Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Cinderella is Certified Fresh

Plus, Run All Night is hit and miss, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is Certified Fresh.

by | March 12, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a fairy tale princess (Cinderella, starring Lily James and Cate Blanchett) and a regretful hit man (Run All Night, starring Liam Neeson and Ed Harris). What do the critics have to say?



Revisionist fairy tales are all the rage these days, so it’s a bit surprising that director Kenneth Branagh has taken the opposite tack with his mostly-straightforward version of Cinderella. Not that that’s a bad thing; critics say this is charming, visually striking family entertainment with more than a touch of the old Disney magic. You probably know the story by heart, but here goes: after her aristocratic father’s tragic death, Cinderella (Lily James) is left in the care of her wicked stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and her cruel stepsisters. But with the help of a fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter), our heroine wins the heart of a prince. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Cinderella doesn’t bring many new twists to the classic tale, but it’s so exquisitely crafted and energetically acted that it hardly matters. (Watch our video interview with Branagh, James, and Blanchett, and click through our gallery of the most important shoes in the movies.)

Run All Night


Another week, another movie in which Liam Neeson is out for blood. Critics say Run All Night is a so-so entry in this budding subgenre, one that’s better than Taken 3 but a notch or two below A Walk Among the Tombstones. Neeson plays Jimmy, a broken-down mob assassin with a long personal and professional history with crime boss Shawn (Ed Harris). But when Jimmy kills Shawn’s kid in order to save his son’s life, he finds his old buddy gunning for him. The pundits say the main reason to watch Run All Night is Neeson and the strong cast, but otherwise, the plot is too convoluted and the execution is too workmanlike. (Check out Harris’ best-reviewed films here.)

What’s On TV:

Critics say that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Certified Fresh at 95 percent) is as odd as it is hilarious, thanks in part to a spot-on performance from Ellie Kemper.

The pundits say season three of Bates Motel (90 percent) further blurs the lines around TV’s creepiest taboo mother/son relationship, uncomfortably darkening its already fascinating tone.

Critics say that while The Returned (64 percent) is overshadowed by its superior source material, the US version retains enough of the creep factor and character drama to appease fans of the genre.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Of Horses and Men, an Icelandic dramedy featuring a series of interlocking stories about disparate people and their equine companions, is at 100 percent.
  • Seymour: An Introduction, a documentary profile of concert pianist and teacher Seymour Bernstein directed by Ethan Hawke, is at 100 percent.
  • It Follows, an indie horror film about a malevolent force that preys on teens in a Michigan suburb, is Certified Fresh at 95 percent.
  • The Wrecking Crew, a doc about the legendary L.A. session musicians who backed up everyone from Frank Sinatra to the Beach Boys, is at 93 percent.
  • 3 Hearts, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Catherine Deneuve in a romantic drama about two sisters who fall for the same man, is at 82 percent.
  • Champs, a documentary in which legendary pugilists Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield discuss their lives in and outside the ring, is at 60 percent.
  • Walter, a dramedy about a movie theater employee who believes he’s the son of God, is at 57 percent.
  • Treading Water, starring Douglas Smith and Zoë Kravitz in a dramedy about a lonely teenager with a rare medical condition that makes him smell like a fish, is at 50 percent.
  • Cymbeline, starring Ethan Hawke and Ed Harris in a modern-day retelling of Shakespeare’s tragedy featuring warring bikers and cops, is at 33 percent.
  • The Cobbler, starring Adam Sandler and Steve Buscemi in a comic fantasy about a shoe repairman who discovers a machine magical properties, is at 11 percent (check out co-star Method Man’s Five Favorite Films here).
  • Home Sweet Hell, starring Katherine Heigl and Patrick Wilson in a drama based on the true story of the brazen kidnapping of a brewery heir, is at eight percent.

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