Critics Consensus

American Assassin's Aim Is A Little Off

Plus, mother! is Certified Fresh.

by | September 14, 2017 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have Dylan O’Brien out for justice (American Assassin, also starring Michael Keaton, Taylor Kitsch, and Sanaa Lathan) and Jennifer Lawrence in crisis (Darren Aronofsky‘s mother!, also starring Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer). What are the critics saying?


American Assassin (2017) 34%


Russia’s in the news, and nuclear tension is running high — what better time for a good old-fashioned espionage thriller? American Assassin accepts that mission with a story about a CIA recruit (Dylan O’Brien) whose thirst for revenge against the terrorists who killed his fiancée helps fuel a preternatural potential that his trainer (Michael Keaton) seeks to mold. Meanwhile, our heroes are fighting the clock to thwart a diabolical mastermind (Taylor Kitsch) who wants to start a world war… and has some unfortunate ties to Keaton’s character. It’s a setup whose contours should be familiar to any fan of the genre, with a little added urgency thanks to current events — both of which have contributed to the movie’s disappointing critical reception. Reviews describe an action thriller that’s neither particularly thrilling nor intelligent enough to handle its own political subtext; although there’s plenty of additional source material in the Vince Flynn novels that inspired the film, this is one would-be franchise starter that seems less than likely to earn a sequel.

mother! (2017) 69%


Writer-director Darren Aronofsky has tackled an impressively broad spectrum of genres and themes over the course of his career, but whatever the story of his latest project might happen to be, you can always be certain it’ll be challenging on some level. That’s certainly the case with this weekend’s mother!, which stars Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence as a married couple whose domestic bliss is upended by a pair of guests (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer) whose arrival at their country home heralds all manner of potentially supernatural shenanigans. It’s a horror movie, Aronofsky style — which is to say that while plenty of critics have been thoroughly entranced by the end result, more than a few have openly wondered what the heck is going on, and depending on your cinematic predilections, your mother! mileage may vary. On the other hand, if you’re looking for thought-provoking fare that seems likely to start a few inspired discussions after the end credits roll, this is definitely your best bet.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Ex Libris: New York Public Library (2017) , a documentarian Frederick Wiseman‘s look inside the titular institution, is at 100 percent.
  • Strong Island (2017) , a documentary probing the facts and racial fallout from the murder of a young black teacher, is at 100 percent.
  • Rat Film (2017) , a documentary dovetailing the stories of the human and rat populations of Baltimore, is at 93 percent.
  • The Force (2017) , a documentary taking a look at the men and women who make up the Oakland Police Department, is at 92 percent.
  • Brad's Status (2017) ,  starring Ben Stiller as a man jarred out of his middle-aged complacency by his son’s impending departure for college, is at 83 percent.
  • First They Killed My Father (2017) , an Angelina Jolie-directed drama inspired by the life story of Cambodian human rights activist Loung Ung, is at 78 percent.
  • Woodpeckers (Carpinteros) (2017) , a drama about the relationships between inmates at a Santo Domingo prison, is at 78 percent.
  • Wetlands (2017) , about a cop whose slumping career prospects force a return to his hometown and a reckoning with damaged relationships, is at 50 percent.
  • The Wilde Wedding (2017) , starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich as a divorced couple reunited at her new nuptials, is at 43 percent.

Tag Cloud

war supernatural TCA YouTube Premium 20th Century Fox Superheroes Ellie Kemper unscripted Columbia Pictures Bravo HBO crossover Tomatazos USA Reality Competition sitcom ABC American Society of Cinematographers Country SXSW Star Trek TruTV Sci-Fi CMT Toys Trivia Star Wars Video Games Red Carpet vampires Reality Rocky BBC America binge Ghostbusters Hulu TNT dc YouTube Red 007 cats DC Comics zombies Election psycho E3 DC Universe romance social media talk show Grammys Opinion TV GLAAD Sundance Now Trailer YA See It Skip It Pop VICE streaming Animation First Look cults El Rey dceu Rock Box Office Lifetime Shondaland Watching Series VH1 Mystery Cosplay what to watch 21st Century Fox discovery Fall TV comiccon Britbox Comic Book 2017 Summer Superheroe Food Network Adult Swim Premiere Dates Creative Arts Emmys Action golden globes Lucasfilm period drama DC streaming service X-Men Best and Worst Fox News Emmys Biopics Logo GIFs mutant Thanksgiving Musical transformers crime thriller robots Mary Tyler Moore Oscars RT History composers TV Land harry potter Character Guide Warner Bros. medical drama Comedy Nat Geo Esquire 2016 Set visit SDCC historical drama Crackle justice league WGN LGBTQ SundanceTV biography TLC NBC OWN Amazon Pirates Pixar Certified Fresh crime Dark Horse Comics Interview thriller IFC Films technology NYCC sports Teen boxoffice Spring TV The Arrangement Drama police drama MTV TCM President Holidays PBS ITV Infographic Winter TV cops Marvel CNN Polls and Games Christmas Fantasy Paramount Network Masterpiece Walt Disney Pictures A&E IFC Year in Review Acorn TV spy thriller Syfy Freeform CBS Spike 45 Starz adventure finale hist Netflix DirecTV Martial Arts Countdown Sneak Peek Valentine's Day PaleyFest E! TBS Nominations travel 2015 FXX Music Comedy Central cinemax dramedy ratings based on movie Horror Awards ESPN History Sundance serial killer Western Rom-Com ABC Family Disney Channel Paramount Extras politics TCA 2017 Nickelodeon Musicals BBC The CW CW Seed BET Photos Super Bowl GoT 24 frames AMC Mindy Kaling Ovation docudrama singing competition cooking Universal MSNBC Calendar Apple Sony Pictures Winners zombie Marathons Lionsgate crime drama diversity FOX festivals science fiction Showtime TIFF Kids & Family APB Disney FX Podcast aliens blaxploitation USA Network political drama Cartoon Network Tumblr Schedule CBS All Access Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt National Geographic Writers Guild of America