Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Evan Almighty" Is All Wet; "1408" Is Worth A Visit; Jolie Shines In "A Mighty Heart"

by | June 21, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got Steve Carell and Morgan Freeman in the big-budget Bible comedy "Evan Almighty"; John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson in the haunted house thriller "1408"; and Angelina Jolie in "A Mighty Heart," based on the memoir by reporter Daniel Pearl’s widow. What do the critics have to say?

At a budget in the ballpark of $175 million, "Evan Almighty" is said to be the most expensive comedy ever made. But judging from the critical reaction thus far, the filmmakers would have been wise to check out the Book of Proverbs: "Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint." A spinoff from the 2003 Jim Carrey vehicle "Bruce Almighty," Steve Carell stars as Evan, a TV anchor-turned-congressman who is told by the Lord (an aptly cast Morgan Freeman) to build an ark, much to the befuddlement of his family and constituents. Carell is one of the funniest men on the planet, but critics say that in "Evan" he’s mostly reduced to mugging, overwhelmed by costly but mediocre special effects. Pundits also note the scatological humor is a little extensive for a family film, and the usually dependable Freeman and Wanda Sykes are underutilized. At 22 percent on the Tomatometer, "Evan" is out to sea; it’s not even up to "Bruce Almighty"’s 49 percent standard.

When it comes to ark-building, Evan can’t wait.

For those of you out there who dig horror movies but prefer spooky atmosphere and suspense to buckets of blood, you’re in luck. In "1408," John Cusack plays a troubled writer who’s made a career of debunking the supernatural; for his latest, he sets out to spend one night each in 10 "haunted" hotel rooms. Bad idea, says Samuel L. Jackson, who plays the manager of the notorious Dolphin Hotel, since no one has survived the curse of room 1408. Pundits say the film, based upon a story by Stephen King, is an old-school chiller in the best possible way, featuring effective scares and outstanding performances from Cusack and Jackson. At 88 percent on the Tomatometer, "1408" is one hot little number.

"Hello, turndown? I am definitely disturbed right now."

Lost in the tabloid hubbub surrounding Angelina Jolie is the fact that she’s never less than an interesting actress. Playing Mariane Pearl, wife of the slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, critics say she’s at the top of her game. Based upon Mariane Pearl’s book of the same name, "A Mighty Heart" recounts the frantic search for her husband following his capture at the hands of militants in Pakistan. Pundits say director Michael Winterbottom has crafted a sharp, worthy film about a difficult subject, and Jolie conveys the full emotional range of a woman in a desperate situation. At 78 percent on the Tomatometer, "Heart" is mighty, indeed. (Check out RT’s interview with Winterbottom here.)

A rare peaceful moment from "A Mighty Heart."

Also opening this week in limited release: "White Palms," a heartfelt drama about the conflict between a star gymnast and his coach, is at 100 percent; "Sicko," Micahel Moore’s polemic on the American health care system, is at 88 percent on the Tomatometer (check out RT’s review from Cannes); "Colma: The Musical," a low-budget, well-sung tribute to the San Francisco suburb, is at 88 percent; "Black Sheep," a grisly horror/comedy about a bunch of rabid rams and ewes, is at 83 percent; the German import "Longing," a delicate chamber drama, is at 78 percent; "Lady Chatterley," a lyrical take on D.H. Lawrence’s erotic classic, is at 77 percent; "You Kill Me," a comedy about contract killers starring Ben Kingsley and Tea Leoni, is at 76 percent; and "Broken English," a drama about a young woman looking for love starring Parker Posey, is at 56 percent (check out RT’s review from Sundance).

"…Ever watch ‘Before Sunset?’"

Recent Steve Carell Movies:
73% — Over the Hedge (2006)
92% — Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
83% — The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
24% — Bewitched (2005)
51% — Melinda and Melinda (2005)

Recent Angelina Jolie Movies:
56% — The Good Shepherd (2006)
59% — Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
16% — Alexander (2004)
34% — Shark Tale (2004)
74% — Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)

Recent John Cusack Movies:
71% — Grace is Gone (2007)
45% — The Ice Harvest (2005)
36% — Must Love Dogs (2005)
72% — Runaway Jury (2003)
63% — Identity (2003)

Tag Cloud

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