Critics Consensus

American Made Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Battle of the Sexes, Stronger, and Star Trek: Discovery Season 1 are all Certified Fresh, and guess the Tomatometer for Flatliners and A Question of Faith.

by | September 28, 2017 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have Tom Cruise racking up some seriously ill-gotten gains (American Made, co-starring Domhnall Gleeson), Ellen Page leading a group of med students (temporarily) to their deaths (Flatliners, co-starring Diego Luna), a landmark tennis match (Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell), a group of people at an unexpected spiritual crossroads (A Question of Faith, starring Richard T. Jones and C. Thomas Howell), and Jake Gyllenhaal triumphing over adversity (Stronger, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany). What are the critics saying?

American Made (2017) 86%

Tom Cruise has scored hits in a variety of genres, but audiences have always loved him best when he’s playing to the type that made him famous: a rakishly charming good guy, with just enough of a cocky rogue’s personality to allow for some fun one-liners and an interesting character development arc. American Made, which reunites Cruise with his Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman, doesn’t quite hew to that formula — but according to critics, it comes close enough to scratch that nostalgic itch while smartly subverting a number of expectations. Cruise stars as Barry Seal, the real-life airline pilot who flipped from drug smuggler to DEA informant, and Liman (working from a script by Gary Spinelli) takes full advantage of a setup that puts the Top Gun hero back in the cockpit and calls for all manner of toothy grinning along the way. Whether you’re after a thought-provoking real-life story or just in the mood for that vintage Cruise control, it looks like American Made is a pretty safe bet.

Flatliners (2017) 4%

The philosopher George Santayana told us that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it — words of wisdom clearly lost on Dr. Courtney Holmes (Ellen Page), who triggers the events of this weekend’s new Flatliners by trying to perfect the death-defying experiments performed by med student Nelson Wright (Kiefer Sutherland) in the movie’s 1990 predecessor. Determined to discover what lies on the other side of life, Holmes and her cohorts follow in Wright’s footsteps… and just like before, it isn’t long until stuff starts to go supernaturally awry. Unfortunately, just as we can’t say for sure whether there’s an afterlife or tell you what might be waiting there, we’re unable to inform you whether the critics have signed off on the 2017 Flatliners, because it wasn’t screened for critics. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for those of you who head out to any Thursday night showings; meanwhile, as we’re waiting for a consensus to develop, let’s all gather ’round for a game of Guess the Tomatometer.

Battle of the Sexes (2017) 84%

It can be easy to feel discouraged about how far we have to go in terms of truly achieving equal rights for all American citizens. But we’ve also come a pretty long way — just over the last few decades — as this weekend’s Battle of the Sexes ably attests. Inspired by the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (played by Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), this dramedy from Little Miss Sunshine directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris looks back with bemusement on the rampant sexism that produced the deep financial inequality leading to King and Riggs facing off, but it isn’t all laughs; although King won the match, a number of the issues she faced then are still with us now, and critics say Battle draws some strong, subtle parallels between its period setting and the present day. Topping it all off are strong performances from a solid cast, led by a fearlessly buffoonish Carell and what some scribes are calling career-best work from Stone.

A Question of Faith (2017) 40%

Whatever else you can say about A Question of Faith, there’s no doubt that it stars this week’s most eclectic ensemble. Facts of Life vet Kim Fields and ’80s heartthrob C. Thomas Howell head up the cast of this drama, in which the lives of three families collide after a series of mishaps that leave dreams in doubt and convictions tested. Actually, that is all we can say about A Question of Faith, because it wasn’t screened for critics. You know what that means: it’s time once more to play Guess the Tomatometer!

Stronger (2017) 90%

What’s the difference between being held up as a hero and simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time? For Jeff Bauman, a 2013 Boston Marathon spectator who was among those maimed in the terrorist attack that marred the event and gripped the city in fear, there might not be much difference at all — which is what makes Stronger, an adaptation of Bauman’s memoir starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the author, such a compelling biographical drama. Critics say that in refusing to shy away from the real-life Bauman’s flaws — or turn a blind eye to his tumultuous relationship with Erin Hurley (Tatiana Maslany), the on-again, off-again girlfriend he was at the marathon to support — the movie does its audience a service by trusting them to identify with its protagonists as recognizably human beings, not to mention giving its stars an opportunity to shine. Working from a screenplay by John Pollono, director David Gordon Green delivers his most affecting drama in years; even if you haven’t run a step since high school P.E., Stronger lives up to its name.

What’s New on TV

Star Trek: Discovery: Season 1 (2017) 82%

Although it takes an episode to achieve liftoff, Star Trek: Discovery delivers a solid franchise installment for the next generation — boldly led by the charismatic Sonequa Martin-Green.

The Good Doctor: Season 1 (2017) 63%

The Good Doctor‘s heavy-handed bedside manner undermines a solid lead performance, but under all the emotionally manipulative gimmickry, there’s still plenty of room to improve.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Window Horses (2016) , the animated adventure of a young girl whose international travels uncover uncomfortable questions about her family history, is at 100 percent.
  • I Am Another You (2017) , Chinese filmmaker Nanfu Wang’s documentary account of her friendship with a young Florida drifter, is at 100 percent.
  • White Sun (2016) , about the emotional reckoning between family members after a patriarch’s passing, is at 100 percent.
  • Signature Move (2017) , a coming-of-age Muslim romance with an added dash of luchador wrestling, is at 100 percent.
  • Lucky (2017) , starring Harry Dean Stanton as a man seeking enlightenment near the end of his life, is at 92 percent.
  • The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin (2017) , a documentary about the acclaimed work and private life of the bestselling author, is at 89 percent.
  • Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives (2017) , a documentary looking back on the life and career of the renowned record executive, is at 88 percent.
  • Heartstone (2016) , a coming-of-age drama focusing on two teenage boys in rural Iceland, is at 86 percent.
  • Realive (2016) , a science fiction story about the first man to have his body successfully cryogenically frozen, is at 85 percent.
  • Super Dark Times (2017) , a ’90s-set teen drama about two young men whose friendship is impacted by tragedy, is at 83 percent.
  • Blood Stripe (2016) , about a veteran’s battle to readjust to civilian life after returning home to her family from war, is at 83 percent.
  • Our Souls at Night (2017) , starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford as small-town neighbors who strike up an unexpected relationship, is at 82 percent.
  • Abundant Acreage Available (2017) , starring Amy Ryan and Terry Kinney as siblings faced with a struggle for their family farm after their father dies, is at 80 percent.
  • Thirst Street (2017) , in which a woman’s European adventure after the death of her significant other takes a decidedly dark turn, is at 69 percent.
  • Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (2017) , starring Liam Neeson as the special agent who helped expose Watergate, is at 32 percent.
  • Literally, Right Before Aaron (2017) , starring Justin Long as a man thrown for a loop after he learns his ex-girlfriend is getting married — and he’s invited to the wedding — is at 30 percent.
  • Top Cat Begins (2015) , offering the origin story of the animated cat, is at 17 percent.

Tag Cloud

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