Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Paranormal Activity 4 Offers Up Stale Scares

Plus, Alex Cross is a generic thriller, and The Sessions and Holy Motors are Certified Fresh.

by | October 19, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got ghostly video recordings (Paranormal Activity 4, starring Katie Featherston and Kathryn Newton) and a killer on the loose (Alex Cross, starring Tyler Perry and Edward Burns). What do the critics have to say?



Paranormal Activity 4

23%

The first three Paranormal Activity films were able to wring a surprising amount of scares out of purported found footage from stationary cameras. However, all good things must come to an end, and critics say Paranormal Activity 4 finds the franchise repeating itself, offering some decent shocks but mostly recycling the elements that worked better before. Alex (Kathryn Newton) is a teenager who notices a strange new kid in the neighborhood. When the boy’s mother is hospitalized, he moves in with Alex’s family – and seems to bring a strange curse with him. The pundits say Paranormal Activity 4 is pretty creepy, but the sense of surprise is gone — it’s the first entry that feels formulaic.



Alex Cross

11%

Despite the middling critical response to Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider, detective Alex Cross gets another shot at big screen glory. Unfortunately, critics say Alex Cross is a thoroughly generic action thriller, and Tyler Perry lacks the gravitas Morgan Freeman brought to the title role previous installments. Cross is a Detroit cop on the trail of the sadistic serial killer Picasso (Matthew Fox), whose targets are comprised of the city’s elite. Soon, however, the mystery becomes personal as the killer threatens Cross’ loved ones. The pundits say Alex Cross is plagued by underdeveloped characters, big gaps in logic, and an overabundance of clichés. (Check out this week’s Total recall, in which we count down co-star Jean Reno’s best-reviewed films.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Brooklyn Castle, a documentary about an inner city public school that boasts the best junior high chess team in the country, is at 100 percent.
  • Question One, a doc about the battle over gay marriage in Maine, is at 100 percent.
  • The Sessions, starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt in a drama about a man with polio looking for romance, is Certified Fresh at 95 percent.
  • Holy Motors, a fantasy/drama comprised of a series of loosely connected vignettes involving a tycoon wearing a number of different costumes, is Certified Fresh at 93 percent.
  • We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, a doc about the hacker collective Anonymous, is at 88 percent.
  • Yogawoman, a doc about the history and practice of yoga, is at 80 percent.
  • All Together, starring Jane Fonda and Geraldine Chaplin in a comedy about a group of seniors who attempt a communal living arrangement, is at 64 percent.
  • The Flat, a doc in which a man discovers dark family secrets while cleaning out his recently deceased grandmother’s apartment, is at 60 percent.
  • The First Time, a dramedy about a pair of high school kids who find themselves in the throes of first love, is at 56 percent.
  • Tai Chi Zero, a martial arts film about a town full of fighting experts who find themselves threatened by industrialists, is at 54 percent.
  • Nobody Walks, starring John Krasinski and Olivia Thirlby in drama about a filmmaker whose temporary residence upends the lives of her host family, is at 32 percent.
  • That’s What She Said, starring Anne Heche in a comedy about a woman and her close friends who go on a series of misadventures leading up to a big date, is at zero percent.

Finally, props to Mike Smith for coming the closest to guessing Atlas Shrugged: Part II‘s zero percent Tomatometer.

