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
Kingdom
, starring
Jamie Foxx and
Jennifer
Garner
), lonely citizens (Feast
of Love
, starring
Greg Kinnear
and Radha
Mitchell
), and one angry father (In
the Valley of Elah
, starring
Tommy Lee
Jones
and
Charlize Theron
).  What speaketh the critics?

After generating middling box office returns for films like
Doom,
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
Plan
back to the drawing board. (Check out our Total Recall Game Plan
feature
here
.)
 




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.
 




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


With
Everything
is Illuminated
a few years behind us and
Watchmen
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
Crash
,
Paul Haggis
has been a divisive figure in the film community.  And his latest directorial
effort,
In the Valley of Elah
, doesn’t look to buck the trend. Elah stars
Tommy Lee
Jones
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

here
.)




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


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

here
);
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
percent.




"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
(2006)
13% — Stealth (2005)
61% — Jarhead (2005)
71% — Shade (2004)

Wes Anderson Movies:
——————————————
56% — The
Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
(2004)
79% — The Royal
Tenenbaums

(2001)
86% — Rushmore (1998)
77% — Bottle Rocket (1996)

Tag Cloud

breaking bad police drama Sony Pictures NYCC SXSW robots Year in Review period drama docuseries 71st Emmy Awards italian Turner classics stoner Lucasfilm A&E Box Office animated free movies BBC sag awards Sundance Now name the review Acorn TV docudrama Apple 2015 satire Black Mirror 21st Century Fox spy thriller Mary Poppins Returns Premiere Dates Sneak Peek Holidays Trophy Talk Family Marvel Television Winners LGBT Opinion Amazon Prime Video Film Festival 4/20 spanish language renewed TV shows YouTube Freeform Paramount Network comiccon Martial Arts Thanksgiving halloween canceled E3 SundanceTV Hulu Christmas Hallmark Christmas movies American Society of Cinematographers crime drama science fiction doctor who DirecTV Awards Tour spinoff OneApp golden globe awards kong YouTube Premium elevated horror Lifetime Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Quiz blockbuster 2019 TV renewals fresh CNN reboot Superheroe Cartoon Network Funimation witnail Broadway PlayStation boxing Pride Month Netflix Christmas movies Heroines BET festival 72 Emmy Awards thriller news TV One Shondaland Vudu Spike Pixar true crime Cannes Sci-Fi critics 99% crime IFC TruTV Super Bowl war dramedy game show Britbox nbcuniversal justice league Tubi batman History Endgame Drama MSNBC MTV 93rd Oscars discovery trailers Sundance TV football Comedy best Elton John 24 frames Amazon Prime TCM Tumblr scorecard Awards BBC One zero dark thirty Fox News popular directors Disney Channel El Rey Showtime based on movie monster movies Country romantic comedy versus rotten movies we love canceled TV shows CMT hispanic harry potter PaleyFest VH1 vampires Turner Classic Movies Video Games screen actors guild SDCC laika movie new york ABC Family Tarantino Pop Discovery Channel ABC dragons TV movies scene in color Pet Sematary Rocky dceu jurassic park facebook series prank new star wars movies Amazon australia USA Network psychological thriller TV Land USA diversity First Look serial killer hist worst Ghostbusters Comics on TV Walt Disney Pictures The Arrangement 20th Century Fox Mystery politics Animation WarnerMedia Podcast award winner Fantasy rotten TCA 2017 National Geographic Disney streaming service child's play 2020 Schedule political drama The CW The Purge talk show unscripted travel dogs telelvision twilight LGBTQ screenings Academy Awards Set visit golden globes RT21 festivals Election Polls and Games Mudbound sequels ratings Sundance Bravo Red Carpet cooking sports Mary poppins japanese Spectrum Originals WGN DGA The Walking Dead BAFTA 2021 CBS a nightmare on elm street streaming movies Baby Yoda venice X-Men comedies Star Wars king kong ViacomCBS superman Black History Month YA blockbusters archives historical drama Toys VICE social media Summer Paramount Watching Series TCA Awards razzies all-time cars Film anime cops YouTube Red Certified Fresh Crackle Nickelodeon Best and Worst Spring TV Dark Horse Comics halloween tv book adaptation disaster 2018 Comedy Central foreign VOD Mindy Kaling heist movie Disney romance OWN Ellie Kemper ESPN Countdown Brie Larson The Walt Disney Company cults women anthology Alien binge Avengers Syfy Pacific Islander boxoffice RT History Rock mockumentary Winter TV 2017 Captain marvel Emmy Nominations Nat Geo new zealand Musicals Women's History Month Lionsgate christmas movies New York Comic Con obituary San Diego Comic-Con biography 2016 Disney Plus mission: impossible FXX Marathons target 45 Writers Guild of America Adult Swim Crunchyroll deadpool Apple TV+ adventure zombies psycho ABC Signature Oscars Marvel Studios cancelled TV series President cancelled television CW Seed Fox Searchlight Kids & Family cancelled TV shows The Witch Marvel HBO worst movies kids concert saw french black Legendary know your critic Binge Guide Universal Interview Nominations HBO Go quibi nfl sequel parents Columbia Pictures Exclusive Video Photos 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards james bond chucky NBC Extras comics APB Cosplay Creative Arts Emmys ID emmy awards rt archives technology revenge TBS kaiju Chilling Adventures of Sabrina dc live action Peacock Western adaptation godzilla movies game of thrones Fall TV crime thriller Masterpiece Grammys cartoon Hallmark A24 IFC Films hidden camera video on demand Trivia films GIFs Comic Book hollywood BBC America theme song independent DC Universe cats Starz DC streaming service tv talk Apple TV Plus FX scary movies book Warner Bros. Ovation reviews space what to watch Holiday ITV CBS All Access ghosts television cinemax MCU slashers Star Trek crossover miniseries die hard spain international Horror Lifetime Christmas movies TIFF mutant Trailer children's TV spanish marvel cinematic universe TCA Winter 2020 aliens zombie Hear Us Out asian-american Emmys stop motion Anna Paquin E! Song of Ice and Fire Food Network finale See It Skip It Biopics composers Valentine's Day natural history Stephen King werewolf Teen dark Amazon Studios Logo green book GLAAD Paramount Plus PBS rom-coms Pirates Television Academy supernatural streaming HBO Max AMC The Academy nature jamie lee curtis toronto TNT documentary casting comic books FOX spider-man Pop TV criterion medical drama fast and furious Calendar richard e. Grant video strong female leads aapi south america indie Netflix TCA GoT Classic Film singing competition cancelled Reality Competition transformers Arrowverse superhero Infographic Shudder BET Awards universal monsters blaxploitation sitcom toy story Mary Tyler Moore documentaries Television Critics Association Image Comics 007 Rom-Com comic remakes joker FX on Hulu Musical pirates of the caribbean Disney+ Disney Plus TV Tomatazos indiana jones franchise DC Comics teaser Reality Action Chernobyl Rocketman stand-up comedy Superheroes Travel Channel Music lord of the rings latino Esquire Epix TLC First Reviews Character Guide high school