Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Beowulf is Certified Fresh; Magorium Short on Magic; Cholera is Under the Weather

Plus, Southland Tales Heads South; De Palma's Latest Gets Mixed Reviews

by | November 15, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got epic poems come to life (Beowulf,
starring Ray Winstone and
Angelina Jolie), a magical toy shop (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder
Emporium
, starring
Dustin Hoffman and
Natalie Portman), and romance in the
midst of infectious disease (Love in the Time of Cholera, starring
Javier Bardem). What do the critics have to say?

First, the bad news: critics say
Beowulf
will inspire English teachers
and literary scholars to tear out their hair. The good news? The scribes also
say it’s a flick that fans of bombastic action and phantasmagoria will want give
their right arms for. If you didn’t read the epic poem in school, get thee to a
library; suffice to say the story involves a dude named Beowulf (Ray Winstone)
tangling with mead hall-crashing beast Grendel (Crispin Glover) and
his vengeful, seductive mom (Angelina Jolie, much more attractive than her fictional
progeny would indicate). The pundits say Beowulf‘s amazing visuals are
the biggest draw here, as director
Robert Zemeckis uses dazzling CGI to bring
the classic tale to vivid life. (They also note it’s not for the kiddies,
despite its PG-13 rating.) At 79 percent, Beowulf is Certified Fresh, and
it’s well above Zemeckis’ previous animation/live-action hybrid,
The Polar
Express
(57 percent). (And
check out
our Total Recall feature on Beowulf and animation.)



Grendel waiting until somebody invents Jergens.

Everyone can use a dose of magic and whimsy from time to time, right? But
frippery requires a light touch, something critics say
Mr. Magorium’s Wonder
Emporium
lacks. Emporium stars
Dustin Hoffman in the title role as
the proprietor of a magic toy store, a place where baubles can come to life,
fueled by imagination;
Natalie Portman plays his protégé. The pundits say the
big problem with Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is that it ODs on
zaniness in an effort to make up for a bland storyline. At 24 percent on the
Tomatometer, business isn’t all that brisk at this Emporium.




“Does Mr. Magorium sell cornballers?”

Nobel Prize-winner
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
is widely acknowledged to be one of the world’s great men of letters.
Javier Bardem, hot from his performance in
No
Country for Old Men
, stars in the adaptation of one of Marquez’ most
celebrated works,
Love in the Time of Cholera
. Unfortunately, critics say
it’s more like Love in the Time of Narcolepsy. Bardem stars as a man who
is so enraptured by a woman he waits 50 years for her, despite her shifting
affections. The pundits say Love misses the spirit and passion of
Marquez’ magical realist tale by miles, with fine actors in miscast roles and a
too-literal approach, bogging down material that has a sense of sweep and
romanticism on the page. At 17 percent on the Tomatometer, Cholera is
under critical quarantine.



Chaplin, post-‘stache.

Also opening this week in limited release: the documentary
I for India
,
the story of an expat corresponding to his family, is at 100 percent;
What
Would Jesus Buy?
, a doc that explores the commercialization of Christmas, is
at 94 percent; Gregg Araki‘s
Smiley Face, a stoner comedy starring
Anna
Faris
, is at 67 percent;
Redacted
,
Brian De Palma‘s mixed-media look at the horrors of the Iraq war, is at 52 percent (read
our interview with De Palma
here); the Icelandic import
Eleven Men Out
,
about a soccer star who comes out of the closet, is at 50 percent;
Noah Baumbach‘s
Margot at the Wedding, starring Nicole Kidman in a tale of
familial strife, is at 47 percent (check out our take from Toronto
here); and
Southland
Tales
, a wildly ambitious sci-fi/political satire starring
Dwayne "The
Rock" Johnson
and
Seann
William Scott
, is at 42 percent (see our interview
with director Richard Kelly
here).



"Boy, these Dean Martin celebrity roasts are hilarious!"

Recent Angelina Jolie Movies:
————————————-
77% — A Mighty Heart (2007)
55% — The Good Shepard (2006)
59% — Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
16% — Alexander (2004)
34% — Shark Tale (2004)

Recent Natalie Portman Movies:
—————————————
84% — Paris, Je T’Aime (2007)
29% — Goya’s Ghosts (2007)
24% — Free Zone (2006)
72% — V for Vendetta (2006)
80% — Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Tag Cloud

