Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Inkheart Is Less Than Magical

Plus, Slumdog and Frost/Nixon are Certified Fresh, Road is an exquisite bummer, and Underworld goes unscreened.

by | January 22, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got living literature (Inkheart, starring Brendan Fraser and Eliza Hope Bennett); political intrigue (Frost/Nixon, starring Michael Sheen and Frank Langella); domestic strife (Revolutionary Road, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio); and werewolf/vampire conflict (Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, starring Rhona Mitra and Bill Nighy). What do the critics have to say?


[tomatometer]MuzeID=1190728[/tomatometer]

Inkheart

Inkheart is a fantastical tale about the power of the printed word, but critics say this family movie doesn’t bring the appeal of Cornelia Funke’s source novel to compelling life. Inkheart stars Brendan Fraser as Mo Folchart, who’s a “Silvertongue” — when he reads books aloud, the fictional characters spring to life. However, this has the unintended consequence of summoning a villain who takes him hostage, and it’s up to his daughter Meggie (Eliza Hope Bennett) to save him. The pundits say Inkheart lacks the requisite whimsy and magic, and the result is a fantasy adventure in which a lot happens but too little inspires.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1198041[/tomatometer]

Slumdog Millionaire

Danny Boyle is a director whose films nearly burst with energy, and critics say his latest, Slumdog Millionaire, has a kinetic vitality — and an infectious sweetness – that’s difficult to resist. The Certified Fresh Slumdog (which already won Best Picture at the Golden Globes and is going wide this week) tells the story of a street kid named Jamal Malik (Dev Patel), who makes a splash on an Indian game show, prompting officials to question whether he’s cheating. The pundits say Slumdog is a marvel, a heartfelt film shot with panache and featuring excellent performances. Check out Awards Tour, RT’s one-stop shop for awards season news, here.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1187019[/tomatometer]

Frost/Nixon

It was one of the strangest episodes in television history: a self-promoting British TV personality was able to arrange a no-holds-barred interview with disgraced former president Richard Nixon. It’s an inherently compelling tale, and critics say Ron Howard’s Certified Fresh Best Picture nominee Frost/Nixon (expanding this week into wide release) is a taut, tense historical drama. Michael Sheen stars as David Frost, who was able to coax Nixon (Frank Langella) to sit down after three years of silence; though Nixon expects softballs, Frost turns out to be a bit more than he bargained for. The pundits say Frost/Nixon is a superbly acted character study, filled with razor-sharp dialogue and a palpable sense of time and place.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1190978[/tomatometer]

Revolutionary Road

A decade after Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet again find themselves playing characters on a sinking ship; however, in Revolutionary Road the vessel is their marriage. Critics say the movie (expanding this week into wide release) is handsomely crafted by Sam Mendes, but the result is an exquisite downer. DiCaprio and Winslet star as Frank and April, a young couple with dreams of ditching their humdrum suburban existence for the freedom and excitement of Paris; however, circumstance stymies them, and resentment follows. The pundits say Revolutionary Road looks immaculate, and the performances (especially a supporting turn by Oscar-nominated Michael Shannon) are outstanding, but some feel the movie is more tasteful than emotionally resonant.



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1194220[/tomatometer]

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Apparently, the folks behind the Underworld, Rise of the Lycans were expecting that critics would sink their claws into this werewolf/vampire horror/fantasy flick. Rhona Mitra plays Sonja, the daughter of vampire baddie Viktor (Bill Nighy), who has caught the eye of Viktor’s nemesis, the werewolf Lucian (Michael Sheen). Kids, it’s time to guess that Tomatometer!


Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Of Time and the City, director Terence Davies’ off-beat look at his hometown of Liverpool, is at 88 percent.
  • Crips and Bloods: Made in America, a documentary that examines at the root causes of the long-running gang war, is at 75 percent.
  • California Dreaming, a dark culture-clash comedy about a group of Marines stranded in a Kosovo village, is at 75 percent.
  • Donkey Punch, a British thriller about a Mediterranean holiday gone very wrong, is at 57 percent.
  • Outlander, the tale of an alien spaceship that crash-lands in Viking territory, is at 36 percent.
  • The Lodger, a loose remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 thriller starring Hope Davis and Alfred Molina, is at 29 percent.

Recent Kate Winslet Movies:

Tag Cloud

Showtime APB CNN 21st Century Fox Thanksgiving History ratings harry potter Food Network TV PBS crime thriller biography President travel Sony Pictures Biopics Teen Starz crime Comedy CBS A&E Podcast DC Comics Logo Lifetime Superheroe See It Skip It TruTV TCA 2017 Countdown Winners sitcom IFC cinemax Tomatazos TV Land Disney Channel El Rey IFC Films Horror finale TCM Reality Fox News thriller BBC America Warner Bros. blaxploitation Masterpiece Columbia Pictures Video Games Summer E3 RT History Ghostbusters Cartoon Network Star Trek Extras robots Nickelodeon diversity historical drama Sundance The Arrangement USA Character Guide Oscars Watching Series transformers YouTube Red dc Tumblr Polls and Games Spike MTV Ovation Lucasfilm cults composers Animation war Sci-Fi Rom-Com discovery Dark Horse Comics justice league Premiere Dates spy thriller Grammys Spring TV Music festivals hist American Society of Cinematographers Hulu Awards Infographic LGBTQ Country zombie BBC sports Pirates supernatural Interview comiccon Toys zombies period drama Pixar MSNBC medical drama Paramount Network CW Seed Superheroes Trailer ABC Family FOX science fiction DirecTV dceu Action FX TCA YA TLC Photos 007 singing competition based on movie National Geographic First Look social media Emmys golden globes The CW Holidays Trivia Set visit Lionsgate TIFF Netflix Star Wars Western Martial Arts Nat Geo Rock 45 CMT talk show VICE AMC VH1 DC streaming service Universal BET dramedy cooking Election police drama Red Carpet vampires Paramount Comedy Central Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Musical Super Bowl ABC Esquire mutant CBS All Access Marvel Ellie Kemper Winter TV 20th Century Fox technology Disney crime drama Mystery political drama Song of Ice and Fire GLAAD Year in Review Sundance Now Britbox 24 frames GIFs Acorn TV Calendar Box Office Shondaland Writers Guild of America what to watch X-Men romance ESPN adventure Crackle cops 2016 NYCC Mindy Kaling Drama SXSW ITV binge Creative Arts Emmys Kids & Family 2015 HBO Pop FXX Opinion unscripted serial killer Syfy DC Universe Musicals streaming Sneak Peek Valentine's Day SDCC NBC Comic Book crossover E! Certified Fresh docudrama Bravo Apple Nominations Reality Competition Rocky boxoffice cats Schedule Best and Worst psycho Freeform TNT Christmas USA Network GoT SundanceTV TBS Cosplay Fantasy Walt Disney Pictures Fall TV OWN PaleyFest Marathons politics YouTube Premium Amazon aliens Mary Tyler Moore 2017 Adult Swim WGN