Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Take Or Leave This "Lead,: An Odd "Number," "Benchwarmers"

by | April 6, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, we explore the joys of dance ("Take the Lead"), mistaken identity ("Lucky Number Slevin"), our national pastime ("The Benchwarmers"), and the search for love ("Phat Girlz"). What do the critics say?

It’s a scenario Hollywood loves to ("Stand and") deliver: A tough-but-fair new teacher helps a ragtag bunch of teenage troublemakers learn to be better citizens and believe in themselves through a disciplined approach to basketball/martial arts/poetry/feng shui/tiddley winks, etc. Add ballroom dancing to the list. "Take the Lead" stars Antonio Banderas as a professional dancer whose old-school approach melds with the students’ hip-hop sensibilities. (If this sounds familiar, it’s because there was a documentary called "Mad Hot Ballroom" that told the same tale, albeit with elementary school kids, and uh, it was real.) Critics say the movie is fine, if a little shopworn; while the performances and dance numbers are stirring, we’ve kinda seen this one before. It’s currently at 45 percent on the Tomatometer.

From its inscrutable title to its labyrinthine plot, the scribes are pretty split on "Lucky Number Slevin." Is the screenplay smart? Yes, critics say. Too clever for its own good? Perhaps, they concede. Josh Hartnett stars as a regular dude who falls into a web of intrigue after a case of mistaken identity. The film has a stellar cast (Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, Lucy Liu, Ben Kingsley) and a plot with more twists and turns than a marathon session of Chutes and Ladders. So, is "Lucky" any good? Depends on which critic you ask. At 55 percent on the Tomatometer, "Slevin" is either pulp heaven or an overplotted purgatory.

Like a utility infielder hitting well below the Mendoza line, "The Benchwarmers" probably deserves to ride the pine, since the scribes weren’t allowed to see it. And likewise, "Phat Girlz," which was also not screened for critics, is probably not all that, uh, phat. So kiddies, it’s time for our new national pastime: Guess the Tomatometer! The winner gets tickets to the World Series and a complete makeover. (Sorry, you only win props.)

Recent Antonio Banderas Movies:
26% — The Legend of Zorro (2005)
89% — Shrek 2 (2004)
44% — Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)
68% — Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
33% — Imagining Argentina (2003)

Recent Josh Hartnett Movies:
78% — Sin City (2005)
24% — Wicker Park (2004)
31% — Hollywood Homicide (2003)
38% — 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)
76% — Black Hawk Down (2001)

Tag Cloud

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