Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Brave One Isn't Tops, Mr. Woodcock is Flaccid, Hunting Party is Busted

And guess Dragon Wars' Tomatometer!

by | September 13, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got vigilantes (The Brave One, starring
Jodie Foster), gym teachers (Mr. Woodcock, starring
Billy Bob Thornton and
Susan Sarandon), war correspondents (The Hunting Party, starring
Richard Gere and
Terrence Howard), and
flying menaces (Dragon Wars, starring
Jason
Behr
). What do the critics have to say?

In Taxi Driver,
Robert DeNiro played a cabbie that went on a killing
spree to "protect" a teenage hooker played by Jodie Foster. Now, with
The Brave One, it’s Foster’s turn to take the law into her own hands. She plays
a talk radio host whose significant other is killed in a random attack,
triggering an impulse to arm herself and "avenge" her husband’s killing.
Terrence Howard plays a detective who’s on the trail of this vigilante. Critics
say The Brave One‘s an-eye-for-an-eye message is problematic, but the
material is slightly elevated by
Neil Jordan‘s direction and strong performances from Foster
and Howard. At 43 percent on the Tomatometer, Brave may not be one to watch.
(Check out our review from the Toronto Film Festival

here
.)




"Hi, can you guys tell me where the frozen banana stand is?"


Some couldn’t climb a rope, others got pelted with dodge balls: It’s safe to say
a lot of us have negative associations with gym class, the most Darwinian of
middle school educational pursuits.
Mr. Woodcock
taps into that feeling,
but not quite successfully, say the pundits. The movie stars
Seann William Scott
as a self-help author who’s never quite gotten over the ritual abuse he suffered
at the hands of his P.E. teacher, the sadistic Mr. Woodcock (Billy Bob
Thornton); the trauma continues when he learns his mom (Susan Sarandon) is
dating his old nemesis. Critics say Woodcock lacks the energy to make the
most of its intriguing premise, and underutilizes a talented cast. At 18 percent
on the Tomatometer, Mr. Woodcock isn’t in very good shape.




"Remember when I gave your son an atomic wedgie in the locker
room?"


The Hunting Party
tells the story of two veteran war correspondents
(Richard Gere and Terrence Howard) on the trail of a Bosnian war criminal — and
the story that could make their careers. The Hunting Party isn’t the
first movie to attempt to mine bleak humor from the Bosnian conflict (the
Oscar-winning No Man’s Land also found some grim laughs in the midst of
that bitter war). But critics say director
Richard Shepard‘s follow-up to
The
Matador
is awkward at a tonal level, shifting from dark satire to serious
discussions of international politics to create an uneven film, despite the best
efforts of its game leads. At 46 percent, this Party isn’t quite as
swinging as it should be. (Check out our interview with Shepard

here
.)



Don’t hold your breath for this one.


Far be it from us to question the collective taste of the good folks in South
Korea. It’s just that Dragon Wars, which made out like gangbusters at the
Korean box office, wasn’t screened for critics in the U.S. of A. Dragon
Wars
tells the story of a TV reporter (Jason Behr) who discovers that
earthquakes around Los Angeles are not the work of plate tectonics but a dragon
possessed with the spirit of a 500-year-old warrior. No, it’s not a documentary.
Yes, you should attempt to Guess the Tomatometer.

Also opening this week in limited release:
The Great World of Sound,
a
drama about a pair of traveling music producers, is at 82 percent;
Forever
,
a documentary about Paris’s famed Pere-Lachaise cemetery, is at 80 percent;
David
Cronenberg
‘s
Eastern Promises
, starring
Viggo Mortensen as a member
of London’s underworld, is at 79 percent (check out our interview with Cronenberg and Mortensen
here);
King of California, starring
Michael
Douglas
and
Evan Rachel Wood as a father and daughter on a quest for gold, is at
75 percent; Paul Haggis
In the Valley of Elah, starring
Tommy Lee Jones
and Charlize Theron, about a war vet’s search for his missing son who recently
returned from Iraq, is at 63 percent;
Ira & Abby
, a rom-com about a
whirlwind courtship that takes a dark turn, is at 50 percent;
Across the
Universe
,
Julie Taymor‘s ambitions musical that chronicles the 1960s through
the music of the Beatles, is at 45 percent (check out our Beatles movie feature
here);
December Boys, a story of orphaned teenagers in Australia starring
Daniel Radcliffe, is at 43 percent; and
Silk, a period romance starring
Keira Knightley and Michael Pitt, is at zero percent.




