Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: 'Tis Not The "Season," "Guardian" Lacks Defenders, And "School" Flunks

by | September 28, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got jive talking woodland creatures ("Open Season," with Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher). We’ve got a school for Coast Guard rescue swimmers ("The Guardian," starring Kevin Coster and Kutcher again). And we’ve got a school…for scoundrels ("School for Scoundrels," starring Billy Bob Thornton and Jon Heder). Which of these flicks will get a passing grade from critics?

"Open Season," Sony Pictures Animation’s first picture, features the voices of Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher as a grizzly bear and a deer, respectively, who must team up after getting stranded in the woods at the start of hunting season. Critics say that despite some impressive visuals and funny sequences, "Open Season" does little to distinguish itself from the recent glut of CG kiddie films. At 43 percent on the Tomatometer, you should turn, turn, turn away from this middling "Season."

Martin Bear: "Say it, Ashton. Say I was funny on Martin!"
Ashton Deer: "I’m Ashton Kutcher! I was on That 70’s Show!"

Kevin Costner makes a hopeful return to the action genre in "The Guardian," in which he plays a veteran U.S. Coast Guard officer who must mentor a cocky young upstart played by Ashton Kutcher. The film features intense training sequences, dramatic rescue scenes, and the requisite love story. Sound familiar? Critics seem to think so, calling it a cliched mix of "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Top Gun," with a predictable storyline. At 40 percent on the Tomatometer, "The Guardian" needs rescuing.

"Oh, man… Finally, a funny ‘Waterworld‘ joke!"

Director Todd Phillips brings us his latest comedy "School for Scoundrels," about a nerdy meter maid (Jon Heder) who takes confidence building classes from a smarmy instructor (Billy Bob Thornton). When the student gains the confidence to ask out his longtime crush, he discovers he must compete with the teacher for her affections. Most critics are in agreement that the real scoundrels are the screenwriters who couldn’t devise a script worthy of the considerable acting talent involved. At 21 percent on the Tomatometer, "School for Scoundrels" receives a failing grade.

Jon Heder’s got to worry about more than just talons these days.

Also opening this week in limited release: "The Queen," a speculative drama about the reaction of Britain’s royal family after the death of Princess Di starring Helen Mirren, is at 95 percent on the Tomatometer; "The Last King of Scotland," which features an electrifying performance from Forrest Whitaker as the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, is at 86 percent; "Be With Me," a three part meditation on love, hope, and destiny, is at 80 percent; "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints," a coming-of-age story starring Robert Downey Jr., is at 77 percent; and "loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies," which chronicles the triumphant reunion tour of the influential cult band, is at 60 percent.

Recent Ashton Kutcher Movies:
80% — Bobby (2006)
39% — A Lot Like Love (2005)
44% — Guess Who (2005)
33% — The Butterfly Effect (2004)
19% — Just Married (2003)

Recent Billy Bob Thornton Movies:
46% — The Ice Harvest (2005)
46% — The Bad News Bears (2005)
79% — Chrystal (2004)
82% — Friday Night Lights (2004)
30% — The Alamo (2004)

Recent Kevin Costner Movies:
18% — Rumor Has It… (2005)
73% — The Upside of Anger (2004)
79% — Open Range (2003)
8% — Dragonfly (2002)
13% — 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)

Recent Jon Heder Movies:
73% — Monster House (2006)
11% — The Benchwarmers (2006)
56% — Just Like Heaven (2005)
71% — Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Tag Cloud

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