Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Lakeview Terrace Isn't Sturdy; Igor Lacks Brains

Plus, Ghost Town scares up laughs, and guess My Best Friend's Girl's Tomatometer!

by | September 18, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got an angry cop (Lakeview Terrace, starring Samuel L. Jackson); a disgruntled hunchback (the CGI Igor, with voice work by John Cusack and Molly Shannon); a haunted dentist (Ghost Town, starring Ricky Gervais and Greg Kinnear); and a date from hell (My Best Friend’s Girl, starring Dane Cook and Kate Hudson). What do the critics have to say?

Say what you will about the films of Neil LaBute, but give him this: while he rarely delivers a fun time at the movies, he’s no slave to convention. Unfortunately, critics say Lakeview Terrace offers an intriguing setup before devolving into a routine thriller finale. Samuel L. Jackson stars as a strict, emotionally damaged LAPD who objects to his new neighbors’ interracial marriage; after extensive harassment, the young couple (played by Patrick Wilson and Kerry Washington) fights back. Pundits say the problem with Lakeview Terrace is that it presents a realistic, charged scenario before jumping the rails in the final act, substituting smart characterization with generic vigilante tropes. At 36 percent on the Tomatometer, you may not want to visit Lakeview Terrace.

“Ugh, Sam’s at it again…. chewing the scenery at three in the morning…”

It’s one thing to make a macabre children’s film; it’s another to make one that doesn’t deliver much entertainment. Critics say the film is something of a Frankenstein’s monster, stitching together recycled parts from Shrek and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The titular hunchback (voiced by John Cusack) is tired of being a lowly lab assistant; he wants to be an evil scientist in his own right. But when one of his creations, a monster named Eva (Molly Shannon) turns out to be really sweet at heart, Igor begins to rethink his priorities. While the pundits say Igor has moments of Tim Burton-esque visual invention, it’s a pretty mediocre affair, filled with shopworn pop-culture references and manic action but few laughs; plus, it’s probably a bit too dark for the wee ones. At 20 percent on the Tomatometer, Igor could use more brains.

“You too can have your very own Contour Chair.”

Ricky Gervais is a very funny man, but thus far, his movie career has consisted of supporting roles. However, with Ghost Town, the man who brought so much cringe-worthy wit to The Office and Extras takes center stage — and the pundits say the result is delightful. Gervais stars as Bertram Pincus, who has a near-death experience and discovers he can see ghosts — and they’re pretty annoying, especially the caddish Frank (Greg Kinnear). But those specters are of some help, as Bertram learns to be a better person — and find love in the process. The pundits say Ghost Town is a perfect fit for Gervais’s talents, and the film emits awkward laughs and warmth without devolving into schmaltz. At 84 percent on the Tomatometer, Ghost Town has plenty of blithe spirit. (Check out this week’s Total Recall for a ghoulish compendium of some of our favorite cinematic apparitions.)

“For the last time, I am not pug-nosed!”

Given that it wasn’t screened prior to release, it’s unlikely critics will be BFFs with My Best Friend’s Girl. Dane Cook, Kate Hudson, and Jason Biggs star in this romantic comedy about a guy who’s so obnoxious he convinces potentially straying women to stand by their men — before falling for his main homey’s boo. Kids, call up you best friend’s girl and ask her for insight in guessing the Tomatometer! (And don’t forget to check out Dane Cook’s five favorite movies here.)

“The woman you’re replacing is very special. She won the GE Followship. Now send Tracey in.”

Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, quasi-props to fullmetal_medji for coming the closest to guessing Tyler Perry’s the Family That Preys‘ 52 percent Tomatometer.

Recent Samuel L. Jackson Movies:

Tag Cloud

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