Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: One Direction: This Is Us is Lightweight But Entertaining

Plus, Getaway crashes and burns, and Closed Circuit is well-acted but not quite suspenseful enough.

by | August 29, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a popular boy band (the concert documentary One Direction: This Is Us), a desperate ex-racecar driver (Getaway, starring Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez), and attorneys under surveillance (Closed Circuit, starring Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall). What do the critics have to say?

One Direction: This Is Us


If you’re a diehard fan of English/Irish pop sensations One Direction, no movie reviewer is likely to dissuade you from seeing One Direction: This Is Us. If, however, you’re a parent or significant other who gets dragged to the theater, critics say there’s a decent chance you’ll find this slick, well-shot, admittedly skin-deep concert documentary to be reasonably entertaining. Directed by Morgan Spurlock (of Super Size Me fame), the film follows the group from its X-Factor beginnings to the big time, capturing the lads on stage in full 3D splendor. The pundits say that while One Direction: This Is Us is hardly muckraking (or even revelatory), it’s a well-assembled and visually striking look at one of pop’s hottest contemporary acts. (Take a look at this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of music documentaries.)



Rarely does a film’s title serve as an inadvertent warning, but critics say that’s pretty much the deal with Getaway –audiences should get away from this borderline incompetent chase thriller at all costs. Ethan Hawke stars as an ex racecar driver whose wife has been abducted; to save her, he must follow the orders of the kidnapper (Jon Voight) and drive around Sofia, Bulgaria with a would-be carjacker (Selena Gomez) in tow. The pundits say Getaway is an implausible, suspense-free mess, and its chase sequences are ineptly staged and photographed. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Voight’s best-reviewed movies.)

Closed Circuit


The time would seem ripe for a smart thriller about government surveillance; unfortunately, critics say Closed Circuit, while well-acted, is smart without being particularly thrilling. Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall star as attorneys and former sweethearts who find their loyalties tried and their lives in danger when they join the defense team of an accused terrorist; as they investigate the case, they find themselves under constant scrutiny. The pundits say Closed Circuit raises some interesting issues, but its plot is alternately predictable and far-fetched. (Watch our video interviews with Bana, and director John Crowley.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Our Nixon, a documentary utilizing footage shot by staffers during Nixon’s administration, is at 91 percent.
  • I Declare War, an action comedy about a group of 13-year-olds participate in a militaristic daily game of capture the flag, is at 79 percent.
  • Brian DePalma‘s Passion, starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace in a thriller about the fraught relationship between a advertising executive and her ambitious assistant, is at 40 percent.
  • American Made Movie, a documentary about the state of domestic manufacturing, is at 40 percent.
  • Afternoon Delight, starring Juno Temple and Jane Lynch in a dramedy about an affluent mom who hires a stripper as a nanny, is at 35 percent.
  • The Lifeguard, starring Kristen Bell and Mamie Gummer in a dramedy about a thirtysomething woman whose professional and romantic failings lead her to try to relive her teenage years, is at 12 percent.

Tag Cloud

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