Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Harry Potter" Is Certified Fresh; "Captivity" Fails To Capture Critics' Hearts

by | July 12, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the latest in the "Harry Potter" series ("Order of the Phoenix," starring Daniel Radcliffe), and a tale of kidnapping and torture ("Captivity," starring Elisha Cuthbert). What do the critics have to say?

Fans apprehensive about how newcomer director David Yates would handle the longest and densest "Harry Potter" novel yet can rest easy, according to the critics. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" revolves around Harry’s (Daniel Radcliffe) continuing growing pains: first kisses, suspension from school, rebelling with an army of kids to overthrow the educative autocracy, and confronting the murderer of his parents. You know, kids’ stuff. While some say "Order" feels like a placeholder setting up the final two sequels, most agree that Yates makes the most of the job (and his CG budget), serving up a relentlessly dark and grim vision of Hogwarts. And with his tight, efficient script, writer Michael Goldenberg eschews the excess while keeping the emotional trappings of the 800-page source novel. It may be the worst-reviewed entry in the series so far, but at 74 percent on the Tomatometer, "Order of the Phoenix" is still Certified Fresh.

Rehearsing for "Harry Potter: The Musical"

The latest entry in the burgeoning subgenre of torture-porn, "Captivity" isn’t being shown to American critics before it opens Friday. However, our mates in Merry Old England have gotten a look at it, and they don’t like what they see. "Captivity" stars Elisha Cuthbert as a top model, who is kidnapped and subjected to brutal torment at the hands of her sadistic captor. "Captivity" has already gotten plenty of press for its tasteless ad campaign and its perhaps-slightly-less-so-but-still-pretty-tasteless premiere party in L.A., both of which could arguably be overlooked if the movie delivered the goods. But critics say "Captivity" is little more than exploitative nonsense: nasty, brutish, and bereft of any real scares or psychological insight. At 13 percent on the Tomatometer, the scribes say "Captivity" is more tortuous than entertaining.

All those critics can talk to the hand.

Also opening this week in limited release: Patrice Leconte‘s "My Best Friend," a dry French comedy about a grumpy antiques dealer (Daniel Auteuil), is at 86 percent; the anime "Tekkonkinkreet," about a gang war over the construction of an amusement park, is at 83 percent; "Talk to Me," a biopic of pioneering talk radio legend Petey Greene starring Don Cheadle, is at 76 percent; "Interview," a duel of wits between a reporter (Steve Buscemi) and a starlet (Sienna Miller) is at 75 percent (check out our review from Sundance here); the South Korean import "Time," a drama about a couple spicing up their relationship by way of plastic surgery, is at 73 percent; and "Drama/Mex," which tells three interlocking stories from one wild night in Acapulco, is at 57 percent.

Don Cheadle as Ralph "Petey" Greene in "Talk to Me"

Harry Potter Movies:
79% — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
82% — Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
89% — Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
89% — Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Alex Vo contributed to this article.

Tag Cloud

APB Premiere Dates Action ESPN TV Land FOX hist Polls and Games cults Sundance Now Extras crime Walt Disney Pictures Adult Swim comiccon romance binge 2016 golden globes Box Office Infographic Western Super Bowl spy thriller Country robots docudrama Comic Book GIFs ratings politics dceu GoT Reality OWN YouTube Red Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt boxoffice History Opinion Comedy Writers Guild of America BBC Winter TV TCA ABC Family Acorn TV Oscars Paramount Martial Arts Teen RT History Best and Worst X-Men VH1 A&E Pixar dc Apple cinemax FXX Masterpiece talk show CNN President BET MTV Comedy Central Pirates based on movie Sundance psycho MSNBC El Rey Awards aliens TIFF IFC Films streaming ITV Disney Channel Kids & Family Ovation Rock Pop Freeform Cosplay Superheroe TCM crime thriller FX serial killer SundanceTV travel CBS All Access Britbox Character Guide Red Carpet sitcom cooking Biopics BBC America supernatural 2017 Amazon 45 Trivia diversity cops HBO technology Horror thriller Netflix USA Network Trailer Warner Bros. Music Winners ABC adventure historical drama Fox News Thanksgiving Columbia Pictures AMC medical drama Food Network CMT Lucasfilm Mary Tyler Moore finale PaleyFest The Arrangement Watching Series Marvel Sneak Peek harry potter NYCC Syfy composers zombies WGN Summer vampires political drama Certified Fresh Superheroes Mystery cats what to watch Rocky NBC Fantasy TLC SXSW Nickelodeon GLAAD Drama Musical zombie Shondaland Set visit science fiction See It Skip It Lifetime 007 DirecTV festivals Cartoon Network DC Universe Bravo Countdown DC streaming service 2015 police drama Election TCA 2017 Ellie Kemper Holidays Star Wars Paramount Network period drama National Geographic social media SDCC Podcast The CW VICE dramedy Crackle Showtime First Look Mindy Kaling CW Seed USA 21st Century Fox Ghostbusters justice league unscripted Lionsgate discovery Fall TV Rom-Com TNT YA Spike E3 Grammys Musicals American Society of Cinematographers Year in Review Schedule Logo Disney crossover Reality Competition TV Universal DC Comics Nominations Tumblr Emmys Spring TV Valentine's Day Sci-Fi sports biography Esquire Star Trek 20th Century Fox Toys PBS Video Games LGBTQ Calendar 24 frames E! Sony Pictures Starz Interview Marathons crime drama transformers singing competition Nat Geo Dark Horse Comics IFC TruTV TBS war Photos CBS Hulu Christmas Tomatazos Animation Creative Arts Emmys