Critics Consensus

Bad Boys for Life Is Surprisingly Solid

Plus, Dolittle is bizarre and messy, and Weathering with You is Certified Fresh.

by | January 16, 2020 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a couple of good guys (Bad Boys for Life, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence) and an adventurous doctor (Dolittle, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Michael Sheen). What are the critics saying?

Bad Boys for Life (2020) 77%

Nobody asked for another sequel to Bad Boys, the Michael Bay-directed 1995 action hit starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, but somebody got it in their head to do one anyway, and 17 years after the first sequel came out, here we are with another installment. Bad Boys for Life reunites Smith’s suave, playboy Miami detective Mike Lowery with his family-man partner, Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett, after the two have walked their own paths for some time. As they both prepare for retirement, a cartel boss with connections to their past initiates a vendetta against Mike, forcing them to work together alongside a team of younger cops to bring him down. Critics say the new film, helmed by the directorial team of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, improves on the template set by the previous two films, pulling the best elements from them and infusing the story with more heart, and the result is a surprisingly enjoyable ride. The film is somewhat tamer than Bay’s typical macho posturing and wanton destruction, which is mostly a welcome development, and Smith and Lawrence sizzle on screen together like they haven’t spent the last decade and a half apart. At the end of the day, Bad Boys for Life even had some critics looking forward to another installment, which says a lot for a movie hardly anyone wanted in the first place.

Dolittle (2020) 14%

Writer Hugh Lofting’s Doctor Dolittle character has already been brought to the big screen twice before, most recently by Eddie Murphy, and neither of those efforts wowed the critics; this week’s Dolittle doesn’t seem likely to buck that trend. In his first post-MCU role, Robert Downey Jr. stars as the titular veterinarian with the power to communicate with animals, who is grieving the loss of his explorer wife when two children pay him a visit. One (Harry Collett) wants to become his apprentice, while the other (Carmel Laniado) is a lady in waiting to the Queen who hopes to enlist his help find an antidote to the poison the Queen has ingested. Together, the three of them embark on a journey with a gaggle of animals voiced by the likes of Emma Thompson, John Cena, Selena Gomez, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, Ralph Fiennes, and a litany of other A-listers, while Michael Sheen, Antonio Banderas, and Jim Broadbent make up a trio of adversaries who stand in their way. Unfortunately, all that star power doesn’t seem to have made a difference, as critics say Dolittle is a joyless, misguided, bizarrely directed adventure that largely wastes its talented cast and its special effects budget. It’s not particularly funny or clever, its tone is unfocused, and for his part, Robert Downey Jr. seems unsure of what he’s trying to accomplish with the character. All the CGI animal sidekicks may be enough to keep the youngest viewers engaged, but there may be little else to appeal to anyone older.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Weathering with You (2020)Makoto Shinkai’s latest animated film, about a teen who meets a girl who has the power to control the weather, is Certified Fresh at 95%.
  • Feedback (2020) , about a late night radio host whose live show is interrupted by a pair of armed men with a secret agenda, is at 77%.
  • The Wave (2020) , starring Justin Long in a sci-fi comedy about a man on vacation who undergoes a psychedelic journey after tripping on hallucinogens, is at 56%.
  • Disturbing the Peace (2020) , starring Guy Pearce in a thriller about a U.S. Marshal living in small-town Texas who takes on a biker gang, is at 0%.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

