This week at the movies, we’ve got giant robots (Pacific Rim, starring Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba) and old buddies (Grown Ups 2, starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James). What do the critics have to say?
Director Guillermo del Toro‘s work occupies the little-traversed area where the arthouse meets the fevered imagination of a hyperactive 10-year-old. And critics say that’s mostly a good thing in the case of Pacific Rim, a visually stunning modern creature feature that makes up in action what it lacks in characterization. When a swarm of undersea monsters threaten humanity, a crack team of pilots take up arms — in the form of giant robots — to stave off mass destruction. The pundits say Pacific Rim isn’t particularly deep, but it delivers the blockbuster goods in an unpretentious, affectionate fashion. (Check out RT’s video interviews with the cast of Pacific Rim, as well as our gallery of the biggest movie monsters.)
Critics found Grown Ups to be a lazy, lowbrow effort from talented people who should have known better; for Grown Ups 2, they’ve been even less generous, calling this sequel a mean-spirited, scatological, phoned-in bore. On the last day of school in a small New England town, Lenny (Adam Sandler) and his buddies (Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade) reminisce about the old days, get into trouble with a group of frat boys, and throw a raging 1980s-themed kegger. The pundits say Grown Ups 2 is stunningly inept, an indifferently-crafted film featuring broad, tossed-off gags that barely rate a chuckle. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Sandler’s best-reviewed movies.)
Fruitvale Station, starring Michael B. Jordan and Octavia L. Spencer in a drama based on the true story of a young man killed by BART police on New Year’s Day 2009, is Certified Fresh at 93 percent.
The Hunt, starring Mads Mikkelsen in a psychological drama about a former high school teacher who becomes the target of his community’s ire, is Certified Fresh at 92 percent.
Still Mine, starring James Cromwell and Geneviève Bujold in a drama about a man who runs afoul of his town’s zoning board when he tries to build a house to accommodate his ailing wife, is at 86 percent.
Crystal Fairy, starring Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffmann in a comedy about a drug enthusiast and a free-spirited hippie on a road trip through Chile, is at 84 percent.
Terms And Conditions May Apply, a documentary about how corporations and government agencies access data from internet searches, is at 82 percent.
V/H/S/2, a horror anthology about a pair of private eyes who stumble upon a cache of disturbing videotapes in their search for a missing student, is at 71 percent.
Israel: A Home Movie, a documentary featuring amateur films made by citizens during the nation’s formative years, is at 63 percent.
The Hot Flashes, starring Brooke Shields and Daryl Hannah in a comedy about a group of middle-aged women who challenge the local high school girls’ basketball team to a charity tournament, is at 46 percent.
Pawn Shop Chronicles, starring Paul Walker and Elijah Wood in a dark comedy featuring three stories set in a small town pawn shop, is at 20 percent.
Killing Season, starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta in a thriller about a reclusive veteran who meets a suspicious outsider, is at 17 percent.