Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Source Code Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Hop is floppy, and Insidious is a devil of a good time.

by | March 31, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got identity intrigue (Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan); a funny bunny (Hop, starring James Marsden and Russell Brand); and a juvenile ghoul (Insidious, starring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne). What do the critics have to say?

Source Code


Recipe for a sci-fi thriller: take a sprig of Memento, a dash of Groundhog Day, and a pinch of Inception. Mix them together and you’ve got Source Code, which critics say is a smart, suspenseful popcorn flick with excellent performances. Director Duncan Jones’s follow-up to the bleak, haunting Moon, Source Code stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a soldier on a mission: to save a Chicago commuter train from a bomber. One issue: he’s part of a government experiment called the Source Code, in which he can transmogrify into the bodies of others for the last eight minutes of their lives, thereby finding clues as to the identity of the bomber. But can our hero save the day? And who is our hero, anyway? The pundits say the Certified Fresh Source Code is multiplex fare of a very high order: it’s challenging, emotionally engaging, and brutally exciting.



Easter’s right around the corner, so it would seem like an ideal time for a family comedy about a bunny battling with an army of chicks for control of the holiday, right? Unfortunately, critics say the CGI/live action hybrid Hop isn’t all that tasty – it might provide some laughs for the little ones, but parents and older siblings won’t find much to enjoy beyond some admittedly impressive animation. The seemingly ubiquitous Russell Brand provides the voice for E.B., a giant hare who ditches his pre-ordained occupation to become a drummer in L.A. After moving in with Fred (James Marsden), our cottontailed hero discovers that a bunch of little chicks are looking to depose his kind from making the annual rounds. The pundits say Hop lacks bounce — it’s short on both quality gags and inspiration, a confection that lacks substance. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we present a list of memorable movie rabbits.)



Insidious‘s setup doesn’t get any points for originality — it’s got a spooky house, creepy children, and a portal to a demonic world. However, it’s not the elements but how you put them together, and critics say Insidious is often a devilishly good time, a film that steadily builds an atmosphere of dread while dishing out shocks with efficiency. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne star as a young couple who’ve just moved into the perfect house — or so they think until the oldest of their three children falls into a coma, and seems to be attracting evil spirits. The pundits say Insidious is a good old fashioned horror flick crafted with style and smarts — though the film’s ending is a bit of a letdown after a terrific buildup. (Check out our roundup of the creepiest movie children.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Elephant In The Living Room, a documentary about people who keep exotic and deadly animals as pets, is at 100 percent.
  • Circo, doc about a Mexican family’s hundred-year-old traveling circus, is at 100 percent.
  • The 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner In A Better World, about the violent repercussions of school bullying, is at 83 percent.
  • The Four Times, a drama about the cycle of life in a small Italian village, is at 78 percent.
  • Trust, starring Clive Owen and Catherine Keener in a drama about the fallout from a teenager’s online encounter with a predator, is at 65 percent.
  • Super, starring Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page in a dramedy about a self-made superhero, is at 53 percent.
  • Rubber, a horror/comedy about an abandoned tire that comes to life, is at 50 percent.
  • Wrecked, starring Adrien Brody as a man who awakens to find himself trapped in a crashed car, is at 50 percent.
  • Queen to Play, starring Sandrine Bonnaire and Kevin Kline in the tale of a French chambermaid who becomes obsessed with chess, is at 50 percent.
  • Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, a documentary about a man’s attempt to lose weight and get off his meds, is at 50 percent.
  • Cat Run, starring Paz Vega in an action/comedy about two average guys who start a detective agency and stumble upon a deadly plot, is at 13 percent.

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