Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Impossible is Certified Fresh

Plus, Promised Land is earnest but implausible, and Texas Chainsaw 3D wasn't screened -- guess the Tomatometer!

by | January 3, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a family in peril (The Impossible, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor), a town versus a corporation (Promised Land, starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski), and killer with a chainsaw (Texas Chainsaw 3D, starring Alexandra Daddario and Tremaine “Trey Songz” Neverson). What do the critics have to say?

The Impossible


Based upon a true story, The Impossible puts viewers though a ringer, and critics say the film is both visceral and harrowing, despite the occasional attempt at emotional manipulation. Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star as parents on vacation in Thailand with their three children when a brutal tsunami hits and forces them to fight for their lives. The pundits say the Certified Fresh The Impossible is sometimes a bit too schmaltzy, but it’s ultimately an inspiring, powerful tale of survival.

Promised Land


Promised Land has a prestigious cast (Matt Damon, Frances McDormand, John Krasinski) and a distinguished director (Gus Van Sant), and it tackles a hot-button issue (fracking). Unfortunately, critics say it’s also over-earnest and contains several implausible plot twists. Corporate salesman Steve Butler (Damon) is dispatched to an economically depressed town to secure drilling rights for an energy company. However, he meets resistance from a grassroots effort by local residents. The pundits say Promised Land is both well-acted and well-meaning, but it never quite reconciles its story with its political aims.

Texas Chainsaw 3D


It appears that the folks behind Texas Chainsaw 3D are concerned that their film is way too scary for weak-willed movie critics, since it wasn’t screened prior to its release. Once again, a scary dude named Leatherface is terrifying teenagers deep in the heart of Texas. Hey everybody, time to ring in the new year by playing guess the Tomatometer! (And check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down some memorable 3D horror movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • 56 Up, the latest installment of the long-running British documentary series that checks in with its subjects every seven years, is at 100 percent.
  • A Bottle in the Gaza Sea, a drama about a long-distance friendship between an Israeli girl and a Palestinian boy, is at 56 percent.
  • A Dark Truth, starring Andy Garcia and Forest Whitaker in a thriller about an ex-CIA agent who investigates a massacre in South America, is at zero percent.