Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Insurgent is a Muddled Mess

Plus, The Gunman misses the mark, and iZombie and Community are Certified Fresh.

by | March 19, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a rebellious teen (Insurgent, starring Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet) and a repentant assassin (The Gunman, starring Sean Penn and Javier Bardem). What do the critics have to say?



Shailene Woodley is well on her way to becoming one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. However, critics say there’s only so much she can do to save Insurgent, a middling middle chapter with frenetic action sequences but little narrative cohesion or character development. This time out, Tris (Woodley) and her fellow Divergents are on the run from evil overlord Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), who wants to exterminate the rebels and take control of futuristic Chicago’s various factions. The pundits say Insurgent is a definite step back for the franchise, as its excessive violence and confusing story overwhelm a terrific cast. (Watch our video interview with Woodley and co-stars Theo James, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, and Octavia Spencer, and click through our gallery of young adult novels that have been adapted to film.)

The Gunman


The veteran actor-shooting-people action subgenre is all the rage these days, and The Gunman has two things to set it apart from the pack: geopolitics and Sean Penn. Unfortunately, critics say it’s pretty generic otherwise, with a predictable plot and a shortage of energy. Years after carrying out a hit in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jim Terrier (Penn) is working for a humanitarian organization when he discovers he’s the target of a shadowy organization — and that his ex has fallen into its clutches. The pundits say The Gunman benefits greatly from its scenic locations, but otherwise, this is a so-so thriller that doesn’t live up to its lofty ambitions. (Check out Penn’s best-reviewed films here.)

What’s On TV:

Despite cast and broadcast changes, Community (Certified Fresh at 91 percent) manages to remain at the top of its quirky class.

An amusing variation on the zombie trend, iZombie (Certified Fresh at 90 percent) is refreshingly different, if perhaps too youth-oriented to resonate with adult audiences.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Metalhead, a dramedy about a girl who immerses herself in heavy metal as a way of dealing with the death of her older brother, is at 100 percent.
  • Spring, starring Lou Taylor Pucci in a horror film about an American backpacker who strikes up a relationship with an Italian woman who’s harboring a shocking secret, is at 95 percent.
  • Amour Fou, a drama about writer Heinrich von Kleist and his attempt to get a society woman to join him in a suicide pact, is at 94 percent.
  • Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, starring Rinko Kikuchi in a drama about a woman who leaves behind her life in Japan to search for the buried cash in Fargo, is Certified Fresh at 89 percent.
  • Backcountry, a thriller about a couple that gets lost while hiking in the remote Canadian wilderness, is at 83 percent.
  • Jauja, starring Viggo Mortensen in a period drama about a Danish engineer who goes searching for his daughter after she runs off with a soldier, is at 78 percent.
  • She’s Lost Control, a drama about a sex surrogate whose life is thrown into disarray when she gets too close to one of her clients, is at 75 percent.
  • Zombeavers, a horror comedy about three friends vacationing at remote cabin who are menaced by the title creatures, is at 60 percent.
  • Danny Collins, starring Al Pacino and Christopher Plummer in a dramedy about a veteran rocker who decides to change his ways after discovering a long-lost letter from a music legend, is at 61 percent.
  • Tracers, starring Taylor Lautner in an action flick about a crew of thieves who use their parkour skills for a series of daring heists, is at 14 percent.
  • Growing Up and Other Lies, starring Adam Brody and Amber Tamblyn in a comedy about a group of millennials who walk across Manhattan while discussing the state of their lives, is at 14 percent.
  • David O. Russell‘s Accidental Love, starring Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal in a romantic comedy about a woman whose behavior changes when she gets a nail lodged in her skull, is at zero percent.
  • The Walking Deceased, a spoof of zombie apocalypse movies, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

