This week at the movies, we’ve got boxing robots (Real Steel, starring Hugh Jackman and Anthony Mackie) and a political scandal (The Ides of March, starring Ryan Gosling and George Clooney). What do the critics have to say?
You wanna see giant robots punching each other? Then by all means go see Real Steel, say critics, but be prepared for some schmaltz. Hugh Jackman stars as a washed-up pugilist who gets a shot at both professional and personal redemption when he and his estranged son team up to build the ultimate fighting bot and take on all metallic comers. The pundits say Reel Steel is essentially robo-Rocky, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing; if it’s sappy at times, it’s also kinda sweet, and the robot fights are admittedly pretty awesome. (Check out Jackman’s best-reviewed movies here.)
The Ides of March‘s message isn’t particularly novel — politics is a rough, cynical business — but critics say George Clooney’s latest directorial effort is a still smart tale of political intrigue with a terrific cast. Ryan Gosling stars as Stephen Meyers, the hotshot press secretary for a candidate (Clooney) who’s a tight race for Democratic presidential nomination. The pundits say that the Certified Fresh The Ides of March is able to overcome occasional narrative missteps thanks to outstanding performances and a genuine air of suspense. (Check out our feature on our list of movies with multi-Oscar-nominated casts.)
Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, a documentary about the pioneering band featuring tons of testimonials from their celebrity fans, is at 100 percent.
Hell and Back Again, a doc about a celebrated photographer who was injured in Afghanistan, is at 100 percent.
The Way, starring Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen in a dramedy about a man who treks across France in tribute to his late son, is Certified Fresh at 77 percent.
Toast, starring Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore in a comedy about a young man who bonds with his stepmother over her cooking skills, is at 71 percent.
Blackthorn, starring Sam Shepard as an aging Butch Cassidy living out his twilight years in a remote Bolivian village, is at 67 percent.
Intruders, starring Clive Owen in the tale of two families who each have sinister encounters with apparitions, is at 63 percent.
The Women on the 6th Floor, a comedy about an upper-crust Frenchman who loosens up upon befriending a group of Spanish maids, is at 56 percent.
The Swell Season, a doc about the Oscar winning duo’s relationship and touring schedule in the wake of the success of Once, is at 55 percent.
Dirty Girl, starring Juno Temple and William H. Macy in a drama about two high school outcasts who hit the road to escape their mundane lives, is at 27 percent (check out Temple’s Five Favorite Films here).
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), the more-extreme sequel to last year’s gastrointestinal cult horror provocation, is at 19 percent.
1911, starring Jackie Chan in a period drama about the revolutionary movement that marked the end of China’s imperial government, is at 10 percent.