Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Where the Wild Things Are Is A Wild Rumpus

Plus, Law Abiding Citizen is guilty of contrivance, and guess The Stepfather's Tomatometer!

by | October 15, 2009 | Comments

This week, we’ve got a wild rumpus (Where the Wild Things Are, starring Max Records and Catherine Keener), a legal skirmish (Law Abiding Citizen, starring Jamie Foxx and Gerard Butler), and unconventional parenting (The Stepfather, starring Dylan Walsh and Sela Ward). What do the critics have to say?


Where the Wild Things Are

Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are is one of the most beloved classics of modern children’s literature, but the brief text doesn’t necessarily lend itself to feature-length cinematic treatment. Critics have largely praised Spike Jonze for maintaining the spirit of the book while adding some visually daring touches to bring it to life; however, some feel the narrative is a little thin. Max (Max Records) is a troubled youngster who disappears into a fantasy world of his own making, populated by fluffy monsters who symbolize the various facets of his personality. The pundits say Wild Things may be a little too creepy for the wee ones, and it lacks a strong plot. However, the images Jonze crafts are so wondrous that older kids — and adults — will find the film to be a fascinating, poignant dreamscape.


Law Abiding Citizen

Nobody says that a thriller needs to be completely plausible to be watchable. However, staying somewhere within the bounds of believability is generally required, and on this count, and several others, critics say Law Abiding Citizen fails. Gerard Butler stars as a man whose family has been murdered; he becomes enraged when the prosecutor (Jamie Foxx) makes a plea deal with the killer, and goes about exacting revenge. The pundits say Law Abiding Citizen isn’t just outrageously contrived; worse, it lingers a little too long over some gruesome violence under the guise of making a political statement about the judicial system. (Check out our interview with director F. Gary Gray, who shared his Five Favorite Films with RT.).


The Stepfather

It appears the folks behind The Stepfather are being a little too strict with their baby, as it wasn’t screened for critics prior to release. A remake of the 1987 cult classic of the same name, the movie stars Dylan Walsh as a man who’s so perfect for Sela Ward that he must be hiding a dark secret. Kids, guess that Tomatometer!.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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