Critics Consensus: No Strings Attached Is A Little Frayed

Plus, The Way Back is Certified Fresh.

This week at the movies, we've got friends with benefits (No Strings Attached, starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher) and a great escape (The Way Back, starring Ed Harris and Colin Farrell). What do the critics have to say?


49%
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Rotten

No Strings Attached

Once in a while a romantic comedy will come along and represent the messiness of the contemporary dating scene. Most of the time, however, we get movies with a little bit of insight and a lot of contrivance. Critics say No Strings Attached falls into the latter category, with moments of warmth and sweetness that are spoiled by a predictable narrative and a dirty mind. Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher star as acquaintances who, after a one night stand, decide to become friends with benefits, thereby presumably avoiding the confusion and jealousy that would surely come with a committed, monogamous relationship. But are things really that simple? Will these crazy kids become a real couple -- or lose their friendship? The pundits say Portman and Kutcher keep things genial and easygoing, but they're let down by a middling script that shoehorns in a little too much raunchy material.


75%
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Fresh

The Way Back

It's been a while since we've heard from Peter Weir -- his last film to hit multiplexes was Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World way back in 2003. So it's nice to report that he hasn't lost his ability to make epic survival stories; critics say The Way Back is the kind of masterfully shot, stately-paced epic that rarely gets made anymore. Jim Sturgess, Colin Farrell, and Ed Harris star as three escapees of a Soviet gulag who undertake a treacherous journey for freedom. The pundits say the Certified Fresh The Way Back is evocative and compelling, and if it doesn't get under the skins of its protagonists, it's still an excellent old-school adventure yarn. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down Farrell's best-reviewed movies.)


Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Woodmans, a documentary about a troubled family of great artists, is at 100 percent.
  • Applause, about an actress recovering from alcoholism while starring in a performance of Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolfe, is at 86 percent.
  • Johnny Mad Dog, a drama about child soldiers fighting in an unnamed African country, is at 81 percent.
  • The Company Men, starring Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones in the tale of a couple of guys facing corporate downsizing, is at 76 percent.
  • Mumbai Diaries, an indie drama about four of the city's residents whose lives intersect, is at 73 percent.
  • The Housemaid, a remake of the classic 1960 drama about a domestic who gets caught up in the dark doings of a prosperous family, is at 64 percent.
  • Zenith, a dystopian sci-fi mind-bender about a man who attempts to break free of society's rigid conformity, is at 43 percent.

Comments

August M.

Agustin Macias

Finally The Way Back opens.

Jan 20 - 04:45 PM

Sean Y.

Sean Y.

"The Woodmans, a documentary about a troubled family of great artists, is at 100 percent., is at 100 percent."

Jan 20 - 04:53 PM

rt-ryan

Ryan Fujitani

Good catch, Sean. We've fixed it.

Jan 20 - 05:00 PM

wastedgerbil

Kris Carpenter

Wait, what are "The Woodmans" at?

Jan 20 - 04:59 PM

rt-ryan

Ryan Fujitani

100 percent. 100 percent.

Jan 20 - 05:00 PM

rt-ryan

Ryan Fujitani

Good catch, Sean. We've fixed it.

Jan 20 - 05:00 PM

rt-ryan

Ryan Fujitani

100 percent. 100 percent.

Jan 20 - 05:00 PM

Bye bye

Steven Bailey

Ashton Kutcher made a bad movie, how shocking.

Even Natalie Portman won't outweigh the bad that'll come with his wretched performance.

Jan 20 - 06:05 PM

nongshim

Kathryne C

It's still his highest rated movie on RT... which I find hilarious.

Jan 20 - 06:47 PM

James T.

James Tallman

Ashton Kutcher has not made one decent movie throughout his acting career. I think it's time for him to go back to some T.V. series. He is simply not a good actor. On the other hand, The Way Back looks pretty decent.

Jan 20 - 08:58 PM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

I expected better from Portman, but I did expect less from Kutcher, which is kind of funny as well. All in all, I (and mostly everybody) dislike bad rom coms, and I'm sure this is one of them.

Jan 21 - 01:15 AM

nongshim

Kathryne C

It's still his highest rated movie on RT... which I find hilarious.

Jan 20 - 06:47 PM

King Crunk

King Crunk

I would like to see The Way Back, but will probably have to wait until it hits DVD because my theater never gets films like that. Nothing for me this week.

Jan 20 - 07:00 PM

The Dude

Gene Arnold

The Dude is shocked that No Strings Attached even got 51%. The Dude thought this would be Portman's Norbit. Oh well, The Dude is going to look for the rug man, because it really tied the room together.

Jan 20 - 07:21 PM

Harry Mars

Harrison Marsh

Can I call you Duder or His Dudeness instead? Or maybe even El Duderino since I'm not into the whole brevity thing?

Jan 20 - 08:08 PM

The Dude

Gene Arnold

Yeah man, nobody calls me Lebowski. I'm the Dude man, and yeah you can call me Duder or His Dudness. Or even El Duderino if your not into the whole brevity thing. Yeah man, just not lebowski.

Jan 21 - 09:17 AM

dudemeister

dude meister

Are you telling me that every time a rug is micturated upon in this fair city, I have to compensate the owner? Are you employed Mr. Lebowski? My advice to you, is to do what your parents did, get a job sir! Your revolution is over Mr. Lebowski! The bums lost!

Jan 21 - 01:51 AM

Harry Mars

Harrison Marsh

Can I call you Duder or His Dudeness instead? Or maybe even El Duderino since I'm not into the whole brevity thing?

Jan 20 - 08:08 PM

The Dude

Gene Arnold

Yeah man, nobody calls me Lebowski. I'm the Dude man, and yeah you can call me Duder or His Dudness. Or even El Duderino if your not into the whole brevity thing. Yeah man, just not lebowski.

Jan 21 - 09:17 AM

The.Watcher

The Watcher

The Way Back, The Company Men and Johnny Mad Dog for me... I hope No Strings bombs hard at the BO, maybe then Hollywood will stop putting out this shit.

Jan 20 - 08:26 PM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

Highly unlikely, but lets hope so.

Jan 21 - 01:17 AM

Cory

Cory B

An Ashton Kutcher movie ISN'T certified fresh?!?!

STOP THE PRESSES! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES EVERYONE!!!

Jan 20 - 08:29 PM

CFM

'schak Attack

*lol* Heh, the Packers kid made a funny.

Jan 21 - 10:04 AM

Alexson Philip

Alexson Philipiah

meh

Jan 20 - 08:50 PM

James T.

James Tallman

Ashton Kutcher has not made one decent movie throughout his acting career. I think it's time for him to go back to some T.V. series. He is simply not a good actor. On the other hand, The Way Back looks pretty decent.

Jan 20 - 08:58 PM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

I expected better from Portman, but I did expect less from Kutcher, which is kind of funny as well. All in all, I (and mostly everybody) dislike bad rom coms, and I'm sure this is one of them.

Jan 21 - 01:15 AM

Wisenheimer

Joshua Dinsmore

Highly unlikely, but lets hope so.

Jan 21 - 01:17 AM

dudemeister

dude meister

Meh. Higher than what I thought it would be, still gonna pass, Friends With Benefits looks a lot more entertaining, that and I'd take JT any day over the perpetually bitchy Ashton Kutcher. But I'm really surprised that Natalie Portman followed Black Swan with this, she's probably the only good thing in the film

Jan 21 - 01:36 AM

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