Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: That Awkward Moment When Your Movie is Rotten

Plus, Labor Day can't rise above its unbelievable premise.

by | January 31, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got three single bros (That Awkward Moment, starring Zac Efron and Michael B. Jordan) and a family-oriented fugitive (Labor Day, starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet). What do the critics have to say?

That Awkward Moment

22%

If you’ve had your fill of movies featuring young women griping about their relationship woes, you’re in luck: That Awkward Moment is a movie featuring dudes griping about their relationship woes. Unfortunately, critics say that’s about all that distinguishes this romantic comedy, which saddles its talented young cast with a predictable plot and a shortage of witty lines. It’s the story of three friends (Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller) who make a pact to stay single — that is, until each of them find themselves grappling with potential relationships. The pundits say That Awkward Moment attempts to make a statement about modern love, but it’s fatally short on both insight and believability. (And be sure to check out Miles Teller’s Five Favorite Films here.)

Labor Day

35%

Even the most preposterous scenario can be redeemed by a strong cast and a carefully sustained tone. Sadly, despite the best efforts of its leads, Labor Day fails to rise above its contrived premise. Josh Brolin stars as Frank, a convicted killer who escapes from prison and takes Adele (Kate Winslet), a depressed single mother, hostage in her own home. Over a long weekend, Adele falls for Frank, who takes up a position as the man of the house. The pundits say that Labor Day remains watchable because of Brolin and Winslet, but the material is ultimately too implausible to work as a whole. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Brolin’s best-reviewed films.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • 12 O’clock Boys, a documentary about a group of teenage dirt bikers in Baltimore, is at 95 percent.

  • Tim’s Vermeer, a documentary by Teller about a Texas inventor researching the process behind the great Dutch painter’s works, is Certified Fresh at 94 percent.

  • Charlie Victor Romeo, a documentary about airline pilots dealing with in-flight emergencies, is at 85 percent.

  • Love Is In The Air, starring Ludivine Sagnier in a romantic dramedy about a pair of exes seated next to each other on a trans-Atlantic flight, is at 83 percent.

  • At Middleton, starring Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga in a romantic comedy about two parents of prospective college students who bond on a campus tour, is at 56 percent.

  • The Wait, starring Chloë Sevigny and Jena Malone in a drama about a pair of sisters who hope to resurrect their recently deceased mother, is at 29 percent.

  • May I Kill U?, a black comedy about a mild-mannered bike cop who becomes a vigilante after a head injury, is at 15 percent.

  • Brightest Star, a drama about a young man who attempts to change himself in order to win the girl of his dreams, is at 14 percent.

  • Best Night Ever, a comedy from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer about a group of bachelorettes’ wild Vegas excursion, is at zero percent.

Finally, props to Chris Frost for coming the closest to guessing I, Frankenstein‘s six percent Tomatometer.

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