Critical Consensus: "Red Eye," "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" Soar

by | August 18, 2005 | Comments

This week at the movies brings four studies in aviation. What happens when you’re trapped on a plane with a creepy seatmate? (See "Red Eye.") Is it ever too late for Cupid’s arrows to take flight? (Check out "The 40 Year-Old Virgin.") Were the unsung heroes of the Allies in WWII… pigeons? ("Valiant," this one’s for you.) Isn’t it cool when those Supercross dudes, like, totally go up in the air, and like, for a few seconds, y’know, it looks like they’re, like, flying? (Ahem…."Supercross: The Movie.") And most important of all: which of these flicks will fly with the critics?

Alfred Hitchcock once famously declared, "I like to play the audience like a piano." Wes Craven is no Hitchcock (who is?), but in his finest moments, his work embodies the spirit of that sentiment. And critics say "Red Eye" is one of Craven’s finest moments. Much like many of Hitch’s films, the plot strains credibility, but who cares; brisk, paranoid, and tense, this is excellent popcorn fare, with stars in the making Rachel McAdams and Cillian Murphy getting their share of props. "Red Eye" soars, scoring 84 percent on the Tomatometer. And it’s Craven’s best reviewed film since "Scream" (87 percent) in 1996.

Speaking of overdue props, Steve Carell has been stealing scenes from movies for a while (and he was in those weirdly funny FedEx commercials — am I the only one who remembers that?). So now that he’s getting his shot in the spotlight, he’s unsurprisingly making the most of it. Critics are showing a lot of love for "The 40 Year-Old Virgin," a film that continues the recent trend of mixing tasteless humor with aching sincerity. At 85 percent, "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" may be worth a date. And it’s getting better reviews than even the surprise comedy megahit of the summer, "Wedding Crashers" (currently at 74 percent).

So CGI is the wave of the future? Maybe. But technology can only go so far; a movie still has to tell a compelling story. Critics say even the technology isn’t that good in "Valiant," a tale of carrier pigeons’ heroism in WWII. And though it features voice work from some of our favorites from across the pond (Ewan McGregor, Ricky Gervais, John Cleese, Hugh Laurie), the writers say it’s plucky but impersonal, and too odd in its plot to make much sense to younger viewers, the assumed target demographic. At 24 percent on the Tomatometer, this bird’s having trouble achieving takeoff. And it’s the worst-reviewed CGI film ever, sinking lower than last year’s "Shark Tale" (35 percent).

Since there is apparently little appeal in "Segway: The Movie" or, perhaps "Jet-Ski: The Movie," X-treme fans will have to make do with "Supercross: The Movie." But according to critics, there couldn’t be much less appeal to this teen romance in between totally radical and tubular stunts. The reason old-school exclamations make sense in this context is that the plot of this movie is pretty dated; heck, "Don’t Worry Baby," the classic Beach Boys song about romance and drag racing, pretty much told the same story in three minutes. But "Supercross" does soar above the competition in one respect: at three percent on the Tomatometer, it’s among the worst reviewed movies of the year.

Worst Reviewed Movies of 2005 (So Far):
1. King’s Ransom — 0%
2. Alone in the Dark — 1%
3. Supercross: The Movie — 3%
4. Son of the Mask — 4%
5. Modigliani — 4%
6. Fascination — 5%
7. Harry and Max — 5%
8. The Perfect Man — 6%
9. Elektra — 7%
10. White Noise — 9%

Recent Wes Craven-Directed Movies:
14% — Cursed (2005)
41% — Scream 3 (2000)
68% — Music of the Heart (1999)
81% — Scream 2 (1997)
87% — Scream (1996)

Tag Cloud

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