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

49%

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

CW Seed Universal Lifetime TLC Disney FXX 21st Century Fox Musicals Polls and Games A&E golden globes supernatural serial killer Music romance Crackle TruTV Esquire talk show Superheroes Action politics Lucasfilm Fantasy Sundance Now zombies E! Tomatazos cops Cartoon Network TV Comedy Amazon CNN Comedy Central VH1 WGN History DC Comics IFC Films Countdown RT History dceu Lionsgate Character Guide ratings 45 TCM Acorn TV The Arrangement aliens Star Trek APB LGBTQ USA Network VICE YouTube Red Mystery based on movie Ghostbusters AMC psycho Set visit Country cooking robots Spring TV Nat Geo Hulu Netflix PBS Cosplay Winners dramedy TCA 2017 boxoffice Pop NYCC Pixar Warner Bros. American Society of Cinematographers TNT Holidays Certified Fresh Pirates Year in Review SXSW Fall TV Paramount Election SDCC Photos Starz Showtime Summer Reality E3 Marathons YA Bravo technology period drama discovery TBS GoT Adult Swim Awards Calendar Extras adventure 007 docudrama DirecTV vampires sports Emmys Comic Book zombie crime FX Podcast Box Office Drama finale Superheroe composers Watching Series Teen cats festivals social media Trailer political drama comiccon X-Men Musical 20th Century Fox spy thriller CMT Sony Pictures Grammys biography Trivia Spike Star Wars Winter TV Food Network Nominations See It Skip It HBO OWN Sci-Fi transformers MTV FOX USA Schedule Britbox First Look diversity medical drama Horror Dark Horse Comics Super Bowl Premiere Dates El Rey harry potter Sneak Peek Animation Mindy Kaling crime drama IFC BET Christmas Nickelodeon Best and Worst Reality Competition crime thriller CBS All Access Rocky Infographic SundanceTV NBC Logo DC streaming service war binge 2017 Rom-Com Paramount Network TV Land justice league cults Ellie Kemper DC Universe Masterpiece cinemax Sundance singing competition what to watch MSNBC Tumblr sitcom crossover TIFF President PaleyFest Rock Marvel Creative Arts Emmys ABC Family National Geographic BBC historical drama Valentine's Day Shondaland ABC Writers Guild of America 2015 travel science fiction Martial Arts The CW ITV ESPN Freeform Western thriller police drama Oscars BBC America Syfy Mary Tyler Moore dc GIFs Thanksgiving unscripted 24 frames GLAAD Red Carpet 2016 TCA Biopics Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Opinion Disney Channel Video Games Toys hist Fox News Kids & Family Interview CBS