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

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