Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Night Doesn't Shine, Rendition Unextraordinary, Gone Baby Gone is Certified Fresh

Fire is lukewarm, Commandments not a ten. Plus, guess the Comebacks and Sarah Landon Tomatometer!

by | October 18, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies we have Alaskan vamps (30
Days of Night
, starring
Josh Hartnett
and Melissa
), imprisoned citizens (Rendition,
starring Jake
), private eyes (Gone
Baby Gone
, starring
Casey Affleck
Michelle Monaghan
), grieving adults (Things
We Lost in the Fire
, starring Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro),
biblical figures (The
Ten Commandments
), athletes (The
), and teen detectives of the supernatural (Sarah
Landon and the Paranormal Hour
). What do the critics have to say?

Many horror films go to great lengths to create a dark atmosphere. 30
Days of Night
does them all one better, venturing to a place where it’s night for
a month: Barrow, AK, the northernmost point in the U.S. Unfortunately, critics
are left cold by this one. Night stars Josh Hartnett and Melissa George
as an estranged couple defending their town against a horde of bloodthirsty
vampires. Critics say the film has some frightful moments that should please
gorehounds, but overall, the film lacks the nuance and sustained tension to
really put this kind of genre exercise over. At 39 percent on the Tomatometer, Night
doesn’t shine.

Hartnett and company check for undead termites.

Reese Witherspoon stars in Rendition as a housewife whose husband is imprisoned
and tortured by the U.S. for his suspected involvement with terrorists. Jake Gyllenhaal co-stars as a government employee trying to set him free, with
as a bureaucrat intent on keeping him there. While critics commended the
film for exploring the issue of torture within the context of combating
terrorism, they say the plot is spread thinly across an abundance of characters
and doesn’t give the film the emotional drive it needs, while arriving at an
oversimplified conclusion of this very complex subject. At 39 percent, this
Rendition is less than extraordinary.

Who needs work when you have Snood?

Ben Affleck has had a rollercoaster career, but critics say his feature
directorial debut, Gone
Baby Gone
, is one of the high points. Treading
the same rough Boston streets as
Mystic River
(also adapted from one of
source writer Dennis
‘s novels), Gone Baby Gone tells the story of
a pair of private eyes (Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan) searching for a
lost four-year-old, a quest that delves into the dark shadows of the city, from
the criminal underworld to corrupt cops. Critics say Baby is grim, but
also deliciously noirish and morally complex, featuring standout performances
from its leads, as well as
Morgan Freeman and
Ed Harris. With a score of 89
percent on the Tomatometer, Gone Baby Gone‘s critical reaction should
assuage Ben’s depression over the current state of his beloved Red Sox. (Check
out this week’s Total Recall, where we examine some of Affleck’s notable

Affleck ponders another imminent Red Sox defeat.

Susanne Bier, famed in her native Denmark for her dark and complex melodramas,
makes her American debut this week with Things
We Lost in the Fire
. Halle Berry
stars as a grieving widow who invites Benicio Del Toro’s character, her
husband’s childhood friend and heroin addict, to move in with her and her
children. Though it frequently drips into maudlin territory (something Bier
avoided with her previous effort, the Certified Fresh
After the Wedding
critics recognize it as at least a sincere tearjerker, and an honest and
emotionally raw portrayal of two tortured people. At 64 percent, Fire isn’t
red-hot but should appease viewers out for a soapy drama.

A therapeutic game of thumb war.
Movie lovers who lack the patience to sit through the
The Decalogue
in luck:
The Ten Commandments
tells the story of Moses in less than an
hour and a half, and in animated form, no less. But is it any good? Well,
critics are forbidden to bear false witness, and they say it isn’t. The Ten
follows Moses’ journey from infancy to the point where he leads
the Chosen People to the Promised Land, and features voice work from the likes
of Ben Kingsley and
Christian Slater. But critics say the film’s middling
animation and lack of nuance make for a dull take on one of the Bible’s most
rousing tales. At 20 percent on the Tomatometer, critics say thou shall not
enjoy The Ten Commandments.

This week, the folks behind both The
and Sarah
Landon and the Paranormal Hour
declined to screen their films for pundits. The
spoofs inspirational sports movies, while Sarah Landon is
about a 17-year-old who discovers spectral activity in her hometown. Our only
guess is that it was assumed each film would receive a critical (buzzer)
beating, or wouldn’t stand a ghost of a chance with the scribes. (Thank you.
I’ll be here all week.) Guess those Tomatometers.

"I’ve got a bad case of athlete’s spoof."
Also opening this week in limited release:
Meeting Resistance
, a doc
about Iraqi insurgents, is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer;
Trigger Man
an indie about a harrowing hunting trip, is at 100 percent;
Wristcutters: A
Love Story
, a dramedy about the afterlife starring
Patrick Fugit, is at 71
percent; the Spanish import
, about the familial
responsibilities of a young janitor, is at 67 percent;
Out of the Blue
, a
fictional retelling of New Zealand’s largest mass-murder, is at 67 percent;
, a Polish take on the spaghetti western genre, is at 60 percent;
a wacky tale of stoners and satanic cults, is at 58
The Girl Next Door
, a tale of torture beneath the placid façade
of 1950s suburbia, is at 58 percent;
Reservation Road
, a tale of familial
grief starring
Joaquin Phoenix,
Jennifer Connelly, and
Mark Ruffalo, is at 37
percent (check out our interview with director Terry George
here); and
starring John Malkovich in a biopic of the great painter, is at 30 percent.

"You have a beard but you’re not the bad guy? That’s weird."
Finally, props to Bloody Mathias for coming the closest to guessing
Perry’s Why Did I Get Married
‘s 48 percent Tomatometer. Try putting a
bandage on it, and perhaps then you won’t be bloody, Mathias.

Recent Ben Affleck Movies:
26% — Smokin’ Aces (2007)
38% — Man About Town (2006)
63% — Clerks II (2006)
70% — Hollywoodland (2006)
7% — Surviving Christmas (2004)

Recent Casey Affleck Movies:
73% —
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
69% — Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
46% — The Last Kiss (2006)
55% — Lonesome Jim (2006)
55% — Ocean’s

Tag Cloud

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