Critics Consensus

A Wrinkle in Time Lacks Magic

Plus, Gringo and The Strangers: Prey at Night don't offer many laughs or scares, and season 2 of Jessica Jones is Certified Fresh.

by | March 8, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have the Oprah tesseract club (A Wrinkle in Time, starring Storm Reid, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling), a Mexican misadventure for David Oyelowo (Gringo, co-starring Charlize Theron), one very bad night at the trailer park (The Strangers: Prey at Night, starring Bailee Madison and Christina Hendricks), and some bank robbers who’ve been saving for a rainy day (The Hurricane Heist, starring Maggie Grace and Toby Kebbell). What are the critics saying?

A Wrinkle in Time (2018) 42%

Incredible advancements in special effects technology over the last few decades have altered the filmmaking landscape in any number of ways — one of which is that there’s arguably no longer any such thing as an “unfilmable book.” If you can imagine it, you can depict it realistically onscreen, and our latest example is this weekend’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time. Helmed by acclaimed Selma director Ava DuVernay and featuring an all-star cast that includes Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon, this production brings cutting-edge visual effects technology to bear on Madeleine L’Engle’s classic story about a teenage girl (Storm Reid) who embarks on a mind-bending interstellar quest to save her father (Chris Pine) from a powerful evil. Critics say all that effort can definitely be seen in the cinematic world DuVernay has shaped out of L’Engle’s book — unfortunately, they also say the movie doesn’t quite stick the landing when it comes to satisfactorily exploring the text’s complex themes. The end result is a movie that’s certainly beautiful and easy to admire, but one that may leave fans of the source material wanting more — and newcomers wondering what all the fuss is about.

Gringo (2018) 40%

Distilling medical marijuana into easily dispensable pill form sounds like a pharmaceutical breakthrough worth celebrating — at least as long as you aren’t a member of a cartel whose livelihood depends on the illegal drug trade. Gringo explores this idea with an action-comedy about a pharmaceutical rep (David Oyelowo) who’s sent to Mexico in order to supervise the manufacturing of just such a pill, only to discover that his company — and, by extension, he — is the target of ticked-off gangsters who intend to shut the whole thing down by any means necessary. Fortunately, Oyelowo has a fixer (Sharlto Copley) working to get him out of his mess, but things seem likely to get hilariously worse before they get better. Actually, scratch that “hilarious” part: critics say Gringo ranks among the less satisfying comedies in recent memory, hampered by a disjointed plot, poorly conceived characters, and an overall aesthetic so indebted to classic Tarantino that not even the combined efforts of Oyelowo, Copley, Thandie Newton, and Charlize Theron are enough to keep audiences distracted. If you’re really in the mood for a dark, violent comedy and stuck for options, Gringo looks like it might be worth a stream, but if you were thinking about seeing it in theaters, these reviews aren’t encouraging.

The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) 40%

In the movies, things generally tend to happen for a reason — particularly in the horror genre, in which death and violence are meted out as the consequence of hurtful or immoral behavior. With 2008’s The Strangers, writer-director Bryan Bertino offered a chillingly subversive exception, telling the story of a couple terrorized and tormented by a sadistic masked trio simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time; more than $80 million later, the bad guys are back for another round of mayhem in The Strangers: Prey at Night. Co-written by Bertino, this installment sees “Dollface,” “Man in the Mask,” and “Pin-Up Girl” descend upon a deserted trailer park where an unsuspecting family is expecting to stay with relatives… but just might wind up dead. That’s all decent enough as the setup for a Strangers sequel goes; unfortunately, critics say Prey at Night fumbles the execution in pretty much every other respect, from its attempts to land ironic laughs to the stereotypically boneheaded behavior of its protagonists. Horror has entered something of a renaissance period since the original Strangers was released, and genre fans don’t need to settle for less; unless you’re really dying to see this homicidal trio back in action, you probably have plenty of superior options this weekend.

The Hurricane Heist (2018) 47%

There’s nothing quite as thrilling as a well-made heist movie, and Hollywood disaster epics have been turning human misery into preposterously entertaining cinema for ages. Put ’em both together, and you’ve got The Hurricane Heist, in which a pack of bandits plan to use a massive storm to provide cover while they rob a United States Mint facility. Naturally, things go awry, and one Treasury agent (Maggie Grace) ends up fighting for her life in the aftermath — alongside a meteorologist (Toby Kebbell) with a uniquely personal stake in the drama. So how does this mashup come together on the big screen? We can’t tell you for sure just yet: as of this writing, The Hurricane Heist only has a single review, so we’ll all just have to wait and see what the other critics have to say. In the meantime, how about a wet and wild round of Guess the Tomatometer?

What’s New on TV

Marvel's Jessica Jones: Season 2 (2018) 82%

While Jessica Jones is a slower burn with less focus than its inaugural season, its enticing new character arc more fully details the most charismatic Defender.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

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