Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Super 8 is Certified Fresh

Plus, Judy Moody is kind of a bummer, and Midnight in Paris is Certified Fresh.

by | June 10, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a close encounter (Super 8, starring Kyle Chandler and Elle Fanning), a quest for fun (Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer, starring Jordana Beatty and Heather Graham), and a Gallic nostalgia trip (Midnight in Paris, starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams). What do the critics have to say?

Super 8


With films like Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg altered the cinematic landscape by combining B-movie thrills with sophistication and emotional heft. Now, with Spielberg producing, J.J. Abrams tries something similar with Super 8, and critics say it’s a both an expert homage to old-school 1970s proto-blockbusters and an exciting, heartfelt thrill-ride in its own right. Super 8 is the tale of a group of youngsters who, while filming a homemade movie, witness a horrific train crash. When the citizens of their small town become unnerved by a series of unexplained disappearances, the kids begin to suspect the crash might not have been an accident — and it may have unleashed something unworldly upon their sleepy community. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Super 8 pulls off the neat trick of being both suspenseful and poignant, with strong performances and an uncanny sense of the story-driven power of Spielberg’s early classics. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Spielberg’s best productions.)

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer


It’s an old adage, but it’s one that bears repeating: sometimes, what works on the page falls flat on the screen. Take Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer, for example: critics say this kiddie comedy — based upon the bestselling books by Megan McDonald — is an exercise in overblown whimsy that’s so manic it never slows down long enough to charm. Judy Moody is the tale of a precocious eight-year-old (played by Jordana Beatty) forced to spend the summer with her eccentric Aunt Opal (Heather Graham) when her parents and best friends leave town. But Judy’s got a plan, in the form of a checklist of adventures that, if achieved, count for “thrill points.” The pundits say that little kids might find some laughs in Judy Moody, but their parents and older siblings probably won’t; despite the good efforts of a game cast, the movie is hyper and noisy, with a plot that’s more a series of zany vignettes than a cohesive story.

Midnight in Paris


Even at this late stage of his career, Woody Allen is capable of wringing a few surprises out of his trademark formula. Critics say Midnight in Paris is a treat for Allen’s fans and romantics alike, a comedy about wish fulfillment that’s magical and touching. Owen Wilson stars as an aspiring novelist who, on a trip to Paris with his fiancée, is transported back to the city’s Jazz Age, sharing drinks with Salvador Dali, getting advice from Ernest Hemingway, and finding romance with a beautiful scenester (Marion Cotillard). But is our hero’s idealized 1920s Paris all that it’s cracked up to be? And is his fantasy incompatible with the real world? The critics say the Certified Fresh Midnight in Paris is a delight, with terrific performances from an all-star cast (particularly Wilson as Allen’s onscreen surrogate) and a dreamy sweetness that’s both funny and lovely.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • One Lucky Elephant, a documentary about a man’s attempt to move an adult circus pachyderm to a more natural environment, is at 100 percent.
  • The Trip, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in a largely improvised comedy about a pair of foodies on a jaunt across the English countryside, is at 85 percent.
  • Viva Riva!, a Congolese crime drama about a small-time hustler looking to make a big score without running afoul of the underworld, is at 83 percent.
  • Bride Flight, a drama about three Dutch women immigrating to New Zealand whose lives intersect with a fellow immigrant, is at 80 percent.
  • TrollHunter, a horror/comedy about a group of Norwegian film students who discover a terrifying mythic beast, is at 77 percent.
  • Road To Nowhere, a drama about a woman cast in a true crime film that shares many similarities with the victim she’s portraying, is at 71 percent.
  • Just Like Us, doc about a Middle Eastern tour of a group standup comedians, is at 67 percent.
  • Reversion, a meditative sci-fi drama about a woman with a mutation that doesn’t allow her to process time, is at 43 percent.

Tag Cloud

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