Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Carrie Won't Replace the Original

Plus, Escape Plan and The Fifth Estate are both uneven.

by | October 17, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a telekinetic teen (Carrie, starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore); a pair of jail-breakers (Escape Plan, starring Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger); and a document leaker (The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Brühl). What do the critics have to say?

Carrie

50%

The original Carrie holds a special place in the hearts of horror buffs, so a remake is inherently fraught with peril. And critics say that while director Kimberly Peirce turns in a respectable effort, there’s little in this new Carrie that feels necessary. Chloe Grace Moretz stars as the title character, a teenage outcast with a demanding mom and telekinetic powers. Will the snobby kids at Carrie’s school learn not to mess with her? The pundits say Carrie is competently made, but does little to distinguish itself from Brian De Palma’s beloved original film. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down some memorable horror movie remakes.)

Escape Plan

50%

God bless Sly and Arnie; it’s pretty inspiring to see the 1980s’ two biggest action stars still slugging it out well into their sixties. That said, critics feel Escape Plan isn’t the best vehicle for their talents; despite a few decent thrills, it’s a middling action flick with a flimsy plot and an overall lack of panache. Stallone stars as a security expert who’s been wrongly imprisoned, so he teams up with a fellow inmate (Schwarzenegger) and devises a plan to bust out. The pundits say the stars keep Escape Plan watchable, but they’re ultimately defeated by inert pacing and a by-the-numbers script.

The Fifth Estate

35%

Like The Social Network, The Fifth Estate is a ripped-from-the-headlines drama about how new technology is impacting our lives. Unfortunately, critics say that despite an impressive performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, this dramatic retelling of the WikiLeaks story is ill-prepared to tackle the issues it raises. Julian Assange (Cumberbatch) and hacker Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) create a site to publish clandestine information. However, when WikiLeaks scores a series of big scoops that infuriate the powerful, the site’s founders become divided on their mission and motives. The pundits say The Fifth Estate is a mostly skin-deep examination of the ethical questions that Assange raised, one that fails to bring its characters to life, despite the best efforts of a strong cast.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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