Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Argo Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Here Comes the Boom is predictable, Sinister is spooky, Seven Psychopaths is Certified Fresh, and Atlas Shrugged was not screened.

by and | October 12, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a daring escape (Argo, starring Ben Affleck and Alan Arkin); a tough teacher (Here Comes the Boom, starring Kevin James and Salma Hayek); frightening footage (Sinister, starring Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio); criminal cinephiles (Seven Psychopaths, starring Colin Farrell and Christopher Walken); and striking capitalists (Atlas Shrugged: Part II, starring Samantha Mathis and Jason Beghe). What do the critics have to say?



As a director, Ben Affleck is on a roll. With two Certified Fresh films (Gone Baby Gone and The Town) under his belt, critics say Affleck scores again with Argo, a tense, darkly comic thriller with terrific characters and an eye for period detail. In the midst of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, a group of militants take hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. When six Americans escape and hole up elsewhere, CIA agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with a scheme to rescue them: pretend they’re filmmakers working on an epic sci-fi movie. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Argo is a terrific entertainment — it’s suspenseful, deftly scripted, sharply acted, and politically reflective.

Here Comes the Boom


Here Comes the Boom borrows from two musty sub-genres: it’s both an underdog sports story and an inspirational teacher movie. And critics say it’s not all that bad — Kevin James gives a warm, committed performance that occasionally makes up for the movie’s slavish devotion to formula. James stars as an indifferent high school teacher who is roused into action when the school is threatened with budget cuts. His solution: raise money by battling on the mixed martial arts circuit. The pundits say James is surprisingly convincing as a fighter, but Here Comes the Boom is a little too bland and predictable to work as a whole. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames, in which we take a pictorial look at co-star Salma Hayek’s career..)



Found footage frightfests are all the rage these days, but critics say it’s to Sinister‘s credit that it creates a tense atmosphere out of some familiar parts. Ethan Hawke stars as a true crime writer who moves his family into a house where a family was mysteriously killed. While investigating the deaths, he discovers a cache of old super 8 movies, and discovers awful secrets that could threaten him and his family as well. The pundits say Sinister is sometimes over-reliant on jump scares, but it’s also intelligent and involving, thanks to strong performances and a creeping sense of dread. (Check out our interview with Hawke here.)

Seven Psychopaths


Director Martin McDonagh and star Colin Farrell have apparently found a formula that works; having earned accolades for their work together in 2008’s In Bruges, the pair reunite for Seven Psychopaths, a dark comedy that critics say delivers a heaping helping of witty dialogue and gleeful violence. Farrell stars as a struggling screenwriter whose well-meaning buddy (Sam Rockwell) places him in danger when he unwittingly kidnaps a dog belonging to a violent gangster (Woody Harrelson) who will stop at nothing to rescue his beloved pet. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Seven Psychopaths is terrifically written, with memorable performances and a sly sense of humor. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Walken’s best-reviewed films.)

Atlas Shrugged: Part II


Give the folks behind Atlas Shrugged: Part II points for perseverance, especially since Part I disappointed both critically and commercially. Unfortunately, the film was not screened for critics prior to its release, so we can’t tell you if the second chapter will fare better with the pundits. In this installment, the global economy is near collapse after a number of prominent industrialists and thinkers have gone missing. Time to guess the Tomatometer!

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Gayby, a comedy about two close friends who decide to conceive a child together despite their mismatched sexual orientations, is at 100 percent.
  • In My Mother’s Arms, a documentary about an orphanage for troubled children in Baghdad, is at 100 percent.
  • Photographic Memory, in which a filmmaker attempts to revisit key places in his life in an attempt to connect with his son, is at 100 percent.
  • Middle of Nowhere, a drama about a med student whose life is upended when her husband is incarcerated, is at 92 percent.
  • Smashed, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead in a dramedy about a young woman struggling with alcoholism, is at 84 percent.
  • The Big Picture, a French thriller about a successful man who assumes a new identity to escape his existence, is at 81 percent.
  • Two Years at Sea, a doc about a Scottish man living in near isolation, is at 75 percent.
  • Simon and the Oaks, a coming-of-age drama about two childhood friends whose lives are upended by the turmoil of World War II, is at 50 percent.
  • 3, 2, 1… Frankie Go Boom, starring Chris O’Dowd and Lizzy Caplan in a comedy about two brothers who hire a hacker to scrub the internet of an embarrassing video, is at 44 percent.
  • Special Forces, starring Diane Kruger and Djimon Hounsou in an action movie about a military unit working to free a kidnapped journalist from the Taliban, is at 33 percent.
  • Hotel Noir, starring Carla Gugino and Mandy Moore in the pulpy tale of a down-on-his-luck detective who meets a variety of interesting characters during the course of a night, is at 20 percent.
  • War of the Buttons, a period drama about rival preteen gangs who set aside their differences to protect a friend in Nazi-occupied France, is at 17 percent.
  • Smiley, a horror film about a mad slasher who kills people who participate in internet video chats, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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