Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Transformers: Dark of the Moon is Less Than Meets the Eye

Plus, Larry Crowne and Monte Carlo succumb to predictability.

by | June 30, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got robots in disguise (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, starring Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), a recession romance (Larry Crowne, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts), and a royal mix-up (Monte Carlo, starring Selena Gomez and Leighton Meester). What do the critics have to say?

Transformers: Dark of the Moon


Three films into the franchise, we pretty much know what we’re getting with a Transformers movie: tons of hyperkinetic robot action, with little in the way of character development or coherent plotting. So it is with Transformers: Dark of the Moon; critics say this latest installment is a marked improvement over Revenge of the Fallen, but it’s still an exercise in sensory overload that favors special effects over storytelling. This time out, the Autobots and Decepticons are both gunning for the remains of Sentinel Prime, which were discovered on the moon and contain important secrets; as usual, the Autobots’ buddy Sam (Shia LaBeouf) finds himself in the line of fire. The pundits say Transformers: Dark of the Moon has admittedly impressive special effects and a few solid action sequences, but the whole thing becomes numbing after a while – it’s just spectacle, with few (if any) compelling characters, a manufactured product that impresses with sheer bombast but stretches its thin plot way past the breaking point.

Larry Crowne


Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts are two of the biggest movie stars we have, so it’s fair to assume that any film with both of them is going to be pretty good, right? Well, not necessarily. Critics say despite the stars’ relaxed, easy chemistry, Larry Crowne is surprisingly bland and conventional. Hanks stars as a middle-aged Navy vet who loses his job and decides to enroll in community college. There he becomes a motor scooter enthusiast and starts a relationship with one of the school’s professors. Hanks and Roberts were terrific together in Charlie Wilson’s War (and Hanks won high praise for his previous directorial outing, That Thing You Do!), but the pundits say Larry Crowne is remarkably generic and inauthentic, a pleasant trifle that brings smiles from time to time but never hums with dramatic urgency or l’amour fou. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Hanks’s best-reviewed movies.)

Monte Carlo


There’s nothing wrong with movies about wish fulfillment — heck, that’s one of the main things that draws us to the theater. But you have to do more than just surround your protagonists with riches, and critics say Monte Carlo misses plenty of opportunities to explore beyond its premise, though it’s got its charms, thanks to some decent performances and overall good spirits. Selena Gomez and Leighton Meester star as vacationers who get mistaken for royalty, and soon, their dull European vacation becomes a luxurious, whirlwind tour of the continent. But what will happen when our heroines get found out? The pundits say Monte Carlo is decent tween fare, but it’s silly, predictable stuff that never pushes the boundaries of its formula.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Crime After Crime, a documentary about a woman’s long legal battle after a murder sentence many felt was unjust, is at 100 percent.
  • Delhi Belly, a Bollywood comedy about three average dudes who find themselves in the crosshairs of a crime boss, is at 80 percent.
  • Terri, starring John C. Reilly in a comedy about a teen misfit who befriends his school’s vice principal, is at 73 percent.
  • The Romanian import Aurora, a murder mystery that painstakingly examines a killer’s psyche, is at 71 percent.
  • The Perfect Host, starring David Hyde Pierce in a psychological thriller about a wanted bank robber who crashes a dinner party, is at 41 percent.
  • Love Etc., a doc about five New York couples and the complexities of their romantic relationships, is at 38 percent.

Tag Cloud

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