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

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