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

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