Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: New Year's Eve Drops the Ball

Plus, The Sitter is crass and only occasionally funny.

by | December 8, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a star-studded celebration (New Year’s Eve, starring Hilary Swank and Halle Berry), and adventures in babysitting (The Sitter, starring Jonah Hill and Ari Graynor). What do the critics have to say?



New Year’s Eve

7%

Director Garry Marshall certainly has a yen for celebrity-populated, holiday-centric comedies, but critics say his latest, New Year’s Eve, is even weaker than the thematically similar (and critically panned) Valentine’s Day, stranding a terrific cast in a thinly plotted, schmaltzy confection. As the title suggests, it’s Dec. 31, and a disparate group of New Yorkers (including Hilary Swank, Halle Berry, Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, and Zac Efron) are looking for love and/or redemption while waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square. The pundits say New Year’s Eve is predictable and sappy, leaving its all-star cast to do what it can with their slightly-realized characters. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down other memorable New Year’s Eve movies.)



The Sitter

21%

In theory, an irresponsible babysitter and his bratty charges embarking on a precarious journey through the big city could be a recipe for hilarity, but critics say The Sitter only occasionally lives up to its promise, with crass humor and undisciplined plotting outweighing moments of bizarre wit. Jonah Hill stars as Noah, a suburban slacker who grudgingly agrees to look after some neighborhood kids while his mother goes on a date. However, when Noah’s sometime girlfriend makes an urgent call to him, he piles the kids into the car and heads into town, where many odd interactions ensue. The pundits say The Sitter has a few gleefully profane gags, but mostly, it traffics in crude, misanthropic jokes and suffers from slack pacing.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, starring Gary Oldman and Colin Firth in an adaptation of John Le Carré’s espionage thriller about a disgraced former spy who’s covertly tasked with finding a mole within MI-6, is Certified Fresh at 91 percent.
  • Knuckle, a documentary about the secret world of nomadic Irish bare-knuckle fighters, is at 93 percent.
  • London River, a drama about an unlikely duo that joins forces to search for their children after the 2005 London terrorist bombings, is at 88 percent.
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin, starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly in a psychological thriller about a woman’s tenuous relationship with her violent son, is Certified Fresh at 84 percent.
  • Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt in a comedy about a woman who returns to her hometown and forms a bond with a guy she treated badly in high school, is at 80 percent.
  • Seducing Charlie Barker, a comedy about a struggling actor who cheats on his wife with a woman that’s more trouble than she’s worth, is at 63 percent.
  • My Piece of the Pie, a French dramedy about a single mother who takes a cleaning job with the financial worker who helped shut down the factory where she once worked, is at 57 percent.
  • The French import Goodbye First Love, a drama about a young woman still profoundly affected by a teenage romance, is at 50 percent.
  • W.E., starring Abbie Cornish and James D’Arcy in Madonna‘s biopic of American Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson, is at 29 percent.
  • I Melt with You, starring Thomas Jane and Rob Lowe in a drama about four former college buddies who try to stave off their midlife crises during a wild weeklong getaway, is at 12 percent.

Tag Cloud

Watching Series History Premiere Dates Lifetime Horror dramedy Masterpiece politics 2015 2016 Food Network The CW Country PBS Action Freeform Emmys Starz Mystery Photos TBS 24 frames Infographic Holidays USA ABC Disney Channel Comedy Central Marvel based on movie Rocky boxoffice supernatural Superheroes PaleyFest DirecTV Writers Guild of America CNN cops Cartoon Network Martial Arts Netflix Certified Fresh Drama American Society of Cinematographers Exclusive Video Comedy Trailer First Look LGBTQ Amazon TCA ESPN crime drama Podcast travel AMC APB GoT Esquire President HBO cinemax science fiction BET Toys Tomatazos Rom-Com Fantasy Video Games sports Kids & Family Cosplay aliens Nickelodeon Fall TV NBC BBC America Lionsgate Musicals Thanksgiving Schedule 2017 ITV adventure RT History comiccon SundanceTV Bravo Universal Oscars thriller crime thriller GLAAD TruTV VICE Comic Book biography Character Guide SDCC vampires Star Trek technology TV Land TNT war Box Office Pop VH1 sitcom Year in Review Tumblr police drama CBS All Access CBS FOX Star Wars TIFF Nat Geo 007 NYCC GIFs DC Comics Best and Worst Sneak Peek TLC BBC OWN psycho Syfy cooking crime TV Crackle FX Biopics Hulu Countdown Logo Polls and Games social media Rock Disney Election Reality Competition Sci-Fi Winter TV Fox News Reality period drama serial killer IFC diversity Valentine's Day Nominations The Arrangement harry potter Opinion Spring TV Winners ABC Family Calendar Sundance El Rey Music TCM MTV Dark Horse Comics X-Men TCA 2017 docudrama E! FXX Set visit Marathons Adult Swim Grammys Ghostbusters Teen Interview Super Bowl zombie Animation Red Carpet Pirates Summer singing competition Mary Tyler Moore Trivia MSNBC discovery Extras WGN CMT Showtime A&E Awards