Critics Consensus

Ad Astra and Downton Abbey Are Certified Fresh

Plus, Rambo: Last Blood is exactly what you think it is, and Loro is also Certified Fresh.

by | September 19, 2019 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a space odyssey (Ad Astra, starring Brad Pitt and Ruth Negga), a royal visit (Downton Abbey, starring Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern), and a final vendetta (Rambo: Last Blood, starring Sylvester Stallone and Paz Vega). What are the critics saying?

Ad Astra (2019) 83%

Director James Gray‘s previous work includes films like The Immigrant and The Lost City of Z, so he may not be the first person who comes to mind when you think “epic space drama.” That said, Gray’s quieter sensibilities may have worked to his benefit in his latest project, Ad Astra. Brad Pitt stars in the sci-fi mystery as an astronaut who embarks on a dangerous journey into space both to investigate an interstellar threat to Earth and to locate his missing father (Tommy Lee Jones), who undertook a similar mission decades earlier and disappeared. Critics say the film is an ambitious, beautifully photographed space adventure that balances big questions alongside more personal themes and does it fairly well. It may not quite stick the landing flawlessly, but Pitt turns in a noteworthy performance and Gray largely succeeds in grounding the epic scope in effective human drama. The end result is a more cerebral odyssey that still features enough thrills to please genre fans.

Downton Abbey (2019) 84%

Downton Abbey, the wildly popular ITV series about the Lords, Ladies, and servants who populate the titular estate, ended its six-series run in 2015, and fans have been hungry for more ever since. Now, almost four years later, the world is finally getting what it asked for. Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle DockeryMaggie Smith, and the rest of the cast are back for a big-screen continuation of the series, which finds the Crawleys and their staff blessed with a visit from the King and Queen of England themselves. A culture clash ensues, family rivalries heat up, and various relationships are put to the test — in other words, it’s everything you might want and expect from a Downton Abbey movie. Just ask the critics, most of whom say the film effectively captures the essence of the series and delivers pretty much exactly what fans are looking forward to. It likely won’t be as engaging for the uninitiated, but even they may be won over by its charms.

Rambo: Last Blood (2019) 27%

John Rambo’s introduction to the world back in 1982 was titled First Blood, so it’s fitting — a little too on the nose, even — that this week’s entry in the franchise, the fifth and presumably final installment, is called Rambo: Last Blood. What, precisely, is it that gets Rambo’s last blood boiling, you may ask? How about the kidnapping of his beloved sort-of “niece,” with whom he’s been running a family ranch in Arizona, by a Mexican drug cartel intent on trafficking her as a sex slave. While the first film in the series is highly regarded, none of the subsequent films has earned higher than 41% on the Tomatometer, which puts Last Blood on par with the rest of the sequels. That’s probably no surprise to anyone, and depending on whether or not you’re a fan of the vigilante anti-hero’s ultraviolent tactics, this one is either going to be right up your alley or another Rambo movie to avoid.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Midnight Traveler (2019) , a documentary about Afghan director Hassan Fazili‘s own journey seeking refuge for his family after the Taliban marks him for death, is at 100%.
  • Villains (2019) , starring Bill Skarsgård and Maika Monroe in a thriller about two would-be burglars who are taken captive by the not-so-normal suburbanites whose home they’ve broken into, is at 84%.
  • Always in Season (2019) , a documentary about a North Carolina mother’s quest for justice after her 17-year-old son is lynched, is at 83%.
  • Loro (2018)Paolo Sorrentino‘s political satire about the larger-than-life former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, is Certified Fresh at 80%.
  • Auggie (2019) , a sci-fi drama about a man who falls in love with the augmented reality avatar created by his smart glasses, is at 78%.
  • Where's My Roy Cohn? (2019) , a documentary profile of the lawyer and political fixer whose career extends from working for Joseph McCarthy to being Donald Trump’s personal attorney, is at 71%.
  • Bloodline (2018) , starring Seann William Scott in a thriller about a married couple who are caught in an extreme downward spiral after the birth of their son, is at 67%.
  • Tokyo Ghoul 'S' (2019) , a sequel to the 2017 sci-fi thriller based on the Japanese manga of the same name, is at 60%.
  • American Dreamer (2018) , starring Jim Gaffigan in a thriller about a driver who kidnaps the child of a drug dealer out of desperation, is at 50%.
  • 3 From Hell (2019)Rob Zombie‘s sequel to House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects catches up with the Firefly family as they escape from prison and wreak more havoc, is at 42%.
  • Corporate Animals (2019) , starring Demi Moore and Jessica Williams in a comedy about an abrasive CEO who becomes trapped in a cave with her assistants during a company retreat, is at 38%.
  • Running With the Devil (2019) , starring Nicolas Cage and Laurence Fishburne in a thriller about two criminals tasked with investigating a cocaine shipment gone wrong by the drug cartel that employs them, is at 30%.
  • Zeroville (2019) , starring James Franco and Megan Fox in Franco’s drama about a socially awkward student who moves to Los Angeles in hopes of becoming a director, is at 25%.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

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