Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Monsters vs. Aliens Is A Blast

Plus, The Haunting in Connecticut houses too many cliches, and guess 12 Rounds' Tomatometer!

by | March 26, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a war of the worlds (Monsters Vs. Aliens, with voice work by Reese Witherspoon and Seth Rogen), a demonic abode (The Haunting in Connecticut, starring Virginia Madsen and Martin Donovan), and a royal rumble (12 Rounds, starring John Cena). What do the critics have to say?


Monsters vs. Aliens

Monsters vs. Aliens pays loving homage to B-grade 1950s monster movies, utilizing state-of-the- art 3-D CG animation and a crack voice cast. And critics say it’s rousing, wry, and technically impressive. When Susan Murphy (voiced by Reese Witherspoon) is hit by a meteor on the way to her wedding, it causes her to grow nearly 50 feet tall; she’s ostracized by society, but it turns out that she and her fellow monsters may be the only ones that can save earth from an alien invasion. The pundits say Monsters vs. Aliens is often more whiz-bang than emotionally resonant, and many of the gags will probably soar over the wee ones’ heads. However, those may be small prices to pay for a film of such remarkable visual invention and good humor. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we rank every DreamWorks animated film by Tomatometer, and be sure to take our our DreamWorks Cartoon Challenge.)


The Haunting in Connecticut

The Haunting in Connecticut is allegedly based on a true story. However, most critics feel this New England-set supernatural thriller has more in common with other haunted house flicks like The Amityville Horror than real-life supernatural occurrences. Virginia Madsen and Martin Donovan star as a couple who move to the Nutmeg State only to find the nice old Victorian they’ve just purchased was once a funeral home, and it’s haunted by a demonic presence that only avails itself to the couple’s teenage son. Bedeviling ensues, along with creaking floorboards and (presumably) bad caulking. The pundits say The Haunting in Connecticut has some effectively spooky atmospherics, but ultimately it’s mechanical and cliched.


12 Rounds

It appears the folks behind 12 Rounds were afraid their film would receive a critical beatdown, since it wasn’t screened prior to release. Renny Harlin directs WWE superstar John Cena, who plays a cop in the midst of a cat-and-mouse game with a terrorist who has kidnapped his girlfriend. Kids, take a break from your study of Thuganomics and guess that Tomatometer!

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Ramin Bahrani‘s Goodbye Solo, about the strange relationship between a Senegalese cab driver and a gruff old southerner, is at 100 percent.
  • Shall We Kiss?, a Woody Allen-esque French romantic comedy about the implications of a single kiss on a multitude of characters, is at 80 percent.
  • Guest of Cindy Sherman, a documentary about the failed relationship between the art star and her public access cable host beau, is at 70 percent.
  • Fred Durst‘s The Education of Charlie Banks, starring Jesse Eisenberg in a tale of coming of age in 1970s New York, is at 50 percent.
  • The Czech import The Country Teacher, about a closeted science teacher and his relationship with a local family, is at 40 percent.
  • American Swing, a documentary on the 1970s heyday of the notorious sex club Plato’s Retreat, is at 33 percent.
  • Spinning into Butter, a drama about racial tensions at an elite Vermont college starring Sarah Jessica Parker, is at 27 percent.

Tag Cloud

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