Calendar Christmas Mary Tyler Moore period drama critics Winners elevated horror 72 Emmy Awards christmas movies Lionsgate Spring TV The Arrangement hist true crime cancelled television FX on Hulu halloween tv comiccon Apple TV+ spy thriller 2019 Wes Anderson theme song new star wars movies Marvel Studios kids Extras Video Games USA Network Best and Worst HBO Max Creative Arts Emmys cats marvel cinematic universe TCA Tumblr Mary poppins MCU remakes DC Comics Travel Channel X-Men lord of the rings Cosplay revenge YouTube sports TIFF young adult emmy awards laika zero dark thirty SDCC chucky australia Elton John FOX Epix talk show black royal family Tomatazos TLC nbcuniversal 21st Century Fox quibi miniseries dragons Star Trek Heroines jurassic park vampires Hulu Universal Musical AMC Plus Lifetime screen actors guild Western BET Awards Sneak Peek mission: impossible Hollywood Foreign Press Association dc Kids & Family series animated stand-up comedy RT History festivals First Reviews South by Southwest Film Festival live action Photos target 2017 mutant El Rey Tarantino rom-coms television justice league IFC WarnerMedia Instagram Live strong female leads Cannes TV Crunchyroll video on demand Spectrum Originals Britbox Universal Pictures hidden camera Masterpiece gangster harry potter Comedy Vudu Marvel Television game of thrones game show Fox News thriller binge green book black comedy TCA 2017 ITV Discovery Channel technology Pacific Islander spain natural history cults suspense YouTube Premium TruTV dexter GIFs Martial Arts fresh Film Opinion Focus Features cancelled japan Year in Review mob BBC Marvel book adaptation Sundance TV Dark Horse Comics heist movie FXX Toys Rocketman Song of Ice and Fire golden globes feel good E! Chilling Adventures of Sabrina science fiction joker Pop TV Television Academy adventure Hear Us Out cinemax Acorn TV zombies Fox Searchlight what to watch hollywood DGA monster movies werewolf documentaries richard e. Grant Infographic Trailer Writers Guild of America discovery The Walking Dead 94th Oscars leaderboard Paramount Pictures Geeked Week Best Actor obi wan Tags: Comedy debate women IFC Films war DC Universe politics art house festival HBO Go Red Carpet Election Set visit comic book movie slasher RT21 adaptation Rock VOD SundanceTV streaming Best Actress Bravo razzies based on movie streamig stop motion twilight Warner Bros. spanish language ABC Signature romance Broadway comics dogs Captain marvel venice Apple foreign Sci-Fi Disney Comics on TV Neflix directors breaking bad streaming movies Musicals Walt Disney Pictures comic godzilla aliens legend mcc Family Emmy Nominations classics 93rd Oscars YouTube Red crime drama Indigenous archives renewed TV shows stoner space Watching Series all-time historical drama Lifetime Christmas movies reviews Disney Plus Pop See It Skip It broadcast Character Guide Fall TV franchise Starz satire 1990s casting Marathons ViacomCBS high school scary movies The Walt Disney Company serial killer Legendary die hard TV Land target scene in color Prime Video crime MSNBC American Society of Cinematographers CW Seed witnail Pirates news singing competition TCA Awards spinoff comedies TV One A&E PlayStation hispanic Apple TV Plus Netflix Christmas movies Image Comics Disney Channel Sundance PBS jamie lee curtis Sundance Now Superheroe Action nature 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Television Critics Association unscripted italian Disney+ Disney Plus Summer blockbuster cartoon interviews Black Mirror 24 frames sag awards USA Trivia documentary CNN summer TV BBC America Hallmark critic resources Rocky Drama boxing anime Amazon 2020 BBC One APB slashers universal monsters spanish sequel marvel comics 73rd Emmy Awards Peacock 45 Superheroes composers disaster social media Animation pirates of the caribbean scorecard know your critic Paramount IMDb TV Horror Best Director ESPN Ghostbusters vs. best Star Wars robots versus award winner superhero travel TBS cops Awards Stephen King romantic comedy GLAAD Esquire japanese dark Food Network wonder woman toy story 4/20 2015 Freeform 2016 crime thriller posters Super Bowl doctor who YA dramedy Pixar movies DC streaming service Comic-Con@Home 2021 2021 rt labs Columbia Pictures facebook summer preview Shudder Reality Certified Fresh docudrama Endgame trophy Tokyo Olympics children's TV fast and furious VICE screenings kong book MTV Women's History Month Fargo worst movies golden globe awards Netflix Ovation free movies Arrowverse Turner independent rotten movies we love genre HFPA The Purge Sony Pictures Awards Tour National Geographic Schedule Adult Swim The Academy Sony concert History rt archives spider-verse MGM FX Showtime Valentine's Day obituary AMC summer TV preview Fantasy Logo NBC Grammys OneApp ABC Mindy Kaling Reality Competition First Look Polls and Games Nickelodeon NYCC LGBTQ ABC Family hispanic heritage month adenture Ellie Kemper Trophy Talk scary Podcast psycho Teen blaxploitation 20th Century Fox BAFTA SXSW Mudbound Nat Geo San Diego Comic-Con OWN movie Holiday sequels Star Wars Celebration Winter TV Black History Month Baby Yoda parents 90s supernatural rt labs critics edition Mystery President SXSW 2022 Oscars teaser CMT Quiz CBS dreamworks Paramount Network Comic Book toronto Box Office Premiere Dates superman Hallmark Christmas movies aapi Exclusive Video scene in color Crackle Disney streaming service Emmys BET canceled james bond a nightmare on elm street boxoffice new york Paramount Plus Binge Guide scene in color series TV renewals Pride Month video The CW Alien worst cooking DirecTV canceled TV shows 99% E3 child's play saw Amazon Studios political drama 79th Golden Globes Awards TCA Winter 2020 Native LGBT cancelled TV shows New York Comic Con GoT telelvision Nominations asian-american olympics HBO CBS All Access indiana jones Film Festival Oscar Classic Film indie transformers crossover international king kong WGN south america medical drama mockumentary Funimation biography rotten zombie latino cars Best Picture Music halloween tv talk TCM Country Lucasfilm Tubi comic book movies Amazon Prime Video psychological thriller Comedy Central blockbusters Brie Larson ghosts biopic comic books criterion scene in color film series Interview basketball deadpool Shondaland spider-man The Witch TV movies police drama VH1 Academy Awards dceu Spike king arthur anthology Anna Paquin popular A24 Biopics prank Pet Sematary reboot name the review action-comedy 2018 sopranos nfl Chernobyl ratings Countdown 007 Rom-Com 71st Emmy Awards batman Thanksgiving Amazon Prime Avengers ID PaleyFest diversity Syfy films NBA trailers Holidays Mary Poppins Returns TNT french kaiju sitcom cancelled TV series docuseries Cartoon Network live event Turner Classic Movies football finale new zealand