Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Croods is Charming and Funny

Plus, Olympus Has Fallen is action-packed but silly, Admission meanders, and Spring Breakers is wild and crazy.

by | March 22, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a stone-age family (The Croods, with voice work by Nicolas Cage and Emma Stone); secret servicemen (Olympus Has Fallen, starring Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart); an Ivy League application reader (Admission, starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd); and girls gone wild (Spring Breakers, starring Selena Gomez and James Franco). What do the critics have to say?

The Croods


Picking up where The Flintstones left off, The Croods is a comedy adventure about a Stone Age family. And critics say that while the storytelling in this animated feature isn’t highly evolved, it’s sweet, funny, and visually inventive. After the cave they call home is destroyed, a stone-age family journeys across its pre-historic environs, encountering wild beasts and learning to love and trust each other along the way. The pundits say The Croods lacks sharply-drawn characters, but it’s charming and exciting enough to delight both kids and their parents. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a look at the history of DreamWorks animation, as well as this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Nicolas Cage’s best-reviewed movies.)

Olympus Has Fallen


Is Olympus Has Fallen an enjoyable, over-the-top action flick or a jingoistic Die Hard ripoff? Well, it depends on which critic you ask. Gerard Butler stars as a disgraced secret service agent who’s called into action when the president (Aaron Eckhart) is held hostage in the White House by a group of ruthless terrorists. The pundits are pretty split on Olympus Has Fallen: some say it’s action-packed escapist fun, while others find it to be an excessively violent, by-the-numbers thriller. (Check out director Antoine Fuqua’s Five Favorite Films.)



Tina Fey and Paul Rudd in a romantic comedy? Sounds like a sure thing. Unfortunately, critics say the likable leads can only do so much with Admission‘s meandering script. Fey stars as a Princeton admissions officer burdened by the stresses of her romantic and professional life. She takes a road trip to see an old college classmate (Rudd) who’s now an unconventional teacher with a gifted but eccentric student who could use some help getting into college. The pundits say Admission is slight stuff, and though the fine cast keeps things watchable, the film veers unevenly between drama and comedy without finding a consistent tone.

Spring Breakers


Director Harmony Korine (Gummo) is known for pushing boundaries, but with Spring Breakers, he’s made something approximating a mainstream movie. Critics say it’s a pretty good fit; Spring Breakers is often debauched and trashy, but it’s also visceral and hypnotic. Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens play members of a group of college girls who head to Florida to party but quickly get into trouble after meeting a rapper/criminal (James Franco). The pundits say Spring Breakers is undeniably lurid and occasionally monotonous, but it’s also thrilling and wildly unconventional. (Check out our interview with Korine here.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Gimme The Loot, a drama about a pair of graffiti artists looking to raise funds for a bold act of tagging, is at 100 percent.
  • My Brother The Devil, a drama about a pair of siblings who each find themselves drawn into the world of London’s street gangs, is at 100 percent.
  • 108 (Cuchillo de palo), a documentary about gay rights in Paraguay, is at 100 percent.
  • The Sapphires, a musical dramedy about a Australian Aboriginal soul group, is Certified Fresh at 92 percent.
  • Eden, starring Jamie Chung in a drama about a woman abducted into a human trafficking ring, is at 85 percent.
  • Starbuck, a comedy about a fourtysomething slacker who discovers he’s fathered hundreds of children through sperm back donations, is at 63 percent.
  • Hunky Dory, starring Minnie Driver in a comedy about a high school drama teacher who attempts to stage a glam rock version of The Tempest, is at 58 percent.
  • Come Out And Play, starring Vinessa Shaw in a horror film about a young couple on vacation who discover a band of possessed children, is at 50 percent.
  • Everybody Has a Plan, starring Viggo Mortensen in a drama about a man who assumes the identity of his dead brother and finds himself in the midst of criminality, is at 20 percent.
  • Love And Honor, starring Liam Hemsworth and Teresa Palmer in a drama about a soldier who goes AWOL to win back the girl who dumped him, is at 14 percent.

