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

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