"Who are we?" "The Wildcats!" "Who are we gonna beat?" "The
Wildcats!"


Recent Jodie Foster Movies:
————————————
87% — Inside Man (2006)
38% — Flightplan (2005)
77% — A Very Long Engagement (2004)
76% — Panic Room (2002)
51% — Anna and the King (1999)

Recent Billy Bob Thornton Movies:
——————————————-
59% — The Astronaut Farmer (2007)
25% — School for Scoundrels (2006)
45% — The Ice Harvest (2005)
46% — Bad News Bears (2005)
79% — Chrystal (2004)

Tag Cloud

blockbuster Best Director Emmy Nominations Pirates halloween sequels Food Network Interview cancelled television ratings french Fox Searchlight Ellie Kemper anime summer preview Mary poppins Showtime Prime Video Mystery tv talk biopic romance ESPN know your critic Legendary Lucasfilm 2019 scary slasher mockumentary Esquire Rocky Logo international WarnerMedia Horror GIFs YouTube Red Certified Fresh 2018 spider-man heist movie kaiju TV renewals Western strong female leads OWN DirecTV transformers Trailer festival Amazon Prime Video Holidays Hallmark Christmas movies 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards medical drama Film Festival Disney Plus sports zombies Martial Arts Best Actress action-comedy romantic comedy Peacock Broadway spanish mutant green book documentaries The Walking Dead scene in color series Bravo technology Comedy Video Games Geeked Week Star Wars Celebration SXSW 2022 AMC Plus scary movies biography rt labs superhero prank Cosplay Writers Guild of America ghosts FOX BBC One Cartoon Network Film Character Guide golden globe awards Academy Awards serial killer zombie ITV Pride Month Sneak Peek Elton John suspense south america jurassic park The Witch boxoffice cars fast and furious 90s 72 Emmy Awards diversity natural history Binge Guide Netflix Christmas movies Turner Classic Movies Fox News Election Freeform Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt SXSW Apple TV Plus Paramount Network Fargo rom-coms Podcast Pop 94th Oscars remakes TCA 2017 Black History Month USA rt archives dogs BET Columbia Pictures Countdown VH1 crime thriller superman comiccon Teen Pixar olympics movies cinemax AMC PlayStation spy thriller twilight Amazon Studios Television Critics Association king arthur documentary adaptation game of thrones Comic-Con@Home 2021 Hulu TNT singing competition gangster target Valentine's Day Native Musicals Oscar Paramount BET Awards Action royal family quibi Britbox comic book movies PaleyFest Chernobyl werewolf Awards Tour CBS TCA comedies Mary Tyler Moore SDCC DC Comics LGBTQ 73rd Emmy Awards rotten Starz GLAAD 4/20 Travel Channel monster movies MGM Classic Film TV FX crime Biopics japan deadpool History Instagram Live Calendar canceled TV shows comics period drama MTV king kong TBS Tarantino films Superheroe comic books foreign BBC 45 Tubi Epix CMT A&E book adaptation 24 frames Country blaxploitation australia Brie Larson Funimation Cannes Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Disney Channel rt labs critics edition A24 independent satire San Diego Comic-Con spanish language legend Tomatazos crime drama USA Network travel sopranos HBO Go GoT obituary franchise chucky high school book Best and Worst Marathons child's play indie a nightmare on elm street BAFTA ABC Family 2015 99% political drama Red Carpet new star wars movies video on demand obi wan 2017 dark Superheroes criterion YA 93rd Oscars basketball politics Arrowverse NBC richard e. Grant mission: impossible spider-verse Set visit TruTV aapi SundanceTV CW Seed Alien hidden camera versus zero dark thirty feel good social media Crunchyroll Black Mirror Dark Horse Comics IMDb TV TLC DC streaming service Opinion talk show Oscars CNN boxing spain