Christopher Nolan imbued the Batman mythos with a unique blend of visceral thrills, intelligence, and realism. His Batman trilogy concludes with "The Dark Knight Rises," and the critics say the result is a sprawling, ambitious, emotionally satisfying film with a pulse-pounding climax that (mostly) justifies its epic runtime.

Thursday, Jul. 12 2012, 04:15 PM

While the eyes of movie nerds will be on San Diego Comic Con this week, we've got one new offering in multiplexes: the animated "Ice Age: Continental Drift 3D," featuring voice work from Ray Romano, Denis Leary, and John Leguizamo. Find out what the critics have to say on Rotten Tomatoes. With the exception of its first installment, the Ice Age franchise has never been a critical darling. That trend that continues with Ice Age: Continental Drift 3D, which critics say has moments of charm and witty slapstick but often seems content to recycle ideas from the series? previous films.

Thursday, Jul. 05 2012, 04:30 PM

This week at the movies, we've got a legendary web-slinger (The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone), a deadly cartel (Savages, starring Taylor Kitsch and Salma Hayek), and a teenage dream (the 3D concert documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me). What do the critics have to say? The Spider-Man franchise might have set a record for the quickest reboot, though critics say The Amazing Spider-Man is still entertaining, gritty, action-packed stuff - even if we've seen it all before. Oliver Stone may have mellowed in recent years, but critics say Savages is a return to the disreputable Stone films of old - one that's messy, but often queasily compelling.


101 - 120 of 465 articles
15 6 724