Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is Certified Fresh

Plus, American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks, Inside Llewyn Davis, the Selfish Giant, The Past, and Her are all Certified Fresh as well.

by | December 20, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a group of classy newsmen (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd); a prehistoric family (Walking With Dinosaurs, with voice performances by John Leguizamo and Justin Long); Feds and con-artists (American Hustle, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper); an uneasy artistic partnership (Saving Mr. Banks, starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks); and a struggling folksinger (Inside Llewyn Davis, starring Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan). What do the critics have to say?



Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

75%

Both a goofy workplace comedy and a sly media satire, Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy earned a dedicated cult following, though the call for a sequel escalated slowly. Well, the wait is over, and critics say Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is pretty funny stuff; though it’s uneven and less quotable than its predecessor, it’s just as sublimely silly, and the talented cast riffs with energetic abandon. It’s the 1980s, and Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his old Channel 4 pals have been hired by a new 24-hour news network. Eschewing hard news, they focus on the sensational and the absurd — and garner big ratings in the process. The pundits say that 60 percent of the time, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues works every time; note every joke works, but a good many do, resulting in an anarchic comedy with a thing or two to say about our contemporary media landscape. (Check out this week’s Total Recall for a roundown of memorable movie journalists, and watch our video interviews with the stars of Anchorman 2.)



Walking With Dinosaurs

23%

When you’ve made a movie featuring painstakingly, naturalistically rendered CG dinosaurs, what more do you need? How about wiseacre dialogue and slapstick gags? Critics say that’s exactly the trouble with Walking With Dinosaurs, in which majestic visuals are seriously undermined by pedestrian storytelling. Based on a well-regarded BBC series, Dinosaurs is the tale of a young Pachyrhinosaurus (voiced by Justin Long) who squabbles with his siblings, encounters predators, and falls in love. The pundits say the filmmakers seem to have worried that a quasi-nature documentary approach might have turned off the youngsters, but the narrative is so poorly executed that the end result isn’t all t hat entertaining, much less educational.



American Hustle

92%

Plenty of filmmakers have paid homage to GoodFellas over the years. Critics say that with American Hustle, director David O. Russell has done them all one better: he’s crafted a deliriously entertaining crime picture with enough rich performances and stylistic razzle dazzle to actually earn comparisons to Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. Bradley Cooper stars as Richie, an FBI agent who busts Irving (Christian Bale) and Sydney (Amy Adams) for low-level grifting and subsequently enlists them, along with Irving’s unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), into a sting operation designed to ensnare corrupt New Jersey politicians. The pundits say the Certified Fresh American Hustle is filled with fascinating characters, witty dialogue, toe-tapping 1970s tunes, and a giddy momentum that’s deeply infectious. (Check out our video interviews with Cooper, Adams, Bale, and Jeremy Renner.)



Saving Mr. Banks

79%

As the old saying goes, never let the facts get in the way of a good story. The critics say that even though Saving Mr. Banks deviates significantly from the historical record, it still manages to be a heartwarming showbiz tale with outstanding performances from Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. Mary Poppis author P.L. Travers (Thompson) reluctantly agrees to meet with Walt Disney (Hanks), who desperately wants to adapt her book for the screen. Travers is deeply skeptical of Disney’s plans, and he has to pull out all the stops to persuade her to collaborate on the film. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Saving Mr. Banks is funny, poignant, and perfectly acted, even if the sharp edges of the real-life story have been sanded off.



Inside Llewyn Davis

92%

The Coen brothers have made plenty of movies about embattled outsiders, and critics say Inside Llewyn Davis is one of the best of the bunch, a bittersweet, lushly photographed chronicle of a down-and-out folksinger that’s heartfelt and darkly comic in equal measure. Haunted by the death of his singing partner, Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is in the midst of a personal and professional slump; he has little money, no permanent address, a shortage of gigs, and a knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Inside Llewyn Davis is an absorbing portrait of a struggling artist, stuffed with loving details that will delight music buffs. (Watch our video interviews with Isaac and co-star Carey Mulligan here.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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