Critics Consensus: Ted Is Funny and Crude, Magic Mike Is Certified Fresh

Plus, People Like Us is a smart weepie, and Madea's Witness Protection is not screened -- guess the Tomatometer!

This week at the movies, we've got an uncouth stuffed toy (Ted, starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis); striptease artists (Magic Mike, starring Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey); a family secret (People Like Us, starring Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks); and a defensive granny (Madea's Witness Protection, starring Tyler Perry and Eugene Levy). What do the critics have to say?

Ted

68%

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane makes his big screen directorial debut with Ted, and critics say this vulgar, sometimes touching comedy retains the irreverent spirit of his TV work, only occasionally lapsing into arbitrary lewdness. John (Mark Wahlberg) made a childhood wish for his teddy bear to come to life; now in his 30s, John finds that the crude stuffed bruin is getting in the way of adult responsibilities. The pundits say Ted has a lot of cheap gags, but it's often funny and surprisingly mature. (Check out 24 Frames for a pictorial rundown of Wahlberg's career.)

Magic Mike

80%

Magic Mike might look like just another pretty face, but don't be fooled -- critics say this hunky drama/comedy has a heart and a brain too, thanks to a solid cast and Steven Soderbergh's expert direction. Channing Tatum stars as the title character, a male stripper with entrepreneurial dreams who shows a troubled young dancer (Alex Pettyfer) the tricks of the trade. Though Mike wants to move on, he's strung along by the easy money offered by the club's seedy MC (Matthew McConaughey). The pundits say the Certified Fresh Magic Mike mines laughs and pathos from clichéd situations, and the results are moving and true. (Check out this week's Total Recall, in which we count down Tatum's best-reviewed movies.)

People Like Us

55%

Sometimes, even the most melodramatic premise can wring tears. Critics say People Like Us may be contrived, but its cast imbues the material with intelligence and poignancy. Chris Pine stars as Sam, a hotshot businessman who's short of cash; when his father dies, he learns the will stipulates that he split the inheritance with a sister (Elizabeth Banks) he never knew existed. Will Sam become a better person in the process? The pundits say People Like Us occasionally strays into manipulative territory, but Pine and Banks are so strong that they keep the film grounded in warm, genuine emotion.

Madea's Witness Protection

21%

The folks behind Madea's Witness Protection are apparently hoping to shield their film from critical harm, since it wasn't screened prior to release. George (Eugene Levy), a meek Wall Street investment banker, discovers his firm is running a Ponzi scheme with the mob, so the Feds relocate him and his family to the care of the irrepressible Madea (Tyler Perry). It's time to guess the Tomatometer!

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Neil Young Journeys, a documentary in which the Godfather of Grunge takes a road trip through Canada and shares memories of his formative years, is at 100 percent.
  • The Matchmaker, a coming-of-age drama about a teenager who learns about love while working for a Holocaust survivor, is at 100 percent.
  • Gypsy, a loose retelling of Hamlet set amidst a Roma community in Slovakia, is at 89 percent.
  • The Sundance hit Beasts of the Southern Wild, a drama about an isolated Louisiana community dealing with the fallout from a catastrophic flood, is at 88 percent.
  • Take This Waltz, starring Michelle Williams and Seth Rogen in a dramedy about a married woman who engages in a risky flirtation with her neighbor, is at 79 percent.
  • Unforgivable, a thriller about a crime writer who investigates his new wife's romantic liaisons, is at 70 percent.
  • The French import A Burning Hot Summer, starring Monica Bellucci in a drama about a high profile couple in the midst of relationship turmoil, is at 60 percent.

Comments

Abraham Smith

Tyler Lublin

28 percent for Madea Witness Protection.

Jun 28 - 04:38 PM

Bertram Krogh

Bertram Krogh

15%

Jun 29 - 08:09 AM

Johnny Hackworth

Johnny Hackworth

you bastards made MWP jump to 29%+!

Jul 1 - 06:48 AM

Alden Welles

Alden Welles

18% for witness protection

Jun 28 - 04:48 PM

This comment has been removed.

sunBAKED

J Margo

shut the fuck up

Jun 28 - 10:51 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Sensitive.

Jun 28 - 11:56 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

I think he is mad because you hated on his bro MacFarlane.

