Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Expendables 3 is a Dull Reunion

Plus, Let's Be Cops is criminally short on laughs, and The Giver looks nice but lacks passion.

by | August 14, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got aging tough guys (The Expendables 3, starring Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham), fake policemen (Let’s Be Cops, starring Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson), and a rogue nonconformist (The Giver, starring Brenton Thwaites and Jeff Bridges). What do the critics have to say?



The Expendables 3

32%

One of the primary pleasures of the Expendables franchise has been the chance to gaze at a staggering array of stars, and The Expendables 3 is no exception. This time out, Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many more, team up with the likes of Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, Harrison Ford, and Mel Gibson, among others. However, critics say the movie itself is disappointingly thin and predictable. After a mission goes wrong, Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone) disbands the Expendables and brings in a younger crew to replace them. But when his new recruits are captured by a diabolical arms dealer, it’s up to Ross’ old buddies to rescue them. The pundits say The Expendables 3 is more like a class reunion than a movie, and the action set pieces are surprisingly flat.



Let’s Be Cops

19%

Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson are funny guys, and they share an undeniable comic chemistry on New Girl. Unfortunately, critics say there’s only so much they can do when trapped in a narratively slack, sitcommy vehicle like Let’s Be Cops. Wayans and Johnson star as a pair of average dudes who show up to a masquerade ball dressed as police officers — and are surprised by the amount of respect they receive. So they decide to continue to pretend to be policemen, and eventually discover that they’re in over their heads. The pundits say the stars are worth a chuckle or two, but Let’s Be Cops is basically a collection of skits that fails to do much with its undeniably appealing premise. (Flip through this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of the best and worst movie cops.)



The Giver

35%

Published in 1993, Lois Lowry’s dystopian young adult novel The Giver won the Newbery Medal, earned a dedicated fan base, and helped to lay the groundwork for the success of everything from The Hunger Games to Divergent. Too bad, then, that that critics say the big-screen adaptation of The Giver feels a little late to the party; despite a strong visual sense, it never generates the feeling of discovery that made the book so potent. Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is a teenager in a bland, passionless society. While spending time with a wise man called the Giver (Jeff Bridges), he discovers that the world he knows harbors deadly secrets — and it’s this knowledge that makes him a target of the powers that be. The pundits say The Giver is a polished production, but its familiar plotting and limp pacing keep it from distinguishing itself from other recent young adult sci-fi films. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which count down co-ster Meryl Streep’s best-reviewed films.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • We Are Mari Pepa, a comedy about a band of aspiring punk rockers in Guadalajara, is at 100 percent.
  • Frank, starring Michael Fassbender and Maggie Gyllenhaal in a dramedy about an artsy rock group whose eccentric leader wears a giant papier-mâché mask, is Certified Fresh at 89 percent.
  • The Trip To Italy, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in a road comedy about two old friends sampling culinary delights and talking about life, is Certified Fresh at 89 percent.
  • Abuse of Weakness, starring Isabelle Huppert in a drama about a filmmaker who is swindled after suffering from a stroke, is at 85 percent.
  • Jealousy, a French drama about an actor who leaves his wife and child for another woman, is at 83 percent.
  • A Will For The Woods, a documentary about a terminally ill man determined to have an environmentally friendly burial, is at 83 percent.
  • Dinosaur 13, a documentary about the lengthy debate over ownership that followed a 1990 T-Rex skeleton discovery, is at 67 percent.
  • Ragnarok, an adventure about an archeologist on the trail of a lost Viking ship, is at 60 percent.
  • Coldwater, a drama about a group of teenagers at a harsh private rehab facility for troubled kids, is at 43 percent.
  • Life After Beth, starring Aubrey Plaza and Dane DeHaan in a comedy about a teenager who dies but promptly returns to life, is at 39 percent.
  • Septic Man, a horror film about a sewage worker who must save his community from killer contaminating the water supply, is at nine percent.

Tag Cloud

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