Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Dreamgirls" Hits The High Notes; "Black Christmas" Gets A Lump Of Coal

by | December 28, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the rise and fall of a girl group ("Dreamgirls," starring Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, and Eddie Murphy) and some yuletide splatter ("Black Christmas," starring Michelle Trachtenberg). What do the critics have to say?

At the height of its powers, Motown was described by label head Berry Gordy as "the sound of young America." "Dreamgirls" is a musical about a fictional (but loosely based upon the Supremes) girl group’s rise and fall during the heady days when black pop first became the soundtrack for kids across the racial divide. An early Oscar favorite, "Dreamgirls" largely lives up to the hype, according to the pundits, with quality songs and strong performances from Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and especially "American Idol" castoff Jennifer Hudson. At 77 percent on the Tomatometer, "Dreamgirls" is Certified Fresh.

Eddie Murphy gets on up, like a sex machine…RIP James Brown.

Ah, the holiday season: a time for reflection, goodwill toward others… and piles of dead sorority girls. Nothing makes spirits bright quite like a remake of the 1975 proto-slasher "Black Christmas," which wasn’t screened for critics before hitting theaters on (surprise!) Christmas day. Well, since it opened, a few reviews have trickled in, and they’re not very nice. The plot: a group of sisters trapped inside a sorority house are picked off one-by-one by a prank-calling madman. While some critics say the film has flashes of sick wit, others say it’s too generic and too short on tension to generate scares. At 15 percent on the Tomatometer, "Black Christmas" is on the critics’ "naughty" list.

"Black Christmas": Far more sinister than your average panty raid.

Also opening this week in limited release: the Spanish period comedy "Unconscious" is at 100 percent; Guillermo Del Toro‘s eerie magic realist fantasy "Pan’s Labyrinth" is at 98 percent; "Children of Men," Alfonso Cuaron‘s dystopian sci-fi actioner starring Clive Owen, is at 94 percent; "Notes on a Scandal," a cat-and-mouse thriller starring Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench, is at 82 percent; "Miss Potter," which explores the inner life of children’s author Beatrix Potter and stars Renee Zellweger, is at 71 percent; "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer," Tom Tykwer‘s visually sumptuous serial killer film, is at 58 percent; and "The Dead Girl," a dark, multipart drama starring Toni Collette and Brittany Murphy, is at 50 percent.

Nothing says holiday cheer like a Spanish-language Freudian period sex comedy!

Recent Film Musicals:

50% — Tenacious D: In the Pick of Destiny (2006)
48% — Rent (2005)
88% — Chicago (2002)
77% — Moulin Rouge (2001)
93% — Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

Recent Horror Remakes:
14% — The Wicker Man (2006)
13% — Pulse (2006)
27% — The Omen (2006)
48% — The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
10% — When a Stranger Calls (2006)

