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) 96%

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

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