Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Superman" And "Devil" Are Certified Fresh

by | June 29, 2006 | Comments

This week’s wide releases both involve publishing. In "The Devil Wears Prada," the setting is a fashion magazine, and in "Superman Returns," it’s The Daily Planet. So maybe that’s why the critics like both these movies so much…

While there has been some debate over the quality of Lauren Weisberger’s novel "The Devil Wears Prada," there’s less divergence over the movie adaptation, particularly because of the presence of Meryl Streep in the titular role. Anne Hathaway plays an earnest small-town girl who hopes to write high-minded stuff for the New Yorker, but is little match for the Cruella De Ville-esque Miranda Priestly (Streep). The scribes say the film ultimately works because of Streep’s excellent performance, but "The Devil Wears Prada" is also an incisive examination of workplace politics. At 76 percent on the Tomatometer, this "Devil" wears a Certified Fresh badge.

After a long, arduous trial, Meryl Streep was acquitted by the fashion police, but convicted by the sunglass police.

You may have heard that there’s a new Superman movie out. It’s called "Superman Returns," and it stars a relative unknown as the Man of Steel (Brandon Routh), an actress who was in that Bobby Darin movie (Kate Bosworth), and the guy who played Bobby Darin himself in that same movie, this time playing Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey). (Dude, he was probably Keyzer Soze as well) The critics say "Superman Returns" is able to pull off the neat trick of sticking closely to the age-old particulars of the Superman myth, while making them fresh. "Superman Returns" is at 76 percent on the Tomatometer, and it’s Certified Fresh.

"I’ll have a root beer float, hold the kryptonite."

This is a week of well-reviewed releases in general. Also opening, albeit in limited release: "Who Killed the Electric Car," a documentary about the short-lived EV1, is at 87 percent; "The Motel," a coming-of-age tale set in a fleabag motel, is at 82 percent; "The Blood of My Brother," a documentary about death in Iraq, is at 67 percent; and the big-screen adaptation of the cult TV hit "Strangers With Candy" is at 57 percent.

Recent Meryl Streep Movies:
80% — A Prairie Home Companion (2006)
50% — Prime (2005)
81% — The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
71% — Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
62% — Stuck On You (2003)

Recent Bryan Singer Movies:
87% — X2: X-Men United (2003)
80% — X-Men (2000)
53% — Apt Pupil (1998)
90% — The Usual Suspects (1995)
50% — Public Access (1993)

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