Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Zack and Miri Makes For Laughs

Plus, Changeling is too stiff, but RocknRolla hits some strong notes. And guess Haunting's Tomatometer!

by | October 30, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got adult film amateurs (Kevin Smith‘s
and Miri Make a Porno
, starring
Seth Rogen and
Elizabeth Banks); a missing
persons mystery (Clint Eastwood‘s
, starring
Angelina Jolie and
John Malkovich); gangster gunplay (RockNRolla, starring Gerard Butler and
Thandie Newton); and an unhappy birthday (The Haunting of Molly Hartley,
starring Haley Bennett). What do the critics have to say?

Kevin Smith was purveying a blend of sweetness and vulgarity years before
Judd Apatow. So how does his latest, Smith’s
and Miri Make a Porno
stack up at a time when it seems every other comedy in theaters is a blend of
naughty and nice? Critics say it’s reasonably successful, mostly because of the
warmth and good humor of stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks. They play the
titular heroines, platonic housemates who fall on rough financial times and
decide to go into the blue movie game; gross-out laughs and romance bloom. The
pundits say the edge may have worn off Smith’s patented style, and much of the
film is pretty juvenile. But it’s got a strong cast, and that helps redeem some
rough patches. At 63 percent, Zack and Miri Make a Porno is reasonably

At least these production values beat your typical Uwe Boll

As a director, Clint Eastwood has helmed a number of impeccably crafted,
emotionally resonant films. However, critics say
is stylishly
made, but largely bloodless. Angelina Jolie stars as woman whose son goes
missing for several months; when the authorities finally return him, she
protests that they’ve got the wrong boy. Critics say Changeling does
an excellent job of replicating 1920s Los Angeles, but the pacing’s a bit too
stately and the story suffers from excursions into melodrama. Changeling
currently stands at 52 percent on the Tomatometer. (Check out
this week’s Total
, in which we count down Eastwood’s best-reviewed directorial efforts.)

Rotary phone around the neck: the bling of the Great

Guy Ritchie is not a filmmaker of broad thematic range, but his twisty,
hard-boiled crime yarns are also not all created equal. With
the critics say he’s back on solid footing after last year’s critically-reviled
Revolver. Gerard Butler stars as a crook in on a convoluted scheme to rob
a crime boss (Tom Wilkinson); gunplay, pyrotechnics, triple-crossings ensue. The
pundits say RocknRolla isn’t exactly a paragon of subtlety, but it’s
fast-paced, funny, and breathlessly exciting, even if it’s way over the top. At
61 percent on the Tomatometer, RocknRolla riffs nicely.

“Hey, RT reader. You eat apples. I act in Entourage.”

The Haunting of Molly Hartley won’t be able to cast its spell on critics since it wasn’t screened
prior to release. Haley Bennett stars as a girl who has some trepidation about
turning 18, and who can blame her? She won’t be able to vote in this election,
since the Devil is planning on reclaiming her soul. Kids, take a break from
carving pumpkins and guess that Tomatometer!

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Dear Zachary: A Letter
    to a Son About His Father
    , a wrenching documentary about a man’s search for
    the details of the life of a murdered friend, is at 100 percent.

  • The British import Eden Lake, which tells the tale of a couple on a
    romantic getaway gone horribly wrong, is at 81 percent.

  • The Matador, a documentary about one participant in Spain’s national
    sport, is at 71 percent.

  • Splinter, a horror
    film about a couple that gets carjacked on a camping trip by a pair on the run
    from the law and runs afoul of a parasitic monster, is at 71 percent.

  • Amos Gitai’s One Day You’ll Understand, starring European film legend
    Jeanne Moreau as a woman searching for the truth about her family’s relationship
    with the Nazis, is at 56 percent.

“I knew we should’ve taken our vacation at Wolf Creek.”

Finally, props the indiefilmfan2 and TheGreatOne13 for coming the
closest to guessing Saw V‘s 14 percent Tomatometer.

Recent Kevin Smith Movies:

