Critics Consensus: The Three Stooges Is Sometimes Funny, Sometimes Un-Soiten

Plus, The Cabin in the Woods is Certified Fresh, and Lockout is mostly derivative.

This week at the movies, we've got two Howards and a Fine (The Three Stooges, starring Sean Hayes and Will Sasso), a spooky rural dwelling (The Cabin in the Woods, starring Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Connolly), and an outer space prison riot (Lockout, starring Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace). What do the critics have to say?

The Three Stooges

51%

If anyone could update the Three Stooges' brand of violently stoopid slapstick for the 21st century, it would be the Farrelly Brothers. And while critics say they're helped immeasurably by the uncanny performances by Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, and Will Sasso as Larry, Moe, and Curly, The Three Stooges is ultimately a not-bad comedy with some decent gags and a little too much filler. In their attempts to save the financially-strapped orphanage where they were raised, the Stooges get mixed up in a murder plot and find themselves involved in a reality show. The pundits say that The Three Stooges was obviously made with care, and though some of its laughs are riotous, it's a little too long to sustain its comic momentum.

The Cabin in the Woods

92%

Plenty of filmmakers have attempted to wring laughs out of horror clichés, but critics say few have pulled off that tricky balance with as much energy and aplomb as writer Joss Whedon and director Drew Goddard have in The Cabin in the Woods. As the title implies, the movie tells the tale of a group of teens who abscond to a rural retreat, where scary things happen. To say any more would ruin the surprise: the pundits say the Certified Fresh The Cabin in the Woods is a twisty, gory, funny, and thoroughly original horror hybrid that's one of the smartest fright-fests to come along in quite some time.

Lockout

38%

Lockout's premise -- Escape from New York in space -- sounds pretty promising. Unfortunately, critics say while the movie has a few dumb thrills, it's also silly and wildly illogical. Guy Pearce stars as a disgraced government agent who's tasked with rescuing the president's daughter from an outer space prison that's engulfed by rioting. The pundits say Pearce lends gravitas to his clichéd role, but Lockout never fully transcends its B-movie trappings, and the result is derivative and occasionally cheesy. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down Luc Besson's best-reviewed films, and find out Maggie Grace's Five Favorite Films here.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Monsieur Lazhar, a French dramedy about a substitute teacher who discovers a school system in crisis, is at 93 percent.
  • Post Mortem, a psychological thriller about a morgue clerk whose obsession with a cabaret dancer coincides with political turmoil in Chile, is at 89 percent.
  • Here, starring Ben Foster in a romantic drama about a brief romance in Armenia between a cartographer and a photographer, is at 83 percent.
  • How to Grow a Band, a documentary about the tumultuous formation of the bluegrass band the Punch Brothers, is at 60 percent.
  • Detention, starring Josh Hutcherson and Dane Cook in a horror/comedy about a group of high school seniors whose school is the target of a serial killer, is at 50 percent.
  • Late Bloomers, a comedy starring William Hurt and Isabella Rossellini as a married couple who react to aging in very different ways, is at 50 percent.
  • Hit So Hard: The Life and Near Death Story of Patty Schemel, a documentary about the hard times and miraculous recovery of the Hole drummer, is at 44 percent.
  • Blue Like Jazz, a dramedy about an young evangelical student whose horizons are broadened when he enrolls in an eccentric liberal arts college, is at 38 percent.
  • L!fe Happens, starring Krysten Ritter and Kate Bosworth in a comedy about a young woman who balances dating with single motherhood, is at 38 percent.
  • The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh in a biopic of Burmese democracy activist and politician Aung San Suu Kyi, is at 36 percent.
  • Deadline, a murder mystery starring Eric Roberts as a newspaper reporter looking into a 20-year-old unsolved crime, is at zero percent.

Comments

Corr

Alexander Sciury

I have absolutely no interest in seeing The Three Stoogies. I thought that movie looked stupid from the begining.
I do want to see The Cabin in the Woods and Lockout. Both look pretty good. (Especially Cabin in the Woods.)

