Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is Short on Razzle Dazzle

Plus, The Call starts strong but ends in contrivance.

by | March 15, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got dueling magicians (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, starring Steve Carell and Jim Carrey) and a distressed 911 operator (The Call, starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin). What do the critics have to say?

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone


The Incredible Burt Wonderstone has such a can’t-miss premise — kitschy, arrogant magicians hit rock bottom — that it’s sad to report the critics find it less than magical, a collection of decent gags that never finds an effective rhythm. Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi star as outlandish Vegas stage magicians whose popularity is threatened by big egos, personal animosity, and the rise of a hip street magician (Jim Carrey). The pundits say The Incredible Burt Wonderstone serves up some goofy laughs, but for such an outrageous conceit, it’s surprisingly safe and predictable. (Check out our interviews with stars Carell and Olivia Wilde, as well as this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Buscemi’s best-reviewed movies.)

The Call


There’s no shortage of thrillers that create tense scenarios but can’t quite tie everything together to a satisfying whole. Such is the case, critics say, with The Call, which builds plenty of suspense before taking a problematic turn in the third act. Halle Berry stars as Jordan, a 911 operator who becomes wracked with guilt after failing to help a young woman who calls her in the midst of a home invasion. After returning to her post months later, she gets a similar call, and attempts to thwart the attacker. The pundits say The Call nicely ratchets up the tension until a key point in which credibility is seriously strained. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a look at Berry’s career in pictures.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Goro Miyazaki‘s From Up On Poppy Hill, an animated drama about a teenage girl attempting to save a local hangout from demolition, is at 86 percent.
  • Reality, a dark comedy about a blue-collar guy whose world is turned upside down when he appears on a Big Brother-esque reality show, is at 78 percent.
  • Spring Breakers, starring Selena Gomez and James Franco in a thriller about a group of college girls who get into trouble with a gangster while partying in Florida, is at 77 percent.
  • My Amityville Horror, a documentary in which one of the residents of the famous house tells his story, is at 70 percent.
  • Upside Down, starring Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess in a sci-fi drama about a love affair separated by time, space, and politics, is at 33 percent.
  • Reincarnated, a documentary about Snoop Dogg‘s travels in Jamaica, is at 10 percent.
  • K-11, a thriller about a man locked in a brutal corner of the L.A. County Jail, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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