Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: RoboCop is Half Man, Half Machine, Half Fresh

Plus, About Last Night is funny and insightful, while Endless Love and Winter's Tale are romantic duds.

by | February 13, 2014 | Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day! This week at the movies, we’ve got futuristic law enforcement (RoboCop, starring Joel Kinnaman and Gary Oldman); a star-crossed romance (Endless Love, starring Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde); a time-spanning battle between good and evil (Winter’s Tale, starring Colin Farrell and Jennifer Connelly), and the complexities of love (About Last Night, starring Kevin Hart and Regina Hall). What do the critics have to say?



A wicked satire disguised as a sci-fi action flick, Paul Verhoeven‘s RoboCop was one of the most brutal and subversive mainstream films of the late 1980s. The best critics can say for the new RoboCop is that it’s well-acted and reasonably exciting, but it lacks the visceral grit that made the original so compelling. When Detroit detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is badly injured on the job, a military contractor fits him with a robot exoskeleton in an attempt to create the ultimate crime fighter. The pundits say RoboCop is sleek and competent, but it’s short on the risk-taking verve of its predecessor. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of movie cyborgs.)

Endless Love


The original Endless Love was no great shakes, but it at least earned points for audacity. Critics say the biggest problem with this remake is that it’s pretty bland, lacking the passion and energy to make this anything other than a middling melodrama. Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde stars as teenagers from different sides of the tracks who fall in love, but complications ensue when her dad demands she break up with him. The pundits say Endless Love boasts some solid supporting performances, but it’s hobbled by a predictable plot and a shortage of fireworks.

Winter’s Tale


Winter’s Tale has it all: time travel, magic realism, deathless passion, and even Satan himself. What it lacks, critics say, is logic, coherence, and restraint, and the result is an unintentionally funny schmaltz-fest that’s more likely to inspire befuddlement than swooning. It’s 1915, and Peter (Colin Farrell) has fallen in love with Beverly (Jessica Brown Findlay) while robbing her family’s mansion. When she dies of consumption, he finds himself in the present-day, where he bonds with Virginia (Jennifer Connelly) and tries to escape a demon (Russell Crowe). The pundits say Winter’s Tale looks pretty, but it’s so over-earnest and inexplicable that it ultimately falls far short of its ambitious aims. (Check out our video interview with the cast of Winter’s Tale, as well as this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Connelly’s best-reviewed movies.)

About Last Night


Plenty of movies capture the buzz of infatuation at the beginning of a love affair. What makes About Last Night special, critics say, is that it’s also wise about the ups and downs that follow — and it’s often hilarious to boot. The movie follows Danny (Michael Ealy) and Debbie (Joy Bryant) from their first meeting to an eventual break up; meanwhile, their friends Bernie (Kevin Hart) and Joan (Regina Hall) share a combustible bond of their own. The pundits say About Last Night doesn’t reinvent the romantic comedy wheel, but it’s refreshingly honest and insightful, and it provides a fine showcase for Hart’s onscreen talents.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The New Black, a documentary about the campaign to drum up African American support for same-sex marriage in Maryland, is at 78 percent.
  • The Returned, a sci-fi thriller in which a medicine used to contain a zombie outbreak is running low, is at 60 percent.
  • Lucky Bastard, a found-footage thriller about a porn website that recruits a contest winner for a voyeuristic and humiliating film, is at 58 percent.
  • Jimmy P., starring Benicio Del Toro and Mathieu Amalric in a drama about an anthropologist who treats a World War II vet who suffered a debilitating head injury, is at 50 percent.
  • Adult World, starring Emma Roberts and John Cusack in a comedy about a recent college grad and aspiring poet who reluctantly takes a job at an adult bookstore, is at 44 percent.
  • Easy Money: Hard to Kill, starring Joel Kinnaman in a crime drama about an ex-con who sinks deeper into the drug trade, is at 27 percent.
  • Girl On A Bicycle, a romantic comedy about an engaged bus driver who falls for a woman he accidentally injures, is at zero percent.

Finally, props to Alex Meyer for guessing Vampire Academy‘s 10 percent Tomatometer.

