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

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