Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Lady" Is All Wet; "Ex" Is Not Super; "House" Is Scary, "Clerks" Is Funny

by | July 20, 2006 | Comments

This week we’ve got some magic in ordinary dwellings (M. Night Shyamalan‘s "Lady in the Water" and "Monster House") and some funny couples ("My Super Ex-Girlfriend," with Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson, and Kevin Smith‘s "Clerks II," featuring Jay and Silent Bob). What do the critics have to say?

For a moment, it appeared that M. Night Shyamalan would join the top tier of contemporary directors. "The Sixth Sense" and "Signs" were commercial and critical hits, establishing a winning combination of spooky, twisty plots and spiritual quests. But now, after the lukewarm critical reaction to "The Village," and the absolute drubbing that his latest, "Lady in the Water," is taking, it’s looking like Shyamalan may be adrift. (The fact that "Water" star Bryce Dallas Howard‘s dad was piloting the craft when Fonzie jumped the shark is purely coincidental.) The film tells the story of a super (Paul Giamatti) at a drab apartment complex who discovers a mythical creature (Howard) living beneath the swimming pool. Though its description makes "Lady" sound like a simple fairy tale, critics say the film is needlessly complex, ponderous, and pretentious. At 22 percent on the Tomatometer, "Lady in the Water" is out to sea.

Ignoring the sound advice of his co-stars, Paul Giamatti’s characters continue to drink and dial.

On every street, there’s one house that’s just a little creepy, a place that inspires trepidation and even fear among the neighborhood kids. In "Monster House," there’s a residence that actually attacks people. The critics say this CG film, featuring the voices of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nick Cannon, and Steve Buscemi, is technically excellent and effective as a funny, scary funhouse ride of a movie. But perhaps it’s a little too effective; more than a few of the scribes say the movie may be way too scary for younger viewers. Still, at 66 percent on the Tomatometer, this "House" may be a prime piece of real estate.

Yes, children…. mortgage payments are scary.

"My Super Ex-Girlfriend" has a pretty amusing premise: A guy is on the outs with his girlfriend, but she’s a superhero, and uses her powers to thwart his budding romance with a coworker. Plus, director Ivan Reitman and stars Uma Thurman and Luke Wilson are pretty adept at light comedy. So what’s the problem? Well, the critics say the movie never quite transcends its premise. While the scribes say the leads are solid and the script does a decent job of poking fun at the superhero genre, the execution is ultimately too flat to make this material soar. "My Super Ex-Girlfriend" is at 45 percent on the Tomatometer.

It appears Uma has seen "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" one too many times.

If it wasn’t for Bruce Springsteen, Kevin Smith would likely be the voice of New Jersey. His "Clerks" changed the landscape of indie cinema in the 1990s; its DIY aesthetic inspired hundreds of other kids in the suburbs with demented minds and big dreams to pick up a camera and document their existential crises. In "Clerks II," he revisits Dante and Randal, those lovable, potty-mouthed slackers, who’ve barely changed a lick in a decade (aside from the release of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the presence of Rosario Dawson, which at least gives them something new to talk about). The critics say that while "Clerks II" will not break any new ground, it will please the legions of Kevin Smith acolytes with its witty, ribald humor. At 70 percent on the Tomatometer, "Clerks II" may be worth a stop, though it’s still a cut below the original, at 85 percent.

Buncha savages in this town.

Also in theaters this week in limited release: Ryuhei Kitamura‘s "Azumi" is at 57 percent on the Tomatometer; "Shadowboxer," starring Cuba Gooding Jr. and Helen Mirren, is at 44 percent; and the bloody indie "Mad Cowgirl" is at 17 percent.

Recent M. Night Shyamalan Movies:
43% — The Village (2004)
75% — Signs (2002)
67% — Unbreakable (2000)
83% — The Sixth Sense (1999)
38% — Wide Awake (1998)

Recent Kevin Smith Movies:
41% — Jersey Girl (2004)
51% — Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
68% — Dogma (1999)
93% — Chasing Amy (1997)
49% — Mallrats (1996)

Tag Cloud

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