Jun 29 - 06:22 AM

Phillip Farrar

Phillip Farrar

Anyone that puts that much time and effort into pointing fingers like that is the one with the problem. You come on here attacking a person that you DO NOT know personally at all, you only know what you see or here. You act like you are smart using these words and phrases most people wouldn't understand which in turn makes you look like the pretentious douchebag. Family Guy is a comedy, it is suppose to be funny, and as it is still on the air clearly it's working. Just because YOU don't like the form of humor doesn't mean it isn't funny and doesn't mean the writer isn't smart or clever. It also doesn't mean people that might enjoy that type of comedy are beneath you. Please, get off your high horse, you are human like the rest of us.

Jun 30 - 09:07 PM

This comment has been removed.

Al Pi

Al Pi

What's wrong, mad someone was trying to out douchebag you?

Jun 29 - 11:47 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Nope, just fighting the good fight against trolls like you who have nothing to add to the conversation, they just need to open their big fat dick sucking mouths.

Jun 29 - 04:02 PM

Joseph Lofthouse

Joseph Lofthouse

I think that maybe you should just stick to enjoying the good ol' comedy picture shows (which the rest of us vagrantly uncouth youngsters often also enjoy) and stop ripping into a comedy style simply because you don't 'get' it. I enjoy family guy, american dad and the Cleveland show. It doesn't make me half retarded.

Jun 29 - 04:44 PM

Paul Atreides

Paul Atreides

Not to stick up for the insulting troll, but the criticism of any form of art or entertainment can be countered by "you just don't get it". Since it's not something that can be proven either way, ultimately you just have to fall back on the old 'to each his/her own' thing. That being said, it is at least scientifically possible that 'Family Guy' sucks ass compared to quality satire (as I think it does), and you just like it anyway... that still wouldn't make you half-retarded, though.

Jun 29 - 08:08 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Well, perhaps drunk and stoned would qualify. But , even then I doubt I'd find that garbage humorous. Yet I find South Park sometimes hilarious, so it's not really an issue of the medium it's being projected through. Family guy and all the rest of that crap just blows cock.

Jun 29 - 10:52 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

I really find that Soderbergh is hit or miss. But Magic Mike could be OK.
Ted I am hesitant about. It could be funny, but it could be like the post-cancellation Family Guy and be all over the map.
And I would rather be beaten by a 2x4 with rusty nails in it than see People Like Us

Jun 29 - 06:30 AM

Jimmy G.

Jimmy Gee

I agree. That film is apparenlty NOT for "people like us."

Jun 29 - 09:39 AM

Sean D.

Sean D

I see what you did there.
Well played.

Jun 29 - 04:40 PM

quietus28

jj l

I don't see the connection between the homosexuality that you allege (and really is none of anyone's business either way) and your statement that he is a douche (and no, your assumption as to how he would perceive Monica Bellucci doesn't count). Perhaps you should enlighten us as to what one has to do with the other, if anything. Someone sounds like a troll.

Jun 29 - 09:41 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

The connection is that McFarlane is one of the more mean-spirited people working in comedy today. He loves cripple humor, misogyny, and gay panic. His excuse is usually something like "equal opportunity offender" and "no sacred cows", etc. You know, pushing the envelope on the douchebag itself. So it's always amusing to see how his fans treat him and his jackass shows so sacrosanct. If he can dish it, he should be able to take it. But that's not it works, because his humor appeals to bullies especially. I like a good chicken fight as much as the next guy (he's hired some genuinely funny writers), but his shows are casually cruel.

Jun 29 - 04:45 PM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

Curious to know, whereas South Park pushes the envelope (or did) even more so perhaps than Family Guy, do you find it funnier and if so what are your reasons for liking it more? Because imo in some cases 'mean spirited' can be funny as long as everyone understands it's a joke.

Jun 29 - 10:56 PM

Linda B.

Linda Burke

I gotta agree with you, Janson. Though I do have a soft spot for McFarlane. I could listen to that guy talk all day. Also, the first-gen Family Guy's were quite good, precisely because they weren't mean-spirited. The show began as a lampoon on sitcoms, and a very successful one IMO. The show had a purpose, a focus, but since them it's degenerated into a pointless, chaotic mash-up of random gross-out jokes with the occasional cheap satire thrown in. In a weird way, I almost wished it had stayed cancelled. It might have been remembered more fondly.

