Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Rio 2 Fails to Take Flight

Plus, Draft Day is too predictable, and Oculus is effectively spooky.

by | April 11, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got Brazilian birds (Rio 2, with voice performances by Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg), a pigskin professional (Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner), and a malevolent mirror (Oculus, starring Katee Sackhoff and Rory Cochrane). What do the critics have to say?

Rio 2


Plenty of animated films can entertain the kiddies for two hours without leaving much of an impression. Critics say Rio 2 is visually sharp and action-packed, but it’s also overly busy and short on big laughs. Married macaws Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway) have settled down with their chicks in the big city, but when an ornithologist discovers a flock of endangered blue macaws, the family travels to the Amazon rainforest, where they find a group of birds who can’t relate to Blu’s city-slicker ways. The pundits say that althoughRio 2 is colorful and energetic, its lack of storytelling discipline and overabundance of musical numbers makes for a thinner experience than its predecessor. (Check out our video interview with the stars of Rio 2 here.)

Draft Day


Moneyball proved that front-office action could be as riveting as anything on the playing field. Unfortunately, critics say that while Draft Day is slick and well acted, it suffers from predictable plotting and a shortage of insight. Costner stars as Cleveland Browns general manager Sonny Weaver, who’s tasked with rebuilding the team after another losing season. But Sonny’s not just worried about the Browns’ roster — he’s got a host of family issues to deal with as well. The pundits say Costner is rock-solid in the lead role, but the other characters aren’t as well fleshed out, and the film often fumbles the football details. (Watch our interview with the stars of Draft Day, and browse our gallery of memorable football movies.)



If you think you’ve seen every permutation on the haunted house horror flick template, think again. Critics say Oculus is a very effective frightfest, one that features interesting characters and an encompassing sense of dread. After the bizarre death of their parents, a pair of siblings return to their childhood home in order to confront the murderous party responsible: a haunted antique mirror that has the power to distort reality. The pundits say Oculus is sharply crafted, well acted, and often very scary.

Also opening this week in limited release: