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

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