Jun 29 - 11:30 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Val, I don't really find South Park to be particularly mean-spirited. The people who usually say the most insensitive things are obvious idiots (Cartman, Mr. Garrison), but the main kids are generally pretty good kids. The celebrities they go after usually have it coming. Revealing the "Incident II" of Scientology's Advanced Technology teachings (which used to be reserved for OTIII members, or the higher ranks to have been "cleared") is on a different envelope than McFarlane pushes with tacky JFK Jr jokes or Elmer breaking Bugs' neck. The point that the writers are making with the humor should matter. McFarlane has proudly claimed that it doesn't. He has gleefully admitted to the arbitrary nature of who he chooses to make fun of. Everyone and thing is up for grabs (except him, judging from my flags). Some fans who prefer Family Guy to South Park or The Simpsons have said that those latter shows "cop out" with happy endings or moral comeuppances. Family Guy is truly amoral and insincere, which as Linda points out, was much more effective when the show's point was satirizing the insincere, shallow morality of typical sitcoms. Nowadays, the show doesn't seem to have much of a point. I dock McFarlane a couple points on top of that for saying that Family Guy is a harder show to write (because of its arbitrary, non-sequential style = pointlessness) than even the classic Simpsons episodes. South Park is sharper, smarter and chooses its targets more effectively.

Jun 30 - 07:30 PM

Flash T.

Flash T

Family Guy lost it's touch a long time ago, there's only so many dead baby jokes in the world. I have to agree with Janson here, Seth MacFarlane is a one trick pony admittedly it's a good trick but it's a little thin now.

Jul 1 - 01:52 AM

Ryne Leaver

Ryne Leaver

speaking of pretentious douchebags...

Jun 29 - 11:24 AM

Andrew Milito

Andrew Milito

I actually understood that reference :P

Jun 30 - 06:18 AM

Dave J

Dave J

MacFarlane as a person is at least not an egotistical sleazeball like George Clooney. And is it just me or does anyone else suspects porn star Sasha Grey may had to give Soderberg 10 blow jobs to have her starring in the film "The Girlfriend Experience" made in 2009!

Jun 29 - 03:02 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Really? McFarlane or Clooney? These are the choices? Cloon's Coen Brothers performances (O Brother, Intolerable Cruelty, Burn After Reading) are far funnier than anything McFarlane has done.

Jun 29 - 04:48 PM

Phillip Farrar

Phillip Farrar

Hater.

Jun 30 - 08:58 PM

Phillip Farrar

Phillip Farrar

Anyone that puts that much time and effort into pointing fingers like that is the one with the problem. You come on here attacking a person that you DO NOT know personally at all, you only know what you see or hear. You act like you are smart using these words and phrases most people wouldn't understand which in turn makes you look like the pretentious douchebag. Family Guy is a comedy, it is suppose to be funny, and as it is still on the air so clearly it's working. Just because YOU don't like the form of humor doesn't mean it isn't funny and doesn't mean the writer isn't smart or clever. It also doesn't mean people that might enjoy that type of comedy are beneath you. Please, get off your high horse, you are human like the rest of us.

Jun 30 - 09:10 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Well, that sure sounds like a lot of you pointing your finger at me, who, why not?, I'll remind that you don't know personally either. Hypocrisy aside, I have an intent in pointing the finger at McFarlane, which is to show how judgmental his brand of humor is. It's fine if you find it funny. I find some of it very funny. But you can't call me out for pointing and prejudging when a great deal of the humor on his shows amount to high-horse style belittling of many of these humans we're such a proud part of. And just curious, which words and phrases did you not understand?

Jun 30 - 10:16 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Well, that sure sounds like a lot of you pointing your finger at me, who, why not?, I'll remind that you don't know personally either. Hypocrisy aside, I have an intent in pointing the finger at McFarlane, which is to show how judgmental his brand of humor is. It's fine if you find it funny. I find some of it very funny. But you can't call me out for pointing and prejudging when a great deal of the humor on his shows amount to high-horse style belittling of many of these humans we're such a proud part of. And just curious, which words and phrases did you not understand? Honestly, this really didn't take as much effort to write as it apparently took you to read.

