Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Rango Is Wacky, Witty Fun

Plus, The Adjustment Bureau features great chemistry, but Take Me Home Tonight and Beastly miss the mark.

by | March 3, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a leapin’ lizard (Rango, with voice work from Johnny Depp and Abigail Breslin); a fateful romance (The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt); a night to remember (Take Me Home Tonight, starring Topher Grace and Anna Faris); and some ugly love (Beastly, starring Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens). What do the critics have to say?



In an animation landscape dominated creatively and commercially by Pixar, it’s rare that a CGI feature brings much originality to the table. However, critics say that’s the case with Rango, which they say is a manic, wildly inventive, very funny homage/parody of spaghetti Westerns. Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp) is a pet chameleon who finds himself in a town without pity, populated by various desert animals who act like supporting players in an old oater. With delusions of grandeur, Rango installs himself as the town’s sheriff, and hilarity ensues. The pundits say Rango is probably a little to earthy for little kids, but older children and adults will delight in the movie’s irrepressible energy and irreverent pop-cultural references.

The Adjustment Bureau


The works of Philip K. Dick have been adapted to the screen many times (Blade Runner and Total Recall are probably the best-known examples), and it seems that Dick’s paranoid, thought-provoking worldview never goes out of style. The latest Dick adaptation is The Adjustment Bureau, which critics say is a sleek, romantic romance that benefits greatly from the chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Damon plays a politician who encounters Blunt, the woman of his dreams. However, a shadowy organization is conspiring to keep them apart – but why? The pundits say The Adjustment Bureau doesn’t always make sense, and the ending is a letdown, but Damon and Blunt sizzle, and the film moves along at a brisk, confident pace.

Take Me Home Tonight


The 1980s are all the rage these days, what with the recent revival of several action classics from the decade, so it isn’t surprising to see the John Hughes-esque young adult comedy Take Me Home Tonight hitting theaters. Unfortunately, critics say that despite sporting a certain sweetness, the film fails either to be original or sufficiently funny. Topher Grace stars as a recent MIT grad who, much to the chagrin of his family, takes up employment at a local video store. When his high school crush strolls in and invites him to the summer party to end all parties, he embarks on the wildest night of his life. Critics say Take Me Home Tonight is too derivative of the movies it presumes to emulate, and though its affection for nostalgia is charming, it teeters too perilously between homage and parody with unimpressive comic results. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down the biggest box office hits of 1988, as well as Grace’s Five Favorite Films.)



Hollywood is in the habit of updating fairy tales to modern times, so it was probably only a matter of time until we got an emo-era Beauty and the Beast. However, critics find that the Twilight-aping Beastly misses the depth of the original tale by a wide margin; this update is a little too sappy — and poorly scripted — to get much freshness out of its beauty’s-only-skin-deep moral. Alex Pettyfer stars as a vain, cruel bully who gets his comeuppance after a girl he’s tormented casts a spell on him and turns his face to a mess of scars. Will this self-centered jerk learn to treat others better? The pundits say Beastly features groan-worthy dialogue and soapy melodramatics, and the result is a dumbed-down, middling adaptation.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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