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


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


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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