Critics Consensus

Critics' Consensus: Cloverfield is Monstrously Fun, 27 Dresses Fails to Impress, Mad Money Not Worth Much

Cloverfield monster emerges victorious in critical bout.

by | January 17, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got monster mayhem (Cloverfield,
Michael Stahl-David), marital mishaps (27 Dresses, starring
Katherine Heigl), and heist hilarity (Mad Money, starring
Diane Keaton
and Queen Latifah). What do the critics have to say?

A sort of
Blair Witch Project
crossed with
tells the story of a monster invasion in Manhattan through
the eyes — and lenses — of a group of twentysomethings. And critics say it’s
one of the most intense cinematic offerings of the new year. The film begins at
a going-away party for Rob (Michael Stahl-David). Just as the festivities get
into full swing, a crisis grips the borough; it turns out a creature is on the
loose, and the partygoers wade out into the terrifying urban landscape,
recording the bedlam on their camcorders. The pundits say Cloverfield may
be a gimmicky take on old monster movie tropes, but it’s also economically
paced, stylistically clever, and filled with scares. At 70 percent on the
Tomatometer, Cloverfield is a monstrously fun time.

"Stay Puft Marshmallow Man again?”

27 Dresses

Katherine Heigl plays a woman who’s
always a bridesmaid, never a bride. The movie’s looking for some love, too —
from the critics. Heigl plays Jane, a selfless gal who’s never met the right
guy, and whose best friend is about to marry the object of her unspoken
affections (Ed Burns); good thing there’s a better guy (James Marsden) in the
general vicinity. The pundits say although everything that happens in 37
is what you’d expect — check that, exactly what you’d expect
— Heigl is good enough to make one wish she was in a better movie. At 24
percent on the Tomatometer, Dresses is getting critically annulled.

Katherine Heigl in The Namesake: The Reckoning.

Mad Money
has such a delirious premise — three
average Janes decide to knock over the Federal Reserve — and such a talented
cast (Diane Keaton,
Queen Latifah,
Katie Holmes) that one might be tempted to
believe the movie is a hilarious girl-power-flavored romp. No such luck, say
critics. Money is the story of a down-on-her-luck housewife (Keaton)
whose husband has just been laid off; after taking a job at the fed bank, she
meets some compatriots who are willing to join her in lifting bills that are to
be removed from currency. While pundits say Money is without a few
laughs, it lacks the sharp edge and bounciness to pull off a caper comedy of
this sort. At 21 percent, Mad Money is not garnering mad props.

Queen Latifah’s words fall on deaf and plugged ears.

Also opining this week in limited release:

  • Taxi to the Dark Side
    a documentary about the Bush administration’s torture policy, is at 100 percent.

  • Indonesian import
    Opera Jawa
    , a
    phantasmagoric folk musical, is at 100 percent.

  • A restored
    Last Year at Marienbad
    Alain Resnais‘s
    still-divisive meditation on the persistence of memory, is at 89 percent.

  • Still Life
    Zhang Ke Jia‘s
    quiet docudrama about romance in the midst of Chinese modernization, is at 83

  • Teeth,
    a horror/comedy about a teenage girl with killer genitalia, is at 82 percent.

  • Lou
    ‘s controversial
    Summer Palace
    , about the
    lives and loves of a group of college students in the days before Tiananmen
    Square, is at 58 percent. (Check out our review from Cannes 2006

  • Woody Allen‘s latest,
    Cassandra’s Dream, starring
    Ewan McGregor and
    Colin Farrell
    as brothers in dire financial straits, is at 35 percent.

  • And
    Day Zero
    , a drama about three young men who have
    been drafted and are off to war starring
    Elijah Wood and
    Chris Klein,
    is at 17 percent.

    "You really think Manhattan Murder Mystery is

And finally, props to
SplendidIsolation and
Meatcake, as
each of them correctly guessed that
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege
would wind up at three percent on the Tomatometer. In the name of Uwe
Boll, I give thee props.

Recent Diane Keaton Movies:


5% —
Because I Said So

53% —
The Family Stone

69% —
Something’s Gotta Give

13% —
Town and Country

12% —
Hanging Up

Tag Cloud

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