Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Dumb and Dumber To Has Too Few Laughs

Plus, Beyond the Lights is melodrama done right, and The Newsroom and The Comeback are Certified Fresh

by | November 13, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got foolhardy travelers (Dumb and Dumber To, starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels) and a lovelorn pop star (Beyond the Lights, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker). What do the critics have to say?

Dumb and Dumber To


Twenty years ago, Dumb and Dumber solidified Jim Carrey’s reign as the king of lowbrow comedy, and established directors Bobby and Peter Farrelly as the maestros of heartfelt gross-out humor. Unfortunately, critics say that while Harry and Lloyd can still generate an occasional dumb laugh, Dumb and Dumber To is more crass than funny, and too content to recycle laughs from its superior predecessor. This time out, Harry (Jeff Daniels) needs a kidney transplant, so he recruits Lloyd (Carrey) for a road trip to find a young woman that might be his daughter in the hope that she’s cool with donating a kidney). The pundits say Dumb and Dumber To gets a lot of mileage out of the charisma of its stars, but it simply lacks the heart and freshness of the original. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Daniels’ best-reviewed films.)

Beyond the Lights


“Melodramatic” has become something of a dirty word these days, but there’s nothing wrong with a little melodrama if it’s done well. Take Beyond the Lights, for example: critics say there’s nothing original about this romantic drama, but thanks to sharp direction from Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Gina Prince-Bythewood and an attractive, likeable cast, it’s a top-notch crowd-pleaser. Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as a rising pop star who’s rapidly becoming disenchanted with fame. She falls hard for Kaz (Nate Parker), an off-duty police officer, after he helps her out of a jam. Will true love conquer all? The pundits say Beyond the Lights is so well-executed that it mostly transcends its cliches, and it ends up having a thing or two to say about the toll that fame takes on women. (Watch our interviews with Mbatha-Raw and Parker here.)

Certified Fresh on TV:

With an energetic new arc and deeper character development, The Newsroom (Certified Fresh at 82 percent) finds itself rejuvenated in its third season — even if it still occasionally serves as a soapbox for creator Aaron Sorkin.

Substantially similar to its predecessor in all the best ways, critics say this new season of The Comeback (Certified Fresh at 83 percent) thrives on Lisa Kudrow’s starring performance as Valerie Cherish.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Foxcatcher, starring Channing Tatum and Steve Carell in a drama about an Olympic wrestling hopeful who falls under the influence of a questionable patron, is Certified Fresh at 93 percent.
  • Thou Wast Mild and Lovely, a drama about wild passions on a Kentucky farm, is at 83 percent.
  • Bad Turn Worse, a drama about a trio of Texas teens whose going-away celebration is financed by stolen cash, is at 82 percent.
  • The Homesman, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank in a Western about a former schoolteacher who recruits a man with a past to help her establish a sanctuary for troubled women, is at 78 percent.
  • Starry Eyes, a sci-fi horror film about an actress who is unwittingly enlisted by a sinister organization, is at 78 percent.
  • Jon Stewart‘s Rosewater, starring Gael García Bernal in a based-on-true-events drama about a Newsweek reporter accused of espionage while on assignment in Iran, is at 73 percent.
  • Miss Meadows, starring Katie Holmes in a drama about an elementary school teacher who moonlights as a vigilante, is at 50 percent.
  • Wolves, an action/horror hybrid about a teen werewolf who discovers an unsettled community of wolf-people, is at 33 percent.

