Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Harry Potter" Is Certified Fresh; "Captivity" Fails To Capture Critics' Hearts

by | July 12, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the latest in the "Harry Potter" series ("Order of the Phoenix," starring Daniel Radcliffe), and a tale of kidnapping and torture ("Captivity," starring Elisha Cuthbert). What do the critics have to say?

Fans apprehensive about how newcomer director David Yates would handle the longest and densest "Harry Potter" novel yet can rest easy, according to the critics. "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" revolves around Harry’s (Daniel Radcliffe) continuing growing pains: first kisses, suspension from school, rebelling with an army of kids to overthrow the educative autocracy, and confronting the murderer of his parents. You know, kids’ stuff. While some say "Order" feels like a placeholder setting up the final two sequels, most agree that Yates makes the most of the job (and his CG budget), serving up a relentlessly dark and grim vision of Hogwarts. And with his tight, efficient script, writer Michael Goldenberg eschews the excess while keeping the emotional trappings of the 800-page source novel. It may be the worst-reviewed entry in the series so far, but at 74 percent on the Tomatometer, "Order of the Phoenix" is still Certified Fresh.

Rehearsing for "Harry Potter: The Musical"

The latest entry in the burgeoning subgenre of torture-porn, "Captivity" isn’t being shown to American critics before it opens Friday. However, our mates in Merry Old England have gotten a look at it, and they don’t like what they see. "Captivity" stars Elisha Cuthbert as a top model, who is kidnapped and subjected to brutal torment at the hands of her sadistic captor. "Captivity" has already gotten plenty of press for its tasteless ad campaign and its perhaps-slightly-less-so-but-still-pretty-tasteless premiere party in L.A., both of which could arguably be overlooked if the movie delivered the goods. But critics say "Captivity" is little more than exploitative nonsense: nasty, brutish, and bereft of any real scares or psychological insight. At 13 percent on the Tomatometer, the scribes say "Captivity" is more tortuous than entertaining.

All those critics can talk to the hand.

Also opening this week in limited release: Patrice Leconte‘s "My Best Friend," a dry French comedy about a grumpy antiques dealer (Daniel Auteuil), is at 86 percent; the anime "Tekkonkinkreet," about a gang war over the construction of an amusement park, is at 83 percent; "Talk to Me," a biopic of pioneering talk radio legend Petey Greene starring Don Cheadle, is at 76 percent; "Interview," a duel of wits between a reporter (Steve Buscemi) and a starlet (Sienna Miller) is at 75 percent (check out our review from Sundance here); the South Korean import "Time," a drama about a couple spicing up their relationship by way of plastic surgery, is at 73 percent; and "Drama/Mex," which tells three interlocking stories from one wild night in Acapulco, is at 57 percent.

Don Cheadle as Ralph "Petey" Greene in "Talk to Me"

Harry Potter Movies:
79% — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
82% — Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
89% — Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
89% — Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Alex Vo contributed to this article.

Tag Cloud

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