Tag Cloud

Sundance TV RT History witnail game show Disney Plus The Academy Pride Month Tomatazos Tubi Nat Geo Awards Academy Awards joker TCA Awards psycho GLAAD Apple NYCC best Winners true crime Crackle Chernobyl Trailer Acorn TV talk show Mystery Summer Comic Book child's play GoT Apple TV+ science fiction MTV rt archives slashers comiccon Netflix Christmas movies Year in Review discovery PBS 20th Century Fox Action south america HBO Go Spring TV video on demand FX on Hulu Red Carpet DC streaming service nbcuniversal Cartoon Network Brie Larson SundanceTV Sony Pictures Funimation TCM Freeform binge superhero stop motion romantic comedy Black Mirror game of thrones halloween tv political drama YouTube Premium franchise Disney+ Disney Plus dragons technology obituary TV Land Watching Series TCA Winter 2020 Super Bowl First Reviews Mudbound crime Valentine's Day Universal Rocky Music PaleyFest chucky fast and furious Infographic richard e. Grant docudrama theme song ESPN Spectrum Originals werewolf 72 Emmy Awards YouTube supernatural WGN San Diego Comic-Con Comedy Central Peacock TIFF Vudu scorecard renewed TV shows Premiere Dates Fox Searchlight Netflix FX serial killer black diversity TV renewals Interview Epix worst movies Superheroe BBC Anna Paquin Ellie Kemper ghosts festivals Pop TV spider-man TBS SDCC The Walking Dead Animation TruTV BBC One Opinion Writers Guild of America comedies tv talk X-Men scary movies The Purge MCU Tumblr LGBTQ finale television Extras OneApp BET Western FOX Esquire Disney streaming service Holiday Mary Poppins Returns FXX USA TV screenings 2016 teaser reviews justice league 24 frames CNN miniseries History blaxploitation mutant Song of Ice and Fire American Society of Cinematographers Kids & Family 2020 TNT 99% venice CBS All Access Emmys rotten italian Walt Disney Pictures Trophy Talk latino dc Martial Arts natural history Apple TV Plus LGBT The Witch Musical golden globes comics Countdown CMT critics MSNBC 71st Emmy Awards ratings spanish language book strong female leads crime thriller SXSW elevated horror sequels Fantasy Masterpiece Syfy classics Film TCA ABC Family comic nfl Elton John Avengers OWN Mary poppins 007 Election emmy awards Captain marvel DC Comics Television Critics Association video Comedy mission: impossible Lucasfilm Thanksgiving vampires VOD deadpool cooking Oscars President transformers Amazon Prime Video Polls and Games toronto christmas movies A24 boxoffice Amazon Prime crime drama spain Marvel Studios sports Hallmark cancelled TV shows Adult Swim cults Logo war Quiz Hallmark Christmas movies medical drama Lifetime breaking bad composers spinoff Horror robots sitcom Arrowverse die hard Crunchyroll dark cinemax NBC dceu Dark Horse Comics Drama Box Office Family National Geographic spanish hist zombie Stephen King Set visit Warner Bros. Ghostbusters Baby Yoda hispanic Bravo casting adventure archives cartoon Shudder hollywood Marvel Television psychological thriller Awards Tour TLC james bond Binge Guide Photos Pet Sematary Superheroes thriller DC Universe films facebook Certified Fresh RT21 New York Comic Con GIFs E3 Winter TV dramedy Character Guide 2015 streaming Video Games Shondaland versus Heroines Columbia Pictures indiana jones Marvel news romance Fall TV jamie lee curtis CBS Amazon Reality Competition Classic Film APB laika documentary Country cancelled television social media asian-american reboot singing competition twilight unscripted doctor who universal monsters DirecTV blockbuster Endgame satire WarnerMedia 2018 adaptation Paramount Network Christmas screen actors guild Britbox Sundance ABC Rom-Com independent criterion a nightmare on elm street sequel Pixar anthology Lifetime Christmas movies Rocketman Hulu IFC harry potter canceled canceled TV shows spy thriller children's TV Turner Classic Movies football ITV rotten movies we love 45 Creative Arts Emmys period drama movie festival Emmy Nominations Star Wars aliens Film Festival Lionsgate YA Amazon Studios Trivia VH1 nature remakes Nominations name the review Chilling Adventures of Sabrina PlayStation Comics on TV Star Trek Starz indie CW Seed Turner anime Showtime award winner VICE Women's History Month First Look 2017 BET Awards Schedule Tarantino E! series Calendar biography Marathons cats 4/20 ID parents AMC Cosplay batman Paramount Musicals police drama travel Disney Channel crossover french The Arrangement Grammys 21st Century Fox kids movies zero dark thirty HBO Max Hear Us Out USA Network historical drama Sneak Peek politics cars comic books Teen stoner BBC America 2019 Mindy Kaling zombies all-time Nickelodeon Ovation cops BAFTA DGA space Spike TCA 2017 quibi Pirates Discovery Channel See It Skip It Food Network based on movie cancelled TV series sag awards australia Cannes japanese documentaries Holidays Sci-Fi stand-up comedy Biopics green book mockumentary disaster concert foreign revenge A&E Sundance Now YouTube Red The CW halloween Pop what to watch El Rey Reality Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cancelled Disney toy story animated Rock Podcast Mary Tyler Moore Best and Worst Toys Black History Month HBO Travel Channel worst free movies directors IFC Films Fox News dogs Television Academy