Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Invisibles" Lacks Focus; "Stomp" Comes Up Short; "Curse" Is A Mixed Blessing; "Dog" Has Bite; "Primeval" Not Screened

by | January 11, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a kid who ventures into a magical world ("Arthur and the Invisibles," with voice work from Robert De Niro and Madonna), a frat dance-off ("Stomp the Yard," starring Meagan Good), a lavish tale set during the Tang Dynasty ("The Curse of the Golden Flower," starring Chow Yun-Fat and Gong Li) and a ripped-from-the-headlines teen crime pic ("Alpha Dog," starring Bruce Willis and Justin Timberlake). What do the critics have to say?

Written by Nick Hershey and Alex Vo

"Arthur and the Invisibles" is a partially animated children’s film from director Luc Besson. Ten-year-old Arthur must find a passage to a magical world populated by tiny little beings called Minimoys in order to save his grandfather’s home. Critics say that the story tries to do too much, and the film wastes the big-name voice talent on a predictable script (including Robert De Niro, Madonna, and Snoop Dogg). In addition, they note that while the animation is interesting, it doesn’t hold up to the current CG standard. At 28 percent on the Tomatometer, "Arthur and the Invisibles" may not be something to see.

"Look how you’ve grown! You’re as tall as my ex-boyfriend now."

Two rival fraternities compete for the allegiance of a street dancer from Los Angeles in "Stomp the Yard." "Stepping" is the latest dance, and "Yard" has plenty of pep, thanks to appealing performers like Columbus Short and Meagan Good. But critics say that while "Stomp" contains impressive musical and dance numbers, it loses its momentum during the intervening soap opera-style subplots. At 27 percent on the Tomatometer, "Stomp" doesn’t quite go the extra yard.

"Let’s stomp the desert!"

You wouldn’t expect it from a Yimou Zhang movie, but "The Curse of the Golden Flower" is something not to be over-thought, but simply watched. Critics say the film goes to great lengths to visually mesmerize the audience, with enormous sets lavished in gold and silk, jade and brocade, and exquisitely bloody swordfights. But they also say the story is melodramatic. Really melodramatic. At 63 percent on the Tomatometer, this one’s both a blessing and a curse.

Apparently they had Jell-O shots in the Tang Dynasty.

Like a Hollywood remake of a Larry Clark movie, "Alpha Dog" is a glossy yet unflinching look into a violent and hedonistic teenage community. Bruce Willis and Sharon Stone play scene-chewing figures of authority, but critics say it’s Justin Timberlake who’s noteworthy, and the relationship his and Anton Yelchin’s character develop is the emotional tether that holds "Alpha Dog" together. The scribes say that while some of the techniques director Nick Cassavetes employs are a bit over the top, he’s able to draw good performances out of the cast. At 63 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Dog" has bite.

"Step 1: Cut a hole in a box."

Looks like we’re starting the year off right: we’re just two weeks into 2007, and already we’ve got a movie that wasn’t screened for critics. It’s called "Primeval," and it’s about a serial killer that has claimed more than 300 victimsm. It’s probably mediocre. Guess that Tomatometer.

Nope, it ain’t ‘The Searchers.’

Also opening this week in limited release: the compelling Holocaust documentary "Verdict on Auschwitz" is at 100 percent; "God Grew Tired of Us," a powerful doc about the Lost Boys of Sudan, is at 93 percent; "Ever Since the World Ended," a mockumentary about post-apocalyptic San Francisco, is at 75 percent; and "Tears of the Black Tiger," a heavily stylized Thai western, is at 73 percent.

Luc Besson-Directed Films:
50% — Angel-A (2007)
30% — The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc (1999)
68% — The Fifth Element (1997)
81% — Leon The Professional (1994)
86% — La Femme Nikita (1990)

Tag Cloud

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