Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Vice," "Ant Bully" Are OK; "Tucker," "Scoop" Lack Laughs; "Little Miss" Shines

by | July 27, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, Crockett and Tubbs are back on the beat ("Miami Vice," starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx); an ant bully gets cut down to size ("The Ant Bully"); John Tucker must die ("John Tucker Must Die"); Woody Allen’s got a hot new scoop ("Scoop"); and a Sundance crowd-pleaser ("Little Miss Sunshine") hits theaters. What do the critics have to say?

"High concept" was a buzzword for Hollywood in the 1980s, and virtually nothing embodied that idea more than "Miami Vice," which creator Michael Mann has described as "MTV Cops." Crockett and Tubbs became synonymous for a certain type of glamorous, slightly campy crime fighting that was nonetheless thoroughly engaging. Twenty years later, the film version takes a much darker approach; Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx are deep undercover in a gritty film that’s more like Mann’s "Heat" than "Starsky and Hutch." Maybe that’s the problem; while critics say "Miami Vice" looks terrific and features some outstanding action scenes, they also note that the film is a bit too self-serious and much too long. It currently stands at 55 percent on the Tomatometer, and it’s Mann’s worst-reviewed film since 1983’s "The Keep" (Heard of it? Yeah, me neither).

"Perhaps you’d understand it better/ Standin’ in my shoes/ It’s the ultimate enticement/ It’s the smuggler’s blues."

How’s this for a dream cast? Nicolas Cage, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Paul Giamatti, and Bruce Campbell star in "The Ant Bully," the latest CGI spectacle for the kids. "The Ant Bully" tells the story of a 10-year-old boy who takes out his frustrations on anthills, but subsequently finds himself shrunk down to ant-size, where adventures ensue and he learns a thing about life. The critics say the film is visually remarkable, but lacks originality and a strong narrative. It currently stands at 48 percent on the Tomatometer.


"Run for your lives!"

Missing the mark by a long shot is the romantic vengeance comedy, "John Tucker Must Die," a teen sex laffer about a three-timing lothario ("Desperate Housewives" junk Jesse Metcalfe) and the trio of girlfriends (a cheerleader, a hippie, and a brainiac) out to get him. Critics say that a few too many sight gags and clunky jabs at pop culture savvy make "Tucker" unwatchable for anyone over the age of thirteen; even then, they say it’s one of the better teen flicks to come around of late. Take from that what you will. At 25 percent on the Tomatometer, "Tucker" is far too aptly titled.


"John Tucker Must Die": A movie in dire need of conflict resolution.

News flash! Rumors of Woody Allen‘s career resurgence may have been greatly exaggerated. The scribes say his latest, "Scoop," is more than a little disappointing in the wake of last year’s Certified Fresh "Match Point." Like that one, "Scoop" is set in London, stars Scarlett Johansson, and there’s a murder at the center of the plot. But "Scoop" is a comedy, and an unsuccessful one at that; critics say it relies way too much on hackneyed schtick. At 39 percent on the Tomatometer, "Scoop" is looking like yesterday’s news. And it’s one of the worst-reviewed films of Allen’s great career.


"Little Miss Sunshine": The weakest street gang ever.

"Little Miss Sunshine" was a big hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and now that it’s hitting the theaters, the scribes are just as enthusiastic as the folks in Park City. This tale of a dysfunctional family hitting the road for a child pageant is Certified Fresh, and features sharp performances from its ensemble cast, particularly Greg Kinnear and Steve Carell. At 94 percent, this one’s a ray of "Sunshine." And it’s the third-best reviewed film of the year with 40 reviews or more. (Check out RT’s interview with co-directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton here.)

Also out this week in limited release: The idiosyncratic doc "I Like Killing Flies" is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer; "Brothers of the Head," to our knowledge the only mockumentary about a pair of Siamese twins who are lead singers of a fictitious 1970s punk band, is at 87 percent; the French thriller "13 (Tzameti)," about a Georgian immigrant in France, is at 87 percent; "The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover," a documentary about the last days of celebrated photographer O. Winston Link, is at 80 percent; "Darshan – The Embrace," a doc about one of India’s most famous spiritual guides, is at 44 percent; "Another Gay Movie," an "American Pie"-style comedy, is at 33 percent; and the muckraking Libertarian documentary "America: Freedom to Fascism" is at zero percent.

The Best Reviewed Films Of 2006 With 40 Or More Reviews:
—————————————————————————–
1. Kekexili (98%)
2. Wordplay (95%)
3. Little Miss Sunshine (94%)
4. Fateless (94%)
5. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (93%)

Recent TV- To- Film Adaptations:
—————————————–
49% — Strangers with Candy (2006)
10% — Aeon Flux (2005)
80% — Serenity (2005)
15% — The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
25% — Bewitched (2005)

Recent CG Animated Films
———————————-
70% — Monster House (2006)
76% — Cars (2006)
75% — Over the Hedge (2006)
58% — Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)
19% — The Wild (2006)

Worst Reviewed Woody Allen Films (As Star Or Director)
————————————————————————-
29% — Scenes from a Mall (1991)
32% — Casino Royale (1967)
38% — Don’t Drink the Water (1994)
38% — Celebrity (1998)
40% — King Lear (1987)

Tag Cloud

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