Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: 3 Days to Kill Misses the Mark

Plus, Pompeii is more campy than epic.

by | February 21, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got an ailing spy (3 Days to Kill, starring Kevin Costner and Hailee Steinfeld) and a gladiator in love (Pompeii, starring Kit Harington and Emily Browning). What do the critics have to say?

3 Days to Kill


Plenty of action movies succeed despite (or, in some cases, because of) convoluted plotting, wiseacre dialogue, and gleefully over-the-top set pieces. Unfortunately, critics say 3 Days to Kill never quite gets that balance right, and the result is an uneasy mix between technically accomplished action sequences and an underdeveloped family conflict. Costner stars as a CIA agent with a lot on his plate: he’s dying of cancer, and he just wants to reconnect with his estranged wife and daughter in Paris. However, upon his arrival in the City of Lights, he’s tasked with eliminating two high profile targets, in exchange for an experimental serum that might extend his lifespan. The pundits say 3 Days to Kill has some exciting moments, but it’s ultimately undermined by thin characterizations and an over-reliance on jokey humor. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Costner’s best-reviewed films.)



Gladiators! A beautiful maiden! A legendary natural disaster! Pompeii has all the elements in place for a ripping sword-and-sandal flick. Alas, critics say this big-budget adventure lacks the energy and storytelling heft to amount to more than a guilty pleasure — though many note that the volcanic eruption is pretty cool. Kit Harington stars as a slave who becomes a celebrated gladiator; when he falls in love with a rich girl betrothed to a corrupt politician, our hero must rescue her and escape the fiery lava from Mt. Vesuvius. The pundits say Pompeii is pretty campy stuff, and while it’s by no means the epic it aims to be, it’s a decent enough melodrama if you don’t take it too seriously. (Check out our interviews with the stars of Pompeii, as well as our gallery of natural disasters on film.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, a documentary about the legendary Broadway actress, is at 100 percent.
  • The Romanian import Child’s Pose, a thriller about a woman who goes to great lengths to cover for her son after he kills a teenager in a car crash, is Certified Fresh at 93 percent.
  • Hayao Miyazaki‘s Oscar-nominated The Wind Rises, an animated drama about a young man obsessed with airplanes, is Certified Fresh at 88 percent.
  • Omar, a thriller about a Palestinian man who’s coerced into informing on a friend, is at 84 percent.
  • In Secret, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Oscar Isaac in a period drama about a scandalous affair in 1860s Paris, is at 39 percent.
  • Black Out, an action comedy about a retired criminal who’s framed in the theft of a large amount of cocaine, is at 38 percent.
  • Barefoot, starring Evan Rachel Wood and Scott Speedman in a romantic comedy about a troubled young woman who is invited by an ex-con to be his date to a wedding, is at 10 percent.

Tag Cloud

45 CBS All Access Year in Review Toys Starz Dark Horse Comics cops crime FX Comedy sports Spike thriller Character Guide Trivia what to watch ratings Pirates Drama travel technology serial killer YA Disney Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt PBS dceu Martial Arts Cosplay VH1 MTV Horror Premiere Dates Extras period drama TNT Sundance TCA 2017 Comedy Central Musicals binge based on movie Certified Fresh Lionsgate Action The Arrangement crime drama 2016 24 frames Kids & Family APB Trailer GLAAD Star Wars OWN TV Land Video Games Teen CBS Adult Swim Reality Competition Masterpiece sitcom aliens Mindy Kaling SDCC romance Fantasy composers transformers American Society of Cinematographers Logo Christmas Valentine's Day Interview Freeform political drama dramedy E3 zombie Tomatazos Thanksgiving Best and Worst Awards Western Cartoon Network war First Look vampires supernatural The CW Disney Channel Oscars comiccon docudrama AMC singing competition biography Showtime Creative Arts Emmys TIFF Syfy Rock X-Men Country 2015 NYCC Box Office golden globes RT History cooking CMT A&E Emmys medical drama politics BBC Calendar Countdown Food Network Winners Schedule Photos diversity Set visit History DirecTV Hulu Ghostbusters historical drama 2017 Nominations Tumblr Holidays Bravo Animation MSNBC SundanceTV TV Spring TV Infographic psycho Winter TV PaleyFest social media Biopics El Rey Pop Ellie Kemper Warner Bros. cats justice league 21st Century Fox Grammys Election Fall TV ITV police drama Nat Geo Watching Series cinemax Paramount TLC WGN ABC Red Carpet Marathons Rocky CNN FXX 007 discovery Rom-Com GoT DC Universe Opinion Amazon dc TBS crime thriller Superheroes Reality Nickelodeon Mary Tyler Moore harry potter President BET ESPN Mystery FOX Writers Guild of America GIFs Lifetime Sci-Fi Polls and Games BBC America E! LGBTQ boxoffice Music USA Network Sneak Peek Musical Netflix IFC Summer TCA Crackle adventure talk show USA NBC Universal science fiction Podcast Marvel Super Bowl TruTV Esquire TCM Fox News VICE ABC Family Comic Book spy thriller Star Trek See It Skip It HBO DC Comics