This week at the movies, we’ve got a vampire showdown (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) and an embattled president (Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis). What do the critics have to say?
There’s no middle ground on the Twilight series: either you’re enraptured by the tale of Bella Swan and her supernatural paramours, or you’re mystified by its appeal. For what it’s worth, critics say The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 is easily the best entry in the franchise, with a rousing climax that goes a long way toward redeeming a sluggish first half. Bella (Kristen Stewart) is adjusting to her new life as both a mother and a vampire. But when malevolent Volturi go after their child, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cullen round up a crew of sympathetic vampires and werewolves to stand with their family. The pundits say Breaking Dawn Part 2 is still melodramatic and poorly paced, but the performances are strong and the finale should satisfy Twihards. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Stewart’s best-reviewed movies, as well as our interviews with the stars of Breaking Dawn Part 2 and our Twilight watching series.)
Abraham Lincoln’s greatness as a president is never questioned these days, though his iconic image (the beard, the top hat, the gaunt frame) is so ubiquitous as a patriotic symbol that it can sometimes obscure his words and deeds. Critics say Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is a terrific corrective, thanks in large part to Daniel Day-Lewis’ towering performance as the Great Emancipator. Lincoln follows the 16th president’s political maneuverings during the dark days of the Civil War as he attempts to preserve the Union and abolish slavery. The critics say the Certified Fresh Lincoln is a marvelously acted, deftly observed drama that manages to make the inner workings of legislature endlessly fascinating.
Funeral Kings, a comedy about a trio of troublemaking altar boys, is at 100 percent.
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, a documentary about sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, is at 94 percent.
Silver Linings Playbook, starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence a romantic comedy about a down-on-his-luck guy who gets an unexpected boost from a mysterious young woman, is Certified Fresh at 87 percent.
The Law In These Parts, a documentary about Israel’s legal code as it pertains to the occupied territories, is at 71 percent.
Barrymore, starring Christopher Plummer as the legendary actor reflecting on his life and career, is at 67 percent.
Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law in an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel, is at 67 percent.
Price Check, starring Parker Posey in a comedy about the high-strung supervisor of a struggling supermarket, is at 64 percent.
Hitler’s Children, a doc about the descendants of notorious Nazis, is at 60 percent.
Buffalo Girls, a doc about a pair of eight-year-old girls who compete in Thailand’s underground boxing circuit, is at 50 percent