Tag Cloud

Baby Yoda Pop cancelled TV series See It Skip It AMC all-time fast and furious renewed TV shows WGN Netflix Starz dceu dc rotten political drama Academy Awards superhero finale Marvel Television BET Awards anthology Lionsgate PBS Quiz Comedy Central spider-man police drama aliens Hear Us Out MSNBC discovery halloween breaking bad Film supernatural thriller zero dark thirty Reality Tubi Pixar TLC nbcuniversal TV Land revenge Oscars cartoon LGBTQ game show Anna Paquin ITV Britbox HBO Dark Horse Comics 007 Apple TV+ Disney Channel 2016 Toys ESPN Song of Ice and Fire Trailer reboot Rock Hallmark doctor who science fiction game of thrones elevated horror harry potter 2017 cops free movies Horror Paramount Network Syfy Superheroes DC Comics documentaries MCU Pride Month Ovation El Rey criterion scary movies true crime Amazon Prime Vudu movie YouTube Paramount universal monsters Hallmark Christmas movies indiana jones Shudder Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Character Guide anime Avengers Disney Spectrum Originals X-Men series award winner Food Network FX on Hulu stand-up comedy singing competition asian-american Black History Month FOX ABC Family Calendar Premiere Dates Creative Arts Emmys comics Shondaland critics Chernobyl The Witch video Animation TCA Awards Hulu Best and Worst dragons Endgame Sci-Fi Acorn TV Podcast Television Academy Film Festival richard e. Grant witnail Countdown USA Network Christmas Funimation dogs nature laika GIFs Action Warner Bros. Musicals toy story BET canceled TV shows adventure foreign cancelled television docudrama book Trophy Talk VH1 worst Musical mission: impossible 2015 CNN Sundance TV APB VICE mockumentary Columbia Pictures spanish language jamie lee curtis Elton John GoT Heroines concert Marvel Video Games Rocky Mary Poppins Returns Walt Disney Pictures historical drama football Fox News Amazon Prime Video psycho Awards children's TV diversity documentary NYCC YouTube Red First Reviews Freeform Infographic Logo Mary Tyler Moore DGA Showtime Rocketman south america Pop TV Spring TV indie DirecTV FXX TCA Winter 2020 ABC TruTV spinoff Discovery Channel crossover Winter TV Reality Competition Watching Series golden globes Polls and Games Pet Sematary comiccon E! Women's History Month politics unscripted Valentine's Day PaleyFest Election IFC Films kids Tumblr theme song BBC One Sundance Now child's play talk show Holidays Universal comic National Geographic CBS All Access Emmy Nominations Peacock IFC Marvel Studios mutant sag awards romance streaming 71st Emmy Awards Year in Review cats zombie History Nickelodeon animated movies reviews Winners YA Box Office boxoffice best Cartoon Network strong female leads Certified Fresh Emmys YouTube Premium Classic Film Comedy binge Writers Guild of America Apple TV Plus cooking Red Carpet Mary poppins transformers satire Spike parents SDCC Bravo Apple Grammys 24 frames dark Epix Drama Lifetime BBC America Disney Plus Sony Pictures war VOD Brie Larson Marathons what to watch hollywood Music werewolf Tomatazos Black Mirror Television Critics Association Ellie Kemper venice space Sneak Peek die hard Mystery The Arrangement 4/20 scorecard video on demand Family a nightmare on elm street tv talk CBS disaster festival twilight San Diego Comic-Con Star Trek Nat Geo Lifetime Christmas movies ratings 2020 Disney streaming service TCM 2019 Mindy Kaling Travel Channel TBS Teen blockbuster Superheroe Kids & Family The Purge biography The Walking Dead travel green book TV USA SundanceTV Turner Classic Movies latino A&E Opinion Pirates crime obituary A24 screenings comedies nfl BBC batman vampires PlayStation Sundance festivals Rom-Com facebook sequel MTV canceled chucky adaptation Cannes psychological thriller Lucasfilm screen actors guild President Biopics Star Wars stop motion Mudbound ghosts directors E3 romantic comedy Interview cinemax 20th Century Fox zombies franchise Crunchyroll DC Universe OWN sports films natural history HBO Max Super Bowl TNT RT History period drama Country toronto Ghostbusters GLAAD Amazon Amazon Studios Turner slashers Binge Guide Nominations Awards Tour BAFTA spain Thanksgiving Western blaxploitation Crackle American Society of Cinematographers Comics on TV name the review sitcom Stephen King CW Seed OneApp Comic Book Summer emmy awards Holiday Schedule serial killer Masterpiece Trivia Esquire Fall TV miniseries quibi robots classics 72 Emmy Awards technology HBO Go news hispanic cancelled TV shows crime thriller Captain marvel rotten movies we love independent joker Photos remakes TCA Extras TCA 2017 SXSW WarnerMedia NBC hist FX 2018 composers based on movie Adult Swim First Look dramedy Chilling Adventures of Sabrina teaser Cosplay Set visit The CW Martial Arts stoner Fantasy worst movies social media 45 Tarantino Netflix Christmas movies TV renewals spy thriller DC streaming service TIFF Disney+ Disney Plus justice league CMT christmas movies medical drama New York Comic Con television sequels cults LGBT cancelled versus 21st Century Fox casting RT21 cars crime drama Arrowverse