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

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