Apr 12 - 05:11 PM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

The three stooges looked stupid!? News at 11.

Apr 13 - 11:05 AM

Austin Devine

Austin Devine

Hey guys heres an idea SEE THE MOVIE BEFORE START FUCKING COMPLAINING ABOUT IT The Three Stooges was'nt as you think it is DID'T BEAUTY AND THE BEAST TEACH YOU MORONS ANYTHING You nevedr know if something is good,bador godawful Seriously Watch the movie before you nitpick everything And John Carter wasn't that bad ether Don't just judge the movie by its looks WATCH IT >:(

Apr 13 - 06:33 PM

Danny Mette

Danny Mette

AutismSpeaks.org

Apr 15 - 05:35 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

BAHAHAHA!!!

Apr 15 - 07:46 PM

Dennis Ray

Dennis Ray

I agree. Films seem to make it or break it before they are even released. I watched Heaven's Gate the other night, and it wasn't a great film but wasn't as bad as people say. That film was deemed dead in the water before it hit the theaters. And some films have such good PR that they come out great but really aren't that good of a movie. Previews have a lot to do with it too. John Carter had such a bad preview that myself and seemingly everyone else had no desire to see it.

Apr 17 - 05:58 PM

Austin Devine

Austin Devine

Don't believe what they think it's not that bad >:(

Apr 13 - 06:49 PM

Marc Fischer

Marc Fischer

See it before you judge it. The movie is very, very funny and will be number 1 this weekend at the boxoffice.

Apr 13 - 08:06 PM

Austin Devine

Austin Devine

Well then your a Hipacritical Bitch because it's not as bad as you think it is it stays close to the shorts (:)

Apr 13 - 06:46 PM

Marc Fischer

Marc Fischer

My kids and I loved the Three Stooges. Before you judge it, you should see it. The New York Times, Newsday, Hollywood Reporter, The Daily Variety, and The Los Angeles Times all give it a big thumbs up. Stooges is a very, very fun movie for both adults and kids. We all had a blast seeing the film.

Apr 13 - 07:59 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Yo! Austin and Marc! Get a goddamn room already!

Apr 14 - 10:12 AM

Mark Garlock

Mark Garlock

Geez, most you folks should watch snow white because you are a bunch of angry dwarfs!!

Apr 14 - 03:30 PM

Ricardo Sanchez

Ricardo Sanchez

you know what really is stupid? the person who wrote this article spelled stupid with two O's in it.

Apr 14 - 04:40 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

That's creative license, to make it match 'stooge'.

Apr 14 - 07:10 PM

Dave J

Dave J

I'm really surprised about the high tomatoe score on "Cabin In the Woods"- didn't see that one coming, especially for a English speaking one!

Apr 12 - 05:12 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Why? Everyone involved with Cabin seems like they know what they're doing. It had sleeper hit written all over it.

Apr 12 - 05:41 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Wasn't it filmed a long time ago though? How is a movie that gets made, then shelved, then finally released after the director is signed on to the Avengers get such a high score? Is the studio going to admit they were stupid for letting it sit and gather dust for so long??

Apr 12 - 11:06 PM

King  S.

King Simba

The delay was due to MGM's bankruptcy problems rather than the actual film itself.

Apr 12 - 11:30 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Thanks King. Wow, I had no idea how much that has affected the production and release of so many movies. I'm really looking forward to Cabin in the Woods this weekend.

Apr 13 - 01:03 PM

Dave J

Dave J

The fact that "horror" films in general and as of late don't normally get that high of a rating!

Apr 13 - 12:20 PM

Ken

Kenneth W.

Even though "meta-horror" is, itself, becoming sort of a cliche ("Scream", "Rubber", or the particularly myopic and obnoxious "Funny Games"), "Cabin in the Woods" looks good. I'm always up for throwing out the rule book.

Does anybody think maybe "Three Stooges" would be better if they had just done an all-out homage, a la "The Arist"? Make it a period piece in B/W and everything? I don't know. Just a thought.

