Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Battle: Los Angeles Loses The Fight

Plus, Mars Needs Moms is so-so, but Red Riding Hood misses the mark.

by | March 11, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a war of the worlds (Battle: Los Angeles, starring Aaron Eckhart and Ramon Rodriguez); an interplanetary quest (Mars Needs Moms, starring Seth Green and Joan Cusack); and a lupine love story (Red Riding Hood, starring Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman). What do the critics have to say?

Battle: Los Angeles


The extraterrestrial invasion movie never seems to go out of style. Still, it helps if we have heroes we can root for and a strong storyline, two things that critics say are generally lacking in Battle: Los Angeles. Aaron Eckhart stars as a marine who must lead his charges into battle to protect Santa Monica after hostile outer space visitors have attacked many of the world’s major cities. The pundits say Battle: Los Angeles has a few kinetic action sequences, but those can’t make up for a lack of three-dimensional characters, an overabundance of shaky cam, and a feeling that we’ve seen this kind of thing before. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down some noteworthy cinematic alien invasions.)

Mars Needs Moms


There’s nothing wrong with a kids’ film espousing the timeless message that your parents love you. It’s too bad, critics say, that beyond that handy reminder, Mars Needs Moms is something of a mixed bag; its technology is sometimes impressive, but the script isn’t particularly original. Seth Green stars as a nine-year-old who has an argument with his mom, but realizes the error of his ways when he sees her being abducted by a UFO. Our pint-sized hero stows away on the craft in an effort to extricate his mother from the Martians’ clutches. The pundits say Mars Needs Moms has some decent laughs and a good message, but they’re mixed on the animation and largely find the story lacking.

Red Riding Hood


The tale of Little Red Riding Hood is loaded with potential for an irreverent retelling, one that expands on the dark implications lurking on the edges of this most famous of stories. However, Twilight is popular these days, and critics say what we end up getting with Red Riding Hood is a badly executed drama featuring a love triangle and werewolves. Amanda Seyfried stars as a young woman in an arranged betrothal to a boring guy; soon, she falls in love with the village bad boy, while a series of mysterious wolf attacks create suspicion among the townsfolk. The pundits say Red Riding Hood amounts to a strange miscalculation: the clothes may be from days of yore, but the dialogue is oddly contemporary, and the plot seems like little more than an attempt to cash in on conventions that theoretically make teenage girls swoon.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Desert Of Forbidden Art, a documentary about a man who rescued priceless works of art by hiding them in the Uzbek desert, is at 100 percent.

  • I Will Follow, an indie drama about a successful woman at life’s crossroads, is at 100 percent.

  • Jane Eyre, starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender in a new adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel, is at 90 percent.

  • Certified Copy, starring Juliette Binoche as a woman who pretends to be married to a man she just met while on a tour of rural Italy, is at 86 percent.

  • Black Death, about a medieval knight who embarks on a journey to save his village from the plague, is at 79 percent.

  • 3 Backyards, starring Edie Falco in a drama of three stories that occur on the same day in a suburban neighborhood, is at 71 percent.

  • Kill the Irishman, starring Ray Stevenson and Val Kilmer in the based-on-true-events tale of a notorious Cleveland mobster, is at 70 percent.

  • Elektra Luxx, starring Carla Gugino and Timothy Olyphant in a comedy about a retired porn star in a new phase of her life, is at 31 percent.

  • Monogamy, an indie drama about a wedding photographer who’s hired to take more voyeuristic pictures, is at 20 percent.