Tag Cloud

Hallmark Star Trek Star Wars PaleyFest San Diego Comic-Con Infographic target TNT king kong nfl anime Exclusive Video worst Photos debate travel kong dragons psychological thriller movies summer TV The Walking Dead Apple sopranos cancelled TV shows Women's History Month 90s IFC Martial Arts Marvel Studios IMDb TV reviews Ellie Kemper X-Men A&E LGBTQ spanish Instagram Live transformers rotten movies we love TCA VOD Television Critics Association Super Bowl Syfy TCA Winter 2020 kids Britbox mutant USA joker Trailer Disney streaming service BET BAFTA facebook Pixar remakes Emmy Nominations Lionsgate stoner live event australia sequel Holiday Rock action-comedy Turner Classic Movies vampires Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Best Director canceled name the review Family french streaming movies Brie Larson Comics on TV dramedy Best Actor 45 olympics hispanic news Mary poppins Disney crime ID dceu Sundance Now dreamworks Native The Arrangement Columbia Pictures historical drama Nominations game show Paramount new york TLC james bond romantic comedy Calendar SXSW sitcom video women Country target scene in color OneApp stand-up comedy 99% war Mindy Kaling Marathons streaming blockbusters all-time Esquire Comedy dark ghosts south america serial killer YouTube Premium spider-man Mary Poppins Returns critics Neflix Disney Channel FX on Hulu science fiction Binge Guide fast and furious Awards king arthur police drama 2015 slasher American Society of Cinematographers reboot summer preview Quiz Rocky BBC America movie book adaptation kaiju Star Wars Celebration TV movies Trivia interviews emmy awards trophy Peacock cults rt labs Nickelodeon critic resources royal family TCM Box Office Interview broadcast Mystery Horror NYCC television RT History HFPA Vudu Travel Channel docuseries Set visit Mary Tyler Moore Disney Plus Paramount Plus TBS OWN romance binge Disney+ Disney Plus MGM spy thriller comiccon nbcuniversal ESPN hispanic heritage month Oscars blaxploitation saw miniseries discovery deadpool adventure Music dc hist halloween tv Universal Video Games First Look thriller Comic Book Cannes Pride Month Wes Anderson Comic-Con@Home 2021 festival Rocketman scorecard RT21 comic Superheroe game of thrones Showtime 93rd Oscars FOX TCA 2017 See It Skip It YA Crunchyroll zero dark thirty 71st Emmy Awards obituary TruTV mcc marvel comics Anna Paquin Extras Musical superhero rt labs critics edition Holidays canceled TV shows CW Seed Best Actress Pop TV Animation 2020 black comedy Black Mirror award winner slashers dogs sports El Rey true crime jurassic park Christmas Legendary Musicals hollywood DGA 2019 Red Carpet Grammys justice league 2021 legend 1990s E3 animated Best Picture Television Academy Sneak Peek Indigenous Lucasfilm Certified Fresh TV Dark Horse Comics asian-american Best and Worst South by Southwest Film Festival GLAAD tv talk IFC Films comics HBO Max mission: impossible SXSW 2022 Character Guide Fantasy obi wan 4/20 Fall TV Sony MSNBC crime drama new zealand FXX Amazon Prime Academy Awards breaking bad TV One 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards 24 frames The Purge Stephen King robots political drama scene in color film series rt archives Hollywood Foreign Press Association mockumentary toy story Comedy Central CBS Epix Hulu AMC Plus GoT cancelled Sundance The Walt Disney Company comic book movies Heroines foreign The CW lord of the rings Superheroes CMT 73rd Emmy Awards Universal Pictures Shondaland cartoon Sci-Fi 2018 young adult Fargo Fox News comic book movie New York Comic Con what to watch Pirates Ghostbusters Funimation posters best zombie cops APB Marvel Television Emmys Broadway 79th Golden Globes Awards versus Drama scary supernatural The Academy Teen archives italian telelvision Winter TV Tubi Acorn TV genre TCA Awards concert series indiana jones Netflix Christmas movies Schedule Western psycho Amazon Studios AMC Bravo crime thriller Tags: Comedy rotten jamie lee curtis PBS pirates of the caribbean Masterpiece Prime Video diversity superman new star wars movies Turner richard e. Grant nature Mudbound Avengers A24 FX international Apple TV Plus sequels Summer Rom-Com franchise Ovation Baby Yoda Nat Geo razzies Apple TV+ Amazon Lifetime Christmas movies summer TV preview spain docudrama Netflix Crackle batman dexter NBA Kids & Family elevated horror cats period drama comic books WarnerMedia WGN ViacomCBS YouTube Year in Review hidden camera DC Universe Song of Ice and Fire quibi composers crossover medical drama Hear Us Out suspense adaptation christmas movies laika chucky Film Festival child's play Paramount Pictures Hallmark Christmas movies Paramount Network Thanksgiving based on movie Tarantino heist movie First Reviews VICE technology Action Watching Series Premiere Dates screenings wonder woman Opinion classics Reality Competition trailers video on demand revenge criterion Focus Features DirecTV Awards Tour ITV politics die hard 94th Oscars Freeform Starz know your critic ABC Signature Logo cinemax Geeked Week Black History Month boxoffice Pop mob Food Network a nightmare on elm street werewolf TIFF Elton John football zombies TV Land worst movies BBC One Alien strong female leads DC streaming service 21st Century Fox ABC Family unscripted MTV Endgame satire DC Comics spider-verse universal monsters boxing Shudder biography The Witch gangster renewed TV shows doctor who SundanceTV japanese natural history parents independent Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt green book adenture venice Election high school Adult Swim Spike documentary talk show marvel cinematic universe golden globe awards witnail Toys President cancelled TV series E! Countdown cancelled television Pet Sematary Cartoon Network CBS All Access Spectrum Originals latino 2017 Spring TV 20th Century Fox theme song NBC Valentine's Day 72 Emmy Awards National Geographic MCU space popular twilight finale social media BBC Tokyo Olympics Trophy Talk scary movies rom-coms casting feel good LGBT festivals Sundance TV 2016 BET Awards streamig harry potter cooking monster movies disaster Pacific Islander Warner Bros. Biopics leaderboard YouTube Red CNN halloween HBO Arrowverse SDCC spanish language sag awards japan Sony Pictures Lifetime TV renewals anthology Marvel golden globes basketball singing competition Tumblr USA Network HBO Go cars Captain marvel book live action VH1 godzilla free movies Classic Film prank PlayStation Winners art house fresh Reality Tomatazos biopic Podcast Creative Arts Emmys vs. films children's TV scene in color series Writers Guild of America aliens comedies spinoff directors Cosplay Oscar Film toronto Walt Disney Pictures Chernobyl blockbuster History Discovery Channel ABC 007 Amazon Prime Video screen actors guild ratings GIFs black Image Comics Fox Searchlight aapi indie Polls and Games documentaries stop motion teaser scene in color