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

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