Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: No Debatin' Clayton, Night Almost Owns, Elizabeth Not Golden

Plus: Season Runs Foul, Universe Divided, and guess the Why Did I Get Married? Tomatometer

by | October 11, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies we got lawyer types (Michael
, starring
George Clooney
and Tilda
), dueling brothers (We Own the Night,
starring Joaquin Phoenix and
Mark Wahlberg),
virgin queens (Elizabeth:
The Golden Age
, starring
Cate Blanchett),
baseball hopefuls (The
Final Season
, starring
Sean Astin and
Powers Boothe),
Beatles-inspired lovers (Across the Universe,
starring Evan Rachel
Jim Sturgess),
and reunited college friends (Tyler Perry’s Why Did I
Get Married?
). What say ye, critics?

Critics frequently bemoan the fact that movies are no
longer made for adults. Who better to come to their rescue than
George Clooney,
oft-called the Cary Grant of our generation? Clooney stars in
Michael Clayton
a washed-up legal consultant caught up in a pesticide case that isn’t quite what
it seems, with support from Tilda
Tom Wilkinson, and
Sydney Pollack.
With strong performances all around, critics call this a challenging but
rewarding movie that also doesn’t skimp out on the popcorn factor.
At a Certified Fresh 89 percent, critics sustain Michael Clayton‘s appeal.

Wilkinson preparing to celebrate Bastille Day for the next 17

Actors frequently re-team with directors they’ve worked with before. But two principal actors? Only once in a blue moon. Such an
event strikes for
We Own the Night
, a crime drama/thriller about two brothers on
opposite sides of the law. The film reunites
Joaquin Phoenix and
Mark Wahlberg
with director James Gray, who all previously created 2000’s
The Yards. But the
trio isn’t having as much luck the second time around: critics say Night cribs from
The Godfathers and
The Departed, while relying too heavily
on improbable plot turns to fuel the action.  But moviegoers who don’t expect
anything particularly original can have a reasonably good time. At 50 percent,
Night gets close, but doesn’t quite Own.

Who makes Mark Wahlberg a star? Who owns the night? We do, we do!

Cate Blanchett
is one of the best actresses on the planet today, and with
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
she revisits the role that made her a star. Big mistake, critics say. Age
picks up where its predecessor left off, with the Virgin Queen navigating the
rough waters of political unrest in 16th Century Europe, as well as palace
intrigue closer to home. The pundits say the costume and set design are
impeccable, but otherwise, this is a campy, bombastic flick, filled with silly
dialogue and featuring a script that’s more hysterical than historical. At 29 percent on the Tomatometer, this one ain’t golden. And it’s a steep drop from
the Certified Fresh
(at 79 percent).

Elizabeth contemplates conquering Narnia next.

It’s October, and that means it’s time for some
super-dramatic baseball action. Unfortunately, we’re talking about the MLB
playoffs, not
The Final Season
, which critics say is as predictable as
Alex Rodriguez failing in the clutch. Directed by
David Mickey Evans (who helmed
the cult-fave The Sandlot), Season is the story of a tiny Iowa
high school with a proud baseball tradition that may come to an end because of
redistricting. Season features a strong cast that includes
Sean Astin,
Powers Boothe, and
Rachael Leigh Cook, and the film oozes sincerity. But pundits
say it’s as safe as an intentional walk and as clichéd as a post-game interview.
At 11 percent on the Tomatometer, The Final Season is way below the
cinematic Mendoza line.

"11 percent?"

Is there anybody going to listen to this story, all about
Julie Taymor‘s attempt to capture the zeitgeist of the 1960s through the music
of the Beatles? As far as
Across the Universe
goes, some critics say
stop, others say go, go, go. Universe is the story of Lucy (Evan Rachel
) and Jude (Jim Sturgess), a young couple who stalk across the political and
social landscape of the tumultuous decade to the tune of such classics as "Come
Together," "Helter Skelter," and "All You Need is Love." The critics are pretty
split on Universe: some say the film is an audacious, beautiful movie
that will make you feel all right. But others say it’s all wrong (that is, they
think they disagree), calling the film an exercise in excess with bland
characters. We hope the film’s 52 percent Tomatometer will
you decide to see it or not.

