Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Unknown's Plot Twists Too Much

Plus, I Am Number Four is so-so, and Big Mommas is dire stuff.

by | February 17, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a mystery man (Unknown, starring Liam Neeson and January Jones), a teenage alien (I Am Number Four, starring Alex Pettyfer and Timothy Olyphant), and a cross-dressing fed (Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, starring Martin Lawrence and Brandon T. Jackson). What do the critics have to say?



Unknown

55%

Lately, Liam Neeson has a thing for European intrigue. He journeyed to Paris to rescue his daughter in 2009’s Taken, and now he heads to Berlin for Unknown, a twisty thriller that critics say undermines its strong premise with implausible plotting. Neeson stars as a man who falls into a coma after a car accident; when he awakens, he discovers his wife (January Jones) doesn’t recognize him, and he’s being targeted by shadowy forces. The pundits say Neeson and an expert supporting cast help keep Unknown watchable, but ultimately, the unlikely story and excessive action set pieces keep it from truly soaring.



I Am Number Four

19%

Another week, another tale of a teenager with supernatural powers. In I Am Number Four, our hero is neither a vampire nor a wizard, but an alien — which matters little to critics, who say the movie has some decent action scenes, but little in the way of memorable characters or original plotting. Alex Pettyfer stars as a teenage alien with extraordinary powers who wants to settle down and enjoy high school life in a sleepy Ohio town; unfortunately, some evil aliens have already killed three of his associates. The pundits say Four rips off just about every other film of its ilk, from Twilight to Harry Potter, without adding much to the formula, though there are a few exciting moments here and there.



Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son

5%

Some cinematic stories are so sprawling or emotionally overwhelming that it takes a trilogy to tell them — think Lord of the Rings or the Apu trilogy. But the Big Momma movies? If the first two installments didn’t exactly set the critical world afire, the pundits are especially unamused by Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, calling it a particularly slim assemblage of crass gags that furthers the franchise’s one-joke premise without, ahem, expanding upon it. Once again, Martin Lawrence plays an FBI agent who must go undercover in the most counterintuitive of disguises — this time in an all-girls school after his nephew witnesses a killing. The pundits say Big Mommas is tired stuff – clichéd, dull, and shrill, with little reason to exist. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we present a brief history of movies with dudes in drag.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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