Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Sucker Punch Gets KO'd

Plus, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 is a mixed bag.

by | March 25, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a violent fantasyland (Sucker Punch, starring Emily Browning and Abbie Cornish) and some brotherly love (Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules, starring Zachary Gordon and Devon Bostick). What do the critics have to say?

Sucker Punch


Smoking-hot babes with swords! A daring escape from a creepy asylum! Samurais and dragons! Is there any way Sucker Punch could possibly go wrong? Well, yes, say critics, who find Zack Snyder’s latest to be a compendium of geeky obsessions in search of a story (or indeed, general coherence). Emily Browning stars as Babydoll, a young woman whose mother has recently died, leaving her in the care of her evil stepfather, who ships her off to a mental hospital. Babydoll retreats into a dreamworld, teaming up with a bevy of gals who plan a treacherous escape from the facility. The pundits say Sucker Punch is admirably ambitious, but it fails to add up to much; it’s an assault on the senses that suffers from jarring tonal shifts and a shortage of narrative logic. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we present a rundown of memorable prison break movies.)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules


The first Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which hit theaters last year, got decidedly mixed reviews; a number of scribes found it sweet and perceptive, while others called it clichéd and over reliant on gross-out jokes. It appears Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules won’t set the critical world on fire either — some critics say its life lessons and good humor are more pronounced this time out, but others feel it’s a little shopworn and occasionally cynical. Our hero Greg (Zachary Gordon) is starting seventh grade, and optimistically hopes that he will get in with the cool crowd. Unfortunately, his older brother Rodrick continues to torment him. Will these two ever get along? The pundits say Diary benefits from strong performances from its young actors and a couple of insightful laughs, but it also gets bogged down in scenes of public humiliation and bullying that don’t add much to the equation.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Honey, a drama about a boy’s spiritual awakening in a remote town in Turkey, is at 100 percent.
  • My Perestroika, a documentary about the lives of young people growing up in the waning days of communism, is at 83 percent.
  • Potiche, starring Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu in a comedy about a romance between an umbrella factory owner’s wife and a labor leader, is at 77 percent.
  • White Irish Drinkers, a coming-of-age drama about a group of petty crooks in 1970s Brooklyn, is at 46 percent.
  • Peep World, starring Michael C. Hall and Sarah Silverman in an ensemble comedy about a family reunion that’s been sabotaged by a scandalous tell-all book, is at 29 percent.
  • Miral, a drama about the lives of several generations of Palestinian women, is at 15 percent (check out director Julian Schnabel‘s Five Favorite Films here).

Finally, want to win a Rotten Tomatoes shirt? First, watch Sucker Punch. Then, on Sunday, tweet your review and tag it #fresh or #rotten. We’ll choose five winners! Check us out on Twitter!