Jun 30 - 10:19 PM

Tom C.

Tom Carter

3 words for TED: COMPLETE PAUL RIPOFF! The title character has so many similarities to PAUL, it's almost unreal. It'll likely be popular, though, because of MacFarlane and Family Guy.
Magic Mike: I don't want to say too much about this one since I don't care for a movie like that. I know there's an audience for it, though, and they're likely to love it, so they can go ahead...

Jun 28 - 05:03 PM

David Hurlburt

David Hurlburt

Don't be stupid. Ted was in production before Paul came out. Plus the only thing thats similer between the two movies is that they both have wise cracking computer animated things. Other than that there are no other similarities.

Jun 28 - 05:13 PM

Sean D.

Sean D

"I don't care for a movie like that"
What, praytell, do you mean by that?

Jun 29 - 06:50 AM

Tom Carter

Tom Carter

What I'm saying is I wouldn't pay to see that movie, nor would I have any interest in the subject matter.

Jul 2 - 03:17 PM

quietus28

jj l

Hopefully Ted can muster to at least be funny, something Paul failed at miserably.

Jun 29 - 09:42 AM

Dave J

Dave J

The special effects may have been the same but Paul was an alien, and Ed is supposed to be a talking stuffed animal who happens to have a foul mouth.

Jun 29 - 03:31 PM

Logan Kenny

Logan Kenny

It's ted not ed and they are both funny

Jun 30 - 11:54 AM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

Paul was terrible.

Jul 2 - 05:05 AM

C Damien Belyeu

C Damien Belyeu

12 on Madea.

Jun 28 - 05:07 PM

I fight for the users

Ian Fastert

Around 25-30% Area for Madea. Good for Ted, I was hoping it would be good!

Jun 28 - 05:13 PM

David Hurlburt

David Hurlburt

Don't be stupid. Ted was in production before Paul came out. Plus the only thing thats similer between the two movies is that they both have wise cracking computer animated things. Other than that there are no other similarities.

Jun 28 - 05:13 PM

Joshua

Joshua "LF" Mitchell

21% for Madea.

Jun 28 - 05:24 PM

Ivo Tronico

Ivo Tronico

Wow! All are fresh movies!!!

Jun 28 - 05:35 PM

Kurtiss Keefner

Kurtiss Keefner

For now... I doubt Madea will be fresh

Jun 28 - 07:47 PM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

Probably, Madea's Witness Protection could get a low score of either 20% or 30%. So I'm gonna see Madea tomorrow. But, I still don't trust critics.

Jun 28 - 06:56 PM

Kadeem S.

Kadeem Stewart

Probably, Madea's Witness Protection could get a low score of either 20% or 30%. So I'm gonna see Madea tomorrow. But, I still don't trust critics.

Jun 28 - 06:56 PM

Matthew A.

Matthew Anderson

Ted looks awesome! So glad it's getting good reviews.

Jun 28 - 07:34 PM

Josh Leitzel

Josh Leitzel

Glad Ted is getting good reviews! I'm planning on seeing it on opening weekend!

Jun 28 - 07:39 PM

Linda B.

Linda Burke

31% for Madea.

Jun 28 - 07:41 PM

Kurtiss Keefner

Kurtiss Keefner

For now... I doubt Madea will be fresh

Jun 28 - 07:47 PM

john907

Johannes Prayudhi

Wow! Every film in this page had a fresh tomato, except Madea. My guess: 35%.

Jun 28 - 07:51 PM

Kurtiss Keefner

Kurtiss Keefner

Ted just doesn't do it for me. The trailers look juvenile and I'm sure the best jokes are on display. Seth McFarlane's comedy has just grown stale recently, and although this may put him in a different light, from the trailers I just can't bring myself to see it. At most this will get a rent if my friends and i are bored and there is nothing better to do.

I'm sure there is a fan base for Magic Mike, but I'm not one of them.

People Like Us looks like every other movie like it.

Tyler Perry has become a joke in and of himself, however, people keep showing up to his films so he's gotta be doing something right.

Jun 28 - 08:00 PM

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