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

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