Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Pain & Gain is Visceral But Uneven

Plus, The Big Wedding is a big misfire.

by | April 25, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got bodybuilding bad guys (Pain & Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and matrimonial mishaps (The Big Wedding, starring Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton). What do the critics have to say?

Pain & Gain


Michael Bay is not the kind of guy to tone things down just because he’s working with a smaller budget. However, critics say the auteur behind Armageddon and the Transformers franchise has tempered the visceral impact of Pain & Gain with a fair amount of black comedy, and the result is uneven but often queasily compelling. Based on a bizarre true story, Pain & Gain is the tale of three bodybuilders who concoct a scheme to kidnap a wealthy businessman and wrest control of his riches. However, the plan quickly goes awry, with violent repercussions. The pundits say Pain & Gain‘s pitch-black sense of humor and charismatic leads can’t quite make up for the movie’s stylistic excess and lack of nuance. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of films based on magazine and newspaper articles.)

The Big Wedding


Critics say The Big Wedding is a comedy that audiences should decline with regrets; its all-star cast is stranded in a contrived, strained plot that features broad stabs at humor but few laughs. Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton star as a divorced couple who reunite for their son’s wedding and pretend to be happily married for the sake of his bride-to-be’s conservative mother; hilarity allegedly ensues. The pundits say The Big Wedding is a big misfire, with shopworn slapstick gags and stereotypical characters.Check out this week’s Total Recall for a countdown of Keaton’s best-reviewed movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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