This week at the movies, we’ve got a spy on the run (The November Man, starring Pierce Brosnan and Olga Kurylenko), some haunted explorers (As Above/So Below, starring Perdita Weeks and Ben Feldman/), and four supernatural elimination specialists (Ghostbusters, starring Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd). What do the critics have to say?
Pierce Brosnan is best known for his stint as cinema’s greatest spy, James Bond. He plays a different sort of espionage agent in The November Man; unfortunately, critics say that while the film is slick and competently made, it suffers from convoluted plotting and middling dialogue. Brosnan stars as Peter Devereaux, an ex-CIA agent who’s lured out of retirement to protect an important witness. However, Devereaux quickly discovers that everyone’s out to get him. The pundits say that Brosnan is strong as a thoughtful, haunted protagonist, but The November Man is largely a generic spy thriller that’s weighted down by an overloaded narrative. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Brosnan’s best-reviewed films.)
What better place to set a horror movie than the catacombs beneath Paris, where the bones of millions of souls are part of an intricate series of dark tunnels? Critics say As Above/So Below occasionally takes full advantage of its chilling locale, but its characters aren’t particularly well-developed. It’s the story of three adventure seekers on a quest to find a mythical artifact. When they venture into the catacombs, however, they’re forced to confront horrors both tangible and psychological. The pundits say As Above/So Below is atmospheric and occasionally spooky, but it lacks the weight and urgency necessary to be a true head-trip.
If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Yes, that’s right: Ghostbusters, one of the most beloved comedies of the 1980s is back in theaters in celebration of its 30th anniversary. Critics found it to be a sublime blend of witty banter and inspired special effects, and it’s barely dated a lick since its original release.
Starred Up, a British drama about an imprisoned teenager who attempts to change his life, is Certified Fresh at 98 percent.
Patema Inverted, an anime about a princess who escapes from her staid underground life, is at 89 percent.
Kundo: Age of the Rampant, a martial arts film about a group of bandits that rises up against the aristocracy, is at 86 percent.
The Notebook, a drama about 13-year-old twins abandoned in a small village who bear witness to the violence and hypocrisy around them, is at 75 percent.
The Congress, starring Robin Wright and Harvey Keitel in a half-animated, half-live-action fantasy about the movie business, is Certified Fresh at 73 percent.
Canopy, a World War II drama about a pilot who’s been shot down in enemy territory, is at 71 percent.
The Calling, starring Susan Sarandon and Topher Grace in a thriller about a serial killer who preys on the terminally ill, is at 64 percent.
Jamie Marks Is Dead, starring Cameron Monaghan and Liv Tyler in a drama about the ghost of a teenager who visits some of his old classmates, is at 63 percent.
Life of Crime, starring John Hawkes and Jennifer Aniston in a caper comedy about a man who refuses to pay the ransom for his kidnapped wife, is at 61 percent.
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears, a thriller about a man whose search for his missing wife leads to disturbing places, is at 45 percent.
Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People, a documentary about how photography helped to shape African American culture, is at 45 percent.
Last Weekend, starring Patricia Clarkson in a comedy about a dysfunctional family that gathers at a summer cabin, is at 43 percent.
The Last Of Robin Hood, starring Kevin Kline and Dakota Fanning in a drama about the last years of Hollywood swashbuckler Errol Flynn, is at 38 percent.
The Damned, a horror film about a man who discovers a mysterious child in the basement of a remote hotel, is at 13 percent.