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

Comic Book harry potter First Look Sneak Peek FOX Awards travel Adult Swim technology crime thriller Drama TV Land Extras Teen aliens MSNBC Box Office historical drama BBC America BET CBS All Access serial killer PaleyFest E! Oscars Showtime war Best and Worst ITV Interview Mary Tyler Moore Cosplay cooking 2015 cops TCA 2017 Dark Horse Comics Election adventure dramedy Marvel TCM Lifetime CMT Superheroes singing competition Pop Animation Holidays Nickelodeon Year in Review The CW Fantasy Sci-Fi CNN Disney Channel Trailer Logo President Infographic politics Rocky The Arrangement OWN CBS RT History Hulu APB Tomatazos Martial Arts X-Men composers Freeform Photos Video Games Certified Fresh Writers Guild of America DC Comics sports Disney vampires Calendar AMC crime sitcom Syfy Reality Competition Tumblr Winter TV social media Trivia VICE Kids & Family Valentine's Day HBO Grammys Pirates Polls and Games TBS zombie based on movie Character Guide Musical Amazon IFC Toys Fall TV ABC Family Star Wars TCA TNT American Society of Cinematographers Mystery discovery 007 Ghostbusters ABC Summer TruTV Super Bowl USA Starz GoT Star Trek El Rey Action BBC period drama History docudrama biography NYCC SDCC VH1 Marathons Winners thriller Sundance Rock Watching Series Countdown LGBTQ Country Emmys Universal A&E Rom-Com diversity ESPN TLC Spring TV GIFs Cartoon Network DirecTV supernatural Comedy PBS Reality Food Network Biopics 2017 Red Carpet Bravo crime drama 2016 Set visit cinemax Schedule TV Fox News Crackle NBC MTV Music SundanceTV FXX Horror GLAAD psycho Nominations WGN TIFF 24 frames Podcast Opinion comiccon boxoffice Masterpiece Lionsgate Premiere Dates FX Netflix Thanksgiving Musicals Comedy Central Esquire Nat Geo science fiction police drama