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

77%

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

59%

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

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