An early incarnation of The Blue Man Group.

With his heartfelt domestic dramedies, Tyler Perry has
established himself as a commercial sure thing. But he’s yet to win over
critics, which may be why his latest,
Tyler Perry’s Why Did I
Get Married?
wasn’t screened before release. It’s the story of a reunion of college friends,
who, over the course of a long weekend together, begin to question their
marriages. Guess the Tomatometer.

"What happened to Steve Buscemi?"

Also opening this week in limited release:
biopic of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis, is at 90 percent (check out our interview with director Anton Corbijn
Terror’s Advocate
‘s documentary portrait of an
attorney for the undefendable, is at 83 percent on the Tomatometer;
Lars and
the Real Girl
, starring
Ryan Gosling as a delusional guy dating a female doll, is at 78 percent (check out our review from Toronto
a drama about a family dealing with one member’s schizophrenia, is at 71
Golda’s Balcony
, about the Israeli prime minister, is at 64
percent; and Sleuth, an update of the 1972 murder mystery starring
Michael Caine and
Jude Law, is at 48 percent.

"We couldn’t quite afford Jessica Alba. But we got a good

Recent Cate Blanchett Movies:


69% —
I’m Not There
32% —
The Good German
87% —
Notes on a Scandal
68% — Babel (2006) 
85% —
Little Fish

Recent Mark Wahlberg Movies:


48% —
92% —
The Departed
70% —
52% —
Four Brothers
61% —
I Heart Huckabees

Tag Cloud

LGBTQ Rock Hallmark Pixar National Geographic Action parents best transformers superman Exclusive Video Mindy Kaling golden globes all-time Photos comic book movie book popular IMDb TV dramedy news nature interviews Tarantino reboot Horror dragons E! book adaptation space Video Games Music scene in color Spike Best Actress Character Guide independent sopranos series Paramount Plus festivals teaser Creative Arts Emmys Musicals ViacomCBS broadcast canceled 2019 hollywood south america stand-up comedy Paramount VH1 TLC Amazon Interview obi wan universal monsters Tags: Comedy blockbusters classics Shondaland NBC Holiday spanish language Grammys Cartoon Network Indigenous Fox Searchlight name the review 72 Emmy Awards versus witnail ABC TV One basketball SXSW Native Sony Pictures what to watch Classic Film Pop TV DC Comics golden globe awards ABC Family godzilla Peacock adenture satire TCA video on demand Calendar NYCC jamie lee curtis posters Amazon Studios PaleyFest Amazon Prime Video Trailer Oscars Tomatazos South by Southwest Film Festival festival RT21 hispanic heritage month boxoffice Mary Poppins Returns talk show strong female leads Vudu Wes Anderson scary historical drama free movies Ghostbusters Food Network Film Festival 94th Oscars 71st Emmy Awards TIFF singing competition Comic Book franchise Logo facebook DGA Kids & Family Sundance Anna Paquin foreign zero dark thirty IFC hist rt labs composers science fiction 4/20 screen actors guild mutant Spring TV game of thrones Sony robots Reality Competition Binge Guide spider-man 2016 gangster reviews TCA 2017 HBO Max japan Geeked Week saw TNT YouTube Red archives video child's play San Diego Comic-Con HFPA President Star Wars 2020 thriller black comedy james bond Cannes discovery crime thriller monster movies MCU Disney+ Disney Plus Netflix Christmas movies biopic 73rd Emmy Awards pirates of the caribbean a nightmare on elm street zombie casting miniseries fresh binge mcc ID A24 The Arrangement 79th Golden Globes Awards 2015 rotten comic book movies Universal biography The Purge 2017 olympics TruTV Superheroes crime drama critic resources BBC One target scene in color RT History Pop Trophy Talk FX on Hulu television spinoff batman PBS Song of Ice and Fire new zealand Elton John serial killer CBS Universal Pictures Freeform dceu true crime boxing Martial Arts Biopics Rocky Comedy Central Adult Swim New York Comic Con award winner Podcast sag awards nfl Baby Yoda rt archives toy story Nominations natural history Family Cosplay international Infographic A&E cartoon rom-coms kong werewolf LGBT YouTube Ellie Kemper TCM diversity cops politics suspense period drama Ovation Best Actor documentary USA Network lord of the rings venice Best Director Writers Guild of America Watching Series worst movies Star Trek razzies Film CBS All Access AMC Plus unscripted Thanksgiving TV movies Esquire animated IFC Films Mudbound Set visit spanish genre Fantasy Pirates latino NBA comics OWN Hear Us Out cancelled Crackle Oscar Apple TV+ WarnerMedia GIFs Tokyo Olympics elevated horror political drama sequel Turner medical drama royal family Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Emmys Mystery Focus Features indiana jones toronto cancelled television Alien new york dc Pride Month Fox News dexter Heroines zombies HBO GoT prank blaxploitation Trivia VICE 2021 Netflix Avengers football BET trophy Legendary DC Universe ratings Pacific Islander trailers dark Comics on TV romantic comedy YouTube Premium VOD Captain marvel Shudder ESPN sitcom aapi Polls and Games Sci-Fi directors mockumentary revenge action-comedy scary movies Marathons telelvision halloween kaiju quibi BBC America based on movie richard e. Grant art house dreamworks GLAAD BAFTA concert cars twilight finale emmy awards Rom-Com war The Academy AMC Hulu jurassic park The CW OneApp die hard Comedy Nickelodeon 20th Century Fox Certified Fresh Toys leaderboard Summer Lucasfilm Crunchyroll psycho stop motion 007 new star wars movies social media Premiere Dates doctor who sequels Valentine's Day live action Paramount Pictures Fall TV harry potter Academy Awards X-Men black stoner spider-verse Tumblr Discovery Channel theme song Christmas Disney streaming service women The Walt Disney Company tv talk Awards Tour Musical Comic-Con@Home 2021 Chernobyl MGM FXX Best Picture children's TV joker cancelled TV shows The Witch italian Britbox target comiccon halloween tv Schedule E3 First Reviews Brie Larson Warner Bros. See It Skip It sports 93rd Oscars streamig mission: impossible Black History Month 1990s crime 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards slashers australia YA DC streaming service Masterpiece superhero Spectrum Originals Stephen King breaking bad cooking Black Mirror fast and furious 2018 Tubi Star Wars Celebration Disney Plus Broadway Apple TV Plus japanese TV renewals know your critic Walt Disney Pictures Drama remakes Television Academy Extras indie FOX king arthur deadpool APB 99% Lifetime Lifetime Christmas movies Disney Channel HBO Go disaster PlayStation adaptation canceled TV shows Box Office Arrowverse Travel Channel TBS Super Bowl king kong Disney comic Pet Sematary high school anime vampires Rocketman The Walking Dead rotten movies we love Year in Review History Apple Winter TV Fargo french aliens technology supernatural Endgame marvel comics renewed TV shows Emmy Nominations Election blockbuster game show criterion BBC movie American Society of Cinematographers wonder woman police drama SDCC spy thriller 24 frames heist movie kids romance Red Carpet vs. Sneak Peek debate obituary adventure rt labs critics edition Turner Classic Movies BET Awards Neflix Countdown Nat Geo Hallmark Christmas movies Dark Horse Comics chucky critics asian-american CW Seed dogs cats FX Teen Starz SXSW 2022 crossover worst Sundance Now marvel cinematic universe christmas movies scene in color series TCA Winter 2020 movies young adult 45 hidden camera Amazon Prime Instagram Live hispanic TV slasher psychological thriller Superheroe Mary Tyler Moore Reality comic books Opinion Image Comics summer TV nbcuniversal Showtime comedies Bravo Quiz documentaries streaming Winners travel summer preview scene in color film series Sundance TV Prime Video USA Animation ghosts Awards Women's History Month live event ITV streaming movies cancelled TV series TCA Awards Marvel Hollywood Foreign Press Association Syfy WGN Holidays Mary poppins justice league Paramount Network Epix El Rey scorecard summer TV preview MTV Lionsgate DirecTV Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TV Land Marvel Studios Columbia Pictures MSNBC CNN screenings Western Country mob Funimation spain docuseries 21st Century Fox ABC Signature cults films CMT docudrama Acorn TV SundanceTV anthology green book Television Critics Association cinemax feel good 90s legend laika Best and Worst First Look Marvel Television