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

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