Critics Consensus

Black Mass Is Certified Fresh

Plus, The Scorch Trials lacks stong characters, and You're the Worst is Certified Fresh.

by | September 16, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a notorious mobster (Black Mass, starring Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch), teenage adventurers (Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, starring Dylan O’Brien and Kaya Scodelario), and a desperate criminal (Captive, starring David Oyelowo and Kate Mara). What do the critics have to say?

Black Mass (2015) 73%

Black Mass isn’t the first feature film about brutal gangster-turned-slippery fugitive Whitey Bulger — he’s the subject of a critically-acclaimed documentary and the loose inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s character in The Departed. Critics say Black Mass explores well-trodden crime movie territory as well, but the film is elevated by Johnny Depp’s mesmerizing lead performance — and excellent work from a solid supporting cast. The movie follows Bulger’s rise from petty hood to violent mob boss; Whitey’s rise in Boston’s demimonde is assisted by FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), who enlists him as a confidential informant, and his politician brother Billy (Benedict Cumberbatch), who uses his office  to protect him. The pundits say Black Mass often feels familiar, but it’s still a well-crafted film that finds Depp giving his best performance in years.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015) 48%

As dystopian sci-fi adventure films based on young adult novels go, The Maze Runner was pretty solid, if decidedly a cut below The Hunger Games series. Unfortunately, critics say its sequel, The Scorch Trials, is mostly a run-of-the-mill action yarn with a few decent set pieces and little-to-no character development. This time out, our heroes, led by Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), have left the maze behind; instead, they must navigate harsh landscapes and avoid not just the evil WCKD but also hoards of zombies. The pundits say Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials is briskly paced and occasionally exciting, but its overabundance of  plotting makes for limited emotional involvement.

Captive (2015) 27%

Based on an astonishing true story, Captive recounts the tale of an escaped criminal (David Oyelowo) who takes a hostage (Kate Mara) and eventually surrenders after she encourages him to read the Christian self-help book The Purpose-Driven Life. Critics say Captive is enlivened by its excellent leads, but it never quite generates a necessary sense of tension.

What’s Hot on TV

You're the Worst: Season 2 (2015) 97%

Expertly balancing character growth against edgy humorYou’re the Worst elevates the show’s excellent writing and talented cast to a new level.

Project Greenlight: Season 4 (2015) 88%

Project Greenlight makes a welcome return, retaining many of the qualities that helped make it a reality TV favorite.

The Bastard Executioner: Season 1 (2015) 46%

Kurt Sutter’s The Bastard Executioner doesn’t want for dark thrills, but it unfortunately has more enthusiasm for brutality and gore than necessary narrative focus.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Peace Officer (2015) , a documentary about the increase in military weapons and tactics among police officers, is at 100 percent.
  • Sicario (2015) , starring Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro in a thriller about a straight-arrow FBI agent whose mission to bring down a drug cartel kingpin is compromised by her allies’ opaque motives, is at 91 percent.
  • The New Girlfriend (2014) , a psychological dramedy about a man whose gender fluidity comes to light after the death of his wife, is at 82 percent.
  • Prophet's Prey (2015) , a documentary about the abuses of power by the leader of a breakaway Mormon sect, is at 80 percent.
  • () , starring Chow Yun-Fat in a musical satire of the modern workplace, is at 80 percent.
  • Pawn Sacrifice (2014) , starring Tobey Maguire and Peter Sarsgaard in a fictional retelling of the famous showdown between chess masters Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky, is at 76 percent.
  • Everest (2015) , starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jason Clarke in an adventure film based on the true story of a group of climbers who were trapped in a blizzard while ascending the world’s tallest mountain, is at 71 percent.
  • Being Canadian (2015) , a documentary about the quirks and characteristics that define our neighbors to the North, is at 60 percent.
  • The Man Who Saved the World (2014) , a documentary about the Soviet Army colonel whose calm under pressure likely averted a nuclear war, is at 60 percent.
  • Some Kind of Hate (2015) , a horror film about a bullied teen who is protected by a vengeful ghost, is at 50 percent.
  • The Cut (2014) , a drama about a man who goes searching for his missing daughters after fighting in World War I, is at 40 percent.
  • Cooties (2014) , starring Elijah Wood and Rainn Wilson in a horror comedy about a group of teachers who fight to survive a plague of grade-school zombies, is at 37 percent.
  • Hellions (2015) , a horror film about a pregnant teenager bedeviled by malevolent trick-or-treaters, is at 31 percent.
  • Tenshi Ippikiookami

    Lots of options, even if some of them are only in limited. Autumn is here :D! I’m quite curious about Sicario and Pawn Sacrifice. Too bad the Maze Runner sequel seems to be a little bit of a letdown.

  • Gary the Dairy Fairy

    Black Mass is worth seeing for Depp’s performance alone. The movie as a whole is good, but not quite the masterpiece I was hoping it would be.

Tag Cloud

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