Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Arnold Makes a Satisfying Return in The Last Stand

Plus, Mama is a mixed bag, and Broken City doesn't match its ambitions.

by | January 17, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a border skirmish (The Last Stand, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Johnny Knoxville), haunted children (Mama, starring Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and a shady election (Broken City, starring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe). What do the critics have to say?



The Last Stand

60%

It’s been a decade since Arnold Schwarzenegger toplined a movie. And though the former governor of California shows signs of age in The Last Stand, critics say the movie is a reasonably satisfying meat-and-potatoes action flick that harkens back to Schwarzenegger’s 1980s heyday. The Governator stars as the sheriff of a small border town who becomes the last line of defense when a notorious cartel leader and his heavily-armed henchmen attempt to escape into Mexico. The pundits say The Last Stand is a formulaic action flick, but one that’s elevated by Schwarzenegger’s assured presence, and the result is violent, exuberant fun. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames, in which we present a pictoral history of Schwarzenegger’s films.)



Mama

65%

Mama is a ghost story with a strong pedigree: it stars Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain and was executive-produced by Guillermo del Toro. But while some critics say the movie is chilling and atmospheric, others find it clichéd and unable to fulfill its potential. Two sisters disappeared the day their mother was murdered, and after years of searching, their uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend Annabel (Chastain) find the girls and bring them home. But soon, the sisters seem to be communicating with a spectral entity. The pundits say Mama is elegant and spooky, but it chills more than it scares and some feel it doesn’t fully develop its intriguing setup.



Broken City

28%

Broken City is an ambitious political thriller with neo-noir crime elements. Unfortunately, critics say a fine cast can’t save the film’s overstuffed and implausible script. Mark Wahlberg stars as Billy Taggart, an ex-cop-turned-private eye who’s hired by New York City Mayor Nicolas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) to investigate his philandering wife; soon, Taggart has uncovered evidence of a far-reaching conspiracy. The pundits say Broken City has its moments, but it’s too familiar and contrived to work as a whole.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Birders: The Central Park Effect, a documentary about the folks who observe our feathered friends in the heart of New York City, is at 100 percent.
  • Hors Satan, a drama about a teenage girl who befriends a mysterious hermit, is at 78 percent.
  • Here and There, a drama about a migrant worker reuniting with his family in Mexico, is at 50 percent.
  • LUV, starring Common and Dennis Haysbert in a coming-of-age drama about an 11-year-old who spends a day with his ex-con uncle, is at 33 percent.

Finally, props to Bentley Lyles for coming the closest to guessing A Haunted House‘s eight percent Tomatometer.>

Tag Cloud

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