Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Terminator Genisys Is Bombastic and Confusing

Plus, Magic Mike XXL is lightweight but fun, and Humans is Certified Fresh.

by | July 2, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got deadly machines (Terminator Genisys, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Emilia Clarke) and muscular dudes (Magic Mike XXL, starring Channing Tatum and Jada Pinkett Smith). What do the critic have to say?

Terminator Genisys


“I’m old, not obsolete,” says Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator Genisys. That might be wishful thinking. Critics say the latest entry in the Terminator franchise benefits from the Governator’s return to his most iconic role, but the rest of the film is a mishmash of confusing plotting and wall-to-wall special effects, with little of the smarts and heart that made this universe so appealing in the first place. This time out, Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) goes back in time to defend Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) from a killer robot. But when he arrives, he discovers that Sarah has joined forces with the T-800 (Schwarzenegger), altering the future and setting up an apocalyptic battle between man and machine. The pundits say Terminator Genisys references its predecessors but brings little new to the table beyond several plot twists that make little sense on reflection. (Check out our video interviews with the stars, and this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Schwarzenegger’s best-reviewed films.)

Magic Mike XXL


For a movie about male strippers, Magic Mike was darker and more thoughtful than people expected. The sequel is all about the dancing, and critics say that while Magic Mike XXL is awful thin in the plot department, it’s got plenty of goofy, infectious energy, thanks in large part to Channing Tatum in the title role. The Kings of Tampa decide that if they’re going to leave the adult entertainment world behind, they should go out with a bang. So they head for the Male Strippers Convention in South Carolina to strut their stuff one final time. The pundits say Magic Mike XXL is undoubtedly lightweight, but it’s a lot of fun, thanks to strong performances and lively dance numbers. (Flip through our gallery of memorable strippers from TV and the movies.)

What’s On TV:

With “Night Finds You” (85 percent), True Detective deftly contextualizes its four main characters, even if some of their backstories feel stale.

Humans (Certified Fresh at 85 percent) is a mature, high-octane thriller offering emotional intrigue and thought-provoking suspense that should prove irresistible to sci-fi fans while remaining accessible enough to lure in genre agnostics.

Lacking truly compelling characters or scenarios, Scream (53 percent) is forced to trade too heavily on nostalgia for its big-screen predecessors in the franchise.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Stray Dog, a documentary about an aging biker working to help his fellow Vietnam vets, is at 100 percent.
  • Zarafa, an animated drama (based on true events) about a boy and a giraffe who travel from Egypt to France, is at 100 percent.
  • Amy, a documentary about the brilliant and troubled R&B chanteuse Amy Winehouse, is Certified Fresh at 97 percent.
  • Cartel Land, a documentary that looks at the drug trade from both sides of the U.S.-Mexican border, is at 95 percent.
  • A Poem is a Naked Person, Les Blank‘s long-unreleased documentary portrait of rocker Leon Russell, is at 92 percent.
  • Mala Mala, a documentary about members of the transgender community in Puerto Rico, is at 89 percent.
  • Ken Loach‘s Jimmy’s Hall, a period drama about a small-town dance hall that acts a refuge during a tumultuous moment in Irish history, is at 72 percent.
  • Closer to God, a sci-fi thriller about the a doctor who clones a baby and then must deal with the fallout, is at 55 percent.
  • Jackie & Ryan, starring Katherine Heigl and Ben Barnes in a drama about two musicians with personal problems who bond after a chance encounter, is at 54 percent.

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