Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Brave Is Rousing and Heartfelt

Plus, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is oddly muted, and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is inspired but sentimental.

by | June 22, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a bow-wielding princess (Brave, with voice work by Kelly Macdonald and Billy Connolly); a slayer-in-chief (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, starring Benjamin Walker and Mary Elizabeth Winstead); and an apocalyptic love affair (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, starring Steve Carell and Keira Knightley). What do the critics have to say?



Pixar has finally added a female lead to its stable of animated stars, and while critics find Brave to be a cut below the studio’s finest works, it’s still a rousing, beautifully animated tale with some funny gags and a lovable heroine. Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald) is a princess who balks at her mother’s plan for her life, preferring to romp about the Scottish countryside with her trusty bow and arrow. However, when Merida impulsively asks a witch for a spell to change her destiny, she unintentionally throws her kingdom into chaos. The pundits say Brave isn’t the sharpest story in the Pixar cannon, but it’s a visual marvel with a strong protagonist and heartfelt scenes of mother-daughter bonding. (Check out 24 Frames for a pictorial rundown of Pixar’s history.)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter


One would expect that a movie titled Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter would deliver lots of goofy gory thrills. Critics say that’s only half correct; while the movie has a couple of deliriously weird moments, it’s surprisingly muted and serious given its premise. When his mother is killed by a vampire, Honest Abe (Benjamin Walker) vows revenge. So he establishes a successful law practice, is elected to public office, and tries to preserve the union — all the while wreaking havoc on the bloodsucking undead. The pundits say Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is visually striking, but its odd mix of biopic and action spectacle makes for uneven viewing. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down memorable movies featuring historical presidents.)

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World


An apocalyptic romantic comedy, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World has a concept that seems designed to divide critics. Some say it’s buoyed by inspired casting and a number of touching moments, while others say it’s too contrived and sentimental to fully resonate. An asteroid is headed straight for Earth, so lovelorn Dodge (Steve Carell) decides to seize the day and go on a road trip with his free-spirited downstairs neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley). The pundits say Seeking a Friend for the End of the World hits on some big themes with delicacy and tact, but some find it too much of a tonal mishmash.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Invisible War, a documentary about sexual assault within the armed forces, is at 100 percent.
  • Nate & Margaret, a dramedy about the close friendship between a young film student and a fifty-something aspiring comedienne, is at 80 percent.
  • Kumaré, a gonzo doc about a filmmaker-cum-holy man who finds a group of people following his questionable teachings, is at 73 percent.
  • Woody Allen‘s To Rome with Love, starring Alec Baldwin and Penelope Cruz in a comedy about a group of people falling in and out of love in the Eternal City, is at 49 percent.
  • The Last Ride, a fictional account of the last days of country music legend Hank Williams, is at 38 percent.

Tag Cloud

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