Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Grindhouse" Is Gory Glory; "Done" Needs Fixing; "Firehouse" Is Mangy; "Reaping" Is Plagued

by | April 5, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got sleaze (Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’ "Grindhouse," starring Kurt Russell and Rose McGowan), fixer-uppers ("Are We Done Yet?," starring Ice Cube), plagues ("The Reaping," starring Hilary Swank), and pooches ("Firehouse Dog"). What do the critics have to say?

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have made careers of turning trashy material into cinematic treasure. And just like the good old days of the drive-in double feature, critics say "Grindhouse" is two schlocky treats for the price of one, albeit made with a greater level of skill than the old school-sleazemeisters. Rodriguez’ "Planet Terror," starring Rose McGowan and Freddy Rodriguez, tells the tale of a gas that threatens to turn the world’s population into zombies, and Tarantino’s "Death Proof" stars Kurt Russell as a killer stuntman. The critics say "Grindhouse" delivers an exhilarating platter of exploitation style with wit and panache, and its makers improve upon their source material with their feral intelligence. At 87 percent on the Tomatometer, the Certified Fresh "Grindhouse" is a trashy delight. (For more on the history of exploitation cinema, check out RT’s "Grindhouse A to Z" feature.)


Two of a grind.

Ice Cube once rapped, "I’m scarin ya, wanted by America." If "Are We Done Yet?" is any indication, those days are long gone — and critics say that’s not a good thing. "Are We Done Yet?" is not only a sequel to 2005’s poorly reviewed "Are We There Yet?," it’s also a loose remake of the Cary GrantMyrna Loy comedy "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House." The author of "Parental Discretion Iz Advised" plays a family man fixing up a money pit in the suburbs, and his wonderfully expressive scowl is reserved for shoddy construction and an unhinged contractor. The pundits say the film is way too safe, featuring generic slapstick and amiable but uninspired domestic foibles. At 10 percent on the Tomatometer, "Are We Done Yet?" may be aptly titled.


"No more buffets, okay?"

The latest in a storied line of cinematic Fidos, "Firehouse Dog" at least gets points for originality: it features an undercover movie-star pooch that rides skateboards and does laundry. The movie tells the tale of Rexxx, an Irish terrier who’s a hairpiece-wearing, overly pampered canine thespian who accidentally gets dumped in a small town and is adopted by, yep, the local firehouse. The "Doc Hollywood"-esque plot has promise, and some say "Firehouse Dog" is warm enough to please the little ones. But the majority of critics say the movie ruins it with endless fart and poop jokes, and an overlong run time. At 37 percent Tomatometer, this one’s strictly for the dogs.


You’re the man now, dawg!

Why, oh why, ask critics, if the Bible is so loaded with action, suspense, and miracles, have the recent glut of religious-themed dramas been so gosh-darned dull? The latest in Good Book-inspired mediocrity is "The Reaping," starring Hilary Swank as a faithless former missionary who travels the country disproving religious phenomena. But when she comes across a series of plagues in a small Louisiana town, her adherence to science is sorely tested as she tries to save the community. Critics say "The Reaping" is schlocky, spiritually shallow, and wasteful of a grade-A cast that includes David Morrissey, AnnaSophia Robb, Stephen Rea, and Idris Elba (aka Stringer Bell on "The Wire"). At six percent on the Tomatometer, "The Reaping" is an unholy mess.


"So who wants to try my jambalaya?"

Also opening this week in limited release: "The Hoax," starring Richard Gere in the true story of biography-forging Clifford Irving, is at 89 percent on the Tomatometer; "Black Book," Paul Verhoeven’s epic about a beautiful Dutch resistance fighter in WWII, is Certified Fresh at 75 percent; "The TV Set," a satire of prime time television starring David Duchovny and Sigourney Weaver, is at 60 percent; and "Whole New Thing," the story of a teenager and his crush on his English teacher, is at 44 percent.


"How ’bout we just shut down production and throw on a Mama’s Family rerun?"

Quentin Tarantino Films:
———————————
85% — Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)
84% — Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
84% — Jackie Brown (1998)
96% — Pulp Fiction (1994)
95% — Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Recent Robert Rodriguez Films:
—————————————
77% — Sin City (2005)
19% — The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D (2005)
45% — Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)
68% — Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
75% — Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2001)

Tag Cloud

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