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


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


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


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

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