Tag Cloud

LGBT Nominations American Society of Cinematographers TBS rotten movies we love ITV Drama disaster critics television casting Tubi cinemax IFC Films MCU Calendar Stephen King Britbox LGBTQ cartoon Pirates psycho zero dark thirty cops Pride Month Character Guide cars DC Universe 24 frames Photos San Diego Comic-Con Turner Classic Movies Hallmark Fall TV Marvel Studios adaptation stand-up comedy CW Seed 45 spain cats Lucasfilm 2015 Turner cooking Paramount Network Fox News breaking bad science fiction Chilling Adventures of Sabrina BAFTA Schedule Comedy Central mission: impossible stoner technology APB Anna Paquin Winter TV Tumblr Cosplay versus movies comics game of thrones E3 Comics on TV discovery Peacock cancelled TV shows Creative Arts Emmys elevated horror Star Wars nature Mary poppins Disney Plus game show 4/20 Amazon sports Box Office directors Western concert Holiday canceled Apple TV+ halloween crime drama spider-man BBC One Thanksgiving green book documentary zombies Writers Guild of America The Witch AMC TCA 2017 documentaries TIFF Women's History Month Teen thriller TCA Winter 2020 DC streaming service south america series festivals Black History Month HBO Go Amazon Studios blaxploitation Pop TV universal monsters TV Land Ovation Disney+ Disney Plus Ghostbusters Superheroes reboot Academy Awards Tomatazos Holidays Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Interview parents Song of Ice and Fire ratings zombie Rom-Com Cannes Crackle all-time social media children's TV Infographic Esquire YouTube Red Binge Guide dogs IFC Mary Poppins Returns VICE finale Set visit Ellie Kemper Columbia Pictures Disney streaming service teaser SXSW twilight vampires Reality name the review A24 screenings werewolf DGA National Geographic golden globes video Valentine's Day spy thriller Country Biopics Logo Captain marvel Musicals Mary Tyler Moore The Arrangement Fantasy Bravo scary movies Sony Pictures Extras VH1 NYCC christmas movies Mindy Kaling Amazon Prime comic Family kids Grammys HBO Max MSNBC PaleyFest Awards Tour TLC slashers WGN Super Bowl Marvel mutant adventure blockbuster Lionsgate asian-american Heroines binge sitcom Polls and Games Opinion Disney dark Hear Us Out theme song Rocky Election Brie Larson Syfy FX psychological thriller based on movie Winners ESPN Discovery Channel Netflix Christmas movies batman VOD Masterpiece Shondaland Sundance Now franchise Toys films Apple TV Plus Adult Swim Classic Film DC Comics Music Mudbound hist Sci-Fi Pixar Premiere Dates Emmy Nominations mockumentary See It Skip It cults Action news 20th Century Fox sequel child's play aliens BBC America Travel Channel comiccon Kids & Family Certified Fresh FX on Hulu YA Lifetime Christmas movies OWN A&E politics GoT BET Awards CMT Animation Cartoon Network space composers FOX political drama indie dc talk show chucky video on demand New York Comic Con Nickelodeon Funimation revenge Best and Worst Trivia Star Trek transformers singing competition dceu Countdown dramedy Endgame Crunchyroll Black Mirror Spring TV facebook X-Men cancelled television CNN ABC Family Watching Series Arrowverse crime thriller dragons Disney Channel movie book Pet Sematary award winner doctor who strong female leads The Walking Dead quibi miniseries romance diversity The CW Avengers PBS Musical Warner Bros. 2018 BBC Emmys PlayStation ghosts screen actors guild GLAAD historical drama 2017 free movies satire tv talk USA 2016 DirecTV biography Vudu The Purge History Oscars Comic Book docudrama anthology 21st Century Fox Starz die hard natural history WarnerMedia Film Festival cancelled TV series Elton John Summer boxoffice Superheroe Quiz SDCC Trophy Talk romantic comedy Television Academy Chernobyl HBO Reality Competition police drama El Rey E! TNT Apple sag awards OneApp spinoff Podcast Martial Arts Comedy Freeform crossover USA Network Epix cancelled true crime 007 Lifetime Horror hispanic Walt Disney Pictures TruTV what to watch richard e. Grant foreign robots Spectrum Originals Rocketman unscripted ABC harry potter Hallmark Christmas movies latino GIFs Year in Review Nat Geo jamie lee curtis a nightmare on elm street CBS All Access crime TV renewals Paramount YouTube renewed TV shows witnail medical drama Shudder Dark Horse Comics President Christmas Showtime TCM Sundance TV toy story NBC YouTube Premium canceled TV shows 71st Emmy Awards 2020 streaming anime travel CBS Awards Hulu Marvel Television war First Look Sundance Red Carpet MTV TV indiana jones best spanish language supernatural Marathons Trailer serial killer Mystery joker TCA Tarantino RT History animated comedies BET RT21 Baby Yoda period drama Food Network Rock criterion First Reviews Spike independent Universal SundanceTV Pop Film FXX reviews justice league Sneak Peek Netflix Amazon Prime Video 2019 Video Games Acorn TV