Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: No To Yes Man; Seven Pounds Is Too Heavy

Plus, The Tale of Despereaux is so-so, while The Wrestler electrifies.

by | December 18, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got self-improvement (Yes Man, starring Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel), mysterious altruism (Seven Pounds, starring Will Smith and Rosario Dawson), and rodent adventures (The Tale of Despereaux, with voice work by Matthew Broderick and Dustin Hoffman). What do the critics have to say?

After a disastrous detour to dramatic territory with The Number 23, Jim Carrey is back to the realm of wacky comedy. Unfortunately, critics say his return is only sporadically successful in Yes Man. Carrey plays Carl, a man gripped by depression who enters a self-help program that encourages its devotees to say yes to each and every question. However, Carl finds answering in the affirmative can sometimes have negative consequences. The pundits say the film has its moments, thanks to Carrey’s manic energy, but it’s ultimately little more than a series of comedic set-pieces that don’t build or cohere; worse, we’ve already seen Carrey do a pretty fine variation on this theme in Liar Liar. At 40 percent on the Tomatometer, you may want to say “no” to Yes Man. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Carrey’s best-reviewed films.)

“What’s it called? Gallipoli? Sounds hilarious!”

It’s unsurprising that Will Smith would want to shed his blockbuster baggage every once in a while and throw himself into a smaller, more dramatically weighty role; unfortunately, critics say his latest, Seven Pounds, is more leaden than anything else. Smith stars as Ben, an IRS agent haunted by past misdeeds. As a way of making amends, he decides to practice random acts of kindness on strangers, a plan that goes in intriguing directions when he falls in love with terminally-ill Emily (Rosario Dawson). Some pundits have given Smith credit for attempting riskier material, but they also say Seven Pounds doesn’t follow the rules of logic very closely, and its tone is somber and portentous. At 35 percent on the Tomatometer, Seven Pounds may not be worth your 10 dollars.

“I’m really sorry that I said girls ain’t nothin’ but trouble.”

Another week, another so-so animated feature. The Tale of Despereaux is a fantasy tale about a heroic little mouse who becomes an outcast for refusing to conform; he befriends a group of rats, with whom he shares a journey of self-discovery and adventure. The pundits say Despereaux looks pretty good, and is mercifully free of the toilet humor and pop culture references that have become commonplace in animated features. However, it’s also lacking a sense of magic, and doesn’t really take dramatic flight. At 42 percent on the Tomatometer, this mouse is a tail’s-length behind Ratatouille.

“Man, it’s taking forever to read this book!””

Also opening this week in limited release:

Recent Jim Carrey Movies:

Tag Cloud

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