Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Nativity" Is Too Safe; "Turistas" Not Worth Trip

by | November 30, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a new take on the first Noel ("The Nativity Story," starring Keisha Castle-Hughes), endangered Americans in Brazil ("Turistas," starring Melissa George), and a hard partying expat ("Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj," starring Kal Penn). What do the critics have to say?

It may be based on The Greatest Story Ever Told, but critics say "The Nativity Story" is hardly the greatest movie ever made — or even a particularly good one. In case you need a refresher on the origins of the upcoming holiday that may be the occasion for you to receive a Playstation 3, "The Nativity Story" tells the tale of a teenager named Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes) who is to give birth to the savior of mankind — all the while dealing with political persecution and lousy hotel service. Critics say the film is too safe (strange, given director Catherine Hardwicke‘s previous films about remarkable young people, "Thirteen" and "Lords of Dogtown"), adding little spark to the most inspirational (and familiar) of sagas. "The Nativity Story" currently stands at 26 percent on the Tomatometer.

Mary, don’t you weep.

"Turistas" continues a mini-trend in slasher films that began with "Hostel": arrogant Americans getting their comeuppance in foreign locales. In this case, a group of youngsters are terrorized in Brazil after they fall into the clutches of a mad organ harvester. While some critics have praised the film’s political undertones and better-than-average tension, most say "Turistas" adds little to a stale genre. At 38 percent on the Tomatometer, this tourist trap may be worth avoiding.

"Turistas": Return I won’t to old Brazil.

"Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj" was not screened for critics, which may indicate that it has the potential to sink like a stone with the scribes. (The original "Van Wilder" garnered a robust 17 percent.) Guess that Tomatometer.

They may not be toasting when the reviews come out….

Opening this week in limited release: "10 Items or Less," a laid-back romance starring Morgan Freeman and Paz Vega, is at 53 percent; "3 Needles," a globe-spanning drama about the toll of the AIDS virus, is at 33 percent; and "The Architect," a tale of two families in conflict over a public housing structure, is at 33 percent.

Notable Biblical Epics:
51% — The Passion of the Christ (2004)
80% — The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
88% — The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1965)
96% — Ben Hur (1959)
91% — The Ten Commandments (1956)

Recent Slasher Movies:
29% — Saw III (2006)
18% — Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)
57% — Feast (2006)
35% — Calvaire (2006)
20% — Mad Cowgirl (2006)

Tag Cloud

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