Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Sweeney Todd, Walk Hard, and Charlie Wilson All Certified Fresh!

Also: National Treasure doesn't break the bank, P.S. is P.U.

by | December 20, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got unruly history buffs (National Treasure:
Book of Secrets
, starring
Nicolas Cage), fake rockers (Walk Hard: The
Dewey Cox Story
, starring
John C. Reilly), rogue senators (Charlie
Wilson’s War
, starring
Tom Hanks,
Julia Roberts, and
Philip Seymour
Hoffman
), bon mots from beyond the grave (P.S. I Love You,
starring Hilary Swank and
Gerard Butler), and demon barbers (Tim
Burton
‘s
Sweeney
Todd
, starring
Johnny Depp). What do the critics have to say?


National
Treasure
posited that there was a secret code hidden within the design of
U.S. legal tender. And the movie garnered enough legal tender so that a
sequel,
Book of Secrets
could be made. For the second installment,
adventurer Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) is again on the trail of secrets from the
past, as new evidence has implicated his great grandfather in the
assassination of Abraham Lincoln; thus begins a globetrotting trek loaded with
mystery and intrigue. Ridiculous? You’d better believe it, pundits say,
although they also note that Secrets occasionally has enough giddy momentum to make
viewers overlook its absurdities. At 53 percent on the Tomatometer, this Book
might be worth cracking open for series fans. It’s certainly a cut above its
predecessor’s 41 percent.




“So Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton AND Lincoln?”

Charlie
Wilson’s War
delves into one of the stranger stories of the Cold War era.
Based on a true story, War shows how a free-wheeling congressman (Tom Hanks), a wealthy socialite (Julia Roberts), and Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymour
Hoffman
), a CIA agent who didn’t play by the rules, joined forces in
an attempt to liberate Afghanistan after it was invaded by the Soviets (and,
in doing so, laid the groundwork for the Taliban to take over the country
later). Critics say director
Mike Nichols has made War both a smart
look at realpolitik and a screwball comedy, with plenty of help from Hanks and
Hoffman. At 79 percent on the Tomatometer, this War is good for quite a
bit.




“I have a vision: The Afghan people enjoying freedom,
choice, and Lipps Inc."

This
has been a golden year for
Judd Apatow:
Knocked Up
(90 percent), which
he directed and wrote, and
Superbad
(87 percent), which he produced,
are two of the best-reviewed and most commercially successful comedies of 2007. With
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, pundits say he’s scored a
hat trick. A satire on musical biopics, Walk Hard tells the inspiring
story of a Southern boy (John C. Reilly) and his up-and-down career in the
music biz — which includes lots of groupies, rehab, and meetings with such
luminaries as Elvis, the Beatles, and the Ghostface Killah. Critics say Walk
Hard
works because Apatow and director
Jake Kasdan maintain a nimble
balance between homage and parody, celebrating the rock film’s conventions
while deftly (and smuttily) satirizing them. And they say the film is loaded
with good performances, most notably from Reilly, who may graduate from
character roles with his work here. At 78 percent on the Tomatometer, Cox
rocks. (Check out
this
week’s Total Recall
, in which RT explores other music-related comedies.)




Happy holidays from Dewey Cox and RT!

In the
case of romantic movies, one is generally not compelled to head to the theater
in search of realism but escapism. Still, internal logic is usually required,
something critics say
P.S. I Love You
lacks.
Hilary Swank
stars as a woman whose husband (Gerard Butler) succumbs to a brain tumor.
Before his death, however, he wrote her a series of letters that will act as
her guide to a better life — and possibly, a brand new love. Critics say P.S.
contains more sap than a Canadian forest, and the lack of chemistry between Swank
and Butler undermines the film’s notions of a sweeping, timeless romance. At
14 percent on the Tomatometer, critics are saying P.S. I Love You
should be returned to sender.




“Where do you want to dine tonight? That new Indian
place…or IN HELL!?"

If
what you’re looking for this holiday season is a heavy dose of the macabre,
you’re in luck. Critics say
Sweeney Todd:
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
,
Tim Burton‘s adaptation of
Stephen Sondheim’s musical of the same name, is tasty as one of Mrs. Lovett’s
meat pies. Sweeny tells the gruesome tale of Mr. Todd (Johnny Depp),
who vows revenge on the world after being unjustly sent to prison; with the
help of his landlady (played by
Helena Bonham Carter), he uses his barber shop
as a place for murder, and she uses the bodies he accumulates to make her
pies. The pundits say Sweeny Todd is a demented wonder, full of
stunning visuals, a mordant sense of humor, well-staged musical numbers, and
dedicated performances. At 85 percent on the Tomatometer, Sweeny Todd
cuts deep. And it’s the best-reviewed Tim burton film since
Ed Wood
.




“This’ll cost you an arm and a leg, but at least you get a
complimentary pie."

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The District!, an
    animated Hungarian import about gang conflicts, is at 86 percent on the
    Tomatometer.

  • Steep, a doc about the perils of big mountain skiing, is
    at 56 percent.

  • Flakes, a comedy about an all-cereal café starring
    the always lovely
    Zooey Deschanel, is at 11 percent.




    Christopher Lloyd after eating some "vintage" Nintendo
    cereal.

Recent
Julia Roberts Movies:
————————————
78% — Charlotte’s Web (2006)
63% — The Ant Bully (2006)
68% — Closer (2004)
55% — Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
34% — Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

Recent
Johnny Depp Movies:
————————————-
45% — Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
91% — Deep Sea (IMAX) (2006)
54% —
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
(2006)
32% — The Libertine (2005)
83% — Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005)

Tag Cloud

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