Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Other Woman is Short On Laughs

Plus, Brick Mansions doesn't measure up to the original, and The Quiet Ones is spooky but not all that scary.

by | April 24, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got spurned ladies (The Other Woman, starring Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann), a ticking time-bomb (Brick Mansions, starring Paul Walker and David Belle), and a paranormal experiment (The Quiet Ones, starring Jared Harris and Sam Claflin). What do the critics have to say?

The Other Woman

26%

As the saying goes, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Unfortunately, critics say the problem with The Other Woman is it’s a bit too tepid, offering a few decent laughs but never quite nailing the female empowerment vibe it’s aiming for. Carly (Cameron Diaz) is reeling from the discovery that her boyfriend is married. She stews for a while, but upon meeting his wife (Leslie Mann) and his other girlfriend (Kate Upton), she realizes the three women have a lot in common, and collectively they decide to exact revenge. The pundits say The Other Woman has a game cast and some clever lines of dialogue, but the scenario is alternately too implausible and predictable to resonate emotionally. (Check out our video interview with the stars, as well as this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Diaz’s best-reviewed movies.)

Brick Mansions

26%

A remake of the gravity-defying, parkour-infused French import District 13, Brick Mansions promises balletic action and high-wire thrills. And critics say it does indeed feature a few strong set pieces, but they aren’t enough to compensate for an overabundance of plotting and an underabundance of character development. In a crime-ridden Detroit of the near future, an undercover cop (Paul Walker) must infiltrate a heavily fortified section of town in order to diffuse a bomb that’s fallen into the hands of a vicious crime lord (RZA). The pundits say Brick Mansions is a ludicrous action flick with a few exciting moments, but mostly, it’s a pale retread of its superior predecessor. (Check out RZA’s Five Favorite Films here.)

The Quiet Ones

37%

Hammer Film Productions has long been a purveyor of a more elegant brand of horror film. Unfortunately, critics say The Quiet Ones is a little too classy for its own good; despite solid performances and a spooky sense of place, the film delivers occasional jolts but fails at sustaining tension. In a remote English estate, Professor Joseph Coupland (Jared Harris) and a team of students are experimenting on a young woman who’s purported to be possessed by a supernatural being. Coupland believes she’s simply mentally ill, but his hypothesis is put to the test when he and his researchers are bedeviled by increasingly terrifying incidents. The pundits say The Quiet Ones is visually striking and often creepy, but it’s also overly talky and rarely out-and-out scary. (Take a look through our gallery of movies that feature scientific experiments gone wrong.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Blue Ruin, a thriller about a drifter driven to exact revenge on the man who murdered his parents, is Certified Fresh at 93 percent.

  • Last Passenger, starring Dougray Scott and Lindsay Duncan in an action film about a group of commuters who must work together to stop the madman who has taken control of a London train, is at 92 percent.

  • Locke, starring Tom Hardy in a thriller about a man whose life unravels over the course of a long drive, is Certified Fresh at 90 percent.

  • The Machine, a sci-fi thriller about a couple that develops a self-aware computer the government wants to use as a weapon, is at 74 percent.

  • The German Doctor, a thriller about an Argentinean family that unwittingly offers shelter to fugitive Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele, is at 65 percent.

  • Who Is Dayani Cristal?, a documentary that explores the life of a man who was found dead in the Arizona desert trying to immigrate to the U.S., is at 57 percent.

  • Bicycling with Moliere, a comedy about a soap opera star who tries to convince his curmudgeonly actor friend to mount a production of Moliere’s The Misanthrope, is at 50 percent.

  • For No Good Reason, a documentary portrait of gonzo artist Ralph Steadman, is at 36 percent.

  • Walking With The Enemy, a World War II-era drama about a man who disguises himself as a Nazi officer in order to find his missing family, is at 25 percent.

  • The Girl and Death, a period melodrama about a young medical student who falls in love with the mistress of a vindictive aristocrat, is at 20 percent.

Finally, props to Caleb Paasche for guessing A Haunted House 2‘s nine Tomatometer.

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