Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Parental Advisory for Baby Mama; Harold and Kumar Is Up In Smoke

Plus, Deception proves defective.

by and | April 24, 2008 | Comments

This week at the movies, we have expecting ladies (Baby Mama, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler), on-the-lam stoners (Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay, starring John Cho and Kal Penn), and embroiled bankers (Deception, starring Hugh Jackman and Ewan McGregor). What do the critics have to say?

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was a delightful surprise — a stoner comedy that made more than a few trenchant points about American race relations. The critics say Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay has plenty of laughs, but is shorter on smarts than its predecessor. In Guantanamo, Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) attempt to smuggle a bong onto a flight to Amsterdam, and are subsequently accused of a terrorist plot; the pair go on the run from the law, encountering babes, marijuana, and Neil Patrick Harris along the way. The pundits say this lowbrow, un-P.C. comedy has its moments, but the easy charm and originality of the original is missing. It’s currently at 54 percent on the Tomatometer. (Check out RT’s interview with John Cho here.)


“I told you I could light it 10 times in a row!”
Tina Fey is one of the brightest talents to emerge from Saturday Night Live in recent years; as an actor and writer for Mean Girls and TV’s 30 Rock, she’s proven herself to be a sharp satirist of modern times. Fey and her Baby Mama co-star Amy Poehler go a long way toward making this surrogate pregnancy comedy watchable, critics say. Fey stars as a career woman who can’t conceive a child, so she turns to a working girl (Poehler) to carry her baby; hilarity ensues when Poehler loses her job and moves in with Fey. The pundits say Baby Mama lacks the sharp wit to be a truly subversive comedy about our baby-obsessed culture, and the film too often relies on bathroom humor to generate laughs. However, they also note the cast is outstanding, with Fey and Poehler playing nicely off each other. Baby Mama currently stands at 60 percent on the Tomatometer.

“Guess which one of these ladies has volunteered to enter the
containment unit?”


You know exactly what you’re getting with a title like Deception: an expendable potboiler with inexplicably big names attached to it. Ewan McGregor stars as a Wall Street banker who is invited into an ominous sex club by his friend (Hugh Jackman), only to become a suspect in a woman’s (Michelle Williams) disappearance. Critics say this limp thriller’s major flaw is its obsession with piling inane plot twists and turns, most of which can be easily deduced well before they arrive. At 13 percent, Deception is all smoke and mirrors.

“So what if I said Dawson’s Creek is bad?”

Also opening this week in limited release:
Without the King, a documentary about Swaziland, the world’s last absolute monarchy, is at 100 percent.
Bomb It, a doc about graffiti artists from around the world, is at 78 percent.
Standard Operating Procedure, Errol Morris‘ examination of Abu Ghraib, is at 76 percent.
Roman de Gare, the new thriller from Oscar-winning director Claude Lelouch, is at 75 percent.
Then She Found Me, Helen Hunt‘s directorial debut, is at 64 percent.

Stuff and Dough, a suspense thriller from Romania, is at 57 percent.
And Deal, a poker drama starring Burt Reynolds, is at zero percent.

Burt spending his hard-earned Uwe Boll money.

Recent Hugh Jackman Movies:
74% — Flushed Away (2006)
51% — The Fountain (2006)
74% — Happy Feet (2006)
75% — The Prestige (2006)
37% — Scoop (2006)

Tag Cloud

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