Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Semi-Pro is Semi-Good, Boleyn Girl Not Quite Movie Royalty

Plus: Penelope tries hard, but doesn't quite enchant.

by | February 28, 2008 | Comments

This week
at the movies, we’ve got hapless hoopsters (Semi-Pro, starring
, Woody Harrelson, and
Andre Benjamin), snouted socialites (Penelope,
starring Christina Ricci
and James McAvoy), and scandalous siblings (The Other Boleyn Girl,
starring Natalie Portman,
Scarlett Johansson, and
Eric Bana). What do the
critics have to say?

Ferrell has made a mini-career for himself yuking it up in wacky sports
comedies. Some, like

Talladega Nights
of Glory
, were
winners with the critics, while others (Kicking and Screaming, anyone?)
have fallen below the Mendoza Line. It appears the pundits are putting his
latest, Semi-Pro, in the latter category. Ferrell stars as Jackie Moon,
the owner of a struggling American Basketball Association (yep, the league with
the red, white, and blue ball) squad that’s on the verge of folding; worse, the
NBA may soon buy the only solvent ABA squads, so the team has to start winning
in a hurry. The pundits say that while Semi-Pro offers occasional laughs,
its shooting percentage isn’t all that high; it’s never as deliriously funny as
it should be, and sags under the weight of too much sentiment. At 23 percent
on the Tomatometer, Semi-Pro is looking as pretty as a Ben Wallace free

"So you guys will watch this but not Brothers Solomon?
Come on!"

A lonely
lass with a swine’s schnoz, Penelope (Christina Ricci) isn’t your average girl.
And the scribes say Penelope isn’t your average movie
— and despite
moments of enchantment, this modern-day fairy tale is something of a mixed bag.
Penelope is a poor little rich girl who suffers from a strange curse: she’s got
a pig snout, and can only be saved by the proper suitor. The critics say Penelope
is never short on whimsy and charm, but it’s uneven and a little short on magic.
It’s currently at 55 percent on the Tomatometer. (Check out our inventory of
fairy tales for grownups here.)

Penelope getting ready to practice some American Ninja moves.

The Other Boleyn Girl has all the makings of a juicy tale of period intrigue: a
love triangle, political machinations, and a stellar cast. Unfortunately,
critics say the film can’t quite put all the pieces together. Based upon the
bestseller by Philippa Gregory, Boleyn is the story of two sisters
(Natalie Portman and
Scarlett Johansson)
vying for the ardor of the King of England (Eric Bana) — and finding themselves in a romantic tug-of-war that
threatens to destabilize the nation. The pundits say the movie looks terrific,
and the plot has intrinsic interest, but Boleyn ends up devolving into
over-plotted, melodramatic territory while leaving certain elements of its plot
underdeveloped. At 45 percent on the Tomatometer, the critics aren’t quite in
love with this Girl.

“Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo, so long ago when there was nothing but our love.”

opening this week in limited release:

  • Chop
    , the story of a 12-year-old orphan fending for himself in gritty New
    York City, is at 88 percent.

  • Beyond
    , a doc about a pair of Boston women who travel to Afghanistan after
    their husbands are killed by terrorism, is at 80 percent.

  • Chicago
    , which combines documentary footage and animation to tell the story of
    the riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, is at 78 percent (check out
    our take from Sundance

  • The
    , a doc about the fragile balance between home-ownership and the
    environment, is at 75 percent.

  • City
    of Men
    , the follow-up to
    City of God
    , about a group of youngsters
    growing up amidst the drug trade in Rio, is at 71 percent.

  • Bonneville,
    a road movie starring
    Jessica Lange,
    Kathy Bates, and
    Joan Allen, is at 45

  • Vivere,
    the story of three desperate women on the run, is at 40 percent.


"Cool, we can make our 80 million margaritas out here."

finally, props to
man in the water,
I am evil homer,
bwozar07, and
Pilgermann, who all, ahem, got ‘er done by
successfully guessing that
Witless Protection
would earn a big zero
percent Tomatometer. Good to see some folks around these parts aren’t totally
lacking in wit.

Will Ferrell Movies:


44% —
Wendell Baker Story

69% —
of Glory

73% —
than Fiction

72% —

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

41% —

Christina Ricci Movies:


66% —
Snake Moan

23% —
of the Brave

20% —
The Gathering (2006)

23% —
Love Your Work

16% —


Tag Cloud

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