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

18%

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

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