Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Eagle Eye Doesn't Soar, St. Anna No Miracle

Plus, Nights doesn't charm. And guess Fireproof's Tomatometer!

by | September 25, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies,
we’ve got middle-aged love (Nights in Rodanthe, starring
Richard Gere and
Diane Lane);
techno terror (Eagle Eye, starring
Shia LaBeouf and
Michelle Monaghan); World War II heroics (Miracle
at St. Anna
starring Derek Luke); and a forlorn fireman (Fireproof, starring Kirk
Cameron). What do the critics have to say?

After sharing the screen
twice before in The Cotton Club and Unfaithful,

Diane Lane


Richard Gere

heat things up for a third time in

Nights in Rodanthe

Unfortunately, even their admirable efforts and palpable chemistry can’t save
the tale of strangers who fall in love after sharing their respective mid-life
crises one stormy weekend in a seaside bed-and-breakfast.  Critics say Rodanthe
is riddled with clichés, contrivances, and the heartbreaking schmaltz that one
might expect from a Nicholas Sparks adaptation, resulting in a gooey and
intolerable weeper that makes Lifetime movies and Harlequin novels seem subtle
by comparison.  At 33 percent on the Tomatometer, avoid spending your movie Night
in Rodanthe.

Shia LaBeouf
and director
D.J. Caruso‘s last collaboration, 2007’s
, was a surprise $80 million hit for everyone involved. Who knew
LaBeouf could open a movie? Who knew a Caruso movie could actually make money?
For their second effort, the duo leave the MTV Hitchcock arena for more adult
fare with
Eagle Eye
, a paranoia action/thriller
starring LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan as two innocents impelled by phone calls
to commit increasingly dangerous activities. But Eagle Eye is unlikely to
duplicate Disturbia‘s warm response, with critics deriding it as
hysterically preposterous and firmly unbelievable, and lacking any emotional
anchor within the explodey action and destruction. At 24%, avert your Eyes
from Eagle.

The heroics and sacrifices
of African American soldiers in World War II have been unjustly overlooked for
too long. Who better to bring their stories to the big screen than Spike
Lee? Unfortunately, critics say

Miracle at St.
is a
well-intentioned but overlong, disjointed affair. Miracle stars

Derek Luke as a member of
an all-black division stationed in Tuscany who find themselves under fire behind
enemy lines with an orphaned Italian boy and a mysterious sculpture. The pundits say this is one of Lee’s weakest films,
which lacks plot focus and never justifies its epic length. At 28 percent on the
Tomatometer, Miracle falls far short of cinematic sainthood. (Check out
this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down Spike Lee’s collected joints.)

It looks like the folks
behind Fireproof weren’t certain their film would be critically
flame-retardant, since it went unseen by scribes before its release. This
Christian-themed drama stars Kirk Cameron as a firefighter who undergoes a
period of spiritual growth in order to save his flailing marriage. Hey kids, put
on your asbestos gear and guess that Tomatometer!

Also opening this week in
limited release:

  • Silent Light
    , about
    a man’s spiritual crisis within a Mennonite community in Mexico, is at 81

  • Choke
    , starring Sam
    Rockwell and Anjelica Huston in the sordid tale of a sex addict, is at 57
    percent (check out source writer Chuck Palahniuk’s five favorite films

  • The Lucky Ones
    starring Rachel McAdams and Tim Robbins in the story of soldiers on leave
    reflecting on their lives, is at 36 percent.

  • Forever Strong
    starring Sean Faris as a young rugby player who undergoes a life change in
    prison, is at 17 percent.

Finally, mad props to
medikboi_84 for correctly guessing that My Best Friend’s Girl would land at
10 percent on the Tomatometer.

Recent Shia LaBeouf Movies: