Happy Thanksgiving! This week at the movies, we’ve got a new top contender (Creed, starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan), a pair of prehistoric pals (The Good Dinosaur, featuring voice performances by Raymond Ochoa and Jeffrey Wright), and a dogged detective (Victor Frankenstein, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe). What do the critics have to say?
Everybody likes an underdog, and everybody likes Rocky, the lovable lug who has taken his share of punishment but refuses to be K.O.’d. Critics say he’s a contender once again: Creed is one of the best entries in the venerable franchise, with fantastic performances from Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan and kinetic, sympathetic direction from Ryan Coogler. Jordan stars as Adonis Johnson — the son of Rocky’s old rival-turned-friend, the late Apollo Creed — who sets aside his promising white-collar career for a shot at glory in the ring under the tutelage of the former champ, who’s looking for a little redemption of his own. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Creed understands what made Rocky so compelling in the first place; its characters and gritty sense of place are as satisfying and hard-hitting as the fights themselves.
Pixar has ruled the computer animation genre since it debuted Toy Story in 1995, but it’s never attempted to release two films in one year before. That changes this week with the release of The Good Dinosaur — which follows on the heels of this summer’s widely acclaimed Inside Out — and critics say it’s a worthy entry in the Pixar canon, even if it doesn’t quite measure up to the studio’s best. Set on an alternate version of Earth where dinosaurs have survived extinction, the story centers on Arlo, a timid Apatosaurus who finds himself lost after chasing a caveboy into the wilderness. In order to find his way home, he must befriend the feral boy and face his fears. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Good Dinosaur boasts lush animation, gorgeous landscapes, and charming characters, which help the film overcome its rather ordinary narrative.
It’s… alive? Critics say Victor Frankenstein resembles its title character’s creation: it’s a bunch of disparate elements fastened together, lacking the spark needed to come to life. James McAvoy stars as the doctor and Daniel Radcliffe plays Igor; together, they team up to create artificial life, but (spoiler alert!) their macabre experiments eventually spiral out of control. The pundits say Victor Frankenstein leaves its talented cast stranded in a tonally inconsistent mishmash that does little to distinguish itself from Frankenstein films of yore beyond a few would-be knowing winks.
The Man in the High Castle is unlike anything else on TV, with an immediately engrossing plot driven by quickly developed characters in a fully realized post-World War II dystopia.
Jessica Jones builds a multifaceted drama around its engaging antihero, delivering what might be Marvel’s strongest TV franchise to date.
Also Opening This Week In Limited Release