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

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