Tag Cloud

Instagram Live nature comic book movies ghosts franchise Set visit The Walt Disney Company boxing 2021 game of thrones TV renewals cancelled Apple TV Plus basketball festival a nightmare on elm street See It Skip It Marvel Studios Superheroe Broadway women period drama jamie lee curtis space comic books debate indiana jones Netflix Polls and Games kong medical drama spain batman stand-up comedy Oscar ESPN pirates of the caribbean cats movie Biopics sports saw adenture new york Music Rocky Britbox Video Games cancelled television sitcom crime drama CBS All Access king kong HBO Go dc worst Crackle toy story feel good game show razzies boxoffice Creative Arts Emmys Comedy Country Elton John sopranos natural history christmas movies new zealand E3 Mindy Kaling political drama 93rd Oscars streaming movies Crunchyroll Pirates TV movies Paramount Pictures godzilla Writers Guild of America Sundance Now Universal talk show VOD NYCC emmy awards festivals Pop TV versus Mudbound TCA 24 frames fast and furious Horror Animation 71st Emmy Awards FXX obituary twilight Emmys YouTube dreamworks Cartoon Network comic book movie latino MTV richard e. Grant broadcast video name the review Disney+ Disney Plus Star Wars Celebration CNN war A24 scorecard japanese best 72 Emmy Awards Walt Disney Pictures Best Actor Fox Searchlight marvel cinematic universe witnail kaiju screen actors guild Travel Channel biopic disaster doctor who Trivia classics Fargo San Diego Comic-Con Nickelodeon know your critic new star wars movies Tokyo Olympics award winner historical drama jurassic park archives comiccon IMDb TV TCA Winter 2020 Funimation Infographic serial killer king arthur dramedy 79th Golden Globes Awards Pixar football Sony Pictures criterion venice Ellie Kemper Fall TV cooking TV Land Ghostbusters thriller Lionsgate HBO Max dogs critics travel Netflix Christmas movies TCA 2017 Song of Ice and Fire Ovation Podcast FOX PBS Valentine's Day Best Director Chernobyl MGM The Witch Legendary zombies Stephen King scary movies Extras critic resources Fantasy Tumblr Universal Pictures 21st Century Fox 007 nfl golden globe awards ABC Family technology History Focus Features Paramount El Rey NBA Year in Review Martial Arts universal monsters Film Tomatazos Red Carpet Classic Film Nat Geo Awards Superheroes First Reviews The Academy Character Guide mob comics children's TV Cosplay 2017 films crossover trophy legend elevated horror trailers Masterpiece Paramount Plus VICE docuseries YouTube Premium GIFs news Summer Winter TV Binge Guide FX on Hulu action-comedy Turner Classic Movies Emmy Nominations ITV politics animated USA Network 1990s Esquire spinoff composers anime Hallmark President Mary poppins joker Exclusive Video romance The Walking Dead Tubi 2019 Best and Worst Brie Larson Star Wars OneApp Shudder 45 HFPA telelvision YA movies Star Trek X-Men CW Seed reviews Rocketman Baby Yoda dark Black History Month rotten movies we love Apple mcc Tags: Comedy BET Awards 4/20 SDCC Photos Sony rt labs critics edition Adult Swim comic Marvel Television VH1 Alien art house Box Office live action Arrowverse leaderboard heist movie spanish language Amazon Prime Video Winners facebook USA vampires TBS Schedule green book BAFTA Discovery Channel based on movie Quiz discovery Sci-Fi james bond Comic Book dceu Showtime Academy Awards AMC Plus true crime cartoon summer TV preview strong female leads casting Dark Horse Comics directors Heroines adventure satire Women's History Month live event Sundance hispanic WGN toronto concert Best Picture Syfy foreign TV Comic-Con@Home 2021 E! aapi black comedy cancelled TV shows RT History Holidays police drama die hard gangster sequel SXSW 2022 slasher The Arrangement DC Comics laika HBO screenings 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Epix parents Paramount Network Geeked Week TIFF japan Pet Sematary Image Comics Disney streaming service The Purge FX 2015 New York Comic Con Musical TCM breaking bad biography Chilling Adventures of Sabrina National Geographic reboot television Apple TV+ Wes Anderson Native Acorn TV SundanceTV asian-american revenge popular Tarantino PaleyFest kids what to watch robots rom-coms crime thriller OWN Television Academy hist Mystery canceled Starz superhero Comedy Central South by Southwest Film Festival slashers blockbusters summer TV Columbia Pictures 20th Century Fox Prime Video harry potter Marathons rotten Oscars Comics on TV miniseries Holiday hollywood YouTube Red Nominations italian Pacific Islander BBC One series A&E prank scary Calendar TCA Awards Election Grammys Sundance TV TV One BET Turner social media mission: impossible Premiere Dates target Anna Paquin adaptation TLC ID 99% vs. psychological thriller binge Trailer Warner Bros. video on demand singing competition royal family Certified Fresh young adult blaxploitation docudrama blockbuster cinemax Countdown rt labs dexter target scene in color Cannes Lucasfilm Neflix MCU Family renewed TV shows American Society of Cinematographers Christmas halloween tv Bravo Musicals wonder woman psycho Spring TV NBC Reality Competition summer preview high school Spectrum Originals crime Reality Rock Black Mirror teaser 90s Hallmark Christmas movies Trophy Talk APB hispanic heritage month spy thriller comedies LGBT IFC Films Pride Month book adaptation Rom-Com indie obi wan BBC mutant Lifetime Christmas movies Disney PlayStation Amazon cancelled TV series MSNBC suspense 73rd Emmy Awards worst movies Sneak Peek First Look posters black golden globes Mary Tyler Moore transformers Lifetime sag awards halloween Amazon Prime Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt chucky anthology justice league Peacock supernatural Action unscripted Captain marvel fresh scene in color series Teen 2018 Best Actress independent Vudu SXSW spider-verse theme song RT21 sequels Thanksgiving TNT Logo The CW book Kids & Family CBS Fox News scene in color Western Hear Us Out ABC cults international nbcuniversal dragons Shondaland rt archives CMT Marvel canceled TV shows GoT documentaries 2020 aliens child's play genre werewolf WarnerMedia Film Festival streamig DirecTV Freeform Disney Channel Indigenous Spike Opinion streaming 94th Oscars romantic comedy documentary superman free movies IFC australia Disney Plus Hollywood Foreign Press Association Food Network zombie Awards Tour quibi stop motion ViacomCBS south america TruTV spanish Endgame interviews mockumentary GLAAD Pop monster movies stoner Mary Poppins Returns cops DC streaming service spider-man Super Bowl BBC America LGBTQ all-time lord of the rings DGA ABC Signature scene in color film series DC Universe hidden camera deadpool Hulu olympics remakes Avengers 2016 Toys AMC science fiction Television Critics Association french cars ratings finale tv talk Interview diversity Watching Series marvel comics zero dark thirty Amazon Studios Drama