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) 82%

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

Christmas binge Nominations diversity aliens Video Games WGN 2017 Columbia Pictures 2015 dceu CBS 21st Century Fox TIFF Trivia YA Mary Tyler Moore Shondaland CBS All Access Disney Pixar based on movie robots Biopics Comedy Superheroes Certified Fresh GIFs social media Tomatazos TruTV harry potter Valentine's Day Sneak Peek dc Writers Guild of America Western Lucasfilm El Rey war Adult Swim Spring TV composers Cosplay comiccon TLC blaxploitation LGBTQ Fall TV Acorn TV crime drama Lionsgate Reality AMC Starz E3 GoT CMT 007 transformers Interview Martial Arts 2016 Premiere Dates Sundance Paramount DC Comics 20th Century Fox Britbox FXX Showtime IFC serial killer period drama political drama Emmys E! VH1 Marathons YouTube Red cinemax Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt FX American Society of Cinematographers boxoffice BBC America Nickelodeon San Diego Comic-Con Action TCM Kids & Family VICE spy thriller hist Creative Arts Emmys TBS Freeform USA Warner Bros. mutant FOX RT History singing competition 45 crime thriller President what to watch adventure Esquire ABC Family Calendar SXSW medical drama Ovation supernatural Watching Series Syfy police drama Universal finale romance Star Trek 24 frames See It Skip It Crackle Super Bowl BBC Superheroe Box Office science fiction biography Awards golden globes Apple Best and Worst Marvel Summer Podcast BET Hulu Rocky TCA PaleyFest National Geographic Winter TV Teen Thanksgiving MTV TV Land vampires thriller Photos Comic Book dramedy discovery OWN Animation Disney Channel History Set visit crime SDCC Ghostbusters technology Sci-Fi Toys APB Comedy Central Trailer DC streaming service Polls and Games USA Network Election ratings psycho streaming Oscars politics Fox News TCA 2017 zombies Infographic Cartoon Network Lifetime X-Men CNN Sony Pictures ESPN Fantasy Epix Year in Review HBO GLAAD Holidays CW Seed Grammys cats Musicals Ellie Kemper Logo talk show zombie Musical Star Wars Spike Reality Competition NBC Countdown IFC Films TV Extras Rom-Com Pop Opinion Food Network DirecTV travel doctor who DC Universe docudrama Red Carpet Drama First Look Sundance Now The Arrangement Netflix Mystery ABC Walt Disney Pictures YouTube Premium unscripted sports Pirates TNT Winners historical drama cults Amazon festivals Masterpiece Bravo justice league Dark Horse Comics crossover Song of Ice and Fire ITV cooking sitcom cops Paramount Network Rock Music Schedule Character Guide A&E Mindy Kaling The CW MSNBC PBS Nat Geo SundanceTV NYCC Tumblr Horror Country