Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Game Plan Fumbles, Kingdom is Overthrown, Feast Is Semi-Appetizing, Elah Worth a Visit

What the critics are saying about this week's crop of movies.

by | September 27, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies we have parenting quarterbacks (The
Game Plan
, starring
The Rock),
FBI agents (The
, starring
Jamie Foxx and
), lonely citizens (Feast
of Love
, starring
Greg Kinnear
and Radha
), and one angry father (In
the Valley of Elah
, starring
Tommy Lee
Charlize Theron
).  What speaketh the critics?

After generating middling box office returns for films like
Walking Tall
and The Rundown,
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson takes a career readjustment into comedy.  In
The Game Plan
Johnson plays a high-flying quarterback whose bachelor lifestyle is interrupted
when he’s suddenly confronted with a 7-year-old daughter he never knew he had
from a prior relationship. While some critics are impressed with The Rock’s
charismatic performance, most are exasperated by the movie’s excessively
saccharine tone and formulaic plot that’s stretched to a nearly two hour
runtime. With 33 percent on the Tomatometer, critics are sending The Game
back to the drawing board. (Check out our Total Recall Game Plan

The Rock practices Vulcan mind-melding.

From documentaries like
No End in Sight

and Fahrenheit 9/11
to narrative pieces like
The Situation

and Rendition,
no conflict has gotten as immediate a cinematic response as the one we’re
currently embroiled in.  The latest movie to join the fray:
The Kingdom
starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner about FBI operatives trying to locate
terrorists in the Middle East.  While The Kingdom wants to do good by
exploring the topic of international politics and subterfuge, critics claim that
the drama is manipulative and the film quickly descends into war genre
trappings, treating enemies as generic moving targets.  The Kingdom fails
to accomplish its mission at 46 percent on the Tomatometer.

here’s what would happen if Saudi Arabia doesn’t get enough Nintendo Wiis."

is Illuminated
a few years behind us and
coming up,
the idea of some novels being too complex to be adapted suddenly seems passé. 
Feast of Love,
based on a novel by

Charles Baxter
about a community of people looking for emotional
connections, could also have been deemed too sprawling and multi-faceted to
adapt convincingly.  So while they haven’t found any weak links in the fine
ensemble cast, critics call Feast of Love a hodgepodge of sentimentality
that’s ambitious but fails to go in-depth with its characters. And the film’s
congenial manner, coupled with its total lack of cynicism on love and human
relationships, makes for a pleasant time at the movies, if not a riveting one.
At 56 percent, Feast of Love is for those willing to gorge on romance at
the multiplex.

“Would you believe I have some advice on this matter?”

Ever since being catapulted to the limelight with his
much-discussed Best Picture Oscar win for the racial melodrama
Paul Haggis
has been a divisive figure in the film community.  And his latest directorial
In the Valley of Elah
, doesn’t look to buck the trend. Elah stars
Tommy Lee
as a gravel transporter trying to uncover the mystery the death of his
son, a Marine recently returned from Iraq. Critics say that while some of
Haggis’s themes and symbolic images are heavy-handed, In the Valley of Elah
is an otherwise engrossing murder mystery and profound antiwar statement,
featuring a mesmerizing performance from Jones. With 69 percent on the
Tomatometer, Elah showcases some peak performances. (Check out our review


in this scene, you’re outraged about something. Really outraged. Go with it."

Also opening in limited release:
The Price of
, a documentary about the Dominican Republic’s corrupt sugar
production, is at 86 percent;
, a
comedy about an office drone teaching his replacement in India, is at 85
percent; Lust,
Ang Lee
‘s controversial erotic thriller, is at 79 percent (check out our

The Darjeeling Limited
Wes Anderson‘s
new comedy/drama about three soul-searching brothers, is at 65 percent;
The Man of My Life
a French import about the sexual politics between three neighbors, is at 53
percent; Trade,
a high-minded thriller about the sex trade and human trafficking, is at 20

"Ooo, a MacGuffin."

And, finally, it’s game over for last week’s round of Guess the Tomatometer. m_ioannidis hit it on the nose on guessing Resident Evil: Extinction‘s 26 percent Tomatometer.

Recent Jamie Foxx Movies:
47% — Miami Vice (2006)
78% — Dreamgirls
13% — Stealth (2005)
61% — Jarhead (2005)
71% — Shade (2004)

Wes Anderson Movies:
56% — The
Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
79% — The Royal

86% — Rushmore (1998)
77% — Bottle Rocket (1996)

Tag Cloud

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