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

PaleyFest razzies Nominations romance FXX Tarantino Lionsgate Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Image Comics Paramount Network Peacock japanese gangster sopranos Comics on TV unscripted Tags: Comedy target Musicals HBO Go HBO Max Tumblr crime drama Amazon Prime 2021 new york zombies leaderboard Country Interview saw Stephen King boxoffice ratings Universal Holidays Star Wars die hard mcc child's play BBC One strong female leads toronto french VH1 Rom-Com Quiz black werewolf YA Food Network dragons video on demand 2019 DC Comics Character Guide Disney Plus rom-coms Prime Video Rocketman Certified Fresh Disney Superheroes Amazon disaster genre theme song Trophy Talk heist movie Marvel Studios 20th Century Fox El Rey war Columbia Pictures ABC halloween tv biopic natural history Pride Month Mudbound chucky Year in Review sitcom mission: impossible zombie richard e. Grant stop motion docuseries BBC X-Men crossover vs. 73rd Emmy Awards renewed TV shows festival BET Awards binge TV One slasher quibi Winners venice Focus Features Awards Tour Turner Video Games Animation Best Picture 94th Oscars Reality Competition Comedy Sundance TV aapi DC streaming service finale remakes Sony Binge Guide Crunchyroll Sundance game of thrones football CBS All Access christmas movies Super Bowl award winner Avengers docudrama Sneak Peek DC Universe Box Office streaming movies new zealand Extras See It Skip It cooking Netflix Christmas movies 93rd Oscars cops Showtime Best and Worst Star Trek Travel Channel mutant GoT directors cancelled TV shows know your critic TV Land President CW Seed Cosplay psychological thriller Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt a nightmare on elm street Arrowverse rotten dramedy YouTube Red marvel comics technology Legendary Mary poppins Rock Native adenture Family comic book movie wonder woman golden globes hispanic heritage month BET APB composers Opinion art house Anna Paquin franchise best Crackle thriller LGBT Exclusive Video Fall TV spider-man 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Watching Series ESPN foreign international Heroines Baby Yoda AMC Plus critic resources comiccon The Walt Disney Company Trailer children's TV fresh true crime justice league zero dark thirty San Diego Comic-Con Disney+ Disney Plus ITV A&E crime Indigenous posters japan Shudder SDCC Black Mirror 2018 Pet Sematary summer preview Mary Tyler Moore TCA Paramount Pictures Disney streaming service space kong reboot Mary Poppins Returns 4/20 Fox Searchlight Fargo psycho The Academy mockumentary Black History Month political drama 1990s The Walking Dead Geeked Week Calendar MSNBC Photos hist australia Horror Countdown 2020 comic book movies royal family Television Academy live action facebook indie A24 Esquire monster movies Tubi summer TV dceu Lifetime Marathons diversity free movies superhero lord of the rings Lifetime Christmas movies deadpool dogs romantic comedy worst movies sports History scene in color james bond scary Election vampires batman cars Hulu king kong cults historical drama SXSW 2022 First Look 2015 nature joker Best Actor USA Network Nat Geo archives Sundance Now Film nbcuniversal Star Wars Celebration target scene in color rt labs critics edition Tokyo Olympics critics Adult Swim Neflix miniseries 79th Golden Globes Awards kids 72 Emmy Awards name the review Epix scene in color film series Cannes TCA 2017 MGM CMT TruTV telelvision Valentine's Day YouTube Academy Awards HBO 2017 parents screenings Winter TV FX 007 Wes Anderson satire indiana jones halloween ABC Signature what to watch Elton John 24 frames documentaries 45 feel good Apple TV+ police drama The CW harry potter HFPA Tomatazos based on movie breaking bad ViacomCBS Spring TV hidden camera Musical spanish language BBC America Comic Book MCU Brie Larson IMDb TV spy thriller teaser Starz jamie lee curtis 90s stoner casting SXSW doctor who PlayStation anthology TCA Winter 2020 Paramount Plus jurassic park Instagram Live Comic-Con@Home 2021 Amazon Studios Britbox Premiere Dates Captain marvel rt archives medical drama Kids & Family twilight revenge dreamworks spanish comedies all-time Best Director hollywood sequels Set visit Ghostbusters comics high school FX on Hulu cancelled TV series GIFs stand-up comedy debate new star wars movies Superheroe RT21 Western prank Oscars italian emmy awards Emmy Nominations Biopics action-comedy LGBTQ Lucasfilm DGA transformers scary movies criterion superman New York Comic Con mob 71st Emmy Awards Red Carpet anime obi wan blockbuster women TV movies Marvel Television Hallmark Christmas movies biography VOD Martial Arts series Endgame green book Classic Film robots game show TLC TV renewals Infographic Vudu rotten movies we love 2016 independent comic AMC dc TNT Mindy Kaling Spike scene in color series sequel interviews Fantasy spain classics television basketball kaiju Walt Disney Pictures sag awards olympics NBC video adventure cartoon Hear Us Out crime thriller Women's History Month suspense canceled Creative Arts Emmys Polls and Games supernatural concert Freeform YouTube Premium cancelled movies blaxploitation Discovery Channel legend pirates of the caribbean latino RT History Thanksgiving elevated horror obituary SundanceTV The Witch dexter Song of Ice and Fire witnail OWN WarnerMedia news 99% DirecTV American Society of Cinematographers films Apple TV Plus Warner Bros. TCM TBS IFC USA Nickelodeon canceled TV shows broadcast Comedy Central south america Turner Classic Movies spinoff politics Television Critics Association Emmys Acorn TV Universal Pictures Funimation Hollywood Foreign Press Association Broadway live event Sony Pictures Mystery streamig Amazon Prime Video asian-american black comedy Writers Guild of America Netflix Pirates popular Syfy talk show BAFTA Film Festival VICE travel rt labs South by Southwest Film Festival streaming universal monsters The Purge slashers Marvel Spectrum Originals Sci-Fi NBA marvel cinematic universe Alien CBS Best Actress Reality hispanic cancelled television IFC Films Pixar Christmas Fox News aliens Pacific Islander nfl E! Drama National Geographic Hallmark Masterpiece versus The Arrangement book Rocky CNN ID Grammys Teen PBS Bravo fast and furious science fiction toy story movie worst period drama discovery Apple golden globe awards spider-verse animated godzilla comic books Logo Schedule TCA Awards 21st Century Fox TIFF young adult blockbusters MTV Awards ABC Family Dark Horse Comics TV WGN singing competition Pop TV reviews Shondaland Holiday adaptation tv talk king arthur Action FOX documentary cinemax First Reviews Disney Channel summer TV preview boxing Summer dark Pop trophy trailers Cartoon Network social media Podcast OneApp Ovation Ellie Kemper E3 laika Toys scorecard book adaptation festivals screen actors guild cats Chernobyl Oscar NYCC ghosts Trivia Paramount serial killer GLAAD Music