Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: A Bad Day for A Good Day to Die Hard

Plus, Safe Haven is schmaltzy, Beautiful Creatures is uneven, and Escape from Planet Earth wasn't screened, so guess the Tomatometer!

by | February 14, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the return of John McClane (A Good Day to Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis and Jai Courtney); a tentative love affair (Safe Haven, starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel); teenage witchcraft (Beautiful Creatures, starring Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert); and alien astronauts (Escape From Planet Earth 3D, with voice work by Brendan Fraser and Rob Corddry). What do the critics have to say?

A Good Day to Die Hard


Macho, wisecracking John McClane (Bruce Willis) holds a distinct place in the hearts of movie fans, so it’s painful to hear that the latest installment of his venerable franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard, is unequivocally the weakest. This time out, McClane travels to Russia to help his estranged son (Jai Courtney), a CIA agent in the midst of an undercover operation. Father and son team up, and subsequently, stuff gets blowed up real good. The pundits say that even Bruce Willis’ smirking demeanor can barely enliven A Good Day to Die Hard‘s clichéd, uninspired script, which emphasizes noisy, senseless action over characterization and humor. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of Willis’ most memorable movies.)

Safe Haven


Safe Haven is the latest movie adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel, and critics say it’s got the same problems that have bedeviled previous Sparks outings like The Last Song and The Lucky One: in other words, it’s schmaltzy, predictable, and melodramatic. Katie (Julianne Hough) arrives in town haunted by traumatic events from her past. Eventually, she falls for widowed single dad Alex (Josh Duhamel). But will the aforementioned dark secret intrude on her new life? The pundits say Safe Haven is a soapy thriller that’s distinguished only by an egregiously ludicrous plot twist toward the end.

Beautiful Creatures


Sure, Beautiful Creatures shares some similarities with Twilight, but critics say it’s witty and well-acted – good enough, in fact, to make one wish it wasn’t so tonally uneven. Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) is instantly smitten by Lena (Alice Englert), who’s just moved to his small southern town. But their budding love affair is endangered by Lena’s supernatural powers. The pundits say the cast is likeable, but the plot is predictable, and on the whole Beautiful Creatures can’t quite pull off its tricky mix of romance, comedy, and the supernatural.

Escape From Planet Earth 3D


It looks like critics won’t need to beat a hasty retreat from Escape From Planet Earth 3D, since it wasn’t screened prior to its release in theaters. Alien astronaut Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) is tricked into landing on earth and subsequently held captive at Area 51, so it’s up to his nerdy brother Gary (Rob Corddry) to rescue him — and their home planet. Hey everyone: guess the Tomatometer! (And check out our interview with cast members William Shatner and George Lopez here.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Best Foreign Film Oscar nominee No, starring Gael García Bernal in a drama about the opposition movement against Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, is Certified Fresh at 86 percent.
  • The Japanese import Like Someone in Love, a drama about a call girl who befriends an elderly widower, is at 79 percent.
  • Shanghai Calling, starring Bill Paxton in a dramedy about a lawyer who attempts to find his footing after being relocated to China, is at 33 percent.
  • Saving Lincoln, a drama about the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and his bodyguard, is at 29 percent.

Tag Cloud

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