live action APB trophy golden globes NYCC wonder woman 71st Emmy Awards Exclusive Video Premiere Dates TCM National Geographic Nickelodeon Creative Arts Emmys adenture Trivia Best Picture news docudrama Pop TV Best Actor thriller Lifetime justice league CBS All Access The Arrangement Warner Bros. black binge comic book movie Star Wars Toys venice critics composers Disney streaming service The Academy psychological thriller Thanksgiving police drama new york vs. marvel comics stand-up comedy archives 007 art house series blockbusters 2016 pirates of the caribbean ABC Signature BBC America kong Sony Pictures directors Turner Neflix Hollywood Foreign Press Association Captain marvel LGBT 2021 stoner cats OneApp DGA indiana jones Netflix space Comics on TV all-time interviews Amazon scene in color Tumblr Fantasy Paramount Pictures kids award winner worst Marvel Studios Spectrum Originals Hallmark universal monsters Drama Women's History Month RT21 disaster IFC robots Spring TV elevated horror popular witnail vampires Disney Masterpiece Christmas Family Comic Book Ovation italian breaking bad ViacomCBS TV One concert IFC Films black comedy HBO spinoff mcc American Society of Cinematographers Discovery Channel Extras cartoon doctor who ID Trophy Talk asian-american Rom-Com RT History free movies halloween tv video revenge Sundance Polls and Games debate scorecard dreamworks New York Comic Con The Purge Pet Sematary sequel anthology TV movies summer TV preview WGN Avengers lord of the rings DC Universe Fall TV YouTube E3 Television Academy Sci-Fi supernatural docuseries See It Skip It FX on Hulu Awards TCA Awards TCA Winter 2020 VOD parents unscripted Anna Paquin name the review Vudu sag awards Sony cancelled TV series television hist Animation Schedule women PBS Marvel Television MSNBC Hear Us Out live event nature dexter batman scene in color film series worst movies Super Bowl TIFF discovery Lionsgate cults The Walt Disney Company Shondaland HFPA sitcom Year in Review toy story Baby Yoda Emmys The CW HBO Max Tokyo Olympics young adult toronto mob what to watch screen actors guild ABC razzies children's TV teaser joker TV Land Walt Disney Pictures nbcuniversal Spike festivals game show Reality Competition MCU X-Men Grammys streaming movies Paramount Plus Adult Swim movie Nominations Nat Geo NBA E! football Mary Poppins Returns Infographic cops Wes Anderson Winter TV canceled South by Southwest Film Festival First Reviews Focus Features streamig Summer latino YouTube Premium Stephen King slashers nfl aliens japanese theme song Shudder Heroines genre leaderboard Lifetime Christmas movies animated VICE President 79th Golden Globes Awards rotten movies we love summer TV Acorn TV trailers james bond harry potter facebook new zealand posters hollywood laika emmy awards 21st Century Fox Ghostbusters Watching Series screenings classics cancelled Disney+ Disney Plus Syfy Mudbound Holiday Universal die hard hispanic adventure dramedy finale reboot Crackle renewed TV shows marvel cinematic universe crossover Song of Ice and Fire critic resources El Rey Music 2020 Quiz Apple TV+ dragons Mindy Kaling psycho Kids & Family Winners miniseries Apple based on movie dceu Universal Pictures Tags: Comedy fresh Indigenous Pacific Islander historical drama christmas movies Image Comics godzilla best Rock jamie lee curtis science fiction telelvision Amazon Prime Sundance Now cooking saw reviews hispanic heritage month 20th Century Fox Musical Sundance TV casting comic FXX target scene in color cancelled TV shows Rocketman true crime war First Look broadcast 1990s dc Marvel stop motion Comedy Central Reality streaming Endgame Box Office Star Trek Photos