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

16%

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

Kids & Family Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt razzies spanish language Ellie Kemper rt labs Disney streaming service BBC black Video Games die hard IFC Films Elton John legend Box Office USA 2016 IFC Native ABC Signature Family worst cinemax Hallmark Paramount AMC joker genre psycho all-time spain Comedy Lionsgate travel mission: impossible children's TV Travel Channel ABC Family police drama Oscar mockumentary TBS Marvel Paramount Network 2017 werewolf zombies 4/20 Freeform CNN transformers Opinion TV Land singing competition football Writers Guild of America leaderboard cancelled Grammys New York Comic Con Sneak Peek GIFs Martial Arts Comedy Central cancelled TV shows twilight know your critic summer preview child's play batman Awards Tour VOD stop motion streamig Hulu Mindy Kaling HFPA television Classic Film E! nbcuniversal See It Skip It dreamworks Discovery Channel social media saw discovery USA Network Animation The Witch 45 Rocky Television Critics Association supernatural rt labs critics edition 21st Century Fox binge CMT Exclusive Video Fantasy Rock Sci-Fi IMDb TV game show First Reviews Trailer Netflix telelvision Crackle Horror AMC Plus king kong Anna Paquin The Arrangement FXX green book deadpool WarnerMedia broadcast Winter TV Creative Arts Emmys 79th Golden Globes Awards biography National Geographic cancelled TV series Amazon Prime Video GLAAD heist movie strong female leads Prime Video best Baby Yoda Tarantino Amazon Prime christmas movies GoT adventure satire President disaster fresh FOX doctor who YouTube Red kids witnail spinoff video Arrowverse rom-coms Fall TV Interview what to watch teaser summer TV screen actors guild diversity scene in color film series X-Men halloween rt archives TNT APB kong worst movies Vudu Marvel Television Podcast cars toronto new york hollywood theme song dceu Focus Features Comic-Con@Home 2021 94th Oscars robots Chilling Adventures of Sabrina CBS MSNBC Turner richard e. Grant 007 comic book movies comic book movie Music target scene in color Character Guide independent YA Legendary dramedy stoner Fargo sports scene in color pirates of the caribbean concert international trophy target Disney Channel PlayStation DC Universe book suspense comic books miniseries festivals films true crime Tumblr Superheroe Election Countdown spanish Pop TV Sundance harry potter Super Bowl venice NYCC fast and furious scorecard Pacific Islander toy story 24 frames cancelled television live event Ghostbusters zero dark thirty BET series new zealand south america Indigenous Action boxoffice Britbox Image Comics franchise 2021 latino anime Endgame Cannes TCA 2017 sag awards emmy awards WGN italian book adaptation Summer jamie lee curtis TV renewals documentaries historical drama Rocketman reboot TV Mary poppins Spectrum Originals scary movies Comic Book stand-up comedy Premiere Dates Holidays renewed TV shows foreign 20th Century Fox archives Peacock laika Infographic ViacomCBS Logo Walt Disney Pictures Avengers natural history anthology SDCC sequel live action MCU Toys debate summer TV preview posters scary crime drama kaiju 90s Biopics Calendar justice league Funimation Crunchyroll Heroines zombie medical drama dogs Shondaland South by Southwest Film Festival 93rd Oscars Hollywood Foreign Press Association canceled TV shows Chernobyl name the review crime thriller blaxploitation quibi free movies 71st Emmy Awards hist mcc Syfy australia Emmy Nominations BBC America scene in color series indiana jones Certified Fresh BBC One cartoon finale History mutant japan TruTV elevated horror RT History Esquire First Look directors TCA slasher Pet Sematary unscripted trailers YouTube Premium Captain marvel movie blockbuster American Society of Cinematographers VH1 blockbusters Sundance Now The Walking Dead Amazon Best Director Christmas Nominations VICE Black History Month 1990s Quiz monster movies hispanic Nat Geo Trophy Talk Mary Tyler Moore San Diego Comic-Con superman a nightmare on elm street screenings Adult Swim dc based on movie Brie Larson docuseries Star Wars Wes Anderson breaking bad period drama Tags: Comedy Best Actress Disney DirecTV revenge war Country animated Polls and Games comics TCA Awards mob SXSW 2022 parents sequels superhero Marvel Studios women ESPN Shudder reviews japanese Universal Musical ITV Extras gangster marvel cinematic universe critics action-comedy Dark Horse Comics Epix chucky golden globe awards CBS All Access Showtime romance Television Academy lord of the rings Rom-Com vs. Holiday game of thrones 2019 award winner Ovation obi wan art house Pixar romantic comedy YouTube Year in Review Pop ID Cosplay interviews Universal Pictures Apple TV+ politics young adult Amazon Studios 2018 technology BAFTA El Rey Awards LGBTQ Schedule NBA E3 Red Carpet Lucasfilm SXSW Apple adenture FX on Hulu Marathons OWN james bond high school dexter comiccon popular CW Seed Mystery The Academy critic resources Winners tv talk documentary criterion aliens 72 Emmy Awards 99% LGBT Hallmark Christmas movies 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Instagram Live HBO space A24 Reality Competition psychological thriller Photos HBO Go Women's History Month Alien streaming movies TV movies Fox News Geeked Week crossover Tubi NBC prank hispanic heritage month Best Actor godzilla Food Network universal monsters Superheroes rotten movies we love political drama cooking basketball vampires Masterpiece classics The Purge canceled festival FX 2015 slashers Lifetime Christmas movies Lifetime spider-verse crime TIFF streaming Paramount Pictures cults Binge Guide Best and Worst spider-man remakes indie obituary cops The Walt Disney Company royal family TLC DC Comics dark dragons Reality spy thriller DC streaming service Drama golden globes Columbia Pictures Tokyo Olympics Mudbound Musicals talk show Film Starz Star Trek boxing Watching Series serial killer SundanceTV biopic aapi ghosts BET Awards Fox Searchlight Paramount Plus sitcom olympics nfl Netflix Christmas movies ratings versus king arthur Broadway 73rd Emmy Awards Turner Classic Movies rotten PaleyFest Sundance TV comic Set visit Nickelodeon Spike Star Wars Celebration Tomatazos facebook news cats Song of Ice and Fire Pirates TCA Winter 2020 Black Mirror OneApp TCM 2020 Stephen King jurassic park Western RT21 The CW new star wars movies movies TV One Mary Poppins Returns adaptation thriller Academy Awards PBS Spring TV black comedy comedies Best Picture MTV MGM Bravo Hear Us Out nature ABC Comics on TV Sony Thanksgiving Apple TV Plus sopranos HBO Max Disney Plus Emmys DGA Film Festival Acorn TV Trivia Valentine's Day Disney+ Disney Plus science fiction french Pride Month A&E Neflix Sony Pictures feel good hidden camera marvel comics video on demand Cartoon Network Warner Bros. Oscars asian-american composers wonder woman halloween tv docudrama casting Teen