Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Leatherheads Has its Ups and Downs; Nim's Island is Stranded; Guess The Ruins' Tomatometer!

Assessing the week in film criticism.

by | April 3, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got gridiron giggles (Leatherheads, starring George Clooney and Renée Zellweger), isle imagination (Nim’s Island, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin), and archeological anxiety (The Ruins, starring Shawn Ashmore and Jena Malone). What do the critics have to say?

George Clooney gets compared to Cary Grant all the time, so it’s only natural he would try his hand at Grant’s prime métier — the screwball comedy. Unfortunately, critics say the football laffer Leatherheads, in which Clooney stars and directs, is something of a mixed bag. Set in the early days of pro-pigskin (in the days when college was king), Leatherheads tells the tale of the struggling, ragtag Duluth squad, which has scored a major coup by tapping a college gridiron hero (played by John Krasinski) to team with aging pro Dodge Connolly (Clooney); however, the team is also under fire from an aggressive beat reporter (Renée Zellweger). The pundits say Leatherheads is a funny, amiable affair, but it could take some pointers from the no-huddle offense, which, like screwball comedy, emphasizes quick thinking, deft interaction, and risk. At 54 percent on the Tomatometer, Leatherheads is being thrown for a loss. And it’s Clooney’s worst-reviewed directorial effort to date — well below Good Night and Good Luck‘s 94 percent. (Check out our interview with George Clooney here.)

“Look, we’re running a flea flicker, and that’s final! Do I look like I’m negotiating?

A sort of Swiss Family Robinson crossed with Indiana Jones, the critics say Nim’s Island is solid family fare — with the pros and cons that implies. Abigail Breslin stars as Nim, a precocious girl who lives on a South Pacific island with her father (Gerard Butler), a scientist; when he goes missing, Nim turns to the hero of her favorite book (also played by Butler) — and the tome’s author (Jodie Foster) — for help. Critics say Nim’s Island has an old-fashioned sense of wonder and adventure — as well as a healthy dose of girl power — that makes for an above-average kids’ adventure. But they also note the movie offers a predictable storyline and some hackneyed slapstick. Nim’s Island currently stands at 48 percent on the Tomatomenter. (Take a look at a clip from the film here.)

Abigail Breslin won’t be so joyous when she realizes she’ll need to eat grubs and berries to survive.

It appears the folks behind The Ruins feared its critical reputation would be left in ruins, since it was barely screened before its release. Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, and Shawn Ashmore star in this tale of a group of tourists who find danger lurking at a remote archaeological site — an obvious oversight by the Lonely Planet people. Kids, take your noses out of that atlas and guess the Tomatometer!

“We should have brought a tent!”

Also opening this week in limited release:

The French import Water Lilies, a delicate coming-of-age drama involving a trio of middle school girls, is at 90 percent (check out our take from Cannes here);

Jellyfish, which follows three Israeli women as their lives intersect at a wedding reception, is at 87 percent;

Shine a Light, Martin Scorsese‘s document of the Rolling Stones live (with special guests like Jack White and Christina Aguilera), is at 82 percent (check out this week’s Total Recall for a look at some of Scorsese’s lesser-known work);

Flight of the Red Balloon, Hou Hsiao-hsien‘s remake of the French classic starring Juliette Binoche, is at 69 percent;

Wong Kar-Wai‘s latest, My Blueberry Nights starring Norah Jones, Jude Law, and Natalie Portman, is at 49 percent (check out our take here, and our interview with Jones here);

And Sex and Death 101, a black comedy starring Winona Ryder and Simon Baker, is at 40 percent.

“While I’ve got you guys here, I wanted to talk about my vision for Freejack 2…”

And finally, props to Grendel-san for correctly guessing Superhero Movie‘s 17 percent Tomatometer, presumably while doing battle with Beowulf-san. One question for ya, G.S: is it hard to type with only one arm?

Recent Jodie Foster Movies:
43% — The Brave One (2007)
87% — Inside Man (2006)
38% — Flightplan (2005)
77% — A Very Long Engagement (2004)
77% — The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002)

Recent George Clooney Movies:
91% — Michael Clayton (2007)
70% — Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
33% — The Good German (2006)
73% — Syriana (2005)
94% — Good Night and Good Luck (2005)

Tag Cloud

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