Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Bourne Legacy Is A Solid Sequel

Plus, The Campaign is witty and crude, and Hope Springs is Certified Fresh

by | August 10, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a man on the run (The Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz), a pair of congressional hopefuls (The Campaign, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis), and spouses in a rut (Hope Springs, starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones). What do the critics have to say?

The Bourne Legacy


With Matt Damon in the title role, the Bourne franchise was a commercial and critical juggernaut. Now, Jeremy Renner tries to give the series a reboot, and while critics say The Bourne Legacy is a bit overlong and more disjointed than previous installments, it’s still a capable chase thriller with strong action scenes. Renner stars as Aaron Cross, who, like Jason Bourne, is a chemically-enhanced super-soldier. He soon discovers that the secret government agency that gave him his powers is trying to kill him, so he goes on the run with research scientist Marta Shearing (Rachel Weisz), who’s also a target of the same shadowy forces. The pundits say The Bourne Legacy isn’t as consistently exciting as the Damon Bournes, but it’s a solid enough conspiracy movie, and Renner and Weisz are excellent. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames, a slideshow of some of cinema’s greatest spies.)

The Campaign


How amusing can a satire of politics really be these days, given the farcical nature of modern elections? Plenty, say critics, who call The Campaign a droll, biting, and often insightful look at the electoral process — though some of the jokes are pretty crude. Will Ferrell stars as Cam Brady, an incumbent congressman who’s running unopposed for re-election until he finds himself embroiled in a scandal. A pair of big-money bigwigs push inexperienced, mild-mannered Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) into the race, and things get nasty in a hurry. The pundits say The Campaign intermittently flails, but for the most part, it’s goofy, timely, and, more often than not, astutely funny.

Hope Springs


Hollywood rarely shines its spotlight on the love lives of older folks, so a film like Hope Springs immediately stands out from the summer movie pack. Still, critics say it’s worth seeing for the virtuosic interplay between Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, even if the script occasionally betrays a heavy hand. Streep and Jones star as Kay and Arnold, whose marriage lost its spark a long time ago. In an attempt to shake things up, Kay enrolls the couple in an intense counseling session with a famous therapist, and she and Arnold take tentative steps toward rekindling their relationship. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Hope Springs is sometimes manipulative, but the leads are utterly absorbing and the situation is refreshingly true-to-life. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Jones’ best-reviewed movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Almayer’s Folly, Chantal Akerman/‘s adaptation of the Joseph Conrad novel about an embittered ship captain at a remote trading post, is at 100 percent.
  • Meet the Fokkens, a documentary about 60-something identical twins who work as prostitutes in Amsterdam’s red light district, is at 100 percent.
  • The Green Wave, a documentary/animation hybrid about the anti-government protests that rocked Iran in 2009, is at 88 percent.
  • 2 Days in New York, starring Julie Delpy and Chris Rock in a comedy about a couple who are rudely interrupted by the woman’s wild family members, is at 71 percent.
  • Spike Lee‘s Red Hook Summer, a drama about a middle class kid who spends a summer with his religious grandfather in his inner-city Atlanta home, is at 68 percent.
  • $upercapitalist, a drama about a hedge fund trader whose life spins out of control after attempting a hostile takeover of a Hong Kong tech company, is at 17 percent.
  • Nitro Circus: The Movie 3D, a doc starring a fearless crew of stuntmen doing outrageous aerial tricks, is at 13 percent.
  • Goats, starring David Duchovny and Vera Farmiga in a coming-of-age dramedy about a teenager attempting to understand his eccentric family members, is at 13 percent.

Tag Cloud

finale TV Land crossover Fox News Polls and Games unscripted APB Fall TV GIFs Paramount ESPN PBS medical drama Opinion RT History based on movie Character Guide Sundance Now Video Games TCM justice league AMC Comedy ABC Comedy Central Hulu Pixar Comic Book travel Creative Arts Emmys X-Men Adult Swim Kids & Family comiccon diversity Esquire Paramount Network political drama Holidays Nickelodeon Grammys American Society of Cinematographers Spike 2016 TV SDCC Horror USA Network Sneak Peek Disney Sundance hist TCA Box Office Dark Horse Comics Warner Bros. Netflix Year in Review Trivia Election Reality Competition serial killer harry potter Lifetime BET The Arrangement Rocky talk show Bravo Masterpiece Schedule Pop Tomatazos cults TIFF Western Amazon IFC Films Mystery Oscars First Look dceu Tumblr CBS Teen technology VH1 Valentine's Day festivals Certified Fresh Shondaland Nominations WGN Summer cinemax Cosplay what to watch MSNBC LGBTQ The CW Superheroe Sony Pictures Marathons Country TBS NBC CBS All Access zombies Mary Tyler Moore BBC Premiere Dates zombie Spring TV discovery spy thriller CW Seed crime Musical Super Bowl Emmys Mindy Kaling Star Wars El Rey Ellie Kemper Podcast YA PaleyFest science fiction TCA 2017 golden globes vampires supernatural Martial Arts 2015 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cooking 007 Infographic Drama Winter TV DC Comics HBO BBC America romance MTV 2017 FOX war Reality transformers Pirates Sci-Fi Calendar 24 frames Toys USA Lucasfilm robots Awards ABC Family Action DC Universe 21st Century Fox Countdown Lionsgate GoT DirecTV NYCC OWN Winners Marvel Syfy YouTube Red 20th Century Fox biography DC streaming service Biopics historical drama Animation cats GLAAD Food Network sports E! social media cops Set visit Rock Interview Musicals FX E3 Best and Worst Music ratings adventure Trailer Disney Channel National Geographic Watching Series Star Trek VICE A&E Red Carpet Cartoon Network TNT History Crackle Ghostbusters police drama composers thriller Photos CNN Showtime CMT sitcom aliens Universal TLC Rom-Com TruTV psycho boxoffice Britbox IFC politics Writers Guild of America Starz President dc SXSW crime thriller Fantasy 45 Thanksgiving binge Christmas singing competition Acorn TV ITV FXX Freeform dramedy Superheroes SundanceTV period drama See It Skip It crime drama Logo Nat Geo docudrama Extras