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?



Insurgent

28%

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

17%

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

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