Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Lady" Is All Wet; "Ex" Is Not Super; "House" Is Scary, "Clerks" Is Funny

by | July 20, 2006 | Comments

This week we’ve got some magic in ordinary dwellings (M. Night Shyamalan‘s "Lady in the Water" and "Monster House") and some funny couples ("My Super Ex-Girlfriend," with Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson, and Kevin Smith‘s "Clerks II," featuring Jay and Silent Bob). What do the critics have to say?

For a moment, it appeared that M. Night Shyamalan would join the top tier of contemporary directors. "The Sixth Sense" and "Signs" were commercial and critical hits, establishing a winning combination of spooky, twisty plots and spiritual quests. But now, after the lukewarm critical reaction to "The Village," and the absolute drubbing that his latest, "Lady in the Water," is taking, it’s looking like Shyamalan may be adrift. (The fact that "Water" star Bryce Dallas Howard‘s dad was piloting the craft when Fonzie jumped the shark is purely coincidental.) The film tells the story of a super (Paul Giamatti) at a drab apartment complex who discovers a mythical creature (Howard) living beneath the swimming pool. Though its description makes "Lady" sound like a simple fairy tale, critics say the film is needlessly complex, ponderous, and pretentious. At 22 percent on the Tomatometer, "Lady in the Water" is out to sea.

Ignoring the sound advice of his co-stars, Paul Giamatti’s characters continue to drink and dial.

On every street, there’s one house that’s just a little creepy, a place that inspires trepidation and even fear among the neighborhood kids. In "Monster House," there’s a residence that actually attacks people. The critics say this CG film, featuring the voices of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nick Cannon, and Steve Buscemi, is technically excellent and effective as a funny, scary funhouse ride of a movie. But perhaps it’s a little too effective; more than a few of the scribes say the movie may be way too scary for younger viewers. Still, at 66 percent on the Tomatometer, this "House" may be a prime piece of real estate.

Yes, children…. mortgage payments are scary.

"My Super Ex-Girlfriend" has a pretty amusing premise: A guy is on the outs with his girlfriend, but she’s a superhero, and uses her powers to thwart his budding romance with a coworker. Plus, director Ivan Reitman and stars Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson are pretty adept at light comedy. So what’s the problem? Well, the critics say the movie never quite transcends its premise. While the scribes say the leads are solid and the script does a decent job of poking fun at the superhero genre, the execution is ultimately too flat to make this material soar. "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" is at 45 percent on the Tomatometer.

It appears Uma has seen "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" one too many times.

If it wasn’t for Bruce Springsteen, Kevin Smith would likely be the voice of New Jersey. His "Clerks" changed the landscape of indie cinema in the 1990s; its DIY aesthetic inspired hundreds of other kids in the suburbs with demented minds and big dreams to pick up a camera and document their existential crises. In "Clerks II," he revisits Dante and Randal, those lovable, potty-mouthed slackers, who’ve barely changed a lick in a decade (aside from the release of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the presence of Rosario Dawson, which at least gives them something new to talk about). The critics say that while "Clerks II" will not break any new ground, it will please the legions of Kevin Smith acolytes with its witty, ribald humor. At 70 percent on the Tomatometer, "Clerks II" may be worth a stop, though it’s still a cut below the original, at 85 percent.

Buncha savages in this town.

Also in theaters this week in limited release: Ryuhei Kitamura‘s "Azumi" is at 57 percent on the Tomatometer; "Shadowboxer," starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Helen Mirren, is at 44 percent; and the bloody indie "Mad Cowgirl" is at 17 percent.

Recent M. Night Shyamalan Movies:
43% — The Village (2004)
75% — Signs (2002)
67% — Unbreakable (2000)
83% — The Sixth Sense (1999)
38% — Wide Awake (1998)

Recent Kevin Smith Movies:
41% — Jersey Girl (2004)
51% — Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
68% — Dogma (1999)
93% — Chasing Amy (1997)
49% — Mallrats (1996)

Tag Cloud

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