Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is Short on Razzle Dazzle

Plus, The Call starts strong but ends in contrivance.

by | March 15, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got dueling magicians (The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, starring Steve Carell and Jim Carrey) and a distressed 911 operator (The Call, starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin). What do the critics have to say?



The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

36%

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone has such a can’t-miss premise — kitschy, arrogant magicians hit rock bottom — that it’s sad to report the critics find it less than magical, a collection of decent gags that never finds an effective rhythm. Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi star as outlandish Vegas stage magicians whose popularity is threatened by big egos, personal animosity, and the rise of a hip street magician (Jim Carrey). The pundits say The Incredible Burt Wonderstone serves up some goofy laughs, but for such an outrageous conceit, it’s surprisingly safe and predictable. (Check out our interviews with stars Carell and Olivia Wilde, as well as this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Buscemi’s best-reviewed movies.)



The Call

45%

There’s no shortage of thrillers that create tense scenarios but can’t quite tie everything together to a satisfying whole. Such is the case, critics say, with The Call, which builds plenty of suspense before taking a problematic turn in the third act. Halle Berry stars as Jordan, a 911 operator who becomes wracked with guilt after failing to help a young woman who calls her in the midst of a home invasion. After returning to her post months later, she gets a similar call, and attempts to thwart the attacker. The pundits say The Call nicely ratchets up the tension until a key point in which credibility is seriously strained. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a look at Berry’s career in pictures.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Goro Miyazaki‘s From Up On Poppy Hill, an animated drama about a teenage girl attempting to save a local hangout from demolition, is at 86 percent.
  • Reality, a dark comedy about a blue-collar guy whose world is turned upside down when he appears on a Big Brother-esque reality show, is at 78 percent.
  • Spring Breakers, starring Selena Gomez and James Franco in a thriller about a group of college girls who get into trouble with a gangster while partying in Florida, is at 77 percent.
  • My Amityville Horror, a documentary in which one of the residents of the famous house tells his story, is at 70 percent.
  • Upside Down, starring Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess in a sci-fi drama about a love affair separated by time, space, and politics, is at 33 percent.
  • Reincarnated, a documentary about Snoop Dogg‘s travels in Jamaica, is at 10 percent.
  • K-11, a thriller about a man locked in a brutal corner of the L.A. County Jail, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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