Critics Consensus

Ant-Man and the Wasp Is Certified Fresh

Plus, The First Purge isn't entirely successful, and Sorry to Bother You, Whitney, and HBO's Sharp Objects are also Certified Fresh.

by | July 5, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a quest in the Quantum Realm (Ant-Man and the Wasp, starring Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly) and violence in the streets (The First Purge, starring Lex Scott Davis and Y’Lan Noel). What are the critics saying?


Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) 87%

Ant-Man and the Wasp marks the 20th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and for much of the last decade, the blockbuster saga has been a box office-conquering behemoth — a series of nested franchises in constant concentric motion, with an increasingly unwieldy narrative ambition to match its growing financial stakes. It’s all very impressive, but it’s also nice to take a little breather once in awhile and enjoy some good old-fashioned, low-stakes superhero action — and fittingly, that’s just where Marvel’s smallest heroes come in. This sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man reunites audiences with titular hero Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), still working alongside Hope van Dyne, a.k.a. the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly), and her dad Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). This time out, the trio seek to rescue Hope’s mom Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) from the Quantum Realm, all while battling the occasionally intangible Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) — and then there’s the question of where all this ties into the cosmic battle being faced by the MCU’s other heroes in Avengers: Infinity War. That’s a lot of action for a single sequel, and critics say Ant-Man and the Wasp definitely doesn’t lack moving parts, but director Peyton Reed manages to wrangle them all into a fun, funny pause between senses-shattering rounds of the war with Thanos. At a time when superhero cinema seems eager to test the limits of its dramatic stakes, here’s a reminder that smaller stories can be just as satisfying.


The First Purge (2018) 56%

It isn’t at all uncommon for horror movies to slip in some deeper sociopolitical subtext between all the jump scares and the screaming, but the Purge franchise has been a little more open about it than most — which makes sense, given that it takes place in a not-so-distant future in which the United States government has created an annual 12-hour period of sanctioned lawlessness. It’s a premise that lends itself to all sorts of pointed commentary on current events, and with The First Purge, the series doubles down on that aspect of the story by taking audiences back to the beginning — revealing that the Purge essentially got its start as a government conspiracy designed to carry out race- and class-based genocide. That’s a lot for a movie to bite off between bloody set pieces, and while critics say it’s to The First Purge‘s credit that writer and franchise mastermind James DeMonaco doesn’t lack ambition, it’s ultimately too much for this installment to handle. Reviews describe a prequel that has interesting ideas, but can’t balance them against its need for gory action, and while the end result might still satisfy hardcore Purge fans, it doesn’t live up to its own evident goals.


What’s New on TV

Sharp Objects: Miniseries (2018) 92%

A nearly unbearable slow burn, Sharp Objects maintains its grip with an unshakably grim atmosphere and an outstanding cast led by a superb Amy Adams.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

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