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) 85%


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

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