Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Boxtrolls, The Equalizer, Fall TV

In limited release: Pride, The Two Faces of January, and Jimi: All Is by My Side.

by | September 26, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got misunderstood monsters (The Boxtrolls, featuring voice performances from Elle Fanning and Ben Kingsley) and an enigmatic vigilante (The Equalizer, starring Denzel Washington and Chloë Grace Moretz). What do the critics have to say?

The Boxtrolls


Witty, original, and darker than your average family fare, Coraline and ParaNorman proved that Laika was a force to be reckoned with in the animation world. Critics say the studio’s latest effort, The Boxtrolls, offers a less compelling story than those films, but it’s meticulously crafted and often delightfully weird. The titular creatures are kindly, goofy monsters that have raised a little boy named Eggs (voiced by Isaac Hempstead-Wright) as one of their own. But the nefarious Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) wants to wipe out the Boxtrolls for personal gain, so it’s up to Eggs and his new friend Winnie (Elle Fanning) to stop him. The pundits say The Boxtrolls is visually striking, but it lacks the charm and narrative pull of previous Laika features.(Check out our video interviews with Kingsley and Fanning.)

The Equalizer


The last time Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua teamed up, the result was Training Day, a searing portrait of a crooked cop that earned Washington an Oscar. They’re back together for The Equalizer, but critics say the results are mixed this time; Washington is his usual compelling self, but the script often succumbs to thriller cliches. Washington stars as McCall, a man with a mysterious past who’s trying to keep a low profile. However, when he stumbles upon Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz) a troubled young woman under the thumb of heartless mobsters, McCall decides to take matters into his own hands. The pundits say The Equalizer is stylish and gritty, but the formulaic plot doesn’t always make the best use of Washington’s fine central performance. (Watch our video Q&A with Fuqua, as well as Washington’s best-reviewed films.)

Certified Fresh on TV this week:

Expanding upon the Batman universe, Gotham (90 percent), which stars Ben Mckenzie and Jada Pinkett Smith, delves into the history of the key players of the Dark Knight saga. The critics say Gotham features high production values, a talented cast, and an appealingly stylized approach to the Batman mythos.

black-ish (86 percent) stars Anthony Anderson and Laurence Fishburne in a comedy series about a father who’s concerned that raising his his kids in the suburbs will force them to lose touch with their African American roots. The critics say black-ish is smart, ingratiating, and often very funny.

Viola Davis is an exceptional talent, and critics say she’s the best reason to watch How to Get Away With Murder (84 percent). The pundits say this legal thriller is slick and exciting, which helps it to overcome its sometimes shaky plotting.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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