Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Is Criminally Unfunny

Plus, Unfriended offers solid thrills, Monkey Kingdom shines, and Game of Thrones is Certified Fresh.

by | April 16, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a silly security guard (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, starring Kevin James and Raini Rodriguez), tech-savvy teens (Unfriended, starring Shelley Hennig and Renee Olstead), and parental primates (the Disneynature documentary Monkey Kingdom). What do the critics have to say?


Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

5%

Despite a lukewarm reception from critics, Paul Blart: Mall Cop was a sizeable box office hit. So naturally, we’re treated to Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which critics say lacks even the modest charms of its predecessor — it’s indifferently performed, tonally jumbled, and almost entirely bereft of laughs. Kevin James returns as the self-important Blart, who’s been invited to a security guard convention in Vegas. Will our hero overcome gluttony and boorishness to thwart a brazen art heist and rescue his kidnapped daughter? The pundits say Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is a startlingly empty experience, one that James’ inherent likability does little to enliven. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down some of cinema’s most critically-panned second installments.)



Unfriended

62%

At first blush, Unfriended sounds pretty gimmicky: it’s a horror movie that consists entirely of footage from its teenage characters’ computer screens. However, critics say the result is smart and deeply unsettling, a clever thriller that has a thing or two to say about teen angst and modern communication. The plot: on the anniversary of a classmate’s death, a group of high schoolers are being hunted — via Skype — by her malevolent spirit. The pundits say Unfriended is an intelligent blend of form and content that feels utterly contemporary. (Watch our video interview with the cast here.)



Monkey Kingdom

93%

Who doesn’t love monkeys? Critics say Monkey Kingdom might be Disneynature’s best film to date, and its breathtaking footage of primates in the wild makes for action-packed viewing. Narrated by Tina Fey, the film follows a group of toque macaques who live in the Sri Lankan jungle near an abandoned temple, with special attention paid to a single mother and her child who are trying to fit in with their new community. The pundits say Monkey Kingdom‘s stars are a playful, colorful bunch, and if the film sometimes anthropomorphizes them, they’re still likely to please animal lovers of all ages.

What’s On TV:


Bloody action and extreme power plays return full throttle, as Game of Thrones (Certified Fresh at 97 percent) enjoys a new-found liberation from the world of the source material, resulting in more unexpected thrills.

With tight adherence to its source material’s history, high production quality, and a no-nonsense dramatic flair, Marvel’s Daredevil (Certified Fresh at 97 percent) excels as an effective superhero origin story, a gritty procedural, and an exciting action adventure.

Beautifully filmed and brilliantly acted, Wolf Hall (Certified Fresh at 100 percent) masterfully brings Hilary Mantel’s award-winning novels to life.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Alex of Venice, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Chris Messina in a drama about a woman who reinvents herself after her divorce, is at 82 percent.
  • The Oscar-nominated anti-war drama Tangerines, about two immigrant farmers who refuse to abandon their crops even with war on the horizon, is at 75 percent.
  • Felix & Meira, a drama about the tentative romance between a middle-aged atheist and a married Hasidic woman, is at 73 percent.
  • The Dead Lands, an adventure film about a Maori warrior who seeks to avenge his father’s murder and stave off an attack from a rival tribe, is at 60 percent.
  • True Story, a drama about a journalist working on a story about an accused killer who used the reporter’s name as an alias, is at 50 percent (check out our interview with stars Jonah Hill and James Franco).
  • Beyond The Reach, starring Michael Douglas in a thriller about a billionaire hunter who frames his guide for murder after accidentally shooting a man, is at 35 percent.
  • Child 44, starring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace in a period drama about a Soviet secret police agent on the trail of a serial killer, is at 23 percent.
  • Monsters: Dark Continent, a sci-fi action film about a platoon of American soldiers who must fight off an alien attack, is at 22 percent.
  • The Squeeze, starring Jeremy Sumpter and Christopher McDonald in a dramedy about three troubled young people who escape an institution and go on a road trip, is at 14 percent.
  • The Road Within, starring Dev Patel and Zöe Kravitz in a dramedy about three troubled young people who escape an institution and go on a road trip, is at 13 percent.

Tag Cloud

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