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,
starring
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
can’t.
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
past.)



"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
here.)



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
Amazon.com 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
space.



"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
Unwritten
, a documentary about the late, great singer of the Clash, is at
94 percent on the Tomatometer (check out our interview with director Julien
Temple
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
you…"

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

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

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