This week at the movies, we’ve got a swashbuckling feline (Puss in Boots, with voice work from Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek), a gonzo journalist (The Rum Diary, starring Johnny Depp and Aaron Eckhart), and monetary mortality (In Time, starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried). What do the critics have to say?
The Shrek franchise keeps rolling along, this time ogre-free, with Puss in Boots, which critics find to be a witty, action-packed romp in its own right. In this prequel, ever-daring Puss (voiced by Antonio Banderas) teams up with the tough, alluring Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) to protect the world from a pair of villains named Jack and Jill. The pundits say Puss in Boots is smart and funny, a clever send-up of fairy tale conventions with vibrant animation and inspired vocal performances. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Banderas’ best-reviewed films.)
Johnny Depp steps back into Hunter S. Thompson’s shoes for The Rum Diary, but critics say that, like its predecessor Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, its sporadic moments of colorful madness are undercut by an uneven script. The Run Diary chronicles one of the gonzo reporter’s memorable early assignments: a wild trek to Puerto Rico in which our hero uncovers a shady business plot and drinks a ton of booze. The pundits say the film is a mostly agreeable mix of picturesque settings and eccentric characters, but it lacks the focus needed to be a truly cohesive head trip. (Check out director Bruce Robinson’s Five Favorite Films.)
It’s a high concept cross between Logan’s Run and Occupy Wall Street, but critics say gaping plot holes and excessive action sequences keep In Time from measuring up to its intriguing premise. Set in a world where everyone is genetically engineered to die shortly after they turn 25 (except for the rich folks, who can purchase more time), Justin Timberlake stars as a man of modest means on the run from the cops after he’s been gifted a life-extension. The pundits say In Time has a sleek look and some interesting ideas, but it runs out of steam pretty quickly.
Urbanized, a documentary about the many facets of city planning, is at 100 percent.
Ra. One, starring Bollywood superstar Sharukh Khan in an action film about a father who must battle an evil video game character to protect his son, is at 80 percent.
Like Crazy, starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as a young couple whose relationship hits rocky waters due to a lapsed visa, is at 71 percent.
Sidewalls, a light-hearted mixed-media portrait of life in contemporary Buenos Aires, is at 71 percent.
My Reincarnation, a documentary about a Buddhist minister and his Western-born son, is at 67 percent.
Janie Jones, starring Abigail Breslin and Alessandro Nivola in a drama about an aging rock star who meets a daughter he never knew he had, is at 46 percent (check out Breslin’s Five Favorite Films here).
Anonymous, starring Rhys Ifans and Vanessa Redgrave in a thriller that speculates about conspiratorial machinations behind the authorship of Shakespeare’s works, is at 39 percent.
13, starring Jason Statham and Mickey Rourke in a thriller about a desperate man who finds himself participating in an underground Russian roulette ring, is at 17 percent.
The Double, a thriller starring Richard Gere and Topher Grace as a pair of intelligence agents on the trail of an elusive assassin, is at seven percent.
All’s Faire in Love, starring Christina Ricci in a comedy about the wacky goings-on of a small Renaissance Faire, is at zero percent.