Critics Consensus

Alien: Covenant Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul isn't worth the trip, and Everything, Everything is a tepid weepie.

by | May 18, 2017 | Comments

This week at the movies, we have a group of people no one can hear scream (Alien: Covenant, starring Michael Fassbender and Katherine Waterston), the continuing saga of a less-than-assertive young man (Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, starring Jason Drucker and Owen Asztalos), and a pair of young star-crossed lovers (Everything, Everything, starring Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson). What do the critics have to say?


Alien: Covenant (2017) 65%


The first two chapters in the Alien saga were so close to flawless that the failures of their subsequent sequels were almost preordained — and yet the allure of the franchise’s sturdy premise continues to prove a powerful draw for audiences as well as the director who helped start it all. With this weekend’s Alien: Covenant, Ridley Scott continues building on the Alien origin story he started in 2012’s Prometheus, introducing audiences to another ill-fated space crew whose dreams of a utopian mission are destined to go horribly (and gorily) wrong. Like its predecessor, reviews describe Covenant as a solidly entertaining sci-fi horror outing whose nagging failures are magnified by its evident desire to tackle weighty themes it never satisfactorily addresses — and, of course, its connection to a couple of modern classics. Yet those flaws aren’t enough to keep the majority of critics from recommending the movie, which compensates for a somewhat uneven narrative with strong acting (particularly from Michael Fassbender in a dual role) and plenty of pulse-pounding xenomorph action. And remember, Alien fans: if you like this, Scott’s got at least a couple more installments up his sleeve.


Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017) 18%


Aging out of a role is a fact of life for any franchise actor, but time can be particularly cruel to child stars. To wit: the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, whose original junior stars are now too old to fit their parts, and have been replaced as part of a top-to-bottom casting overhaul for the fourth installment, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. Unfortunately, that roster of fresh faces (which includes Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott as our wimpy kid’s parents) hasn’t improved the franchise’s critical fortunes. While never exactly an acclaim magnet, earlier Wimpy Kid movies managed middling reviews; not so The Long Haul, whose road-trip plot opens up the canvas without adding much of actual interest. If your tastes run toward pratfalls and family-friendly scatological humor, make a beeline for the theater posthaste — but for everyone else, this chapter offers a particularly poor substitute for the best-selling books on which it’s based.


Everything, Everything (2017) 45%


A boy, a girl, a seemingly insurmountable obstacle: this is the stuff YA love stories are made of, and Everything, Everything is no exception. Adapted from Nicola Yoon’s novel, this teen-targeted romance seeks to make viewers swoon over the story of a housebound teenager (Amandla Stenberg) whose rare illness prevents her from leaving the safety of her sterile environment — but can’t keep her from falling for the boy next door (Nick Robinson), who’s determined to be with her despite her condition. If three-hankie romances are your thing, in other words, you’ve seen more than a few variations on this type of thing before, and it won’t surprise you to learn that critics aren’t exactly falling over themselves with praise. On the other hand, in the context of the genre, the limited number of reviews have been somewhat surprisingly kind, describing a viewing experience that — while certainly predictable and a little manipulative — more or less achieves its limited goals. If you’re in the mood to cry in the dark with some strangers this weekend, Everything, Everything should just about fit the bill.


What’s New on TV

 

Downward Dog: Season 1 (2017) 85%

The adorable and insightful — though sometimes grating — titular pet elevates Downward Dog from its potentially “ruff” premise into a sweet, intellectual comedy.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Elián (2017) , a documentary look at the headline-grabbing tale of young refugee Elián González, is at 100 percent.
  • The Survivalist (2017) , a post-apocalyptic drama about the fraught connection between three people fighting for their lives, is at 97 percent.
  • Paint It Black (2017) , starring Alia Shawkat as a woman grappling with her grief over the death of her boyfriend — and facing a looming confrontation with his mother — is at 93 percent.
  • Icaros: A Vision (2017) , about the unusual bond that develops between a woman and an Amazonian shaman through ayahuasca, is at 86 percent.
  • Wakefield (2017) , starring Bryan Cranston as a man who abandons his family under exceedingly odd circumstances, is at 83 percent.
  • Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (2017) , a documentary about the only bank indicted in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, is at 81 percent.
  • Soul on a String (2017) , about a Tibetan cowboy’s quest to return a sacred stone to a holy mountain, is at 80 percent.
  • Afterimage (Powidoki) (2017) , about an artist’s increasingly miserable experiences under socialist rule, is at 77 percent.
  • The Commune (Kollektivet) (2017) , about the complex repercussions of a couple’s decision to open their home to a group of strangers, is at 72 percent.

Tag Cloud

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