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

35%

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

35%

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

38%

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

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