Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Dinner for Schmucks Serves Up An OK Time

Plus, Charlie St. Cloud and Cats and Dogs fail to wow the critics.

by | July 30, 2010 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a dinner party disaster (Dinner for Schmucks, starring Steve Carell and Paul Rudd), some after-death bonding (Charlie St. Cloud, starring Zac Efron and Kim Basinger), and a joint canine-feline mission (Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, starring Chris O’Donnell and Jack McBrayer). What do the critics have to say?


Dinner for Schmucks

It’s not unusual for a remake to lose something in transition, and that’s the case with Dinner for Schmucks, an American take on the acid French farce The Dinner Game. Still, critics say even if this isn’t the most biting comedy, the inventiveness of Steve Carell and Paul Rudd make it consistently watchable and occasionally hilarious. Rudd stars as a guy struggling to get ahead at his company, until his boss invites him to a dinner party. One problem: the dinner is a competition, and he has to bring the biggest idiot he can find. So he brings Barry (Carell), a world class fool who also has a core of decency and some interesting talents. The pundits say Schmucks lacks the bite of the original, and often devolves into empte slapstick. However, it’s also got goofiness and absurdity to spare, and its performers are on top of their games. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down Rudd’s best-reviewed movies.)


Charlie St. Cloud

Slowly but surely, Zac Efron is moving away from the teenybop material that made him a star. However, if his turn in last year’s Me and Orson Welles signaled a new maturity, the critics say the generic weepy Charlie St. Cloud is a big step backward. Efron stars as a young man overcome with grief at the death of his younger brother; soon however, he’s communicating with his sibling from the beyond. Will he stay true to the little guy even after meeting the girl of his dreams? The pundits say Charlie St. Cloud is a melodramatic mess, uneasily mixing romantic and supernatural elements with a bit too much schmaltz to resonate.


Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Nine years ago, Cats and Dogs was a surprise box office hit that generated some tepid but decent reviews. Not this time: critics say the sequel, subtitled The Revenge of Kitty Galore, is a dull satire of James Bond movies that’s unlikely to generate much enthusiasm among the kiddies in the audience. This time out, the cats and dogs join forces to defeat an evil plan by Kitty Galore, a rogue housecat bent on world domination. The pundits say this one’s a dog, with mediocre CGI effects, little storytelling to speak of, and an utter lack of originality.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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