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
). 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


"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

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
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


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
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,
drama about a pair of traveling music producers, is at 82 percent;
a documentary about Paris’s famed Pere-Lachaise cemetery, is at 80 percent;
Eastern Promises
, starring
Viggo Mortensen as a member
of London’s underworld, is at 79 percent (check out our interview with Cronenberg and Mortensen
King of California, starring
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
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
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

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

Marvel Comic Book Tumblr Lionsgate USA Disney Rock SDCC serial killer Character Guide dc The CW Toys The Arrangement IFC Fantasy CBS All Access Set visit TCM PBS Freeform 21st Century Fox Winners Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt VICE discovery 20th Century Fox Showtime Musical CMT biography Winter TV Logo TruTV Star Wars war FXX festivals Sneak Peek Premiere Dates Comedy Central Crackle Super Bowl Pixar sports Mystery Christmas Nickelodeon Fox News Ellie Kemper Infographic A&E Nominations docudrama 45 ITV Pop ratings comiccon 2015 Podcast Biopics Valentine's Day DC Universe Opinion cults Mary Tyler Moore Holidays Schedule Certified Fresh zombies romance Rocky Universal Election diversity CNN talk show cinemax Netflix APB travel cooking dceu DirecTV History ABC VH1 BBC IFC Films Music Rom-Com Sundance Now Photos Reality Competition OWN Countdown Lucasfilm CBS Lifetime psycho Food Network FX Best and Worst Watching Series Star Trek National Geographic Mindy Kaling Action NYCC 24 frames political drama Spring TV American Society of Cinematographers Drama Sci-Fi 007 Ghostbusters YouTube Red CW Seed historical drama adventure Summer Thanksgiving boxoffice ESPN unscripted TV Land harry potter composers Tomatazos 2017 Nat Geo See It Skip It Trailer Britbox Awards Creative Arts Emmys crossover crime drama technology aliens police drama E! finale Cartoon Network YA Paramount justice league zombie dramedy Musicals Video Games golden globes Amazon Superheroes hist TNT E3 Western TIFF Animation Fall TV Martial Arts Syfy crime Sony Pictures GLAAD Comedy MTV Adult Swim Extras MSNBC Country what to watch 2016 Disney Channel Bravo El Rey Year in Review streaming Grammys GIFs SundanceTV DC Comics spy thriller Interview based on movie Sundance Masterpiece Cosplay Emmys FOX BBC America transformers Warner Bros. Esquire binge Oscars Teen social media Paramount Network AMC WGN Starz LGBTQ crime thriller X-Men Shondaland Acorn TV ABC Family TBS RT History Marathons period drama President Polls and Games USA Network Writers Guild of America Reality Pirates thriller sitcom GoT Calendar TV politics Red Carpet medical drama robots SXSW TCA 2017 supernatural Box Office vampires Spike TLC Superheroe PaleyFest singing competition science fiction Horror HBO NBC First Look Trivia cops Dark Horse Comics TCA BET DC streaming service Hulu cats Kids & Family