Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Rush and Don Jon Certified Fresh

Plus, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is silly fun, and Baggage Claim isn't worth the trip.

by | September 27, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got racing rivals (Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl); ravenous food (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, with voice performances from Bill Hader and Anna Faris); a lovestruck lothario (Don Jon, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson); and a desperate flight attendant (Baggage Claim, starring Paula Patton and Djimon Hounsou). What do the critics have to say?



The best sports movies are about more than winning or losing — they’re about the inner workings of the people that play the games. Critics say director Ron Howard‘s Rush excels both on and off the track — the racing scenes are incredibly tense, but it’s the human drama and outstanding performances that push this film into the winner’s circle. James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) are rival drivers with markedly different personalities and a shared history. As they battle it out for the 1976 Formula One championship, both drivers deal with personal traumas — and find a measure of mutual respect. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Rush is full of visual fireworks, but its nuanced portrait of two fierce competitors is what ultimately resonates. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Howard’s best-reviewed films.)

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a funny, exuberant surprise, so Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 was probably inevitable. Still, the critics say that while this sequel lacks the freshness of the original, it’s an energetic, visually inventive family movie. After dealing with torrents of raining food in the first film, the residents of Swallow Falls now have a mess of leftovers to clean up. But Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader), Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), and the rest of the town have bigger concerns than spoilage when a veritable army of food/animal hybrids start wreaking havoc. The pundits say Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 should please the little ones, and their parents will be reasonably satisfied as well. (Watch our video interviews with the cast, and click through our gallery of the worst movie meals.)

Don Jon


It’s an old adage that what every actor really wants to do is direct. However, critics say that few thespians have the natural talent behind the camera that Joseph Gordon-Levitt displays in Don Jon, a funny, insightful romantic comedy that handles tricky material with aplomb. Gordon-Levitt stars as Jon, a skilled pickup artist who falls head over heels for Barbara, a beautiful woman with more traditional views on romance. Soon, however, Jon’s porn addiction threatens to derail his real-life relationship. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Don Jon is a strong debut for Gordon-Levitt — his film is witty, visually stylish, and well acted.

Baggage Claim


Some material is so flimsy that even the most experienced actors prove unable to bring it to life. Unfortunately, critics say that’s the case with Baggage Claim, a romantic comedy that’s too contrived and clichéd to make much of an impression. Paula Patton stars as a flight attendant who wants to find Mr. Right before her sister ties the knot, so she hatches a plan to use her job to meet up with her exes and determine if they’re marriage material. The pundits say Baggage Claim hits the same notes as a number of successful romantic comedies without establishing much personality of its own.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • On the Job, a thriller about a pair of prison inmates who are enlisted to commit contract killings in exchange for reduced sentences, is at 100 percent.
  • Muscle Shoals, a rockumentary about the legendary Alabama recording studio, is at 100 percent.
  • Inequality For All, a documentary about the gap in income between the rich and poor, is at 96 percent.
  • Metallica Through the Never, starring Dane DeHaan in a thriller about a young roadie who encounters a variety of strange situations and people while on a mission for the band, is at 90 percent.
  • We Are What We Are, a horror film about a family with a controlling patriarch and a dark secret, is at 88 percent.
  • Shepard & Dark, a doc about the friendship between playwright Sam Shepard and bohemian Johnny Dark, is at 71 percent.
  • Out in the Dark, a drama about a love affair between a Palestinian student and an Israeli lawyer, is at 69 percent.
  • Dark Touch, a horror film about an 11-year-old outcast with telekinetic powers, is at 60 percent.
  • Morning, starring Leland Orser and Jeanne Tripplehorn in a drama about a couple who have just experienced the death of their child, is at 50 percent.
  • As I Lay Dying, starring James Franco and Danny McBride in an adaptation of William Faulkner’s novel about a family traveling through Mississippi to bury its recently deceased matriarch, is at 42 percent.

Tag Cloud

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