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

81%

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

19%

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

93%

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

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