Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Avengers: Age of Ultron Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Far From the Madding Crowd is visually striking, and The Casual Vacancy is uneven.

by | April 30, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got just one wide release: the hotly-anticipated Marvel superhero extravaganza Avengers: Age of Ultron, starring Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Mark Ruffalo. What do the critics have to say?

Avengers: Age of Ultron


Marvel’s The Avengers was greeted with such overwhelmingly positive reviews that Avengers: Age of Ultron has a lot to live up to. And critics say that while Ultron isn’t quite up to its predecessor’s standard, it’s still robust blockbuster entertainment, an expert assemblage of beloved characters with enough loving detail and character quirks to withstand an occasionally overstuffed narrative. This time out, the Avengers — whose ranks include Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) — are pitted against Ultron (voiced by James Spader), a powerful robot with dangerous beliefs about the best way to achieve world peace. The critics say the Certified Fresh Avengers: Age of Ultron lacks the charm and lightness of its predecessor, but the cast is outstanding and the action set pieces are suitably epic. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we take a look at some of the lesser-known career highlights of the Avengers cast, and watch our video interviews with director Joss Whedon and a bunch of the stars.)

What’s On TV:

HBO’s adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy (57 percent) is mostly dull, heavy-handed, and predictable, although it possesses a few touching moments.

Instead of sly and shocking, Happyish (30 percent) comes off as shrill and self-satisfied, despite the efforts of its talented cast.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Albert MayslesIris, a documentary about the life and times of fashion maven Iris Apfel, is at 100 percent (watch our video interview with Apfel here).
  • In Country, a documentary about Vietnam War reenactors, is at 86 percent.
  • Far From the Madding Crowd, starring Carey Mulligan and Michael Sheen in an adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel, is at 79 percent.
  • Marie’s Story, a drama about a nun who works tirelessly to communicate with a deaf and blind teenager, is at 78 percent.
  • Hyena, a British crime drama about a detective who becomes entangled in a turf war between rival drug trafficking organizations, is at 77 percent.
  • Far From Men, starring Viggo Mortensen in a drama about a schoolteacher who must accompany an accused murderer across the Algerian desert to stand trial, is at 75 percent.
  • Soul Boys Of The Western World, a documentary about 1980s new wave pop pioneers Spandau Ballet, is at 73 percent.
  • Welcome to Me, starring Kristen Wiig and Tim Robbins in a dramedy about a woman with borderline personality disorder who wins the lottery and proceeds to start her own talk show, is at 71 percent.
  • Reality, a dramedy about a would-be horror film director whose life is turned upside down when his producer demands that he find the perfect cinematic scream, is at 67 percent.
  • Days of Grace, a thriller featuring three intertwined stories involving criminal activity as World Cup fever grips Mexico, is at 63 percent.
  • Maya The Bee Movie, an animated adventure featuring the titular bee on a mission to save her hive from a plot against the queen, is at 56 percent.
  • Ride, starring Helen Hunt and Luke Wilson in a comedy about a magazine writer who follows her son to Los Angeles and embarks on a period of self-discovery, is at 53 percent.
  • Gerontophilia, a romantic comedy about a teenage boy who forms a close relationship with an older man while working at a retirement community, is at 50 percent.
  • Cas & Dylan, starring Richard Dreyfuss and Tatiana Maslany in a dramedy about a terminally ill man who ends up on a wild road trip after agreeing to give a lift to an aspiring writer, is at 33 percent.

Tag Cloud

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