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The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
The Tomatometer is 75% or higher, with 40 reviews (movies) or 20 reviews (TV). At least 5 reviews from Top Critics.
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Seven years since captivating indie lovers and Oscar voters of the modern classic 'Once', writer-director John Carney returns with bigger stars jamming to more mainstream records in BEGIN AGAIN. His second musical have the more star power (attracting musically-inclined Oscar nominees and The Voice coaches) and more accessible music (with a shinier New York guitar case than the dilapidated one in Dublin) yet its appealing spark doesn't quite match the soulful glow of its predecessor. Begin Again may have undergone a mainstream treatment on its music, atmosphere and characters, but it still plays consistently on Carney's coursework of endearing platonic musicals.
Based on Nick Hornby's novel, 'About a Boy' is a charming and candid coming-of-age British comedy that ambles on the privy issues of isolation and intimacy to an endearing effect, thanks to the more humane side of Hugh Grant. The Oscar-nominated screenplay deftly blends laughter and heartbreak that lightens the mood of an otherwise messy situation between two strangers, Will (Grant) and young Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), who become each other's backup in an unlikely turn of events. Built on heartfelt comedy with an engaging dialogue made more natural by Grant's wry humor, 'About a Boy' is a fresh, modern take on the 'no man is an island'; but it's also a self-conscious reminder of the immaturity in growing old, and the respectability of growing up.
Hot on the heels of Liam Neeson's late resurgence as an action star, NON-STOP takes off in a tense premise that takes claustrophobia to the highest, inescapable altitude. A (surprising) ensemble cast had a promise of a sophisticated thriller but were surprisingly miserably written and confined as plot devices. The narrative turbulence happens at the end of the film and NON-STOP lands preposterously because of its final reveal. At least the cast looked like they enjoyed the ride and the movie was entertaining despite its misgivings. But the viewing seat belt is still fastened on what the hijacking film could have been for the better.
Violent and unforgiving as it maybe, it's hard to look away from director David Mackenzie's unflinching story of a juvenile's descent to the gratuitous cage of older convicts. Brilliantly filmed and one of the finest in its genre, STARRED UP is a no holds barred prison drama anchored heavily on the revelatory Jack O'Connell as Eric Love who unleashes his inner animal, more savage and scarred, yet most importantly, raw of the potential to redeem himself from the society who doesn't believe it possible. Eric's erstwhile guardians are also haunted of their own personal demons; Ben Mendelsohn and Rupert Friend fills complicated layers of humanity in their troubled characters. STARRED UP does not take pleasure in its brutality, nor preaches of the consequences of serving in prison. Rather, it powerfully delivers a sore reality not often seen onscreen.
In a populated, alternate dystopian world where teenage boys are unknowingly trapped in the maze, THE MAZE RUNNER escapes the clichéd territory by banking on its more intuitive characters against the suspicious society they strive in. It lays ground of a 'Lord of the Flies'-like setting that raises the oblivion to pseudo-'The Hunger Games' level, but still knows its destination. While the revelatory ending further leads to a labyrinth of 'lies', THE MAZE RUNNER is an intriguing and heightening run that has yet to release viewers from its enigmatic maze. Non-book readers would still be reeling on the puzzling turn of events but the next leg of answers is something to look forward to in its next installment.