Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Contagion and Warrior are Certified Fresh

Plus, guess the Tomatometer for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star.

by | September 8, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a deadly virus (Contagion, starring Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow), MMA misfortune (Warrior, starring Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte), and a would-be thespian (Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, starring Nick Swardson and Christina Ricci). What do the critics have to say?



Steven Soderbergh has certainly proven himself to be a director who can handle movies with lots of big stars and multiple storylines – after all, he’s the guy behind both Traffic and the Ocean’s movies. And critics say his latest, Contagion, is another winner, a briskly paced, harrowing thriller with plenty on its mind. Featuring a murderer’s row of big-time talent (including Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, and Laurence Fishburn), Contagion chronicles the global reaction to a highly contagious flu epidemic, and how ordinary citizens and officials react to both the virus and the public panic. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Contagion is smart and suspenseful, as fine performances and Soderbergh’s deft direction help to keep all the big ideas and narrative complexity from bursting at the seams.



The world already has Raging Bull, On the Waterfront, The Wrestler, and The Fighter; do we really need another movie about a ring king struggling with his personal and familial demons? Well, in the case of Warrior, critics say the answer is a resounding yes — they say the film is emotionally resonant and viscerally powerful. Tom Hardy stars as an ex-Marine and a former wrestling champ who decides to enter a martial arts competition. He trains with his father (Nick Nolte), an ex-prizefighter with a history of alcoholism, not realizing his estranged brother (Joel Edgerton) is also preparing for the tournament. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Warrior‘s premise may be melodramatic, but it’s tremendously acted and unexpectedly moving, making for a fight film that hits harder than you’d expect.

Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star


It looks like the folks behind Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star were afraid their film wasn’t destined for critical praise, since it wasn’t screened prior to release. Nick Swardson stars as a small town grocery store employee who decides to make a go of showbiz after learning his parents were once movie stars – that is, adult movie stars. Time to play guess the Tomatometer!

Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, crazy mad props to King S. for correctly guessing Shark Night 3D‘s 16 percent Tomatometer and for coming the closest to guessing Apollo 18‘s 20 percent Tomatometer.

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