Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Enchanted Bewitches, Hitman Misses, No Country is Certified Fresh

Plus: The Mist shines through, August Rush hits a sweet note, and This Christmas is a gift.

by | November 20, 2007 | Comments

Every year, movie studios get a jump start on turkey Thursday and black Friday by giving audiences a taste of the good stuff two days earlier than usual. This week, we’ve got real-life fairy tales (Enchanted,
starring Amy Adams and
Patrick Dempsey), a deadly fog (The Mist, starring
Thomas Jane and
Marcia Gay Harden), loads of gunplay (Hitman, starring
Timothy Olyphant), musical families
(August Rush,
Keri Russell), yuletide conflict (This Christmas,
starring Delroy Lindo), and the latest from
the Coen Brothers
(No Country for Old Men, starring
Javier Bardem and
Josh Brolin).
What do the critics have to say?

Sort of a Wizard of Oz in reverse,
Enchanted is the story of
Giselle (Amy Adams), a princess in an animated magical kingdom who’s transported to the
streets of Manhattan by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon). There, she meets a
kindly lawyer (Patrick Dempsey) and attempts to negotiate the line between
fantasy and reality. The pundits say Enchanted lives up to its title,
featuring sharp gags, excellent animation, and a smart re-imagining of
fairy-tale tropes. But they hold out the highest praise for Adams, a sharp scene
stealer who makes the most of her top billing here. At 89 percent on the
Tomatometer, Enchanted is bewitching.

James Marsden challenges Dempsey for Sexiest Man Alive Runner-Up

The Mist
springs forth from the collective minds of author
Stephen King and
director Frank Darabont, the winning
combination that’s previously brought us
The Shawshank Redemption
The Green Mile. But
in their latest collaboration the two take a decidedly horrific bent: A small
town is terrorized by a group of deadly creatures lurking in a particularly
thick fog. Could a top-secret experiment at a nearby military base have anything
to do with it? Critics are less ecstatic with The Mist than previous King/Darabont
joints: they say the chills and thrills are there, and Darabont valiantly
attempts for a psychological depth rarely seen in horror, but he frequently
comes off as didactic and heavy-handed. At 69 percent Tomatometer, the gold shines through in The Mist. (Read our interview with the Mist cast and crew here.)

"That’s no moon, that’s a giant bug monster with pseudo-Biblical

Hitman stars
Timothy Olyphant as an accomplished assassin named 47 who
stumbles into the midst of some political intrigue and goes on the run.
Considering the well-publicized news of Hitman’s reshoots and its origin
as a video game, it’s no surprise that the movie isn’t sitting well
with the critics. They call it vulgar, gratuitously violent, too reliant on CG
to propel the action, and just an overall dizzying blur of explosions and
bullets — the usual barbs critics reserve for video game adaptations, and
exactly the
stuff that gets gamers off the couch and into the theaters. At 14 percent on the Tomatometer, looks like it’s game over,

"Don’t worry. I did the Konami Code before this mission."

In August Rush, an orphan (Freddie
) runs away to New York,
where an overseer of young musicians (Robin Williams) recognizes
his guitar skills. As it turns out, the orphan was the product of a one-night
stand between a cellist (Keri Russell) and a singer-songwriter (Jonathan Rhys
), whom he now hopes to reunite. It’s a fairly absurd premise but the
performers give it their all, and goes a long way to overcome
Kristen Sheridan‘s
sentimental and cloying direction. At 58 percent on the Tomatometer, August
hits a sickly sweet note. (Read our interview with Freddie Highmore here.)

"It’s agreed. No ‘Stairway.’"

It’s time for another Christmas movie in which each member of a dysfunctional family brings
plenty of baggage with them to the yuletide festivities. Bah, humbug, right? Not
so fast. Critics say
This Christmas
is a delightful surprise, a solid
dramedy that, in lesser hands, could have been chaotic and mawkish. In Christmas
the members of the Whitfield clan returns home, setting off a maelstrom of
unresolved tensions and revelations. The pundits say director
Preston A.
Whitmore II
takes a variety of contrived plotines and deftly weaves them together with wit and
finesse, and the cast, which features such excellent thespians as
Delroy Lindo,
Regina King,
Idris Elba, and
Mekhi Phifer, is never less than stellar. At 65
percent on the Tomatometer, This Christmas is a pleasant gift.

"I hope it’s the Little Golden Book adaptation of Bioshock."

With No Country for Old Men, the
Coen Brothers return to the moral
ambiguity, black humor, and horrifying violence that reverberated throughout
some of their best work, movies like
Blood Simple
. And critics say
that’s a very, very good thing.
Javier Bardem
stars as a psychopathic killer on the trail of an average Joe (Josh Brolin) who stumbles
across a huge sum of money. The pundits say No Country is a triumph:
grim, suspenseful, frightening, and loaded with pitch-perfect performances. At
96 percent on the No Country for Old Men is not only Certified Fresh, it’s one
of the best-reviewed films of the year and trails only Blood Simple
within the brothers’ filmography. (Check out our Total Recall feature on the Coens’ filmography

“You don’t want to know what I’ll do if that Tomatometer drops below 90.”

