Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Neighbors is Certified Fresh

Plus, Mom's Night Out is dull, and Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return is duller.

by | May 9, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a battle between bros and parents (Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron), another trek down the yellow brick road (Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, with voice performances by Lea Michele and Dan Aykroyd), and a wild night on the town (Moms’ Night Out, starring Sarah Drew and Patricia Heaton). What do the critics have to say?



Most frat comedies seem content to rip off Animal House, but occasionally a movie comes along that shows the keg isn’t completely tapped. The critics say Neighbors can get pretty gross at times, but it’s well-acted and often surprisingly insightful about the anxieties of growing older. Mac (Seth Rogan) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are a married couple with an infant child who think they’ve found the perfect home — that is, until a fraternity moves next door. Soon, our heroes are locked in battle with Teddy (Zac Efron), the frat’s president; hilarity ensues. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Neighbors has no shortage of lowbrow laughs, but the performers — particularly Byrne — make the characters relatable, and the result is both highly amusing and smarter than average. (Check out our video interview with the stars, as well as our gallery of the worst movie neighbors.)

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return


The Wizard of Oz is just as dazzling today as it was 75 years ago, and the reasons why are clear: it looks terrific, it features great songs, and (most importantly) it’s got a great story. Critics say the inverse is true of the new animated film Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return — with its dated visuals, so-so tunes, and meandering plot, this trip over the rainbow is unlikely to become a perennial family favorite. Shortly after returning to Kansas, Dorothy (voiced by Lea Michele) is whisked back to Oz to help pals old (Scarecrow, the Lion, and the Tin Man) and new (Wiser the Owl, Marshal Mallow, and China Princess) rescue Glinda the Good Witch from the evil Jester. The pundits say Legends of Oz is a less-than-magical affair that feels more suited to the cutout bin than the multiplex.

Moms’ Night Out


This Mother’s Day, we hold these truths to be self-evident: that the hardworking moms of the world deserve some free time, and that moviegoers could use more female-centric comedies. So it’s unfortunate to report that critics find Moms’ Night Out to be predictable, uninspired, and seriously short on laughs. Stay-at-home mom Allyson (Sarah Drew) really needs to unwind, so she plans a night out with her BFFs. Naturally, everything goes haywire immediately, as the ladies get into trouble on the town while their husbands mostly fail to hold things together at home. The pundits say Moms’ Night Out earns a stray chuckle here and there, but it mostly feels more like a sitcom than a movie. (Check out star Patricia Heaton’s Five Favorite Films.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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