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

Comedy Tumblr SundanceTV Election American Society of Cinematographers Mary Poppins Returns Certified Fresh CBS All Access Grammys richard e. Grant thriller MSNBC 4/20 See It Skip It Reality Competition Photos Anna Paquin Tarantino Binge Guide mission: impossible Trailer Pride Month Mary Tyler Moore WarnerMedia Pop TV joker Animation facebook Polls and Games PaleyFest LGBTQ Netflix Box Office dceu child's play dark stop motion Avengers Watching Series Marvel Studios Bravo Amazon Prime Video stoner 45 Superheroe parents Disney Channel reboot dramedy composers Holiday Hallmark Christmas movies Travel Channel Classic Film Opinion cartoon Drama documentary sequel Musicals LGBT Crunchyroll natural history slashers 72 Emmy Awards Turner Classic Movies Showtime Sony Pictures Hear Us Out National Geographic Creative Arts Emmys Premiere Dates Peacock serial killer Musical Columbia Pictures Rocketman Masterpiece zombies Winners Lifetime Christmas movies Disney+ Disney Plus BBC CNN psycho breaking bad Lucasfilm The Walking Dead X-Men crossover Disney anime Amazon Studios revenge finale Apple TV+ social media award winner The CW science fiction History game of thrones police drama christmas movies all-time SXSW Lifetime Marvel Television Biopics historical drama Spectrum Originals war what to watch werewolf spain Comic Book E3 comiccon mutant discovery GoT streaming 71st Emmy Awards cancelled TV shows FXX travel Extras comic Cartoon Network Chilling Adventures of Sabrina adventure Marathons Ellie Kemper witnail Teen superhero Shudder TV renewals hollywood indie miniseries crime foreign technology Comics on TV Logo Apple 21st Century Fox Countdown DirecTV Sundance Now AMC Captain marvel YouTube Premium Interview Oscars YouTube Red BAFTA stand-up comedy obituary based on movie comics Winter TV The Arrangement Britbox Valentine's Day Fantasy Character Guide quibi VH1 Food Network chucky transformers HBO Max films Nat Geo Spring TV SDCC Schedule A24 hispanic Super Bowl Infographic dogs reviews 007 concert movie Family 2017 video Chernobyl jamie lee curtis Netflix Christmas movies Emmys VOD green book dc strong female leads 20th Century Fox mockumentary RT History Spike A&E sag awards period drama Awards Hulu GLAAD die hard HBO Go Star Wars emmy awards independent nbcuniversal Film Festival PBS The Witch Sci-Fi Rocky Disney streaming service Pet Sematary Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Reality romantic comedy singing competition Kids & Family Dark Horse Comics Toys Mystery Warner Bros. Ghostbusters rotten movies we love unscripted cops Summer Brie Larson TV Action Mindy Kaling Sundance TV toy story romance Video Games Disney Plus NYCC talk show TCA Winter 2020 indiana jones Walt Disney Pictures blaxploitation Fall TV USA Pop Year in Review a nightmare on elm street Starz NBC ABC Family casting Christmas CW Seed kids Pirates canceled TV shows El Rey Ovation crime thriller Best and Worst Paramount Network Cannes TIFF MTV MCU blockbuster halloween sitcom spanish language ratings Vudu laika latino dragons DC Comics Black Mirror San Diego Comic-Con Freeform First Reviews rotten cancelled spider-man Quiz documentaries Crackle APB Rock E! free movies Women's History Month Calendar Sundance hist doctor who scary movies Turner book Television Academy ITV Amazon Prime critics Amazon ABC TCA Awards political drama YA politics crime drama Cosplay asian-american cults news Set visit Nickelodeon Marvel Paramount Western justice league Country Tubi 2020 name the review First Look game show WGN Pixar DC streaming service OneApp docudrama cancelled television BBC America 2015 Red Carpet Adult Swim DC Universe south america Epix Mudbound nature ESPN worst screen actors guild universal monsters OWN TruTV Funimation Hallmark TCM ghosts IFC Films Lionsgate Holidays FX on Hulu GIFs Film diversity psychological thriller space 2016 Fox News anthology franchise Rom-Com robots television 2018 RT21 sports directors TLC Nominations zero dark thirty cinemax Trivia cooking Esquire BBC One elevated horror FOX Arrowverse Apple TV Plus series spinoff cats Superheroes video on demand Black History Month true crime movies animated screenings cars Writers Guild of America renewed TV shows Heroines biography Song of Ice and Fire Television Critics Association golden globes TNT classics supernatural criterion Music BET Awards BET Endgame aliens FX CMT New York Comic Con DGA vampires Elton John 2019 adaptation TV Land Shondaland binge canceled Martial Arts TCA 2017 Sneak Peek USA Network disaster Mary poppins batman Tomatazos fast and furious President boxoffice Acorn TV The Purge HBO Stephen King VICE medical drama Star Trek zombie versus YouTube TCA teaser Trophy Talk Thanksgiving IFC Universal twilight festivals best Baby Yoda 24 frames theme song PlayStation children's TV Comedy Central satire harry potter TBS spy thriller tv talk Emmy Nominations Academy Awards CBS comedies Syfy cancelled TV series Podcast Awards Tour Horror Discovery Channel