Tag Cloud

Holiday sports ABC Rocky screen actors guild docudrama MSNBC game show adventure miniseries Endgame foreign Marvel Television Red Carpet Comic Book cults Apple TV Plus Classic Film disaster mutant Baby Yoda Arrowverse VICE OWN Lucasfilm parents anthology Mary Tyler Moore green book Cosplay ratings indiana jones Pirates stand-up comedy concert psychological thriller documentaries Sneak Peek asian-american DirecTV elevated horror History sequel Fantasy book Emmys Marvel blaxploitation SDCC X-Men RT21 Super Bowl Adult Swim cars Tumblr Cartoon Network MCU IFC BET E! all-time video space screenings Reality Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt mission: impossible Warner Bros. Writers Guild of America sitcom Chernobyl 2015 sequels cancelled TV shows Photos Superheroe PlayStation President Turner Classic Movies cancelled TV series Universal Amazon Studios comiccon Rock Musicals WarnerMedia composers Film Festival free movies joker Bravo canceled TV shows blockbuster toy story New York Comic Con Discovery Channel dark Nominations CNN Drama YouTube Red VH1 hispanic Syfy streaming Academy Awards TCA Country Winter TV Apple TV+ political drama Comics on TV Watching Series ghosts Video Games festivals cancelled television witnail richard e. Grant BBC America anime Musical Hallmark Christmas movies christmas movies Film robots Funimation Spectrum Originals Trophy Talk batman child's play series period drama crime drama south america boxoffice cops romance Box Office Nickelodeon movies films what to watch spinoff Marathons PaleyFest Crackle spy thriller war Star Wars Logo natural history BET Awards directors Rocketman toronto a nightmare on elm street Ellie Kemper chucky Sony Pictures Sci-Fi 21st Century Fox remakes halloween Pop TV GoT renewed TV shows Music superhero CBS cancelled DC streaming service Peacock Animation zero dark thirty psycho Dark Horse Comics WGN Hulu diversity Television Academy CW Seed The CW adaptation Fox News Lifetime Christmas movies franchise golden globes video on demand YouTube Premium Spring TV reboot American Society of Cinematographers Ovation indie science fiction Paramount Network Avengers USA Grammys dc latino A&E Awards SXSW festival Valentine's Day politics YouTube revenge Western stop motion TCA Awards police drama DGA 4/20 Reality Competition FOX Kids & Family Nat Geo game of thrones cinemax versus TCA 2017 OneApp A24 Cannes Summer Pride Month Ghostbusters television Set visit Fall TV BBC One teaser HBO TV theme song ESPN Disney 24 frames spider-man MTV Family criterion emmy awards NYCC TCA Winter 2020 travel TIFF The Walking Dead serial killer breaking bad historical drama Mudbound Women's History Month Interview cats Sundance Hallmark biography worst talk show Oscars AMC Mary poppins Polls and Games technology Tubi Song of Ice and Fire singing competition Mindy Kaling ABC Family Extras Walt Disney Pictures thriller documentary sag awards die hard nfl Calendar comics twilight Shondaland children's TV 20th Century Fox Disney Channel National Geographic Crunchyroll Binge Guide crime strong female leads See It Skip It Trivia comedies Action E3 movie critics kids Amazon DC Universe zombies finale best Star Trek GIFs CMT binge crime thriller satire 71st Emmy Awards Marvel Studios 2018 Pop Mary Poppins Returns werewolf HBO Max Hear Us Out tv talk Masterpiece VOD doctor who scary movies TNT venice canceled zombie The Witch FX Schedule Teen worst movies Creative Arts Emmys HBO Go Horror facebook Rom-Com Esquire Heroines DC Comics San Diego Comic-Con Netflix Christmas movies ITV Spike FXX Year in Review hollywood 72 Emmy Awards Stephen King 2017 jamie lee curtis Martial Arts FX on Hulu classics social media rotten rotten movies we love 45 unscripted obituary Food Network Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TBS nbcuniversal TLC romantic comedy TCM SundanceTV laika Trailer 2016 Apple Lifetime crossover PBS The Purge Elton John First Reviews reviews Certified Fresh TV Land Comedy Paramount Disney+ Disney Plus stoner NBC Disney streaming service Showtime RT History Black History Month Shudder Thanksgiving Infographic Election Starz spain Countdown slashers Comedy Central football 2020 The Arrangement transformers independent dceu Lionsgate Britbox Winners Sundance TV aliens medical drama Awards Tour Amazon Prime Toys Amazon Prime Video spanish language LGBT vampires Sundance Now Disney Plus 007 Quiz news Brie Larson TruTV Opinion universal monsters hist Vudu Mystery APB Pixar Emmy Nominations BAFTA scorecard Freeform mockumentary Best and Worst true crime justice league Acorn TV Holidays Pet Sematary dragons Netflix nature casting LGBTQ cooking Anna Paquin name the review Premiere Dates Epix Travel Channel animated YA Television Critics Association Tarantino GLAAD award winner Columbia Pictures Black Mirror Character Guide quibi based on movie IFC Films fast and furious Captain marvel harry potter El Rey Turner discovery USA Network supernatural comic 2019 Christmas First Look dramedy Superheroes Tomatazos TV renewals CBS All Access Biopics Podcast dogs cartoon BBC