Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Captain Phillips is Certified Fresh

Plus, Machete Kills doesn't cut that deep.

by | October 10, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a hostage situation (Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks and Catherine Keener), and a deadly mission (Machete Kills, starring Danny Trejo and Michelle Rodriguez). What do the critics have to say?

Captain Phillips


Director Paul Greengrass (United 93, Bloody Sunday) is an expert at adapting true stories to the big screen with a sense of you-are-there immediacy. Tom Hanks is great at portraying relatable people operating under extraordinary duress. Together, they make Captain Phillips a tense, endlessly involving thriller that entertains even as it raises intriguing questions. Hanks plays Phillips, the captain of a cargo ship that?s hijacked by Somali pirates; as the situation becomes more grim by the minute, it?s up to the captain to maintain composure and keep his crew safe. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Captain Phillips is potent, powerful stuff, with terrific performances and a script that gives multiple dimensions to all parties involved. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Hanks’ best-reviewed films.)

Machete Kills


There’s a thin line separating trashy fun and plain ol’ trash, and unfortunately, critics say Machete Kills is too often on the wrong side of the divide; despite its emphasis on gleefully over-the-top violence and campy laughs, the movie is too slackly paced and overlong to fully register as a guilty pleasure. This time out, the president enlists our blade-wielding hero (played by Danny Trejo) to stop a billionaire arms trader bent on inciting chaos across the globe. The pundits say Machete Kills is like its predecessor in many ways, just less so; it’s got some clever cameos and delightfully tasteless action, but there’s less energy on display this time out. (Take a look through our gallery of the ladies of the Machete movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

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