Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Arnold Makes a Satisfying Return in The Last Stand

Plus, Mama is a mixed bag, and Broken City doesn't match its ambitions.

by | January 17, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a border skirmish (The Last Stand, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Johnny Knoxville), haunted children (Mama, starring Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and a shady election (Broken City, starring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe). What do the critics have to say?

The Last Stand


It’s been a decade since Arnold Schwarzenegger toplined a movie. And though the former governor of California shows signs of age in The Last Stand, critics say the movie is a reasonably satisfying meat-and-potatoes action flick that harkens back to Schwarzenegger’s 1980s heyday. The Governator stars as the sheriff of a small border town who becomes the last line of defense when a notorious cartel leader and his heavily-armed henchmen attempt to escape into Mexico. The pundits say The Last Stand is a formulaic action flick, but one that’s elevated by Schwarzenegger’s assured presence, and the result is violent, exuberant fun. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames, in which we present a pictoral history of Schwarzenegger’s films.)



Mama is a ghost story with a strong pedigree: it stars Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain and was executive-produced by Guillermo del Toro. But while some critics say the movie is chilling and atmospheric, others find it clichéd and unable to fulfill its potential. Two sisters disappeared the day their mother was murdered, and after years of searching, their uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend Annabel (Chastain) find the girls and bring them home. But soon, the sisters seem to be communicating with a spectral entity. The pundits say Mama is elegant and spooky, but it chills more than it scares and some feel it doesn’t fully develop its intriguing setup.

Broken City


Broken City is an ambitious political thriller with neo-noir crime elements. Unfortunately, critics say a fine cast can’t save the film’s overstuffed and implausible script. Mark Wahlberg stars as Billy Taggart, an ex-cop-turned-private eye who’s hired by New York City Mayor Nicolas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) to investigate his philandering wife; soon, Taggart has uncovered evidence of a far-reaching conspiracy. The pundits say Broken City has its moments, but it’s too familiar and contrived to work as a whole.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Birders: The Central Park Effect, a documentary about the folks who observe our feathered friends in the heart of New York City, is at 100 percent.
  • Hors Satan, a drama about a teenage girl who befriends a mysterious hermit, is at 78 percent.
  • Here and There, a drama about a migrant worker reuniting with his family in Mexico, is at 50 percent.
  • LUV, starring Common and Dennis Haysbert in a coming-of-age drama about an 11-year-old who spends a day with his ex-con uncle, is at 33 percent.

Finally, props to Bentley Lyles for coming the closest to guessing A Haunted House‘s eight percent Tomatometer.>

Tag Cloud

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