Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Princess, Invictus Are Certified Fresh

Plus, A Single Man is a catch, but The Lovely Bones isn’t all that pretty.

by | December 10, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a Southern-fried fairy tale (The Princess and the Frog, with voice work Anika Noni Rose and Keith David) and inspiration through rugby (Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon). What do the critics have to say?


The Princess and the Frog

The Princess and the Frog has gotten plenty of notice for two reasons: it marks Disney’s return to traditional cel animation, and it features an African American heroine. However, critics say that it’s also a rousing, heart-warming, and likable (though somewhat predictable) movie that works on its own with or without the curiosity factor. Set in 1930s New Orleans, the film follows Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose), a beautiful aspiring chef who’s turned into a frog after succumbing to a nefarious spell by Doctor Facilier (Keith David), a voodoo magician. Will Tiana return to human form? Will she be able to rescue the handsome prince? The pundits say The Princess and the Frog is hardly groundbreaking, but it has enough energy, catchy tunes, and excitement to render most objections moot. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down David’s best-reviewed work.)



Sure, Invictus is yet another inspirational sports film, but critics say Clint Eastwood‘s drama about how sports helped heal South Africa is a strong, well-crafted entry in the genre. Morgan Freeman stars as Nelson Mandela, who, in the tense heady days after the end of Apartheid, was looking for a national symbol of unity. He found one in the South African rugby team, captained by Francois Pienaar (Matt Damon), who face long odds in the World Cup. The pundits say that Invictus is sometimes too stately and glosses over some of the complexities of the times, but excellent work from Freeman and Damon, as well as a typically assured hand from Eastwood and exciting game footage more than compensate. (Check out The Great Directors: Clint Eastwood for an overview of the star’s work behind the camera.).

Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, props to Critic Alex Hagani and Alejandro R. for correctly guessing Armored‘s 44 percent Tomatometer, and to Alejandro P. and hatingvindiesel for pinpointing the fact that Transylmania would get a big goose egg.

Tag Cloud

Comedy harry potter Year in Review zombie Freeform TV MSNBC The CW A&E IFC adventure Fantasy Nominations medical drama Infographic binge cooking what to watch Photos war Toys Reality TruTV Country Esquire 2017 transformers Sci-Fi Grammys Pop Musical Awards Rom-Com TIFF Showtime ABC Drama MTV 24 frames CMT DC Comics serial killer Lionsgate Musicals VICE historical drama political drama Set visit WGN social media psycho Mary Tyler Moore Rocky composers Martial Arts Red Carpet Fox News USA Animation Mindy Kaling Box Office BBC CNN Nickelodeon Podcast GLAAD GoT 2015 CBS All Access based on movie Superheroes Ghostbusters Trailer Crackle Comic Book Star Trek FXX Watching Series HBO TNT NBC Horror Super Bowl Biopics PaleyFest 45 El Rey supernatural diversity First Look sports Kids & Family Sundance talk show Thanksgiving Disney romance comiccon TV Land ITV RT History President Best and Worst Universal Cartoon Network SDCC Marvel X-Men 2016 LGBTQ technology cats dceu DC Universe Reality Competition Pirates aliens Certified Fresh TLC PBS Spring TV Schedule Warner Bros. Valentine's Day Interview boxoffice GIFs Trivia Music Tumblr cops NYCC Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Amazon FX Masterpiece E! Teen Writers Guild of America Premiere Dates Hulu Mystery Winners crime thriller Star Wars Action Holidays Emmys Comedy Central Netflix crime drama ESPN Oscars Food Network TCA cinemax Ellie Kemper Bravo dc Fall TV Western The Arrangement Polls and Games science fiction SundanceTV FOX period drama OWN travel thriller YA Syfy DirecTV VH1 docudrama Tomatazos Starz Countdown vampires Summer TCM Sneak Peek Character Guide Logo Winter TV singing competition Paramount Video Games AMC dramedy E3 TBS Lifetime BBC America 21st Century Fox Rock History justice league Calendar Opinion Election APB TCA 2017 ABC Family discovery Adult Swim 007 BET politics Nat Geo American Society of Cinematographers Dark Horse Comics sitcom CBS Extras crime Marathons police drama Disney Channel biography Cosplay