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

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