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) 88%

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) 54%

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

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