Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Hoax" Shines; Force Is With "ATHF"; "Disturbia" Mixed; "Pathfinder," "Stranger" Not Perfect; "Redline," Slow Burn" Not Screened

by | April 12, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got snoops ("Disturbia," starring Shia LaBeouf), temps ("Perfect Stranger," starring Halle Berry and Bruce Willis), Mooninites ("Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters"), and frauds ("The Hoax," starring Richard Gere). What do the critics have to say?

With a plot involving a bored house-arrested teenager, binoculars, and a neighbor who may be a murderer, it’s hard not to imagine "Disturbia" as "Rear Window" for the YouTube generation. Shia LaBeouf plays the James Stewart role as a kid trying to figure out whether he’s witnessing the work of a serial killer — or if it’s just his imagination. Though critics say "Disturbia" rips off Hitchcock, some still praise the film’s tense atmospherics; others call it too predictable, with the exception of one problematic twist late in the game. However, most agree that star Shia LaBeouf is evolving into an engaging screen presence. At 56 percent on the Tomatometer, keep your expectations in check and "Disturbia" may be worth a peep.

"Hey, look, it’s like YouTubing with The Rockettes."

Frankly, we’re getting a little worried about Halle Berry. Ever since she took home the Oscar for "Monster’s Ball," she hasn’t been able to steer clear of mediocre movies. The latest example: "Perfect Stranger," a twisty whodunit that is unlikely to redeem her in the eyes of the scribes. Berry stars as an investigative reporter looking into the murder of a friend; signs seem to point to a powerful, sketchy ad exec (played by Bruce Willis), so she goes undercover as a temp in his firm. There’s nothing wrong with sexy potboilers, but the critics say "Perfect Stranger" is way too convoluted and filled with lame red herrings to work. At 16 percent on the Tomatometer, you may want to avoid this "Stranger."

"Now why wouldn’t they book my flight to Mypos?"

Another month, another swords-and-decapitations-filled epic. "Pathfinder" stars Karl Urban as Ghost, an orphaned Viking boy raised by Native Americans, destined to fight off his ancestors when they come back to pillage pre-Columbus America. Despite a few rousing action sequences, critics are finding lots to take issue with in "Pathfinder" including a non-existent plot, silly dialogue, a sophomoric obsession with gory violence, and even the cinematography, which bathes everything in a washed-out blue. This "Pathfinder" is lost in the woods with a 33 percent Tomatometer.

Forget the Vikings, pneumonia’s going to kill this guy.

If you’re a fan of Adult Swim’s "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," critics say you’ll probably dig its big screen adaptation, "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters." If you’re not initiated into the world of those wacky anthropomorphic fast food items Meatwad, Frylock, and Master Shake, however, you’re likely to be left cold. Absurdist antics are the order of the day as our heroes seek out a piece of antiquated gym equipment called the Insanoflex. Long story short, critics say if you’re up for wacky non-sequiturs and are untroubled by such pesky cinematic conventions as narrative, "ATHFCMFFT" is as tasty as a Happy Meal. If not, politely ignore the film’s 68 percent Tomatometer.

This movie would’ve been better if it starred Mel Gibson. And Master Blaster.

When it comes to literary scandal, James Frey and Stephen Glass ain’t got nothing on Clifford Irving, whose phony "autobiography" of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes was a sensation — until Hughes emerged to dispute it. Irving appeared as himself in Orson Welles’ endlessly inventive final film "F for Fake," and now Lasse Hallström has made "The Hoax," a fictional account of the affair that critics say features Richard Gere’s best performance in years. The pundits say Hallström’s direction is deft enough to make the film work as a comedy, a thriller, and an empathetic character study to boot. At 85 percent, this "Hoax" is no joke. In fact, it’s Certified Fresh.

After sunrise, but before blanket turndown service.

Add two more flicks to ever-growing list of movies hidden from critics. "Redline," starring Angus MacFadyen and Eddie Griffin, is set in the world of illegal drag racing, while "Slow Burn" stars Ray Liotta and LL Cool J in a complex murder mystery. Guess those Tomatometers, kids.

"I dare you to make fun of the pompadour."

Also opening this week in limited release: "Red Road," a tense, Hitchcockian meditation on grief, is at 88 percent; the documentary "Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis," about the underground artist, is at 88 percent; "Year of the Dog," a Sundance-approved comedy about the love of man’s best friend starring Molly Shannon, is at 86 percent; the Slamdance-accepted "Rock the Bells," a doc about efforts to stage a Wu-Tang reunion, is at 86 percent; "Private Fears in Public Places," a melodrama about relationships by legendary French director Alain Resnais, is at 82 percent; "Everything’s Gone Green," the tale of a slacker written by Gen-X writer Douglas Coupland, is at 67 percent; and "Lonely Hearts," a noir starring John Travolta, Salma Hayek, and Jared Leto, is at 43 percent.

This one’s strictly for the dogs.

Recent Halle Berry Movies:
57% — X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
62% — Robots (2005)
9% — Catwoman (2004)
87% — X2: X-Men United (2003)
15% — Gothika (2003)

Recent Richard Gere Movies:
41% — Bee Season (2005)
48% — Shall We Dance? (2004)
86% — Chicago (2002)
47% — Unfaithful (2002)
52% — The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

Tag Cloud

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