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

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