romantic comedy talk show Academy Awards DGA FOX anime OWN Cannes strong female leads political drama Action witnail Valentine's Day miniseries Tumblr 2015 blaxploitation psycho screen actors guild Stephen King Shudder See It Skip It discovery stand-up comedy GIFs ESPN Disney streaming service jamie lee curtis Epix werewolf based on movie TIFF period drama Freeform Avengers Disney Channel Pop screenings Calendar canceled TV shows Columbia Pictures dceu The CW Comic Book Lifetime LGBTQ teaser elevated horror cancelled TV shows Countdown video Spring TV WarnerMedia Drama sequel Interview movie Pixar Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt travel cancelled Year in Review spanish language PaleyFest Heroines docudrama ghosts Song of Ice and Fire anthology true crime vampires SXSW Fantasy Nat Geo hist Endgame documentary unscripted TNT nature Music Creative Arts Emmys finale CNN Fox News BET boxoffice Summer TCA 2017 Photos American Society of Cinematographers Hulu Premiere Dates psychological thriller IFC GLAAD Acorn TV Emmys series game show toy story award winner YouTube Red NYCC harry potter Hallmark Christmas movies crime spider-man USA Holiday versus children's TV CBS Animation Opinion mockumentary Universal DC Universe Lifetime Christmas movies justice league Syfy Grammys Martial Arts USA Network cults Starz Trailer Mary poppins Mary Tyler Moore IFC Films Tubi A&E Nominations sports theme song Mindy Kaling tv talk First Reviews Winter TV Winners Binge Guide Marathons San Diego Comic-Con Hallmark Quiz The Walking Dead Star Wars National Geographic TV Nickelodeon CBS All Access MTV Western History Holidays 2016 Set visit revenge binge Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Rocky Certified Fresh Superheroes Pride Month First Look RT History Apple TV+ Polls and Games romance doctor who The Purge Sci-Fi medical drama X-Men MCU E3 Peacock 007 war Crackle ratings OneApp Horror Bravo biography rotten movies we love cartoon Disney Plus Ellie Kemper spinoff movies Star Trek Extras BBC TCA Winter 2020 2018 science fiction adventure adaptation Film Festival zero dark thirty politics Trophy Talk Arrowverse President Marvel Studios Podcast LGBT Women's History Month Rock casting cancelled TV series Ovation Pirates VH1 Reality hispanic game of thrones Watching Series Turner blockbuster Showtime TCM 21st Century Fox Paramount Network disaster Sundance Now aliens VICE ABC joker The Arrangement golden globes TV Land animated Tomatazos Anna Paquin GoT Best and Worst cooking south america Mystery Food Network Writers Guild of America dogs ABC Family Sneak Peek Shondaland Masterpiece Disney natural history PBS 2019 Spike Netflix Mudbound comics social media Warner Bros. cancelled television cops cats Cartoon Network Elton John SDCC independent book Black Mirror transformers festivals streaming Red Carpet batman cinemax Television Academy Crunchyroll FXX Chernobyl Vudu foreign quibi comic Awards Tour BBC America indie 24 frames DC streaming service Netflix Christmas movies Baby Yoda YouTube Disney+ Disney Plus Captain marvel Apple TV Plus 45 slashers Toys Amazon Prime Reality Competition Marvel crossover Biopics name the review Apple Family TLC historical drama FX dragons comiccon space Video Games singing competition green book 2020 YouTube Premium Election Mary Poppins Returns Adult Swim TV renewals crime drama Awards Character Guide TCA directors Fall TV Sundance TV The Witch cars Super Bowl Comics on TV Spectrum Originals Logo canceled Film police drama dc DC Comics TBS spy thriller ITV robots thriller Oscars Classic Film Rocketman reboot AMC Tarantino spain Paramount television NBC Cosplay Infographic sitcom facebook Pet Sematary christmas movies RT21 CW Seed Rom-Com 71st Emmy Awards WGN Lionsgate Sundance Discovery Channel dramedy E! Britbox Schedule Dark Horse Comics Amazon Studios zombies Emmy Nominations Teen El Rey Thanksgiving Marvel Television kids Walt Disney Pictures Ghostbusters what to watch Lucasfilm Amazon diversity zombie serial killer APB mutant Musicals A24 free movies Amazon Prime Video composers Country HBO Trivia New York Comic Con 20th Century Fox Brie Larson richard e. Grant Esquire CMT Superheroe Turner Classic Movies Sony Pictures MSNBC breaking bad Box Office DirecTV sag awards renewed TV shows crime thriller Christmas Kids & Family Comedy HBO Max halloween supernatural Comedy Central latino technology YA Musical 2017 SundanceTV TruTV