Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Mighty Thrills, Spartan Plot In "300"; "Gift" Doesn't Keep On Giving

by | March 8, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got 300 mighty Spartans ("300," starring Gerard Butler) and a reluctant do-gooder ("The Ultimate Gift," starring Abigail Breslin). What do the critics have to say?

Fangirls and fanboys, the wait is over. "300," Zack Snyder’s CG adaptation of Frank Miller‘s cult graphic novel sensation is here. And while critics say it’s a feast for the eyes, many note it’s slightly less a delight for the brain. "300" tells the tale of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, in which 300 Spartans fought a star-crossed battle against the heavily fortified Persian army. Subtlety is not the order of the day here, nor is slavish attention to historical detail, but the pundits say the movie is visually sumptuous, a spectacle of ultraviolence and visceral thrills. However, others say "300" takes itself seriously to the point of self parody, and lacks compelling characters and cohesive plotting. "300" is currently at 60 percent on the Tomatometer.


Because "Anticipate Defeat!" was less rousing.

"The Ultimate Gift" is a movie about learning the true meaning of wealth, and stepping outside one’s self centered existence. These are good lessons to learn, but critics say the movie, while likeable, is too sappy to fully register. "The Ultimate Gift" tells the story of a trust fund kid who stands to inherit the fortune of his recently deceased grandfather — but only after he completes a series of tasks, which include living on the streets, doing manual labor, and being nice to people. Critics say "The Ultimate Gift" is sweet, heartfelt, and well-meaning — but also schmaltzy and dramatically inert. At 35 percent on the Tomatometer, this may not be the "Ultimate" viewing experience.


"’Silverado’ was 20 years ago. You can change clothes now."

Also opening this week in limited release: the South Korean import "The Host," a monster movie/satire/family drama, is at 94 percent; "Maxed Out," a doc that takes on the credit card industry, is at 85 percent; "Beyond the Gates," a drama about a teacher caught up in the Rwandan genocide starring John Hurt and Hugh Dancy, is at 71 percent; "The Namesake," a drama about a family caught between two cultural worlds starring Kal Penn and Jacinda Barrett, is at 70 percent; and "Exterminating Angels," a French drama about voyeurism and taboos, is at 52 pecent.


"KBBL’s going to give me something stupid!"

Recent Historical Epics:
——————————
65% — Apocalypto (2006)
39% — Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
16% — Alexander (2004)
55% — Troy (2004)
78% — Gladiator (2000)

Tag Cloud

stoner stop motion dc The Walking Dead BBC America romantic comedy Mindy Kaling Watching Series children's TV BBC One Hear Us Out Hulu politics Winners Nat Geo Amazon Universal a nightmare on elm street TCM Crackle 2018 Kids & Family canceled TV shows independent USA Network Lucasfilm rotten Box Office Marathons Television Academy Elton John discovery Turner Oscars Rock Peacock batman cancelled doctor who Opinion social media south america OneApp El Rey Comedy Central cars Shudder Pet Sematary Black Mirror Ellie Kemper Pride Month NYCC reboot cinemax 007 unscripted TV Land LGBTQ psycho spy thriller supernatural Valentine's Day Netflix VOD Holiday composers Amazon Prime Video ratings christmas movies 24 frames serial killer TNT DirecTV Food Network space Year in Review indiana jones Warner Bros. cancelled television Spike Travel Channel Amazon Prime Biopics BET Awards Fall TV HBO Max strong female leads diversity Music dceu TBS A24 SundanceTV Funimation Election Binge Guide VICE Christmas Best and Worst Discovery Channel canceled spider-man sag awards 2016 video Crunchyroll Fox News Logo disaster Marvel Television E! slashers Nominations fast and furious crossover scary movies festivals Black History Month comedies cartoon Freeform The Arrangement The Witch Superheroes 2015 Horror Ghostbusters theme song series Podcast Comic Book 20th Century Fox Baby Yoda robots romance BET harry potter Animation 2017 FX on Hulu Tarantino Disney classics Super Bowl Musicals Pirates name the review crime thriller Toys PBS comiccon Hallmark blaxploitation GoT sitcom Quiz VH1 Comedy Marvel National Geographic all-time tv talk Syfy BBC documentaries Reality Sci-Fi FOX video on demand SDCC police drama screenings Epix latino Disney Plus OWN Lifetime period drama zombies SXSW Sundance Martial Arts Netflix Christmas movies nbcuniversal CBS Bravo Grammys cancelled TV series anime cops mission: impossible YA WarnerMedia travel concert asian-american DGA ITV cults Awards Tour hispanic television TCA Winter 2020 First Look true crime Song of Ice and Fire Paramount Classic Film First Reviews halloween 4/20 dark based on movie TruTV Musical casting Vudu Polls and Games Western golden globes ESPN 2019 X-Men child's play MSNBC transformers YouTube comic Heroines docudrama universal monsters rotten movies we love E3 dramedy Drama zombie American Society of Cinematographers Esquire Schedule Trivia ABC DC streaming service thriller Women's History Month finale CBS All Access Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt GLAAD Arrowverse crime drama technology Star Trek foreign Tumblr sequel satire 72 Emmy Awards Nickelodeon Turner Classic Movies Writers Guild of America Lifetime Christmas movies Spring TV ABC Family comics Tomatazos book Emmy Nominations reviews AMC Academy Awards singing competition die hard blockbuster Emmys mutant movie animated Disney Channel films Video Games stand-up comedy historical drama 2020 Comics on TV miniseries HBO Mary poppins spinoff Fantasy PlayStation Avengers Pop TV 45 Mary Poppins Returns best Rom-Com TCA 2017 what to watch FX parents documentary game show Mystery Film CMT 71st Emmy Awards cats TV Trophy Talk Adult Swim dogs Acorn TV Family emmy awards breaking bad DC Comics Anna Paquin History sports A&E biography Pop screen actors guild ghosts Star Wars Premiere Dates Pixar Sundance Now directors quibi worst Summer adaptation Rocky Cosplay Rocketman richard e. Grant war Stephen King Lionsgate justice league dragons Britbox kids Mudbound revenge 21st Century Fox Character Guide Reality Competition APB green book Sundance TV spain Calendar San Diego Comic-Con Extras YouTube Red Dark Horse Comics science fiction HBO Go Photos See It Skip It Shondaland nature Superheroe Starz adventure Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hist news Infographic werewolf Awards IFC The Purge TCA YouTube Premium Spectrum Originals MTV spanish language hollywood facebook award winner zero dark thirty Country superhero Apple TV Plus Certified Fresh Captain marvel Film Festival IFC Films Showtime cooking medical drama Masterpiece binge Creative Arts Emmys political drama Sneak Peek BAFTA CNN indie natural history Thanksgiving CW Seed vampires Endgame The CW game of thrones Ovation Brie Larson Action toy story jamie lee curtis Marvel Studios twilight TV renewals Chernobyl Set visit free movies witnail Holidays Sony Pictures Columbia Pictures Disney+ Disney Plus aliens LGBT FXX DC Universe Countdown NBC franchise cancelled TV shows Cannes Amazon Studios Television Critics Association Mary Tyler Moore talk show Apple TV+ joker Teen streaming psychological thriller Trailer USA boxoffice renewed TV shows President RT History TLC Walt Disney Pictures Apple TCA Awards teaser criterion versus obituary Red Carpet MCU elevated horror PaleyFest New York Comic Con Tubi mockumentary RT21 crime anthology Disney streaming service WGN Winter TV chucky TIFF Hallmark Christmas movies Interview Paramount Network Cartoon Network laika critics GIFs movies