YouTube Premium game show police drama crossover cancelled TV shows satire Marathons disaster basketball Holiday Film Festival Disney Plus facebook twilight Fox Searchlight CBS legend 71st Emmy Awards Ellie Kemper Mudbound HBO obituary Infographic Mary Poppins Returns HBO Max thriller nature jurassic park unscripted biopic Masterpiece CNN Horror toy story television concert CMT Schedule black comedy Brie Larson Rock kong ratings name the review Cannes Hulu Netflix Christmas movies Tokyo Olympics mcc SXSW Mary poppins technology ID Mystery Summer live action diversity TV One HBO Go james bond cults Sundance TV Western 93rd Oscars sopranos comedies Binge Guide Tarantino Starz IFC universal monsters trophy LGBTQ IFC Films Trophy Talk Adult Swim classics rotten scary movies cooking mission: impossible robots free movies revenge MSNBC popular australia USA Network historical drama FXX Rom-Com period drama superhero gangster sitcom psychological thriller TCA Awards TCA Winter 2020 2016 crime rt labs Logo Disney+ Disney Plus composers theme song Valentine's Day casting godzilla genre Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt IMDb TV true crime binge Election Endgame Showtime HFPA scene in color Freeform live event Academy Awards Christmas Oscars criterion high school Pacific Islander Rocky CBS All Access ABC Signature TCA Shondaland biography dreamworks SDCC psycho Podcast slashers Spring TV Television Critics Association Comic Book golden globes Sneak Peek king arthur TNT Apple rotten movies we love social media Biopics cops cars Universal Pictures Sony Pictures Nickelodeon slasher RT History kaiju 99% science fiction stop motion Calendar Writers Guild of America OneApp crime drama news Fantasy First Reviews Music Watching Series Extras Emmy Nominations international Creative Arts Emmys E! justice league Black History Month Drama Trailer DC Comics heist movie New York Comic Con Spike The Purge festival children's TV book Quiz dexter posters Travel Channel video richard e. Grant Winners based on movie teaser sequel Nominations blaxploitation A24 TCM adventure Crackle Bravo Heroines DGA rom-coms discovery vs. Amazon Prime Video scorecard Character Guide streaming movie Emmys ViacomCBS Universal romantic comedy green book laika Dark Horse Comics dramedy art house comics marvel cinematic universe Marvel Television superman Tumblr Best and Worst Pop TV mutant Musical miniseries TLC spanish language Baby Yoda suspense Television Academy President Toys screen actors guild Amazon Prime Interview italian Opinion 2017 Broadway Action versus Superheroes PaleyFest Reality south america parents political drama YouTube Red animated all-time Winter TV Lionsgate Cosplay Exclusive Video NBC GIFs blockbuster Legendary docuseries new zealand wonder woman Animation japanese trailers Super Bowl emmy awards football 007 werewolf Comic-Con@Home 2021 Fox News witnail saw Trivia spinoff strong female leads films Paramount hidden camera FX on Hulu comic book movies Teen reboot Acorn TV BET Awards 2015 Premiere Dates ghosts National Geographic Martial Arts Family Certified Fresh Sundance Now Mindy Kaling dragons tv talk comic book movie Awards Tour History 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards spider-man Marvel Studios Ovation Columbia Pictures movies Tags: Comedy CW Seed breaking bad politics Amazon Studios zero dark thirty Sci-Fi Alien Britbox 4/20 VH1 NBA 2018 Paramount Plus crime thriller First Look french olympics comiccon critic resources Pixar reviews Ghostbusters The Arrangement YouTube hollywood remakes Mary Tyler Moore toronto TV Land Star Trek San Diego Comic-Con MCU deadpool Lifetime video on demand japan sag awards stoner action-comedy target elevated horror The CW cancelled Superheroe spider-verse medical drama Classic Film ABC Image Comics A&E FOX 72 Emmy Awards Pop AMC Plus RT21 Cartoon Network FX quibi Film Shudder 21st Century Fox space Polls and Games The Walking Dead nfl Hollywood Foreign Press Association Star Wars dark Chilling Adventures of Sabrina razzies dogs finale TV renewals royal family golden globe awards Spectrum Originals BBC nbcuniversal Pride Month 2021 Nat Geo halloween comic independent E3 indie kids Video Games GoT Awards Set visit APB Wes Anderson Warner Bros. YA Thanksgiving worst hist Elton John Fall TV game of thrones mob a nightmare on elm street Stephen King singing competition Comedy Central halloween tv know your critic LGBT PBS canceled TV shows See It Skip It stand-up comedy book adaptation sequels TV movies archives boxoffice TruTV BBC America VICE Neflix Country Discovery Channel chucky American Society of Cinematographers comic books prank 2019 Apple TV+ Comics on TV Song of Ice and Fire Disney streaming service Tomatazos docudrama USA Prime Video harry potter 79th Golden Globes Awards leaderboard 24 frames Anna Paquin Avengers scary BBC One sports BET doctor who 73rd Emmy Awards PlayStation king kong Esquire best 45 talk show new york boxing X-Men transformers Fargo Paramount Network Disney Channel streaming movies The Walt Disney Company TBS fresh young adult Instagram Live VOD Sundance BAFTA Tubi indiana jones El Rey DirecTV travel Hear Us Out OWN rt labs critics edition Walt Disney Pictures lord of the rings WarnerMedia aapi spy thriller canceled SundanceTV feel good spain vampires NYCC worst movies Marvel Comedy monster movies TCA 2017 cats zombie new star wars movies Pet Sematary dceu adenture anthology WGN ABC Family Lucasfilm cancelled television asian-american ITV Crunchyroll directors Captain marvel Turner Classic Movies romance venice award winner TIFF Food Network supernatural die hard marvel comics cartoon Reality Competition Netflix Funimation women anime zombies Women's History Month Hallmark Christmas movies mockumentary Year in Review telelvision dc Photos Peacock adaptation ESPN Hallmark Kids & Family critics Musicals black hispanic heritage month festivals latino DC streaming service 20th Century Fox fast and furious child's play TV batman rt archives 90s 1990s Lifetime Christmas movies blockbusters Box Office aliens The Witch documentaries screenings Red Carpet jamie lee curtis documentary The Academy hispanic spanish Black Mirror DC Universe franchise Countdown joker pirates of the caribbean Epix Grammys Rocketman renewed TV shows Vudu Amazon what to watch Syfy cancelled TV series christmas movies Apple TV Plus debate 2020 AMC Turner MTV natural history war series cinemax Chernobyl Pirates serial killer Disney foreign Arrowverse GLAAD Holidays