Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Rio is Certified Fresh

Plus, Scream 4 is a bloody good time, while The Conspirator is a smart but bloodless history lesson.

by | April 14, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got winged migration (Rio, with voice work from Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway), meta mayhem (Scream 4, starring Neve Campbell and Emma Roberts), and a historical trial (The Conspirator, starring Robin Wright Penn and James McAvoy). What do the critics have to say?



Rio

72%

As the old standard goes, “Return I will/ to old Brazil.” Sounds kinda like the plot of Rio, which critics say is a colorful, exuberant animated romp with good music and strong voice performances. Jesse Eisenberg is Blu, a domesticated macaw who travels to Brazil with his owner in search of another of his kind. There, he meets and befriends Jewel (Anne Hathaway), but soon our feathered friends have been bird-napped by animal smugglers. Will our heroes escape? Will hilarity ensue? To the latter question, yes, say pundits — the Certified Fresh Rio will almost certainly delight kiddies with its vivid colors, high energy, and good humor.



Scream 4

60%

It’s been 11 years since Ghostface last haunted the horror movie-obsessed teens of Woodsboro, so it’s not unfair to ask: how well does Wes Craven’s venerable franchise hold up after a decade of torture porn and reboots of 1970s horror warhorses? Pretty well, say critics, who call Scream 4 a worthy addition to the series, featuring the winking humor and bloody thrills that fans have come to expect. Neve Campbell is back as Sidney Prescott, now a celebrated author, who returns to her hometown as part of her book tour. Naturally, her homecoming coincides with the reappearance of Ghostface, who’s back to his old teen-murdering ways. The pundits say Scream 4 isn’t the sharpest installment, but its cast contributes smart, game performances, and it’s much smarter — and funnier — than the vast majority of its contemporaries. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Craven’s best-reviewed movies, and Emma Roberts’s Five Favorite Films.)



The Conspirator

55%

Making history come to life is a difficult task. Director Robert Redford tries his best with The Conspirator, based on a fascinating chapter in the aftermath of Lincoln’s assassination, but critics say the film, despite its strong performances and handsome craftsmanship, struggles to overcome its textbook feel. Robin Wright Penn stars as Mary Surratt, the only woman charged in the conspiracy to assassinate the president; as her case goes to trial, she faces the wrath of an angry public, and it’s up to her lawyer (James McAvoy) to get to the truth of the accusations in order to save his client. The pundits say The Conspirator has a lot going for it, including a terrific cast and thorny ethical dilemmas that mirror our current times, but the movie sometimes feels more like a historical reenactment than a drama.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Armadillo, a documentary that follows Danish and British soldiers fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, is at 90 percent.
  • The Princess Of Montpensier, a period drama about love and intrigue among 16th century French aristocrats, is at 85 percent.
  • The Italian import The Double Hour, about a passionate romance between an ex-cop and a chambermaid that takes a dark turn, is at 83 percent.
  • A Screaming Man, a drama about the impact of unrest in Chad on a pool maintenance man and his son, is at 80 percent.
  • Footprints, about an amnesiac’s journey to some of Hollywood’s most famous sites, is at 20 percent.
  • Atlas Shrugged Part I, the first installment of a proposed trilogy based upon Ayn Rand’s Objectivist novel, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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