Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Is a Solid Thriller

Plus, The Nut Job, Ride Along, and Devil's Due miss the mark.

by | January 16, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a super spy (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, starring Chris Pine and Keira Knightley), some burglarizing rodents (The Nut Job, with voice performances by Will Arnett and Katherine Heigl), mismatched cops (Ride Along, starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart), and a demonic baby (Devil’s Due, starring Allison Miller and Zach Gilford). What do the critics have to say?



Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

55%

Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck have all taken their best shot; now it’s Chris Pine’s turn to play Jack Ryan, the talented CIA agent from Tom Clancy’s bestselling novels. And critics say he’s off to a good start, as Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, while hardly the most original thriller on the market, is slick, exciting, and well-acted. Inspired to serve his country after 9/11, Jack Ryan joins the Marines. After being injured in Afghanistan, Ryan is recruited in the CIA, and soon he’s on the trail of a Russian terrorist plot. The pundits say Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, is a solid meat-and-potatoes thriller, one that’s skillfully crafted and pleasantly suspenseful. (Check out this week’s total recall, in which we count down director Kenneth Branagh’s best-reviewed films.)



The Nut Job

12%

From Steamboat Willie to Ratatouille, there have been plenty of iconic animated rodents. Unfortunately, Surly the squirrel is unlikely to join that illustrious pantheon; critics say The Nut Job has some nice backgrounds but its plot is threadbare and its star is less than charming. Surly (voiced by Will Arnett) has devised a plan to rob a nut store and make off with enough food to last through the winter. Can Surly learn a valuable lesson about greed — and become a hero in the process? The pundits say The Nut Job is overly reliant on physical humor, and its characters are surprisingly sour, though there are some moments of visual invention.



Ride Along

18%

At first glance, scowling, no-nonsense Ice Cube and hustling, motormouthed Kevin Hart would seem to be an ideal comedic pairing. Unfortunately, critics say they’re underutilized in Ride Along, a thinly plotted, utterly generic cop-buddy action comedy. Hard-nosed detective James (Ice Cube) is less than pleased that his sister is dating a slacker like Ben (Hart). When Ben is accepted to the police force, he hopes to win James’ respect by joining him on the beat. The pundits say Ride Along offers up a few laughs, but mostly it coasts along on cop movie cliches. Click through this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of movie cops.)



Devil’s Due

18%

Sooner or later, the found-footage horror subgenre was bound to get its own Rosemary’s Baby. But while critics say Devil’s Due is moderately well crafted, they also note that it’s more dependent on jump-scares than on more imaginative chills. Samantha (Allison Miller) and Zach (Zach Gilford) are preparing to welcome their first child together when Samantha’s behavior begins to take on a sinister tone; could it be that she’s been impregnated by a malevolent spirit? The pundits say Devil’s Due features decent performances, but its plot becomes increasingly absurd as it goes along.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Big Bad Wolves, a revenge thriller about a cop who tries to extract a confession from the man he believes to be the killer of a young girl, is at 79 percent.
  • Hirokazu Koreeda‘s Like Father, Like Son, a drama about two families dealing with the discovery that their six-year-old sons were switched at birth, is at 79 percent.
  • Maidentrip, a documentary about a 14-year-old’s attempt to be the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe, is at 78 percent.
  • G.B.F., a comedy about a guy who’s got a group of popular girls battling for the right to call him their gay best friend, is at 77 percent.
  • Generation War, a drama about five German friends dealing with the moral complications of life during the Third Reich, is at 45 percent.
  • Summer in February, starring Dominic Cooper and Dan Stevens in a period drama about two close friends in love with the same woman, is at 41 percent.
  • Jamesy Boy, starring Ving Rhames and Mary-Louise Parker in a drama about a young convict who attempts to turn his life around, is at 13 percent.

Finally, props to Garner Montgomery for coming the closest to guessing The Legend of Hercules‘ five percent Tomatometer. That’s two in a row for Mr. Montgomery.

Tag Cloud

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