Critics Consensus

Fantastic Four Is Fatally Flawed

Plus, Shaun the Sheep is Certified Fresh; Ricki and the Flash carries a decent tune; The Gift is a terrifically tense thriller; and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is Certified Fresh.

by | August 6, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a quartet of superheroes (Fantastic Four, starring Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan); runaway livestock (the stop-motion animated feature Shaun the Sheep); a veteran rocker (Ricki and the Flash, starring Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer); and a creepy acquaintance (The Gift, starring Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall). What do the critics have to say?


Fantastic Four (2015) 9%

Pity the poor Fantastic Four. Marvel’s original superhero team has never been particularly well served on the big screen, and critics say that trend continues with Fantastic Four, a jumbled attempt to reboot the franchise that boasts talented actors stranded in an oddly morose, badly paced misfire. It’s yet another origin story: Reed Richards (Miles Teller) and his pals figure out how to teleport to another dimension, but after an ill-fated trip they all end up with superpowers — and make an enemy of the evil Dr. Doom. The pundits say that Fantastic Four has a few interesting ideas that are quickly pushed aside in favor of overripe dialogue, endless exposition, and so-so special effects.


Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) 99%

The cheeky Brits over at Aardman Animations — the folks who brought you Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run — are masters of the witty, whimsical stop-motion comedy. However, critics say they may have topped themselves with Shaun the Sheep, an astonishing achievement that blends Chaplinesque silent-movie  slapstick with a surfeit of hilarious visual gags. Shaun the Sheep encourages the rest of his flock to take a day off, which eventually leads to the disappearance of their owner into the big city. The sheep attempt to recover the farmer, and hilarity ensues. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Shaun the Sheep is truly inspired in its comic lunacy, and while some of the jokes might fly over the heads of the youngest viewers, it’s sure to enchant the whole family.


Ricki And The Flash (2015) 65%

Meryl Streep classes up everything she touches, so it’s a little surprising to see her play a down-and-dirty rocker in Ricki and the Flash. But critics say the film has a few more tricks up its sleeve — despite its shopworn premise, Ricki and the Flash offers enough great acting and toe tapping tunes to be a little more than just the same old song. Streep stars as a singer who ditched her family to chase musical stardom. But with her estranged daughter in the midst of a personal crisis, Ricki heads home in an attempt to heal old wounds. The pundits say Ricki and the Flash isn’t earth-shaking, but it’s energetic and raggedy enough to make its formulaic elements feel fresh.


The Gift (2015) 91%

If you’ve seen Warrior or The Great Gatsby, you know Joel Edgerton has a commanding screen presence. And critics say that if the chilling, intelligent thriller The Gift is any indication, he’s got a promising future behind the camera as well. Well-to-do Simon (Jason Bateman) has a seemingly chance encounter with Gordo (Edgerton), an old high school classmate. But Gordo starts showing up everywhere Simon goes, and leaving odd gifts at his house; is there something in their pasts that prompted such behavior? The pundits say The Gift is a deeply unnerving psychological drama that sustains its tension from beginning to end.


What’s Hot On TV:

Strike Back: Legacy (2015) 93%

Strike Back‘s final season promises a big finish fueled by compelling characters and sensational video game-style action.


Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (2015) 93%

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp offers more of the the goofy hijinks that fans of the cult classic crave, but outsiders might not be quite as enamored.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Two Step (2015) , a noirish thriller about a down-on-his-luck man who gets ensnared by a con artist, is at 100 percent.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' (2015)the latest installment of the venerable anime franchise, is at 100 percent.
  • The Diary Of A Teenage Girl (2015) , starring Bel Powley and Kristen Wiig in a coming-of-age drama about a promising young artist with a growing drug problem and a host of family issues, is at 92 percent.
  • Call Me Lucky (2015) , a documentary portrait of standup comic-turned-activist Barry Crimmins, is at 80 percent.
  • The Falling (2015) , a drama about a mysterious fainting epidemic at an all-girls boarding school in Britain, is at 80 percent.
  • Cop Car (2015) , starring Kevin Bacon and Shea Whigham in a thriller about a pair of teenagers who face dire consequences after taking a police car for a joyride, is at 78 percent.
  • Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet (2015) , an omnibus animated film that dramatizes the poems from the bestselling spiritual text, is at 67 percent.
  • Sneakerheadz (2015) , a documentary about obsessive athletic shoe collectors, is at 60 percent.
  • Dark Places (2015) , starring Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult in a thriller about a woman still suffering deep emotional scars from the murder of her family years before, is at 33 percent.
  • The Runner (2015) , starring Nicolas Cage and Connie Nielsen in a drama about a politician whose attempts to deal witht the BP oil spill are stymied by scandal, is at 31 percent.

Tag Cloud

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