Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Red 2 is Mindlessly Silly and The Conjuring is Certified Fresh

Plus, Turbo is safe but solid, and guess R.I.P.D.'s Tomatometer.

by | July 18, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got old school operatives (Red 2, starring Bruce Willis and John Malkovich), a haunted house (The Conjuring, starring Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), a speedy snail (Turbo, with voice work by Ryan Reynolds and Paul Giamatti), and afterlife cops (R.I.P.D., starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds). What do the critics have to say?

Red 2

44%

2010’s Red was a Certified Fresh action comedy featuring some distinguished veteran actors, and while many of them have returned for Red 2, critics say this sequel doesn’t have a whole lot else going for it. Bruce Willis reprises his role as former CIA agent Frank Moses, who’s enjoying civilian life with Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) when he’s alerted to yet another plot to have him offed; in order to clear his name, he’ll have to track down a nuclear weapon and avoid being taken out by an old friend. The pundits say Red 2 benefits again from its talented cast, who seem to be having fun, but its empty, rote action scenes are missing the first film’s sense of gleeful mayhem.

The Conjuring

86%

Horror films have only rarely earned critical acclaim, and with The Conjuring, genre veteran James Wan seems to have learned from his past mistakes; critics say it’s one of the best chillers to hit the big screen in recent years. Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga) are paranormal detectives who are summoned by the Perron family to investigate mysterious goings on in their new home; as the Warrens dig deeper, they come face to face with a terrifying presence intent on pure destruction. The pundits say the Certified Fresh The Conjuring is an unnerving, smartly crafted film that’s supremely effective at ratcheting up the tension and delivering plenty of scares. (Watch interviews with the cast and crew of the film.)

Turbo

67%

The kid-friendly counterprogramming comes this week in the form of Turbo, a DreamWorks Animation project with an impressive voice cast and a fun concept; critics say it’s not bad, but it certainly had the potential to be better. Theo (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) is a garden snail who calls himself Turbo and wants nothing more than to be a world class racer; the problem is, of course, that he’s a garden snail. When a freak accident imbues Theo with super speed, he sees an opportunity to fulfill his dream and attempts to enter the Indy 500. The pundits say Turbo could have made better use of its wacky premise, but it features some snappy voice acting (Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Pena, and Bill Hader co-star) and the visuals are often thrilling.

R.I.P.D.

12%

As much as we’d love to tell you that R.I.P.D. is a rip-roaring mashup of True Grit and Men in Black, it wasn’t widely screened for reviews prior to its release. What we can tell you is that it stars Ryan Reynolds (pulling double-duty this week with Turbo) and Jeff Bridges as a pair of afterlife lawmen who roam among the living to hunt down monstrous supernatural criminals disguised as regular people. You know the drill: it’s time to guess the Tomatometer! (Check out our list of co-star Kevin Bacon’s best reviewed movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

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