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

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