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

dceu Pop TV quibi Pet Sematary hist TCA Awards SXSW classics historical drama Pop Interview politics VH1 BBC One Winter TV thriller Song of Ice and Fire Starz Comedy Mary Tyler Moore cats A&E Oscars war The Arrangement marvel cinematic universe TIFF Disney Channel Shondaland CBS All Access TCM Paramount Plus fast and furious Certified Fresh Best and Worst Polls and Games Hallmark heist movie TV One Marvel OWN documentaries police drama Quiz king kong See It Skip It Mudbound Sundance remakes NYCC kong CNN Lucasfilm 71st Emmy Awards elevated horror dc werewolf Music documentary YouTube Premium Mindy Kaling Ovation football CW Seed foreign spy thriller ABC Signature Superheroe new star wars movies golden globes Brie Larson Film Stephen King medical drama television mission: impossible E! Ellie Kemper scene in color cults trailers comedies biography Infographic serial killer sports TV streaming renewed TV shows PBS spider-man APB CBS natural history a nightmare on elm street TBS Marvel Television universal monsters Sundance TV Cannes President name the review PlayStation technology Tarantino DC Universe LGBT YouTube Red unscripted The Witch diversity spanish language FXX Spectrum Originals Turner target TCA HBO Go RT History talk show boxoffice asian-american Columbia Pictures Rock james bond El Rey space facebook Family First Reviews The Purge Pride Month SundanceTV San Diego Comic-Con Trailer archives science fiction TV movies Video Games USA Network Countdown tv talk toy story nbcuniversal binge spinoff japanese prank BBC christmas movies HBO Hulu PaleyFest BET Awards blockbusters justice league VOD 4/20 international Warner Bros. dogs kaiju stand-up comedy Shudder canceled video on demand Creative Arts Emmys TNT IFC Films Animation independent know your critic Vudu mockumentary CMT TV renewals screenings Arrowverse RT21 Acorn TV Netflix Christmas movies cancelled Valentine's Day Fantasy ghosts Baby Yoda ABC Britbox Women's History Month cancelled TV series Grammys Year in Review obituary joker cinemax Legendary Pirates toronto Nat Geo ratings 2017 directors Crackle Apple Peacock Food Network Tumblr social media Image Comics parents disaster Hear Us Out women animated Drama Trophy Talk ITV MTV Turner Classic Movies zombies Country FOX 2019 comic Star Wars news period drama batman comics child's play Walt Disney Pictures book adaptation 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards aapi boxing Election NBC Summer 20th Century Fox HBO Max game of thrones Broadway worst movies sitcom The CW pirates of the caribbean popular emmy awards Christmas worst X-Men Rocky Chilling Adventures of Sabrina green book harry potter franchise 93rd Oscars miniseries Fox News indiana jones Black Mirror italian Paramount Network mutant french Lionsgate Mary Poppins Returns Television Critics Association WGN Logo Academy Awards Marvel Studios Calendar BAFTA spain Action DC Comics TCA 2017 comiccon stop motion cops reviews Disney Pixar psycho Fox Searchlight Showtime MCU 2020 Film Festival Marathons Avengers Travel Channel hidden camera Heroines indie comic books rotten telelvision saw Ghostbusters doctor who sequel versus Photos Schedule richard e. Grant adventure 2021 Television Academy crime Comics on TV psychological thriller 24 frames superhero Tubi TCA Winter 2020 Amazon Studios YouTube Nickelodeon Box Office free movies Elton John jamie lee curtis Emmys game show Crunchyroll crime thriller theme song zero dark thirty Tomatazos 2016 lord of the rings romance festival ESPN critics Amazon black Teen Cosplay halloween tv Lifetime Christmas movies Watching Series Paramount A24 FX on Hulu movies Mystery Amazon Prime spanish live action new york Writers Guild of America dragons award winner scorecard Classic Film IFC SDCC aliens twilight concert nature chucky 2018 Red Carpet rom-coms strong female leads cooking DC streaming service witnail Character Guide latino travel The Academy 007 45 halloween casting Freeform VICE Musicals discovery razzies 2015 Rom-Com Disney Plus Opinion Apple TV Plus Lifetime Awards Podcast monster movies adaptation Sundance Now supernatural jurassic park true crime E3 high school dark reboot Sci-Fi sequels Biopics OneApp screen actors guild Awards Tour Musical USA Sony Pictures Comedy Central cartoon composers Alien laika Nominations hollywood godzilla Thanksgiving finale romantic comedy Black History Month Cartoon Network political drama Fall TV die hard TLC films Martial Arts Kids & Family series AMC Pacific Islander BBC America Masterpiece Netflix The Walking Dead LGBTQ Winners National Geographic cancelled television DirecTV Western Mary poppins blaxploitation GoT all-time festivals Set visit slashers what to watch Bravo anime dramedy hispanic crossover Amazon Prime Video 99% stoner Binge Guide deadpool superman Super Bowl Dark Horse Comics vampires zombie Anna Paquin Premiere Dates First Look Hallmark Christmas movies nfl Esquire 72 Emmy Awards singing competition satire Holiday History BET revenge anthology Superheroes TV Land GLAAD TruTV ID Sneak Peek Reality Competition venice Comic Book robots Trivia Exclusive Video Funimation sag awards Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Syfy breaking bad Star Trek children's TV 21st Century Fox Holidays Disney+ Disney Plus Horror Captain marvel based on movie best cancelled TV shows blockbuster transformers Toys canceled TV shows australia GIFs Disney streaming service Reality ViacomCBS Rocketman Chernobyl Apple TV+ FX rt archives south america Adult Swim American Society of Cinematographers DGA New York Comic Con Universal Epix movie Emmy Nominations scary movies Extras Endgame MSNBC crime drama docuseries teaser kids cars streaming movies ABC Family video Spring TV YA criterion Discovery Channel fresh book The Walt Disney Company new zealand docudrama rotten movies we love WarnerMedia Spike golden globe awards