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) 71%

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

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