Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Home Is Colorful but Too Familiar

Plus, Get Hard wastes a clever premise, and It Follows is Certified Fresh.

by | March 26, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got animated misfits (Home, featuring voice performances by Rihanna and Steve Martin), inmates in training (Get Hard, starring Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart), and terrified teens (It Follows, starring Maika Monroe and Keir Gilchrist). What do the critics have to say?


Home

50%

It generally doesn’t take much to keep the little ones entertained, and critics say if that’s all you’re looking for, Home will probably do the trick. Just don’t expect anything you haven’t seen before. Jim Parsons voices Oh, a banished alien troublemaker, who befriends a girl named Tip (Rihanna) in search of her mother. With a larger alien threat looming on the horizon, will Tip and Oh succeed in helping each other find what they’re looking for? The pundits say Home is diverting enough, but its familiar plotting too often evokes the better films from which it clearly draws much of its inspiration. (Watch our video interview with Rihanna, Parsons, and co-star Steve Martin, and click here to see our gallery of the weirdest aliens from film and TV.)



Get Hard

28%

Plenty of big-screen comedies traffic in taboo subject matter, but sometimes satirical aims give way to offensive overindulgence. Critics say Get Hard isn’t funny enough to make its jokes about racism and prison rape palatable, though its talented cast is good for a few moments of inspiration. Will Ferrell stars as James King, an investment banker who gets a lengthy prison sentence on trumped-up charges of financial misdeeds. To prepare himself for life in the slammer, King hires Darnell (Kevin Hart) to teach him the ropes, paying little mind to the fact that Darnell is a law-abiding carwash owner. The pundits say Get Hard largely squanders an interesting idea and its talented leads on juvenile bits of dated, if not offensive, humor.



It Follows

96%

It Follows goes wide this weekend after earning rave reviews — and generating plenty of shudders — in its limited run. Maika Monroe stars as a suburban Michigan teen who becomes infected with a malevolent spirit after a sexual encounter, and it won’t stop pursuing her until she gives it to someone else — or dies. The pundits say It Follows is thought-provoking, clever, and properly terrifying, making it one of the best horror flicks to emerge in the past few years.

What’s On TV:


While Bloodline‘s tricky timeline detracts from the potency of the story and its characters, the show remains an addictive, tightly drawn brainteaser framed on a believable canvas.

Thanks to a liberal dose of propulsive, bloody action and enough compelling character moments to reward longtime fans, The Walking Dead‘s fifth season continues to deliver top-notch entertainment.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Man from Reno, a thriller about a mystery writer who stumbles into a strange missing persons case, is at 94 percent.
  • The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq, a French comedy depicting the bungled kidnapping of real life writer Michel Houellebecq — who plays himself — is at 88 percent.
  • White God, a drama from Hungary following an abandoned mongrel mutt as he leads an uprising against humans, is at 86 percent.
  • Wolf at the Door, a Brazilian drama about a married couple’s secrets that come to light when their child goes missing, is at 85 percent.
  • Cupcakes, a comedy about a group of friends who start a band in an attempt to win an Israeli singing competition, is at 82 percent.
  • Noah Baumbach‘s While We’re Young, starring Ben Stiller and Amanda Seyfried in a dramedy about a childless couple who feel energized when they begin hanging out with a younger hipster couple, is at 81 percent. (Watch our interview with costar Naomi Watts here.)
  • 52 Tuesdays, a drama about a woman in gender transition who meets with her daughter every Tuesday for a year, is at 75 percent.
  • Welcome to New York, starring Gerard Depardieu and Jacqueline Bisset in a thinly-fictionalized treatment of Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest for sexual assault, is at 73 percent.
  • The Riot Club, a drama about an exclusive Oxford University fraternity for the super wealthy, is at 65 percent.
  • Serena, starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in a period drama about a married couple who build a timber empire, is at 23 percent.

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