Apr 12 - 05:25 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Shocked more by the Three Stooges score, that just looked poorly conceived from the start.

Apr 12 - 05:40 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Why? Everyone involved with Cabin seems like they know what they're doing. It had sleeper hit written all over it.

Apr 12 - 05:41 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Wasn't it filmed a long time ago though? How is a movie that gets made, then shelved, then finally released after the director is signed on to the Avengers get such a high score? Is the studio going to admit they were stupid for letting it sit and gather dust for so long??

Apr 12 - 11:06 PM

King  S.

King Simba

The delay was due to MGM's bankruptcy problems rather than the actual film itself.

Apr 12 - 11:30 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Thanks King. Wow, I had no idea how much that has affected the production and release of so many movies. I'm really looking forward to Cabin in the Woods this weekend.

Apr 13 - 01:03 PM

Dave J

Dave J

The fact that "horror" films in general and as of late don't normally get that high of a rating!

Apr 13 - 12:20 PM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

I thought The Three Stooges was a decent movie and the critics are right. Hopefully, I'll rent it.

Lockout is a rent because it's not as great as Columbiana, but it's worth renting.

Cabin in the Woods (from Buffy creator Joss Whedon) is definittely worth checking out. It's even way better than the Evil Dead.

Apr 12 - 06:18 PM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Evil Dead from '79 or the up-coming remake?

Apr 12 - 07:50 PM

Max M.

Max Molinaro

the remake? why would anyone be comparing it to film thats over a year out that no one really knows anything about and hasn't even started shooting yet? Nobody's seen it. Why would you think that?

Apr 12 - 10:04 PM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Given the recent track record of horror remakes, the new Evil Dead will more than likely be "not good". If Cabin By The Woods is better than that, then that would be a given. If it's supposed to be better than the original, I'd have a hard time believing that, even if it is Whedon and Goddard.

Apr 12 - 10:40 PM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

the '79 movie!

Apr 15 - 10:42 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Lies.

Apr 15 - 11:36 AM

Danny Mette

Danny Mette

'The Evil Dead' came out in '82. It was filmed in '79.

Apr 15 - 05:43 PM

Danny Mette

Danny Mette

I definitely think that 'The Cabin in the Woods' was the best horror movie of this decade so far. It was great. But, don't ever compare it to such a masterpiece as 'The Evil Dead'.

Apr 15 - 05:42 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Cabin in the Woods" for me, but I'm curbing my enthusiasm. I don't know how much of the hype is Whedon fandom, and how much is legitimate praise - in fact, I don't want to know. This is the first film in a while I'd prefer to see as blind as possible. "Three Stooges" wouldn't be so bad if they had gotten someone halfway decent to play Moe. This Diamantopoulos just doesn't have the bitter, inept malice that the "bad" Stooge is supposed to ooze. From the commercials, he looks like he's doing an imitation of Jim Carrey doing Moe Howard rather than the miserable, repressed scumbag he's supposed to be. "Lockout" looks like a rental.

This is the first week in a while where I really have no strong feelings for any of the limited releases, except maybe "The Lady", but I realized I haven't liked an film Besson actually directed himself since "Fifth Element" (although "Adele Blanc-Sec" seems to have flown completely under my radar). I'm sure I'll catch it eventually. I notice that the Tomatoscore for "Detention" has fallen considerably since it was announced a couple weeks ago. Oddly, I've heard some good things, and am a little more intrigued than I was then. So...off to the Cabin with fingers crossed.

Apr 12 - 06:21 PM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Submit to the Whedon power!!! I'm extra excited about it because even though he's had some failings as a director he's never let me down with his dialog and writing.

Apr 12 - 06:30 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I diidn't much like the "Dollhouse" show. And Goddard wrote "Cloverfield"? I hated those characters! I was rooting for the monster the whole time! I'll give credit to that film for the excellent pacing and reveal by director Matt Reeves.

Apr 14 - 10:15 AM

bigbrother

Bigbrother .

