Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Nativity" Is Too Safe; "Turistas" Not Worth Trip

by | November 30, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a new take on the first Noel ("The Nativity Story," starring Keisha Castle-Hughes), endangered Americans in Brazil ("Turistas," starring Melissa George), and a hard partying expat ("Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj," starring Kal Penn). What do the critics have to say?

It may be based on The Greatest Story Ever Told, but critics say "The Nativity Story" is hardly the greatest movie ever made — or even a particularly good one. In case you need a refresher on the origins of the upcoming holiday that may be the occasion for you to receive a Playstation 3, "The Nativity Story" tells the tale of a teenager named Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes) who is to give birth to the savior of mankind — all the while dealing with political persecution and lousy hotel service. Critics say the film is too safe (strange, given director Catherine Hardwicke‘s previous films about remarkable young people, "Thirteen" and "Lords of Dogtown"), adding little spark to the most inspirational (and familiar) of sagas. "The Nativity Story" currently stands at 26 percent on the Tomatometer.

Mary, don’t you weep.

"Turistas" continues a mini-trend in slasher films that began with "Hostel": arrogant Americans getting their comeuppance in foreign locales. In this case, a group of youngsters are terrorized in Brazil after they fall into the clutches of a mad organ harvester. While some critics have praised the film’s political undertones and better-than-average tension, most say "Turistas" adds little to a stale genre. At 38 percent on the Tomatometer, this tourist trap may be worth avoiding.

"Turistas": Return I won’t to old Brazil.

"Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj" was not screened for critics, which may indicate that it has the potential to sink like a stone with the scribes. (The original "Van Wilder" garnered a robust 17 percent.) Guess that Tomatometer.

They may not be toasting when the reviews come out….

Opening this week in limited release: "10 Items or Less," a laid-back romance starring Morgan Freeman and Paz Vega, is at 53 percent; "3 Needles," a globe-spanning drama about the toll of the AIDS virus, is at 33 percent; and "The Architect," a tale of two families in conflict over a public housing structure, is at 33 percent.

Notable Biblical Epics:
51% — The Passion of the Christ (2004)
80% — The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
88% — The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1965)
96% — Ben Hur (1959)
91% — The Ten Commandments (1956)

Recent Slasher Movies:
29% — Saw III (2006)
18% — Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)
57% — Feast (2006)
35% — Calvaire (2006)
20% — Mad Cowgirl (2006)

Tag Cloud

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