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

20%

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

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