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

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