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

toy story 2020 kong rotten movies we love Binge Guide jamie lee curtis hidden camera Set visit based on movie mob halloween X-Men ViacomCBS Captain marvel trailers Tags: Comedy E3 live action ITV ESPN Drama art house facebook VOD CNN Disney Plus The Purge movie Freeform a nightmare on elm street telelvision kaiju Interview war pirates of the caribbean dramedy Brie Larson RT History know your critic remakes spanish language Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Thanksgiving The Walt Disney Company Pop TV PlayStation First Reviews Toys kids Syfy Cosplay IFC Films Grammys Musical target nbcuniversal Nat Geo Ghostbusters Box Office what to watch die hard deadpool scene in color Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Comedy Central Netflix Dark Horse Comics discovery Certified Fresh docudrama Britbox versus Lucasfilm 2019 Broadway 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards National Geographic Spectrum Originals Spike Television Critics Association Awards green book Hallmark Trophy Talk composers Heroines concert Starz Masterpiece ratings Mary poppins SundanceTV nature Fantasy scary singing competition Adult Swim Valentine's Day spain book adaptation Turner Classic Movies Comic-Con@Home 2021 streaming docuseries YouTube Premium king kong all-time Watching Series sequels Summer renewed TV shows spanish Lifetime Christmas movies Pet Sematary Amazon Studios book historical drama DC streaming service sitcom lord of the rings Shondaland aliens Martial Arts Stephen King spy thriller Marvel Disney DirecTV 72 Emmy Awards black TV movies The Arrangement superman Anna Paquin Funimation TV renewals 1990s 2018 chucky The Academy adventure ABC TV IMDb TV serial killer Alien Extras razzies harry potter Netflix Christmas movies HBO mission: impossible aapi archives dogs Podcast Disney Channel comedies fast and furious Film Video Games Disney streaming service live event Comics on TV 45 quibi screen actors guild dark crossover rt labs critics edition romance Image Comics dc Premiere Dates Pixar Black History Month HFPA Sony Pictures Reality Competition FXX travel toronto natural history finale marvel comics prank romantic comedy crime spinoff Writers Guild of America directors cats golden globe awards CW Seed police drama streaming movies obituary TruTV disaster period drama werewolf SXSW Endgame Ovation latino comic festival Epix NBC 99% marvel cinematic universe 73rd Emmy Awards Rocky The CW American Society of Cinematographers 21st Century Fox Baby Yoda international comic book movies DC Comics Columbia Pictures critic resources social media GoT indiana jones TBS ABC Signature critics Tarantino Election cancelled Academy Awards boxing OWN Comic Book Photos new star wars movies Amazon screenings biopic true crime name the review Tumblr young adult Mystery sports IFC ID Star Trek MCU Apple 20th Century Fox thriller sag awards asian-american See It Skip It Year in Review batman YA A24 politics Walt Disney Pictures Discovery Channel joker VICE BBC Fall TV strong female leads RT21 Rock Cartoon Network WarnerMedia basketball franchise comic books godzilla game show Avengers fresh cinemax universal monsters witnail animated Television Academy zombie Apple TV+ 93rd Oscars Apple TV Plus reboot Amazon Prime Video SDCC Holidays comic book movie spider-man Paramount CBS All Access reviews Fox News Trailer President comiccon leaderboard popular MTV superhero crime drama children's TV 24 frames Musicals HBO Max free movies NBA boxoffice Lifetime japan Food Network science fiction hispanic unscripted Kids & Family Emmy Nominations Family talk show Prime Video Comedy Arrowverse Shudder GIFs casting Rom-Com OneApp dragons TIFF satire dexter Creative Arts Emmys video Bravo olympics blockbusters Quiz Mudbound HBO Go theme song french Trivia Cannes Mary Poppins Returns Action Country PBS rt labs festivals New York Comic Con Marvel Television AMC Plus Film Festival stand-up comedy ghosts Biopics Turner hispanic heritage month nfl scary movies new zealand Schedule movies royal family scorecard Best and Worst Black Mirror dreamworks anime Pop black comedy genre Nominations Super Bowl E! Tomatazos Red Carpet Polls and Games jurassic park revenge mockumentary mcc stop motion Christmas diversity Elton John action-comedy legend cartoon twilight cars Pirates Holiday VH1 justice league slasher FOX DGA Rocketman south america PaleyFest indie History Tubi high school breaking bad italian San Diego Comic-Con BAFTA psycho Emmys slashers king arthur TCA Awards Mindy Kaling new york gangster Sci-Fi debate laika Women's History Month Classic Film Sundance BET cancelled television doctor who zombies Universal Pictures The Walking Dead canceled Warner Bros. MSNBC Marathons Lionsgate El Rey series james bond Universal supernatural psychological thriller Legendary Instagram Live Tokyo Olympics Music tv talk A&E TV Land crime thriller CBS political drama comics zero dark thirty women anthology Amazon Prime USA Network worst Animation 2017 Esquire medical drama AMC foreign hollywood criterion Western Winners BET Awards robots 4/20 worst movies blaxploitation Sneak Peek wonder woman Hear Us Out Spring TV YouTube LGBTQ films richard e. Grant Exclusive Video Awards Tour 2016 adenture APB Paramount Network heist movie Hollywood Foreign Press Association rotten Oscars Horror cancelled TV series Mary Tyler Moore game of thrones news TCA hist best christmas movies The Witch stoner halloween tv 79th Golden Globes Awards dceu Wes Anderson sequel football japanese Sundance Now Paramount Plus cancelled TV shows USA blockbuster First Look Star Wars child's play NYCC technology cops TNT 2021 Superheroes canceled TV shows Ellie Kemper Fox Searchlight venice suspense Infographic rom-coms Acorn TV LGBT Pride Month emmy awards TCA 2017 space 007 Crunchyroll Hulu Song of Ice and Fire WGN Reality Calendar 71st Emmy Awards Peacock TCM vampires transformers Winter TV documentaries Hallmark Christmas movies 2015 adaptation GLAAD TLC golden globes Countdown sopranos documentary australia feel good Fargo DC Universe video on demand Disney+ Disney Plus Opinion ABC Family Nickelodeon parents Marvel Studios 90s miniseries monster movies cooking YouTube Red TCA Winter 2020 vs. Logo Character Guide independent BBC America Showtime Chernobyl cults classics Vudu biography elevated horror posters Teen Crackle BBC One binge rt archives mutant award winner Neflix television spider-verse teaser trophy Sundance TV CMT Pacific Islander TV One FX Travel Channel saw FX on Hulu Superheroe