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

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