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?

Rango

88%

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

71%

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

28%

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.)

Beastly

21%

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

spy thriller free movies romantic comedy Film Festival X-Men television book adaptation PaleyFest vs. remakes Pop streaming zombies Quiz docuseries italian Tokyo Olympics prank TruTV Red Carpet Masterpiece Alien dramedy blockbusters Reality best RT21 ITV Awards fresh TV Peacock ratings 99% Tarantino Calendar Comic Book south america Set visit superman 72 Emmy Awards all-time space independent LGBT TCA archives vampires politics Musicals TV renewals mockumentary SXSW Best Actress El Rey hispanic heritage month Sony Pictures criterion Universal Tomatazos Video Games comic book movies slashers technology Image Comics Cannes blockbuster DC Comics Elton John 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards TLC PlayStation Cartoon Network live event concert slasher tv talk YouTube Premium GLAAD debate comic book movie singing competition mcc Premiere Dates Comedy Winter TV Freeform rotten movies we love cops Best Picture cinemax South by Southwest Film Festival Crunchyroll spanish canceled TV shows anthology ABC Family scary Mary Tyler Moore DirecTV Holidays ViacomCBS latino The Walt Disney Company animated stand-up comedy Interview composers TV movies DC Universe HBO Go 45 Starz posters book mission: impossible werewolf sitcom Trailer AMC Plus golden globe awards Countdown 94th Oscars Shondaland medical drama American Society of Cinematographers Instagram Live spinoff Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Opinion VOD romance crime drama FXX Universal Pictures Geeked Week aliens Wes Anderson unscripted Netflix Christmas movies GoT spider-verse adaptation Spike Ovation VH1 new zealand 79th Golden Globes Awards YouTube Acorn TV Best Director Amazon teaser CBS All Access 20th Century Fox Country war E3 suspense Family OneApp police drama Spring TV miniseries BBC Mindy Kaling ghosts Hallmark Paramount ESPN FX Pixar Native natural history young adult women scorecard historical drama Super Bowl obi wan Awards Tour twilight cancelled razzies 2016 Rocketman sag awards critics Mary poppins Trophy Talk Sundance TV comics nbcuniversal asian-american adventure blaxploitation emmy awards supernatural finale biopic MCU 90s Lionsgate NBA rom-coms YA Columbia Pictures Certified Fresh Baby Yoda Turner Classic Movies WGN comedies Pop TV Food Network Amazon Prime Video popular Star Wars Celebration crime HFPA Best and Worst festivals IMDb TV 4/20 Rock Pride Month cancelled television Western biography Christmas canceled football chucky broadcast game of thrones MTV monster movies news theme song TNT A24 Oscars franchise VICE CW Seed AMC dark NBC a nightmare on elm street Superheroes science fiction Pirates high school Fargo Oscar dc Paramount Plus 73rd Emmy Awards genre First Reviews DGA christmas movies YouTube Red cancelled TV series interviews Sundance Now BET Awards HBO FX on Hulu true crime satire films diversity HBO Max Sci-Fi Fox News Exclusive Video Extras Watching Series Disney Channel video 2017 screenings Neflix green book period drama live action Brie Larson breaking bad fast and furious gangster robots Chernobyl 2018 summer preview comiccon Tags: Comedy dexter heist movie LGBTQ Epix laika Lifetime Christmas movies CNN worst movies Tumblr Pacific Islander legend target scene in color Fox Searchlight Kids & Family MGM 24 frames richard e. Grant BBC America golden globes spanish language halloween tv Prime Video docudrama Legendary Comic-Con@Home 2021 basketball 1990s nature aapi new star wars movies 007 Adult Swim zombie Year in Review jamie lee curtis Marvel Studios king arthur scene in color joker japan universal monsters SundanceTV mutant scene in color series rotten Esquire Syfy die hard Travel Channel movies Hear Us Out versus BBC One documentary Academy Awards TCM Arrowverse Focus Features children's TV streaming movies Superheroe Apple TV+ First Look nfl kong psycho comic books GIFs critic resources dreamworks SDCC kaiju Star Trek Paramount Pictures international TCA 2017 lord of the rings name the review Amazon Studios serial killer thriller Captain marvel trophy MSNBC new york Animation documentaries Comics on TV Sony Mary Poppins Returns Disney Hallmark Christmas movies doctor who See It Skip It BAFTA IFC Films summer TV preview sopranos disaster Creative Arts Emmys Marathons Grammys History series marvel comics cancelled TV shows godzilla hollywood james bond superhero CBS USA Network Classic Film feel good trailers Shudder binge Turner Podcast summer TV venice Sneak Peek Broadway WarnerMedia foreign 2019 Toys festival crossover 21st Century Fox Tubi Dark Horse Comics New York Comic Con jurassic park scene in color film series reboot USA Holiday award winner Summer DC streaming service Britbox renewed TV shows facebook The Walking Dead cults The CW Infographic Writers Guild of America black Comedy Central Reality Competition king kong Discovery Channel screen actors guild spider-man A&E Ellie Kemper Hulu Mudbound Nickelodeon National Geographic Disney+ Disney Plus Teen Binge Guide telelvision President stoner halloween Amazon Prime what to watch OWN Television Academy cartoon child's play Marvel Apple TV Plus NYCC boxoffice hispanic TIFF Schedule travel Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Showtime parents movie dragons art house Nominations Mystery BET cats game show TV One Indigenous dogs E! Fall TV streamig mob revenge sequels deadpool Marvel Television sequel Martial Arts Emmys The Witch scary movies ID social media Star Wars discovery TBS harry potter quibi RT History 2015 Nat Geo kids Crackle Song of Ice and Fire political drama Avengers sports Sundance leaderboard hist IFC CMT talk show adenture spain know your critic Music Logo Stephen King marvel cinematic universe Endgame Rocky 2020 rt labs critics edition Cosplay The Arrangement toy story transformers comic PBS rt archives Warner Bros. Valentine's Day australia San Diego Comic-Con royal family Biopics olympics Trivia Best Actor SXSW 2022 Lucasfilm Vudu FOX cooking target The Academy casting Disney Plus Black Mirror Rom-Com TV Land action-comedy indiana jones Heroines Election classics hidden camera reviews japanese Lifetime 2021 Musical ABC Signature crime thriller strong female leads Action Fantasy black comedy Apple Black History Month Emmy Nominations Horror Drama Hollywood Foreign Press Association Netflix APB zero dark thirty pirates of the caribbean indie Character Guide Ghostbusters directors TCA Winter 2020 obituary saw Women's History Month Spectrum Originals worst Photos cars Television Critics Association witnail Paramount Network Thanksgiving stop motion Disney streaming service Box Office french rt labs Film boxing 71st Emmy Awards The Purge wonder woman Polls and Games justice league elevated horror Bravo psychological thriller Anna Paquin anime dceu Winners TCA Awards batman based on movie ABC Walt Disney Pictures toronto video on demand 93rd Oscars Pet Sematary Funimation