Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: 'Tis Not The "Season," "Guardian" Lacks Defenders, And "School" Flunks

by | September 28, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got jive talking woodland creatures ("Open Season," with Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher). We’ve got a school for Coast Guard rescue swimmers ("The Guardian," starring Kevin Coster and Kutcher again). And we’ve got a school…for scoundrels ("School for Scoundrels," starring Billy Bob Thornton and Jon Heder). Which of these flicks will get a passing grade from critics?

"Open Season," Sony Pictures Animation’s first picture, features the voices of Martin Lawrence and Ashton Kutcher as a grizzly bear and a deer, respectively, who must team up after getting stranded in the woods at the start of hunting season. Critics say that despite some impressive visuals and funny sequences, "Open Season" does little to distinguish itself from the recent glut of CG kiddie films. At 43 percent on the Tomatometer, you should turn, turn, turn away from this middling "Season."

Martin Bear: "Say it, Ashton. Say I was funny on Martin!"
Ashton Deer: "I’m Ashton Kutcher! I was on That 70’s Show!"

Kevin Costner makes a hopeful return to the action genre in "The Guardian," in which he plays a veteran U.S. Coast Guard officer who must mentor a cocky young upstart played by Ashton Kutcher. The film features intense training sequences, dramatic rescue scenes, and the requisite love story. Sound familiar? Critics seem to think so, calling it a cliched mix of "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Top Gun," with a predictable storyline. At 40 percent on the Tomatometer, "The Guardian" needs rescuing.

"Oh, man… Finally, a funny ‘Waterworld‘ joke!"

Director Todd Phillips brings us his latest comedy "School for Scoundrels," about a nerdy meter maid (Jon Heder) who takes confidence building classes from a smarmy instructor (Billy Bob Thornton). When the student gains the confidence to ask out his longtime crush, he discovers he must compete with the teacher for her affections. Most critics are in agreement that the real scoundrels are the screenwriters who couldn’t devise a script worthy of the considerable acting talent involved. At 21 percent on the Tomatometer, "School for Scoundrels" receives a failing grade.

Jon Heder’s got to worry about more than just talons these days.

Also opening this week in limited release: "The Queen," a speculative drama about the reaction of Britain’s royal family after the death of Princess Di starring Helen Mirren, is at 95 percent on the Tomatometer; "The Last King of Scotland," which features an electrifying performance from Forrest Whitaker as the Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, is at 86 percent; "Be With Me," a three part meditation on love, hope, and destiny, is at 80 percent; "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints," a coming-of-age story starring Robert Downey Jr., is at 77 percent; and "loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies," which chronicles the triumphant reunion tour of the influential cult band, is at 60 percent.

Recent Ashton Kutcher Movies:
80% — Bobby (2006)
39% — A Lot Like Love (2005)
44% — Guess Who (2005)
33% — The Butterfly Effect (2004)
19% — Just Married (2003)

Recent Billy Bob Thornton Movies:
46% — The Ice Harvest (2005)
46% — The Bad News Bears (2005)
79% — Chrystal (2004)
82% — Friday Night Lights (2004)
30% — The Alamo (2004)

Recent Kevin Costner Movies:
18% — Rumor Has It… (2005)
73% — The Upside of Anger (2004)
79% — Open Range (2003)
8% — Dragonfly (2002)
13% — 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)

Recent Jon Heder Movies:
73% — Monster House (2006)
11% — The Benchwarmers (2006)
56% — Just Like Heaven (2005)
71% — Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Tag Cloud

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