Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: American Gangster is Certified Fresh, Bee's a B-, Martian Alienates

What are the critics saying about this week's crop of movies?

by | November 1, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got crime lords (American Gangster,
Denzel Washington and
Russell Crowe), busy bees (Bee Movie,
starring Jerry Seinfeld), and kids from another planet (The Martian Child,
starring John Cusack). What do the critics have to say?

It’s a crime flick starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe that’s directed
by Ridley Scott. How could this possibly go wrong? According to critics, it
American Gangster
tells the story of a low-level criminal
(Washington) who moves up the ladder when his boss dies; Crowe plays an
outcast cop on his trail. Pundits say Gangster is a remarkable entry into
the crime genre, with excellent performances, a compelling sense of moral
ambiguity, and an outstanding eye for 1970s period detail. At 80 percent on the Tomatometer, American Gangster is Certified Fresh. (Check out
this week’s Total Recall, where we examine some notable organized crime films from the

"Pour your salt like this from now on or you’re out of the gang."

Jerry Seinfeld lends his distinctive brand of observational humor to
Bee Movie
, a CGI feature about our
pollen-producing pals and their interactions with people. Seinfeld stars as the voice of a recent bee graduate
looking for a purpose in life. Leaving the hive for the first time, he comes
into contact with a human (Renée Zellweger) and becomes concerned over
humanity’s rampant consumption of honey. Critics say Bee Movie is
elevated by Seinfeld’s witty humor, but otherwise, this is an amiable but
forgettable affair. At 57 percent on the Tomatometer, this is no killer Bee.
(Check out RT’s interview with Seinfeld

That’s gold, Jerry, gold!

On a good day, John Cusack is one of the most likeable actors in the movies. Unfortunately, he can’t sell a middling script. In
The Martian Child, Cusack
stars as a widowed sci-fi writer who forms a bond with a boy who hides in an box and claims to be an extraterrestrial; strange events lend
credence to his claims. Critics say that Cusack and 10-year-old

Bobby Coleman
are excellent, but they bemoan the film’s story, which takes an intriguing premise and weighs it down with clichés and
sappiness. At 29 percent on the Tomatometer, this Martian is lost in

"I emailed Amazon. We can send him back for a Nintendo Wii!"

Also opening this week in limited release:
Diva, a
re-release of the 1981 French action classic, is at 100 percent;
Joe Strummer: The Future is
, a documentary about the late, great singer of the Clash, is at
94 percent on the Tomatometer (check out our interview with director Julien
here); Sharkwater,a documentary that explains the importance of are sharp-toothed friends in the
global ecosystem, is at 75 percent;
Fat Girls
, an indie comedy about a
pair of high school outcasts, is at 60 percent; and
Darfur Now
, a doc
about efforts to end the genocide in Sundan, is at 45 percent.

"The power of indie compels you…The power of indie compels

Finally, props to
unbreakable_samurai, who, like
Toshiro Mifune in
defeated all challengers in correctly guessing
Saw IV
‘s 17 percent

Recent Denzel Washington Movies:
87% — Inside Man (2006)
57% — Déjà Vu (2006)
82% — The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
39% — Man on Fire (2004)
66% — Out of Time (2003)

Recent John Cusack Movies:
77% — 1408 (2007)
46% — The Ice Harvest (2005)
36% — Must Love Dogs (2005)
72% — Runaway Jury (2003)
63% — Identity (2003)

Tag Cloud

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