Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Wolverine Is Pretty Sharp

Plus, The To Do List is uneven but sweet and funny, and The Way, Way Back is Certified Fresh.

by | July 25, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got an embattled mutant (The Wolverine, starring Hugh Jackman and Rila Fukushima); an uptight valedictorian (The To Do List, starring Aubrey Plaza and Johnny Simmons); and a lonely teenager (The Way, Way Back, starring Liam James and Steve Carell). What do the critics have to say?

The Wolverine


Wolverine may rank among the most beloved heroes in the Marvel universe, but thus far he’s been deprived of a big-screen vehicle worthy of his stature. Still, critics say The Wolverine is much sharper than Logan’s previous solo effort, X-Men Origins: Wolverine; though it has a few dull patches, the film features terrific fight scenes and a typically full-bodied performance from Hugh Jackman. This time out, Wolverine heads to Japan for a reunion with a soldier whose life he saved years before. Soon, our hero must defend the man’s granddaughter from all manner of ninja and Yakuza assassin. The pundits say The Wolverine doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s a rock-solid, smartly scripted, surprisingly introspective superhero flick. (Check out our gallery of X-Men on the silver screen.)

The To Do List


The female-centric teen sex comedy is a rare beast, which may be why critics find The To Do List so refreshing — or perhaps it’s the winning presence of Parks & Recreation wiseacre Aubrey Plaza. Intent on upending her prim-and-proper ways before college, recent high school grad Brandy Klark (Plaza) makes a list of every licentious activity she shunned in her pursuit of academic perfection — and quickly discovers how little she knows about teenage romance. The pundits say The To Do List is uneven and occasionally predictable, but it’s also immensely charming, thanks to a terrific performance from Plaza and a crack supporting cast. (Check out RT’s video interviews with Plaza, co-stars Bill Hader, Scott Porter, and more.)

The Way, Way Back


The Way, Way Back goes wide this week after charming audiences during its limited run, and critics say it’s a keenly-observed, well-acted coming-of-age tale that makes up in heart what it lacks in originality. Liam James stars as an introverted teenager who forms an unlikely bond with the manager of a water park (Sam Rockwell). The pundits say the Certified Fresh The Way, Way Backis funny, bittersweet, and true to life, and boasts excellent supporting turns from Toni Collette and Steve Carell.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Johnnie To‘s Drug War, an action thriller about a Chinese meth manufacturer who must turn informant to take down a powerful cartel and save himself from execution, is at 94 percent.
  • Springsteen And I, a crowdsourced documentary that compiles fan footage of the Boss in concert, is at 91 percent.
  • Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine, starring Cate Blanchett in a drama about a well-to-do socialite whose world collapses around her, is at 84 percent (check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Allen’s best-reviewed movies).
  • Frankenstein’s Army, a found-footage horror film about a group of Russian soldiers who stumble upon a legion of stitched-together soldiers in the waning days of World War II, is at 56 percent.
  • Wasteland, a crime drama about a falsely-convicted ex-jailbird who attempts to strike back at the drug kingpin who cost him his freedom, is at 45 percent.
  • The Time Being, starring Wes Bentley and Frank Langella in a thriller about an eccentric man who makes a series of bizarre requests to a young artist in exchange for patronage, is at 17 percent.
  • Breaking The Girls, starring Agnes Bruckner and Shawn Ashmore in a thriller about a college student who is drawn into a murder plot, is at zero percent.
  • Stranded, a sci-fi thriller starring Christian Slater as the leader of a lunar military unit left high and dry by a mysterious meteor shower, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

Nat Geo Winter TV game show TCA Fantasy Musical VICE 2019 APB Spring TV 2017 Black Mirror cinemax Cartoon Network TV Fall TV Polls and Games zero dark thirty Mindy Kaling Disney Channel Bravo romance FXX Drama SXSW CBS All Access E! CBS ABC Family ITV IFC Films Super Bowl Chernobyl animated hist Watching Series cops thriller Election AMC The Arrangement discovery Disney Rom-Com Epix Red Carpet Comedy Central sequel Awards travel 2016 BBC America Spectrum Originals theme song golden globes Best and Worst TNT First Look streaming USA Ovation Quiz The Witch strong female leads Comedy police drama Paramount Network Anna Paquin Christmas Masterpiece Rock adaptation San Diego Comic-Con transformers LGBTQ NBC Lifetime medical drama adventure finale USA Network politics Superheroe television Pop Lucasfilm Pet Sematary Mary poppins IFC serial killer historical drama zombie Rocketman talk show Pride Month TCM RT History TCA 2017 Winners Song of Ice and Fire docudrama robots period drama Lionsgate Box Office BBC YouTube Red Mary Poppins Returns YA green book Mudbound 2018 Amazon Prime PBS anime space Warner Bros. 2015 teaser Comic Book supernatural 45 GLAAD mutant Syfy Sundance mockumentary A&E Shudder Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Tarantino TV Land Kids & Family science fiction Toys New York Comic Con casting Sci-Fi TBS See It Skip It cats El Rey Animation Thanksgiving Spike Freeform Ghostbusters Star Wars Cannes Vudu Women's History Month elevated horror vampires X-Men OWN zombies Fox News Awards Tour FOX Superheroes Summer Interview CW Seed MCU blaxploitation YouTube Premium Shondaland Year in Review Oscars natural history Holidays Action SundanceTV composers spinoff Esquire Sundance Now DirecTV political drama 21st Century Fox Food Network technology GoT History witnail NYCC Martial Arts Netflix Marathons crossover binge Hulu Biopics true crime Trailer Reality sports Ellie Kemper Extras boxoffice Adult Swim cults PaleyFest Sneak Peek Britbox war justice league Certified Fresh Elton John Reality Competition Video Games Podcast Amazon comic Trophy Talk Writers Guild of America crime drama Apple Chilling Adventures of Sabrina President American Society of Cinematographers Sony Pictures Photos Music Rocky Character Guide anthology Mary Tyler Moore DC Comics Marvel E3 Cosplay singing competition richard e. Grant social media Stephen King Mystery dc Film Festival TruTV Crackle 24 frames 20th Century Fox dragons Dark Horse Comics aliens Starz dceu TLC Calendar RT21 cooking dramedy MTV SDCC Columbia Pictures Creative Arts Emmys psycho DC streaming service Tumblr Star Trek Universal facebook CMT harry potter Pixar Set visit Country Nominations festivals psychological thriller ESPN Countdown award winner Teen based on movie FX National Geographic sitcom Comics on TV doctor who Grammys DGA VH1 spy thriller Acorn TV Trivia Schedule Nickelodeon Horror biography crime DC Universe Valentine's Day Opinion CNN comiccon miniseries toy story Premiere Dates Emmys 007 Musicals Paramount unscripted nature spider-man ratings jamie lee curtis diversity Showtime TIFF HBO Pirates Infographic what to watch Logo Tomatazos Western Captain marvel disaster Walt Disney Pictures WGN crime thriller Heroines Brie Larson MSNBC The CW BET GIFs ABC