Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Godzilla is Certified Fresh

Plus, Million Dollar Arm is likeable but very predictable.

by | May 16, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the king of the monsters (Godzilla, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen) and an ambitious sports agent (Million Dollar Arm, starring Jon Hamm and Aasif Mandvi). What do the critics have to say?



Godzilla

75%

Poor Godzilla. Decades of campy stomp-fests have transformed the once-mighty king of the monsters into a cuddly oaf. This new Godzilla is an attempt to imbue the franchise with more weight than the typical creature feature, and critics say the result is mostly successful, with fine performances and visually striking effects making up for a tendency toward ponderousness. When a nuclear power plant near Tokyo is damaged by a series of tremors, scientist Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) believes the cause is something more ominous than an earthquake. Years later, Joe’s son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) realizes his father was right — a terrifying beast called the Muto has been causing the tremors, and only one giant lizard can stop it. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Godzilla takes a while to get going, but if you want to watch oversized creatures wreak havoc on big cities, the movie delivers the goods in a reasonably imaginative fashion. (Check out our video interview with Cranston, as well as this week’s Total Recall, in which we present a field guide to giant movie monsters.)



Million Dollar Arm

65%

Who doesn’t love an underdog sports story — especially one that’s based on true events? Critics say Million Dollar Arm is as pleasant as a day at the ballpark, but don’t expect any curveballs or changeups from the script. Jon Hamm stars as J.B. Bernstein, a sports agent whose clientele is short on major league stars. SSo he travels to India and holds a contest to find two strong-armed cricket bowlers who have the stuff to become big-league pitchers. The pundits say Million Dollar Arm is well-crafted and likeable, but it’s pretty predictable, and the film makes only limited use of its setting. (Watch our video interview with the stars, and flip through our gallery of big stars in baseball uniforms.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case, a documentary about the celebrated Chinese artist and political activist, is at 100 percent.
  • The American Nurse, a doc that profiles a diverse range of healthcare workers, is at 100 percent.
  • God’s Horses, a drama about a group of childhood friends who are recruited by a terrorist organization, is at 100 percent.
  • A People Uncounted, a drama about a group of childhood friends who are recruited by a terrorist organization, is at 100 percent.
  • The Immigrant, starring Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix in a period drama about a young Polish woman seeking a fresh start in New York City who’s forced into prostitution, is at 83 percent.
  • Chinese Puzzle, starring Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou in a dramedy about a Frenchman who becomes lonely when his wife goes to New York for work, is at 83 percent.
  • The Discoverers, starring Griffin Dunne in a comedy about a dysfunctional family that finds itself in the midst of a Lewis and Clark historical reenactment, is at 82 percent.
  • A Short History Of Decay, a comedy about an aimless writer who returns to his hometown to care for his ailing parents, is at 75 percent.
  • Half of a Yellow Sun, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton in a drama about two sisters whose lives take very different paths in the early years of Nigerian independence, is at 58 percent.
  • Wolf Creek 2, a slasher sequel in which tourists are terrorized by a psychopath on the Australian Outback, is at 47 percent.
  • A Night In Old Mexico, starring Robert Duvall in a drama about an elderly rancher who makes a run for the border with his grandson in tow, is at 36 percent.
  • Don Peyote, starring Dan Fogler in a comedy about a soon-to-be-married-guy who goes on a drug-fueled investigation into doomsday prophesies, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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