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

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