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

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