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

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