Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Man of Steel Is Up, Up, and Okay

Plus, This Is the End and Before Midnight are Certified Fresh.

by | June 14, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the return of Superman (Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill and Amy Adams), an apocalyptic laugh-riot (This Is the End, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen), and a one-of-a-kind love affair (Before Midnight, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy). What do the critics have to say?

Man of Steel


Superman is arguably the definitive comic book hero, but few would argue that he’s had the kind of unqualified big-screen success as his DC buddy Batman. With Man of Steel, Zack Snyder attempts to update Supe for the 21st Century, but critics say he’s only moderately successful; the action scenes are often rousing and Henry Cavill brings an undeniable charisma to the character, but the film is weighted down by an overabundance of spectacle and a disappointing lack of wit. A child from the planet Krypton is sent to Earth, where he’s raised by the Kent family. He learns to utilize his incredible abilities for good, and becomes Superman in the process, but eventually, the nefarious General Zod goes looking for him. The pundits say Man of Steel delivers plenty of muscular action, but it’s overlong and unfortunately short on character development. (Check out this week’s Total Recall for a rundown of Superman movies, as well as our interviews with the Man of Steel cast and crew.)

This Is the End


Take a bunch of well-known comic actors, stick them in the midst of the apocalypse, and mix liberally. That’s the basic recipe for This Is the End, which critics say is a rapid-fire, absurdist meta-comedy that’s raunchy and surprisingly heartfelt in equal measure. Playing themselves, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and a few other famous pals are partying together when the Rapture hits Los Angeles. Our heroes embark on a cameo-laden quest for salvation, and learn the true meaning of friendship along the way. The pundits say the Certified Fresh This Is the End has so many gags that a few inevitably miss the mark, but for the most part, this is a smart, boundary-pushing comedy from an ensemble that seems to be enjoying every minute of it. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of actors playing themselves, as well as our interview with stars Rogen, Robinson, and Jay Baruchel.)

Before Midnight


In Before Sunrise, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) were two young travelers who formed a bond after a chance meeting in Vienna. In Before Sunset, they were older, wiser, but no less enamored with one another. Now, in Before Midnight, they’re married and hoping to recapture the spark that first brought them together. The third installment in Richard Linklater‘s enduring love story goes wide this weekend, and critics say the Certified Fresh Before Midnight is as funny, insightful, and achingly poignant as its predecessors.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • More Than Honey, a doc about the relationship between people and bees, is at 100 percent.
  • Call Me Kuchu, a documentary about an openly gay man fighting persecution in Uganda, is at 95 percent.
  • 20 Feet From Stardom, a documentary tribute to some of rock’s finest backup singers, is at 94 percent.
  • In the Fog, a World War II drama about a Russian village that suspects one of its citizens is collaborating with the Nazis, is at 86 percent.
  • Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story, a documentary portrait of the influential illustrator, is at 80 percent.
  • Berberian Sound Studio, a psychological thriller about a sound technician who becomes unnerved while working on a gruesome horror movie, is at 78 percent.
  • Sofia Coppola‘s The Bling Ring, starring Emma Watson and Leslie Mann in the ripped-from-the-headlines tale of a group of teens who robbed various Hollywood stars, is at 63 percent.
  • Pandora’s Promise, a doc about the potential environmental benefits of nuclear power, is at 58 percent.
  • Hatchet III, the latest installment in the slasher series about a swamp-dwelling psycho, is at 56 percent.
  • Vehicle 19, starring Paul Walker in a thriller about an ex-con who becomes a target when he takes the wrong rental car is at 33 percent.
  • The Guillotines, a period action epic about a clandestine group of assassins who employ deadly metal blades, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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