Also opening this week in limited release:
The Red Balloon
‘s French children’s classic, is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer;
Out in the Evening
, about a relationship between a solitary novelist and a
grad student starring
Frank Langella and
Lauren Ambrose, is at 93 percent;

I’m Not There
, an unconventional biopic of Bob Dylan starring
Cate Blanchett,
Christian Bale,
Heath Ledger, and
Richard Gere, is at 76 percent; Everything’s Cool, a personal documentary about global warming, is at 60 percent;
and Nina’s Heavenly Delights, a culture-clash rom-com, is at zero

"I also think Robbe-Grillet is vastly overrated. Want to make out?”

Recent Timothy Olyphant Movies:
22% —
Catch and Release
80% —
Live Free or Die Hard
74% —
41% —
The Girl
Next Door
23% —

Tag Cloud

Spring TV spy thriller Sneak Peek aliens social media south america Comics on TV Television Academy DGA Classic Film Elton John cults breaking bad SXSW Animation Western Trivia IFC Films Amazon Prime NBC directors sitcom DC Universe historical drama Epix singing competition Pirates halloween comiccon what to watch Superheroe Lucasfilm RT21 Fox News YouTube crime thriller Awards OWN Marvel Television hist harry potter natural history docudrama HBO Max Walt Disney Pictures 2017 Paramount Adult Swim Red Carpet medical drama Freeform spanish language technology Tumblr 2020 El Rey mutant Mudbound cancelled robots Black Mirror Food Network SundanceTV ghosts children's TV TCA romantic comedy Interview Avengers Holiday The CW tv talk cinemax 007 Best and Worst comics anthology blaxploitation cars Thanksgiving elevated horror Ovation Box Office Action 71st Emmy Awards IFC Apple TIFF Apple TV Plus GIFs true crime Crackle The Purge Arrowverse latino DC Comics vampires FXX National Geographic VICE First Reviews Trophy Talk Premiere Dates cancelled TV shows psycho Podcast foreign Apple TV+ 2016 zombies Starz Baby Yoda Peacock Binge Guide Sundance TV 2015 FOX MSNBC movies batman miniseries golden globes witnail Grammys spinoff Star Wars rotten movies we love psychological thriller New York Comic Con Vudu CBS APB award winner 24 frames binge Academy Awards Britbox Polls and Games Mary poppins book FX Christmas Lifetime CMT Showtime WarnerMedia Pride Month Endgame animated Awards Tour anime christmas movies streaming supernatural boxoffice finale sports President WGN Reality Competition Nominations Disney streaming service werewolf cops game show Mindy Kaling Election political drama Biopics YouTube Premium Comedy Central facebook VH1 TV Land Chernobyl Masterpiece doctor who Set visit game of thrones Dark Horse Comics cartoon Mystery green book TV renewals politics Cartoon Network Hallmark serial killer cooking Martial Arts GLAAD nature Calendar 2019 Character Guide casting Drama sag awards TV Super Bowl Hulu TCA Winter 2020 X-Men toy story independent name the review strong female leads TNT mockumentary Nickelodeon Infographic Turner Classic Movies Photos History Writers Guild of America teaser USA crime dc versus cats period drama Musical Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Video Games Fantasy Spectrum Originals space Kids & Family biography Turner documentary renewed TV shows talk show Stephen King Disney Channel E! Star Trek Summer 45 Mary Poppins Returns crossover Marathons Disney Sony Pictures Pet Sematary dceu DirecTV See It Skip It Superheroes BBC America SDCC HBO ESPN Family thriller Pop television Rocky USA Network Cosplay canceled revenge cancelled television Teen canceled TV shows Disney Plus Music BBC Tomatazos Toys Creative Arts Emmys TLC ratings indie Countdown Spike Anna Paquin discovery Schedule video TCA 2017 blockbuster richard e. Grant Horror NYCC Disney+ Disney Plus Logo Valentine's Day Discovery Channel Bravo 21st Century Fox Amazon Lifetime Christmas movies police drama Winter TV Film Festival First Look joker Ellie Kemper ABC series Crunchyroll LGBT slashers A&E Marvel quibi Netflix Christmas movies Cannes spider-man Rocketman unscripted Song of Ice and Fire Universal Certified Fresh GoT comic Amazon Prime Video Marvel Studios A24 Netflix free movies The Arrangement CBS All Access Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Warner Bros. ITV Opinion Esquire Comic Book diversity Comedy Acorn TV spain Tarantino sequel based on movie Oscars PBS The Walking Dead YouTube Red San Diego Comic-Con Women's History Month RT History Rock CNN travel Extras Sundance CW Seed Captain marvel Brie Larson kids war dragons PaleyFest Paramount Network LGBTQ Ghostbusters reboot adventure DC streaming service justice league Columbia Pictures zero dark thirty hispanic screen actors guild TruTV BET ABC Family YA disaster screenings Syfy cancelled TV series TBS Film Mary Tyler Moore 2018 adaptation Trailer Heroines Reality Fall TV stand-up comedy zombie Tubi Lionsgate Emmys Holidays Winners Shudder E3 American Society of Cinematographers crime drama Rom-Com Sundance Now Watching Series Nat Geo dramedy Shondaland Year in Review Hallmark Christmas movies Country Quiz MCU OneApp Emmy Nominations jamie lee curtis Sci-Fi Musicals The Witch 20th Century Fox science fiction MTV romance AMC composers transformers theme song TCM festivals Pixar