Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Rise of the Planet of the Apes is Certified Fresh

Plus, The Change-Up could use some more laughs.

by | August 4, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got intelligent primates (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, starring James Franco and Freida Pinto) and a body swap (The Change-Up, starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman). What do the critics have to say?



Rise of the Planet of the Apes

81%

It seems we will never exhaust our collective need for Planet of the Apes movies. The 1968 sci-fi classic spawned four sequels, a remake, and now a prequel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And guess what? The critics say Rise is one of the best of the bunch, with dazzling effects, thought-provoking ideas, and plenty of action. While working on a cure for Alzheimer’s, a brilliant scientist (James Franco) unintentionally gives a chimp named Caesar extraordinary intelligence; soon, the simian is questioning his place in the world, while passing on his superior brain power to his fellow apes. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a swingin’ good time — it’s briskly paced, emotionally satisfying, and much smarter than your average blockbuster.



The Change-Up

25%

That staple of late-1980s cinema — the body switching comedy — is back full force with The Change-Up. However, some things should be left dormant, and critics say the subgenre that sired 18 Again and Dream a Little Dream is one of them — they find The Change-Up to be an oddly sour, gimmicky comedy that never establishes a consistent tone. Two old friends — one a married, overworked lawyer (Jason Bateman), the other a single softcore actor — relieve themselves in a magic fountain and find that they have switched bodies. At first, they each enjoy a change of scenery, but isn’t the grass always greener on the other side? The pundits say that although Reynolds and Bateman each do a good job of playing the other, they’re stuck in a sophomoric comedy that veers between gross-out gags and schmaltz. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down some of cinema’s most memorable body swaps.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Bellflower, an indie action flick about a pair of weapon-manufacturing friends preparing for the Apocalypse, is at 89 percent.
  • Cold Fish, a horror/black comedy about a seafood vending-couple who are also brutal serial killers, is at 71 percent.
  • Mysteries of Lisbon, an operatic Portuguese drama about an orphan who goes looking for the truth of his origins, is at 71 percent.
  • The Whistleblower, starring Rachel Weisz and Monica Bellucci in a drama about a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia who uncovers a human trafficking ring, is at 62 percent.
  • Magic Trip, a documentary about Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters’ acid-fueled 1964 cross country trek, is at 62 percent.
  • Gun Hill Road, a drama about a man just released from prison who finds his family has gone through some dramatic changes, is at 54 percent.
  • The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll, about a troubled rock star and his guitar-wiz buddy rekindling their friendship, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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