Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Pain & Gain is Visceral But Uneven

Plus, The Big Wedding is a big misfire.

by | April 25, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got bodybuilding bad guys (Pain & Gain, starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) and matrimonial mishaps (The Big Wedding, starring Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton). What do the critics have to say?

Pain & Gain


Michael Bay is not the kind of guy to tone things down just because he’s working with a smaller budget. However, critics say the auteur behind Armageddon and the Transformers franchise has tempered the visceral impact of Pain & Gain with a fair amount of black comedy, and the result is uneven but often queasily compelling. Based on a bizarre true story, Pain & Gain is the tale of three bodybuilders who concoct a scheme to kidnap a wealthy businessman and wrest control of his riches. However, the plan quickly goes awry, with violent repercussions. The pundits say Pain & Gain‘s pitch-black sense of humor and charismatic leads can’t quite make up for the movie’s stylistic excess and lack of nuance. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of films based on magazine and newspaper articles.)

The Big Wedding


Critics say The Big Wedding is a comedy that audiences should decline with regrets; its all-star cast is stranded in a contrived, strained plot that features broad stabs at humor but few laughs. Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton star as a divorced couple who reunite for their son’s wedding and pretend to be happily married for the sake of his bride-to-be’s conservative mother; hilarity allegedly ensues. The pundits say The Big Wedding is a big misfire, with shopworn slapstick gags and stereotypical characters.Check out this week’s Total Recall for a countdown of Keaton’s best-reviewed movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

spain Amazon Television Critics Association Crackle Watching Series USA crossover halloween SundanceTV Ghostbusters CBS All Access Year in Review anime HBO Go DC Universe satire movie Freeform 2016 Valentine's Day Opinion TruTV children's TV VH1 Mary Poppins Returns Podcast football Rock psychological thriller Writers Guild of America PlayStation Turner Walt Disney Pictures Fox News indie Film Festival LGBT screenings christmas movies comic Endgame Drama Photos Pride Month 2019 A24 RT21 Epix Discovery Channel Trailer TIFF cancelled TV shows Trophy Talk NBC Esquire CMT SDCC a nightmare on elm street video on demand award winner remakes Nat Geo slashers New York Comic Con cooking ratings Apple Logo Video Games Food Network unscripted GLAAD Amazon Prime Video Columbia Pictures space ESPN President Showtime asian-american Disney+ Disney Plus TNT IFC BBC One Mindy Kaling venice YouTube Premium El Rey Travel Channel quibi chucky Heroines universal monsters ABC robots Adult Swim documentary what to watch Red Carpet Sundance Now deadpool sports nbcuniversal versus romance Classic Film Music Sony Pictures worst movies TCA Awards dc dramedy cars golden globes cats dragons Grammys Shondaland toy story 72 Emmy Awards The Academy independent cults sitcom Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt MTV Fall TV Captain marvel YouTube Red crime canceled TV shows finale Pop TV Winners Lucasfilm San Diego Comic-Con TV renewals Oscars Box Office 21st Century Fox Infographic OneApp Tumblr CBS TV Land Rocky films all-time diversity BBC cancelled Trivia adventure Pirates animated jamie lee curtis Extras rt archives Disney Channel rotten Film Bravo Emmys Summer politics police drama Horror Biopics hist singing competition Family PaleyFest BET Awards Winter TV Vudu Disney streaming service talk show Television Academy MSNBC Syfy Super Bowl zombie Hulu indiana jones Tomatazos adaptation historical drama Teen italian Chernobyl dark Kids & Family spanish language spider-man Pixar nature Tarantino game show classics First Look Toys period drama Comedy Emmy Nominations news BET blaxploitation Comics on TV south america The Purge Turner Classic Movies miniseries cinemax TCA GoT Brie Larson Stephen King zombies E! hollywood reviews Cannes french Academy Awards Sci-Fi HBO 71st Emmy Awards Comic Book werewolf scary movies Hallmark Cosplay Reality Competition teaser Holidays elevated horror zero dark thirty free movies travel comiccon American Society of Cinematographers Spike social media VICE mutant tv talk comic books 4/20 Comedy Central Avengers Spectrum Originals stoner Masterpiece Election Mudbound medical drama Set visit CW Seed crime thriller die hard The CW Hear Us Out SXSW video Apple TV Plus based on movie Pop renewed TV shows Polls and Games casting cartoon MCU dogs Netflix Christmas movies richard e. Grant documentaries joker Elton John Amazon Prime natural history archives Starz Spring TV harry potter Sundance TV nfl The Witch cops Character Guide Britbox History latino FXX Netflix concert worst Apple TV+ The Walking Dead child's play Animation 24 frames Marvel Studios fast and furious superhero biography National Geographic Calendar HBO Max Nominations Fantasy thriller 007 laika Musicals dceu spy thriller Paramount Western festivals transformers 2018 2017 stop motion canceled ABC Family Mystery witnail Star Wars boxoffice sag awards FX on Hulu 20th Century Fox Nickelodeon Dark Horse Comics BAFTA Amazon Studios vampires series name the review directors AMC political drama screen actors guild 2015 APB Creative Arts Emmys BBC America ID GIFs Lifetime twilight Reality romantic comedy Action Baby Yoda DGA NYCC criterion foreign VOD Cartoon Network Ovation book Hallmark Christmas movies black USA Network Sneak Peek Lionsgate Paramount Network japanese Black History Month DC streaming service rotten movies we love technology halloween tv Rom-Com Countdown scorecard Tubi Peacock 45 strong female leads Musical ghosts supernatural Christmas science fiction Crunchyroll disaster critics docudrama green book TBS parents sequel Acorn TV Quiz australia best Ellie Kemper Best and Worst toronto crime drama First Reviews WarnerMedia DirecTV breaking bad Awards YouTube anthology Funimation Anna Paquin comics reboot Superheroe RT History Mary Tyler Moore Interview festival Country james bond Warner Bros. TCA 2017 true crime 2020 Fox Searchlight facebook Mary poppins franchise spinoff cancelled TV series CNN Martial Arts Holiday E3 Lifetime Christmas movies Schedule streaming Marvel Sundance A&E Disney Star Trek justice league movies comedies Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Superheroes war Premiere Dates discovery X-Men Shudder doctor who Arrowverse DC Comics Certified Fresh LGBTQ Disney Plus batman Universal mission: impossible IFC Films cancelled television Women's History Month YA Marvel Television TLC composers Black Mirror revenge TCA Winter 2020 FOX game of thrones Pet Sematary TV binge obituary stand-up comedy OWN Song of Ice and Fire TCM sequels hispanic The Arrangement WGN spanish theme song Thanksgiving PBS See It Skip It ITV emmy awards Rocketman Awards Tour Marathons psycho aliens television blockbuster mockumentary Binge Guide kids FX serial killer