Submit to the Whedon power!!! I'm extra excited about it because even though he's had some failings as a director he's never let me down with his dialog and writing.

Apr 12 - 06:30 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

I diidn't much like the "Dollhouse" show. And Goddard wrote "Cloverfield"? I hated those characters! I was rooting for the monster the whole time! I'll give credit to that film for the excellent pacing and reveal by director Matt Reeves.

Apr 14 - 10:15 AM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Evil Dead from '79 or the up-coming remake?

Apr 12 - 07:50 PM

Max M.

Max Molinaro

the remake? why would anyone be comparing it to film thats over a year out that no one really knows anything about and hasn't even started shooting yet? Nobody's seen it. Why would you think that?

Apr 12 - 10:04 PM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Given the recent track record of horror remakes, the new Evil Dead will more than likely be "not good". If Cabin By The Woods is better than that, then that would be a given. If it's supposed to be better than the original, I'd have a hard time believing that, even if it is Whedon and Goddard.

Apr 12 - 10:40 PM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

the '79 movie!

Apr 15 - 10:42 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Lies.

Apr 15 - 11:36 AM

Danny Mette

Danny Mette

'The Evil Dead' came out in '82. It was filmed in '79.

Apr 15 - 05:43 PM

Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis

Okay reviews could actually do better for the stooges at the box office, now that a good number of the reviews say it's harmless/not terrible. I think we all owe an apology for letting us think it was going to be terrible based off the trailers.

So much for people thinking that it was going to A Thousand Words repeat.

Apr 12 - 09:26 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I think the outrage is coming from the fact that it's a three stooges sketch and not a three stooges Bio-pic. The Three Stooges characters being replaced by 3 struggling comedians is kind of a lame idea. BLASPHEMY! if your a fan of the original Trio.

Apr 12 - 11:10 PM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

The Three Stooges are timeless. even a remake (if bad or mediocre) will not tarnish their image or longevity. Blasphemy is a stretch to say the least.

Apr 13 - 11:08 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I enjoy being over dramatic

Apr 13 - 01:05 PM

Austin Devine

Austin Devine

Thank you at least SOMEONE gets the idea

Apr 13 - 06:37 PM

Max M.

Max Molinaro

the remake? why would anyone be comparing it to film thats over a year out that no one really knows anything about and hasn't even started shooting yet? Nobody's seen it. Why would you think that?

Apr 12 - 10:04 PM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Given the recent track record of horror remakes, the new Evil Dead will more than likely be "not good". If Cabin By The Woods is better than that, then that would be a given. If it's supposed to be better than the original, I'd have a hard time believing that, even if it is Whedon and Goddard.

Apr 12 - 10:40 PM

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Mr. Bo Ziffer

Given the recent track record of horror remakes, the new Evil Dead will more than likely be "not good". If Cabin By The Woods is better than that, then that would be a given. If it's supposed to be better than the original, I'd have a hard time believing that, even if it is Whedon and Goddard.

Apr 12 - 10:40 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Wasn't it filmed a long time ago though? How is a movie that gets made, then shelved, then finally released after the director is signed on to the Avengers get such a high score? Is the studio going to admit they were stupid for letting it sit and gather dust for so long??

Apr 12 - 11:06 PM

King  S.

King Simba

The delay was due to MGM's bankruptcy problems rather than the actual film itself.

Apr 12 - 11:30 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

Thanks King. Wow, I had no idea how much that has affected the production and release of so many movies. I'm really looking forward to Cabin in the Woods this weekend.

Apr 13 - 01:03 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I think the outrage is coming from the fact that it's a three stooges sketch and not a three stooges Bio-pic. The Three Stooges characters being replaced by 3 struggling comedians is kind of a lame idea. BLASPHEMY! if your a fan of the original Trio.

Apr 12 - 11:10 PM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

The Three Stooges are timeless. even a remake (if bad or mediocre) will not tarnish their image or longevity. Blasphemy is a stretch to say the least.

Apr 13 - 11:08 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I enjoy being over dramatic

Apr 13 - 01:05 PM

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