Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Yuma is Certified Fresh; Shoot 'Em Up Shoots And Scores

When it comes to laughs, Brothers Solomon is infertile

by | September 6, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got shootouts (3:10 to Yuma, Starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale); shoot-em-ups (Shoot ‘Em Up, starring Clive Owen); and last shots (The Brothers Solomon, starring Will Forte and Will Arnett). What do the critics have to say?

Ah, the Western… Every time the genre is pronounced dead, it seems as though a movie like 3:10 to Yuma comes along to revive it. Christian Bale stars as a financially-strapped rancher who joins a group to escort a train robber (Russell Crowe) to federal court; mind games and quick-draw action ensue. Critics say the film is one of the best Westerns in years, featuring outstanding performances from Crowe, Bale, and Ben Foster, and simultaneously utilizing old-fashioned storytelling while deepening the psychological complexity. And while it might fall a little short of the original (93 percent), at 81 percent, Yuma is Certified Fresh all the same. (Check out our interview with Yuma director James Mangold and star Peter Fonda here.)

“Sorry kid. I don’t think there’s gonna be a Robin in the next one.”

There appear two be two critical schools of thought on Shoot ‘Em Up. The first: It’s one of the most preposterous, over-the-top action movies ever. The second: What’s wrong with that? Clive Owen stars as a lone gunman who joins forces with Monica Bellucci to protect a baby from a vicious criminal (Paul Giamatti). Critics say Shoot is patently ridiculous, but features outrageously visceral action sequences and an undercurrent of dark humor. At 69 percent on the Tomatometer, Shoot may be worth a shot.

The argument over which stunk more between Lady in the Water and Derailed is about to be settled.

There’s a raunchy new comedy about romantically challenged young men learning a thing or two about responsibility with the impending birth of a child. No, not Knocked Up — we’re talking about The Brothers Solomon. Will Forte and Will Arnett star as a pair of socially awkward siblings who attempt to fulfill their dying father’s wish for a grandchild — a plan that goes hopelessly awry. Unfortunately, critics say Solomon is stupid rather than funny, featuring talented people in situations that fall flat. At zero percent on the Tomatometer, Solomon is ill-concieved.

Not even Science Now thought favorably of The Brothers Solomon.

Also opening this week in limited release: In the Shadow of the Moon, a documentary about the astronauts who set foot on the earth’s satellite, is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer; Salvador Allende, a doc about the controversial Chilean president is at 90 percent; Hatchet, a tongue-in-cheek tribute to slasher films, is at 80 percent; I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With, directed by and starring Curb Your Enthusiasm‘s Jeff Garlin as a man looking for love, is at 71 percent; The Hunting Party, a dramedy set during the Bosnian conflict starring Richard Gere and Terrence Howard, is at 45 percent; Fierce People, a drama about class conflict starring Diane Lane and Anton Yelchin, is at 40 percent; and Romance and Cigarettes, John Turturro‘s blue-collar musical starring Kate Winslet, James Gandolfini, and Susan Sarandon, is at 33 percent.

Aren’t we all looking for someone to eat cheese with?

Finally, props to Bruce Campbell (is it really you?) for coming closest to guessing Halloween‘s 21 percent Tomatometer. Loved Army of Darkness.

Recent Russell Crowe Movies:
26% — A Good Year (2006)
80% — Cinderella Man (2005)
84% — Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
76% — A Beautiful Mind (2001)
40% — Proof of Life (2000)

Recent Clive Owen Movies:
91% — Children of Men (2006)
87% — Inside Man (2006)
20% — Derailed (2005)
78% — Sin City (2005)
69% — Closer (2004)

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