Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: A Weak "Sentinel," So-So "Dreamz" Are Made Of This, "Silent Hill" Not Screened

by | April 20, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies we’ve got a Secret Service agent on a mission ("The Sentinel"), an "American Idol"- skewering political satire ("American Dreamz") and a very creepy town ("Silent Hill"). What do the critics have to say?

A Secret Service agent is determined to save the president from an assassination attempt. It’s a setup that has worked successfully before ("In the Line of Fire"), but critics say "The Sentinel" isn’t sharp enough to make good on its premise. Michael Douglas stars as the agent who falls into a web of intrigue, and Kiefer Sutherland, who’s getting pretty good at foiling conspiracies, plays his protege. Critics say the film is slick, but a bit too convoluted to really work. At 26 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Sentinel" is not very well-fortified.

What is "American Dreamz?" Is it a comedy? A satire? An ambitious attempt to capture the zeitgeist of our politically divided, entertainment-craving times? More to the point, is Paul Weitz‘s latest any good? In parts, the critics say, but not as a whole. "American Dreamz" tells the story of a recently re-elected, now intellectually curious president (Dennis Quaid) who makes a guest appearance on a popular TV singing competition where would-be songbirds and would-be terrorists convene. The critics say "American Dreamz" is a bit too ambitious for its own good, and lacks the sharp bite to really work as satire. At 38 percent on the Tomatometer, this one may not be the stuff that "Dreamz" are made of.

We’re guessing that the people behind "Silent Hill" would consider the little girl on the poster to be the perfect movie critic for one reason: she’s got no mouth. And there isn’t anything for the critics to say, because, like a bunch of other movies this year (all of which have turned out to be critical duds), "Silent Hill" was not screened for the scribes. Kids, you know what that means: Guess the Tomatometer! And while you’re at it, get a glimpse of the film in the Rotten Tomatoes’ "Silent Hill" photo gallery.

Recent Michael Douglas Movies:
37% — The In-Laws (2003)
29% — It Runs in the Family (2003)
23% — Don’t Say a Word (2001)
32% — One Night at McCool’s (2001)
83% — Wonder Boys (2000)

Recent Paul Weitz Movies:
82% — In Good Company (2004)
94% — About a Boy (2002)
17% — Down to Earth (2001)
60% — American Pie (1999)