Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Life Has Its Ups And Downs, Darjeeling Is Transporting

Plus: Guess the Saw IV Tomatometer!

by | October 25, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies we have a lovelorn single dad (Dan
in Real Life
, starring
Steve Carell and
Juliette Binoche),
brothers on a train (The Darjeeling Limited,
Owen Wilson and
Jason Schwartzman,
and the return of Jigsaw (Saw IV,
starring Tobin
Scott Patterson
). What do the critics have to say?

The perpetually awesome
Steve Carell and
Juliette Binoche team up for
in Real Life
, a rom-com about an advice columnist who falls for his
brother’s significant other. It sounds good on paper: who wouldn’t be intrigued
by the pairing of the brilliantly guileless Carell with Binoche, an actress of
uncommon range and depth? Though Life suffers from an uneasy mix of sitcom wackiness and sentimentality, director Peter Hedges has a clear love for the film’s characters, with most critics agreeing Carell and company overcome the weak script. At 60 percent, Dan looks to survive his mid (Tomatometer) Life crisis.

"Want to join my Lynne Cheney book discussion group?"

Wes Anderson‘s back, and with him comes the visual splendor and melancholy humor
for which he’s known. In
The Darjeeling Limited
Adrien Brody joins
Anderson regulars Owen Wilson and
Jason Schwartzman in the story three brothers
trekking across the Subcontinent in search of spiritual truth. The critics
aren’t all on board with Darjeeling; some find Anderson’s quirks
overwhelming and impersonal. But the majority says it’s engaging and funny in
that deadpan Wes Anderson way, with loads of quirky visual touches. At 66
percent on the Tomatometer, The Darjeeling Limited may be worth the trip.
(Check out our Wes Anderson Total Recall feature

“I’m telling you, Wes Anderson has never seen Harold and Maude!”

For those of you who yearn for even more insight into the twisted mind of
Jigsaw, you’re in luck: Saw IV hits theaters Friday. However, if you’re a
movie critic, you won’t be able to see it before the rest of us civilians, since
it wasn’t screened before release. Whoever correctly guesses the Tomatometer
will be the sharpest tool in the RT shed.

Scott Patterson wishing he were back in Stars Hollow.

Also opening this week in limited release:
Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
a doc about the venerable folksinger/lefty activist, is at 92 percent on the
The Living and the Dead
, a psychological
horror film about
an unbalanced man caring for his sick mother, is at 89 percent;
Jimmy Carter
Man From Plains
Jonathan Demme‘s doc about the 39th president, is at 81
Sidney Lumet‘s

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
, a family drama starring
Philip Seymour
, Marisa Tomei, and
Ethan Hawke, is at 79 percent;
The Island, a
Russian import about a soldier who takes refuge in a monastery, is at 71
Mr. Untouchable
, a doc about the rise and fall of drug kingpin
Nicky Barnes, is at 63 percent;
, an examination of the man behind
, is at 63 percent;
Black Irish
, a coming-of-age dysfunctional
family drama, is at 50 percent;
Lagerfeld Confidential
, a doc about the
fashion icon, is at 45 percent;
Music Within
, a drama about a Vietnam Vet
who fought for the rights of the disabled, is at 38 percent;
O Jerusalem
a dramatization of the establishment of Israel, is at 33 percent;
written and directed by Anthony Hopkins, is at 30 percent;
, about
an unconventional love story in New York City, is at 30 percent; and
Rails &
, a drama about a family struggling with illness starring
Kevin Bacon
and Marcia Gay Harden, is at 23 percent.

Seeger, with some random groupie.

Finally, props to
m_ioannidis for coming the closest to guessing
10 percent Tomatometer. And semi-props to
SplendidIsolation and
BlueStar 50 for coming the closest to guessing
Sarah Landon and the
Paranormal Hour
‘s zero percent score.

Recent Steve Carell Movies:
24% — Evan Almighty (2007)
74% — Over the Hedge (2006)
92% — Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
83% — The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
51% — Melinda and Melinda (2005)

27% — Saw III (2006)
35% — Saw II (2005)
46% — Saw (2004)

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