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

55%

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

83%

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

98%

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

45 VH1 zombie Sundance Now Masterpiece History Cosplay Horror RT History FX crime The CW Winter TV Ovation Biopics TBS Mindy Kaling APB Rom-Com Showtime Acorn TV TCM IFC Films Tomatazos Britbox GoT Schedule politics President Summer TV Land Christmas comiccon Opinion FOX Trailer GLAAD Dark Horse Comics Nominations aliens Oscars Superheroe Spring TV police drama sports historical drama 24 frames Election CNN Fox News Extras serial killer IFC unscripted E! Nickelodeon technology supernatural crossover TCA Fall TV Ghostbusters Pirates Universal travel Lucasfilm period drama diversity CBS All Access ITV political drama BBC America TIFF Pixar romance Podcast 21st Century Fox Interview TV Reality Competition VICE 20th Century Fox CBS robots cults Apple YouTube Red Trivia Set visit Sneak Peek TruTV Animation Infographic Box Office Toys Best and Worst 007 golden globes dceu Teen ABC Family DC streaming service Fantasy medical drama cinemax Year in Review PBS BET Musicals Amazon Reality Sci-Fi MSNBC Thanksgiving Comedy Holidays GIFs Drama Winners Martial Arts Ellie Kemper Super Bowl ratings See It Skip It Marathons SundanceTV DC Universe Spike CMT X-Men based on movie crime thriller singing competition Watching Series Video Games Columbia Pictures Nat Geo DC Comics Logo 2015 streaming dc vampires Character Guide Tumblr AMC MTV Grammys Adult Swim docudrama Action Pop Comedy Central binge Certified Fresh DirecTV discovery Cartoon Network Paramount Syfy SXSW Freeform crime drama Lifetime festivals YA TNT PaleyFest FXX Starz Sony Pictures finale El Rey Country thriller Paramount Network Warner Bros. what to watch Polls and Games Rock dramedy NYCC cooking TCA 2017 2016 Sundance LGBTQ WGN First Look Valentine's Day cats American Society of Cinematographers NBC Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Awards ABC Star Wars 2017 SDCC Mary Tyler Moore USA Network Shondaland harry potter Esquire Emmys Musical Star Trek psycho hist Western Hulu Disney spy thriller Superheroes Photos Rocky Marvel Disney Channel Bravo transformers E3 The Arrangement Calendar HBO Lionsgate CW Seed BBC TLC Mystery biography Netflix Writers Guild of America OWN justice league Crackle Creative Arts Emmys sitcom Comic Book composers cops Kids & Family science fiction adventure Walt Disney Pictures social media Premiere Dates Countdown talk show USA National Geographic zombies Music Food Network ESPN boxoffice Red Carpet A&E war