Critics Consensus

Black Panther Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Early Man is another Aardman treat, Everything Sucks! is flawed but enjoyable, and guess Samson's Tomatometer.

by | February 15, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have a Wakandan king (Black Panther, starring Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan), a claymation caveman (Early Man, featuring the voices of Eddie Redmayne and Tom Hiddleston), and the Bible’s prequel to Felicity (Samson, starring Taylor James and Jackson Rathbone). What are the critics saying?

Black Panther (2018) 97%

Over the course of a decade and nearly 20 films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has proven that the superhero genre can be surprisingly elastic, sending viewers from World War II into the farthest reaches of the galaxy without breaking its blockbuster stride. It has not, however, always been terribly diverse, at least as far as leading opportunities for women and people of color are concerned — a state of affairs that changes in a major way with this weekend’s Black Panther. While we’ve seen the title character in action before — Chadwick Boseman made his debut in the role as part of 2016’s star-studded Captain America: Civil War — this solo coming-out party marks the first time an MCU feature has made room for an African-American hero in the lead, and arguably the first time anyone in Hollywood has done it at all since the Blade trilogy concluded in 2004. If the reviews are any indication, it seems altogether likely that this will be far from the last. Critics say director Ryan Coogler, helming only his third feature after Fruitvale Station and Creed, has delivered a richly rewarding action adventure that balances thrilling set pieces against thought-provoking themes — each component brought to life by a stellar ensemble cast led by Boseman and rounded out by Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia WrightDaniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, and Forest Whitaker. It all adds up to a movie whose unique importance extends well beyond the MCU, but never forgets to have all the fun that’s made Marvel such a box office behemoth.

Early Man (2018) 81%

Painstaking craft doesn’t always translate to popcorn entertainment value, but in the case of Aardman Animations, they’ve gone reliably hand in hand for decades. From the classic Wallace and Gromit shorts to big-screen hits like Chicken Run, the studio’s stop-motion work has stood in adorable opposition to mainstream animation’s increasingly computer-driven aesthetic — and their seventh full-length feature, Early Man, is no exception. Critics say veteran writer-director Nick Park‘s latest effort is just as visually appealing as anything that bears the Aardman imprint, which makes it easier to forgive the more ordinary story; although audiences have definitely seen plenty of films that tell a sports-driven underdog story with more imagination than this Stone Age soccer tale, families seeking an entertaining diversion could still do far, far worse than spending time with caveman Dug (Eddie Redmayne) and his fellow claymation sapiens.

Samson (2018) 25%

Most people have at least a passing familiarity with the biblical story of Samson — you know, the strongman whose incredible strength allowed him to whoop on an entire army with nothing but the jawbone of an ass, but who ended up being felled by a fateful haircut — but we’ve never seen it acted out in a big-screen epic starring Rutger Hauer and Billy Zane. Until now, that is: Samson, the latest production from faith-based studio Pure Flix, aims to spin an inspirational, family-friendly drama out of the tale while continuing a string of profitable pictures that includes The Case for Christ and the God’s Not Dead trilogy. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you much about the critical response — as of this writing, only a couple of reviews have trickled in. While we wait, let’s play a round of Guess the Tomatometer!

What’s New on TV

Everything Sucks!: Season 1 (2018) 72%

A flawed series that ticks off all the nostalgia boxes, Everything Sucks! still manages to tug at the heartstrings.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Tehran Taboo (2018) , an animated drama looking at the lives of young adults in modern Iran, is at 100 percent.
  • Poop Talk (2018) , the number one documentary about number two, is at 100 percent.
  • Loveless (Nelyubov) (2018) , about a separating Russian couple whose divorce is upended by the disappearance of their son, is Certified Fresh at 94 percent.
  • Western (2018) , in which a group of German itinerant workers finds themselves in a potentially tense situation in the Bulgarian countryside, is at 89 percent.
  • The Party (2018) , about a seemingly high-class soiree that threatens to take a dark turn, is Certified Fresh at 88 percent.
  • Double Lover (L'amant double) (2018) , a drama about a young woman who falls in love with her psychotherapist — with predictably problematic results — is at 68 percent.
  • The Boy Downstairs (2018) , about a pair of ex-lovers navigating the rocky waters of post-breakup friendship after they learn they’re living in the same building, is at 50 percent.
  • Nostalgia (2018) , an ensemble drama in which an assortment of characters grapple with love, loss, and memory, is at 33 percent.
  • Detective Chinatown 2 (2018) , in which detective duo Tang and Qin return for more crimefighting fun, is at 20 percent.
  • Looking Glass (2018) , starring Nicolas Cage and Robin Tunney as grieving parents whose motel investment hides a dark secret, is at 9 percent.

Tag Cloud

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