Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Lone Survivor is Visceral and Harrowing

Plus, Her is Certified Fresh, and The Legend of Hercules wasn't screened for critics.

by | January 10, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a band of brothers (Lone Survivor, starring Mark Wahlberg and Taylor Kitsch), an unconventional couple (Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson), and a mythical strongman (The Legend of Hercules, starring Kellan Lutz and Gaia Weiss). What do the critics have to say?

Lone Survivor


War movies often traffic in epic, grandiose heroics, but Lone Survivor tells a more intimate story — that of dedicated soldiers at work. Critics say that perspective is refreshing, and the result is a film that’s visceral, immediate, and suspenseful — even if it’s a little short on character development. Based on a true story, the film chronicles an ill-fated mission by a group of Navy SEALs to track down a high-value Taliban target through a mountainous region in Afghanistan — a mission that turns deadly after the soldiers decide against firing on a group of civilians. The pundits say this well-crafted war film may not say much about the broader context of modern warfare, but such objectivity makes for an intense, ultimately thought-provoking experience. (Click through this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of stars in uniform, and watch our video interview with Wahlberg and the other stars of Lone Survivor.)



With Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, Spike Jonze established himself as one of Hollywood’s most original filmmakers. And critics say he’s outdone himself with Her, taking a bizarre premise and turning it into a film that’s unique, funny, and deeply moving. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Theodore Twombly, a lovelorn writer who falls in love with OS1, his computer’s highly intelligent operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). What follows is one of the strangest love stories in recent cinema. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Her is a one-of-a-kind experience: sometimes hilarious, sometimes somber, often thoughtful, and, finally, deeply resonant.

The Legend of Hercules


It appears the folks behind The Legend of Hercules are concerned that the film is less than mighty, since it wasn’t screened for critics prior to its release. Kellan Lutz stars as the fabled hero, who must overcome exile, enslavement, and scary monsters before claiming the throne atop Mount Olympus. Time to guess the Tomatometer! (And check out this week’s total recall, in which we count down director Renny Harlin’s best-reviewed films.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Rocket, a coming-of-age-drama about a resourceful boy determined to prove his worth to his family, is at 100 percent.
  • In Bloom, a drama about two teenage best friends growing up in post-Soviet Georgia, is at 90 percent.
  • The Banshee Chapter, a thriller about a journalist who discovers a secret government research program involving human subjects, is at 91 percent.
  • Divorce Corp., a documentary about the financial and emotional tolls caused by dissolving marriages, is at 80 percent.
  • If You Build It, a documentary about a group of high school students who work on an innovative year-long building project, is at 67 percent.
  • Loves Her Gun, a drama about a woman who flees New York after becoming the victim of street violence, is at 60 percent.
  • Return to Nuke ‘Em High, the latest in Troma’s absurdist B-movie franchise, is at 50 percent.
  • Cold Comes The Night, starring Bryan Cranston and Alice Eve in a thriller about a criminal who takes a hotel owner hostage in order to recover his stolen loot, is at 48 percent.
  • The Truth About Emanuel, starring Kaya Scodelario and Jessica Biel in a drama about a teenager who makes a startling discovery while babysitting for her neighbor, is at 41 percent.
  • Raze, starring Zoe Bell and Rachel Nichols in an action thriller about a fighting competition in a women’s prison, is at 44 percent.
  • Free Ride, a drama starring Anna Paquin as a woman caught up in the drug trade, is at 20 percent.

Finally, props to Garner Montgomery for coming the closest to guessing Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones‘ 42 percent Tomatometer.

Tag Cloud

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