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

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