Tag Cloud

Cartoon Network Pop independent FOX Marvel cancelled television vampires New York Comic Con documentary justice league ratings NBC satire streaming Trivia Tomatazos true crime Emmy Nominations south america war comedies Cosplay DC streaming service Reality Song of Ice and Fire 20th Century Fox VICE Television Critics Association YouTube Premium 72 Emmy Awards franchise Summer See It Skip It Rock Set visit PlayStation Nickelodeon canceled TV shows Binge Guide Comedy Central Hallmark Christmas movies period drama cars Acorn TV cats superhero Anna Paquin politics worst San Diego Comic-Con Avengers indie Interview TruTV breaking bad APB Sundance VH1 Apple Chernobyl Winners DC Universe cinemax Spectrum Originals Columbia Pictures comic best based on movie TBS psychological thriller Lifetime Christmas movies LGBT crime Crackle Marvel Studios versus Valentine's Day Awards news screenings Country Endgame USA 71st Emmy Awards Apple TV Plus richard e. Grant golden globes Shudder Horror strong female leads Marathons Spike ABC Family CMT Biopics El Rey BET Arrowverse joker Universal obituary Netflix Disney streaming service Martial Arts biography sequels Winter TV Black Mirror teaser stoner Best and Worst latino 2019 Podcast Nat Geo dceu TNT boxoffice Pixar Super Bowl casting GIFs Ghostbusters Year in Review ABC mutant 007 romance Sundance TV Extras Logo Amazon miniseries medical drama Paramount Network crime thriller Chilling Adventures of Sabrina The Arrangement Masterpiece DC Comics all-time WarnerMedia Holidays IFC Films Amazon Prime binge harry potter sitcom Disney+ Disney Plus Fall TV PaleyFest A24 Pirates LGBTQ quibi Fantasy Paramount Ellie Kemper nbcuniversal cops Drama CW Seed spy thriller TCA 2017 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 2016 CBS Sony Pictures elevated horror batman dc OneApp BBC Trailer Schedule reviews Family talk show Action composers dragons Comic Book Lucasfilm Discovery Channel free movies The Witch spider-man Lifetime space classics A&E Watching Series Hulu CNN President crossover Cannes Disney Plus Musicals 24 frames Funimation TCA finale aliens Film Festival rotten adaptation Travel Channel The Purge revenge Academy Awards Starz dark Thanksgiving doctor who Certified Fresh laika ghosts award winner cancelled tv talk parents Christmas docudrama social media Heroines Sci-Fi Mary Tyler Moore Superheroe video on demand DGA Walt Disney Pictures Star Trek Disney Channel Teen Trophy Talk Epix hist ESPN Mudbound Premiere Dates PBS green book hispanic historical drama MTV spinoff Fox News Netflix Christmas movies VOD stand-up comedy Captain marvel screen actors guild TCA Awards IFC movie cartoon cancelled TV series children's TV scary movies dogs adventure DirecTV concert Marvel Television RT History romantic comedy a nightmare on elm street zombie series christmas movies Crunchyroll Kids & Family FX on Hulu Hallmark Stephen King serial killer Dark Horse Comics anime Toys toy story ITV Classic Film Emmys werewolf book what to watch Freeform hollywood YA Polls and Games 2015 science fiction diversity Mystery Turner Classic Movies First Reviews Food Network sequel Apple TV+ critics Quiz singing competition CBS All Access slashers technology Character Guide discovery emmy awards Red Carpet Box Office TV Land zombies The CW Hear Us Out Nominations USA Network FX Vudu National Geographic E! Opinion renewed TV shows Showtime Esquire 2018 blaxploitation sports video Sundance Now disaster foreign FXX Western Spring TV Musical die hard Tarantino indiana jones AMC Pride Month Comedy television OWN 2020 facebook History Shondaland MSNBC spanish language BAFTA Elton John 45 Video Games universal monsters blockbuster travel Grammys directors witnail SDCC TLC films dramedy Mary Poppins Returns cancelled TV shows natural history cooking unscripted festivals HBO criterion comiccon Tumblr child's play Superheroes Baby Yoda TV renewals chucky reboot Turner Amazon Studios robots game show BET Awards Syfy Election spain Amazon Prime Video Rocky canceled police drama SXSW 21st Century Fox Britbox TV Star Wars mockumentary Brie Larson Comics on TV movies TCM Bravo Reality Competition kids Film Writers Guild of America Rom-Com Oscars Pop TV BBC America rotten movies we love Mary poppins stop motion 2017 psycho twilight Pet Sematary RT21 Lionsgate Adult Swim WGN Mindy Kaling jamie lee curtis transformers zero dark thirty HBO Max BBC One nature Countdown name the review Sneak Peek Animation X-Men Calendar thriller Rocketman Awards Tour animated Ovation mission: impossible 4/20 Infographic American Society of Cinematographers YouTube Red Creative Arts Emmys Music Warner Bros. sag awards NYCC Photos halloween The Walking Dead fast and furious Television Academy Women's History Month First Look asian-american SundanceTV documentaries YouTube HBO Go TCA Winter 2020 Holiday Disney supernatural game of thrones GLAAD cults comics Black History Month crime drama Peacock TIFF anthology MCU theme song E3 political drama GoT Tubi