Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Charlotte's Web" Is Good, Indeed; Smith Is Strong, "Pursuit" Less So; "Eragon" Gets Burned

by | December 14, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a barnyard full of talking animals ("Charlotte’s Web," starring Dakota Fanning and the voices of Julia Roberts and Robert Redford), a real-life rags-to-riches story ("The Pursuit of Happyness," starring Will Smith), and a tale of dragons and swordplay ("Eragon," starring Edward Speleers and Jeremy Irons). What do the critics have to say?

If there’s one thing critics can agree on with "Charlotte’s Web," it’s how much they all loved the children’s novel. If there’s another, it’s how much they like the big screen adaptation, about a bunch of talking farm animals and a pig saved by a very literate spider. Though some feared that the simple story would be modernized with the ironic and brash attitudes afflicting recent kid flicks, the pundits are in awe of the quiet, humble replication of E.B. White’s genteel and distinguished prose. Also, they really like Robert Redford doing the voice of Ike the wussy horse. At 89 percent Tomatometer, this is some movie, indeed.


"How about you and I cruise in my Power Wheels sometime?"

Will Smith has been in pursuit of an Oscar for a while, and with "The Pursuit of Happyness" the critics think this could be where he catches up with the Academy. Smith, as a homeless single father trying to climb the corporate ladder, is garnering widespread praise for his performance, though said praise isn’t quite being doled out upon the film itself. The critics are calling "Happyness" a slick Hallmark card of a movie, a bit too obsessed with the desire to inspire. At 56 percent on the Tomatometer, the critics are split on whether "Happyness" is worth it for Smith’s heartfelt presence alone.


"Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of Periodic Stock Dividends…"

Scribes have posited several excuses as to the overwhelming awfulness of "Eragon" (the movie’s source books were written by a teenager, it’s being directed by a first-timer, etc.), but few critics are terribly forgiving of the derivative plot. "Eragon" spins a tale of a peasant boy (Speleers) who is suddenly entrusted with a dragon and must, with the help of a mentor (Irons), train, grow strong, and defeat an evil emperor. The way the critics describe it, the makers of the "Star Wars"-esque"Eragon" should soon be expecting an annoyed phone call from George Lucas, though the movie’s current nine percent Tomatometer might be insult enough. (At the scene for "Eragon"’s London Premiere was RT-UK’s Joe Utichi; check out his writeup here.


"Wait, what movie are we from again?"

Also playing this week in limited release: Oscar hopeful "Dreamgirls," starring Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy in the tale of a Motown group’s rise and fall, is at 83 percent (check out RT’s interview with co-star Jennifer Hudson here); "The Secret Life of Words," starring Tim Robbins and Sarah Polley in a tale of high drama on an oil rig, is at 80 percent; "Automatons," a zero-budget dystopian sci-fi flick, is at 67 percent; "Breaking and Entering," a story of the tangled webs weaved after a burglary starring Jude Law and Juliette Binoche, is at 48 percent; "The Good German," Steven Soderbergh’s "Casablanca"-esque drama set in post-WWII Berlin starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, is at 26 percent; and "Home of the Brave," about the trials of vets returning home from Iraq starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel, and 50 Cent, is at 15 percent.


"I’m giving the wardrobe guy the evil eye."

Recent Will Smith Movies:
———————————
69% — Hitch (2005)
35% — Shark Tale (2004)
59% — I, Robot (2004)
25% — Bad Boys II (2003)
38% — Men in Black II (2002)

Recent Dakota Fanning Movies:
—————————————
63% — Dreamer (2005)
73% — Nine Lives (2005)
73% — War of the Worlds (2005)
13% — Hide and Seek (2005)
74% — In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)

Tag Cloud

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