Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Great Gatsby is a Case of Style Over Substance

Plus, Peeples is warm but predictable.

by | May 10, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got an enigmatic millionaire (The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan) and a tense family gathering (Peeples, starring Craig Robinson and Kerry Washington). What do the critics have to say?



The Great Gatsby

48%

Since its publication in 1925, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby has beckoned filmmakers like a green light at the end of a pier. Unfortunately, their efforts have tended to be the cinematic equivalent of winning Daisy Buchanan’s heart — lavish exercises in futility. Critics say Baz Luhrmann‘s opulent take on Gatsby continues the trend — it looks fantastic and features a fine lead performance from Leonardo DiCaprio, but it misses the nuanced, melancholy spirit of the novel. In case you slept through English class in high school, here’s the plot: Yale grad and World War I vet Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) is drawn into the orbit of Jay Gatsby (DiCaprio), a mysterious millionaire who throws extravagant parties and flaunts the trappings of affluence in an effort to win the heart of Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), who’s married to a rich jerk. The pundits say The Great Gatsby never lacks for spectacle, but what’s missing is the heart beneath the glitz. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of films based on classic books.)



Peeples

37%

If you’re going to attempt a Meet the Parents-style comedy, you have to work hard to distinguish yourself. Unfortunately, critics say Peeples is a warm, amiable farce that offers a few chuckles but mostly falls back on predictable plotting and an overwrought message. Grace (Kerry Washington) joins her well-to-do family for a reunion in the Hamptons. Her fiancé, an aspiring musician named Wade (Craig Robinson), crashes the party to announce their impending nuptials and embarrasses himself in an attempt to fit in with the family. The pundits say Robinson and Washington are appealing as always, but there’s only so much they can do with the film’s clichéd script. (Check out this week’s Total Recall for a countdown of the best-reviewed directorial work of Peeples producer Tyler Perry, as well as our video interviews with the cast.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Stories We Tell, director Sarah Polley‘s documentary portrait of her family and its secrets, is at 93 percent.
  • Sightseers, a comedy about a couple who go on a road trip to see various landmarks and inadvertently initiate a killing spree, is Certified Fresh at 83 percent.
  • The Painting, a French animated feature about groups of painted characters who go on a journey to understand the origin of their creation, is at 83 percent.
  • Venus And Serena, a documentary about the relationship between the tennis-star sisters, is at 80 percent.
  • The Source Family, a doc about the rock-‘n’-rollin’ new religious movement, is at 78 percent.
  • One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das, a doc about an aspiring rock singer who ditched his possessions and moved to India in search of enlightenment, is at 67 percent.
  • Aftershock, produced by and starring Eli Roth in a horror film about a group of clubgoers trapped underground after a massive earthquake, is at 42 percent (watch our interview with Roth here).
  • No One Lives, starring Luke Evans in a horror film about a man who turns the tables on a ruthless gang of kidnappers, is at 22 percent
  • And Now A Word From Our Sponsor, starring Bruce Greenwood and Parker Posey in a comedy about the head of an advertising agency who speaks only in commercial slogans after suffering a nervous breakdown, is at zero percent.
  • Java Heat, starring Mickey Rourke and Kellan Lutz in an action thriller about the hunt for a terrorist in Indonesia, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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