Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Pirates! Band of Misfits Is Certified Fresh

Plus, The Five-Year Engagement is overlong but sweet, Safe is predictable but exciting, and The Raven is spooky but dull.

by | April 27, 2012 | Comments

 

This week at the movies, we’ve got silly seafarers (The Pirates! Band of Misfits, with voice work from Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson); longtime companions (The Five-Year Engagement, starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt); mafia targets (Safe, starring Jason Statham and Catherine Chan); and a literary gumshoe (The Raven, starring John Cusack and Alice Eve). What do the critics have to say?



The Pirates! Band of Misfits

86%

Aardman Animations, the folks behind Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit films, make animated features the old-fashioned way: using stop-motion claymation. And critics say they’ve got another winner with The Pirates! Band of Misfits, a bright, breezy, gleefully eccentric nautical adventure/comedy. A pirate captain named Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) is on a quest to win the prestigious Pirate of the Year Award; along the way, buckles are swashed, planks are walked, and ships are plundered (ineffectively, but still). The pundits say the Certified Fresh Pirates! Band of Misfits stands as another triumph for Aardman — it’s filled with witty sight gags and inventive visual touches, and it’s likely to amuse both children and their parents.



The Five-Year Engagement

63%

With their patented mix of heart and raunch, Judd Apatow‘s productions — including, but not limited to, Superbad and Bridesmaids — have scored big with audiences and reviewers. Critics say The Five-Year Engagement doesn’t quite measure up to those standards, but despite some slack pacing, it’s still a pretty warm and honest look at modern love. Jason Segel and Emily Blunt star as Tom and Violet, whose matrimonial happiness is perpetually delayed by everything from bad luck to professional complications. The pundits say The Five-Year Engagement is way too long, and not every gag is a winner, but it’s redeemed by some big laughs and the sweet, believable chemistry between its leads. (Check out our countdown of the best-reviewed wedding movies here.)



Safe

57%

Jason Statham is equally adept at roundhouse kicks and existential brooding. And while not every Statham vehicle is created equal, critics say Safe is better than most; though it’s formulaic to the bone, the film is gritty and exciting thanks in large part to its star’s charisma and acrobatics. Statham stars as Luke Wright, an ultimate fighter who botches a fixed fight, drawing the ire of the mafia. However, when he rescues and protects a 12-year-old girl with valuable information in her head, the two are pursued by both mobsters and corrupt government officials. The pundits say Safe is really predictable, but it’s an efficient, tough yarn that should satisfy adrenaline junkies. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down memorable movies with matching titles.)



The Raven

22%

The Raven is an odd (if intriguing) bird: it’s a period thriller in which Edgar Allen Poe helps to track a serial killer inspired by the author’s most macabre works. But, to paraphraseth the titular poem, critics say the result has made them weak and weary, as it vainly tries to borrow from fantastic terrors we’ve seen before. After a series of brutal slayings, a young detective calls upon Poe (John Cusack) to help ensure that the writer’s most homicidal fan will kill nevermore. The pundits say The Raven has a spooky gothic look, but it’s mostly a gloomy procedural that offers few thrills — or insights into Poe’s life and works. (Check out Cusack’s Five Favorite Films here.).)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

Holidays President Ghostbusters Pop diversity Star Trek romance TCM crime spy thriller Paramount 45 Superheroes ESPN Toys Emmys Universal Freeform Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Schedule Mary Tyler Moore AMC 2017 supernatural Masterpiece docudrama TV Land serial killer Warner Bros. Cosplay adventure dceu TCA 2017 binge Set visit USA golden globes Mindy Kaling Musicals Trailer Polls and Games BBC war LGBTQ Music MSNBC Western Syfy The Arrangement Ellie Kemper Adult Swim See It Skip It E3 politics Musical boxoffice Reality Competition political drama travel Year in Review what to watch cats 007 Amazon sports First Look TLC Logo 2016 Teen HBO period drama sitcom dramedy Comedy Central technology harry potter X-Men crime thriller El Rey Mystery Comedy Marathons TNT Reality justice league TCA Star Wars VICE Cartoon Network TIFF PaleyFest Disney Channel Pirates ABC Family TV Infographic Bravo biography OWN CMT Podcast SDCC Starz cooking Lifetime A&E DC Comics zombie Election Nickelodeon composers BBC America Food Network medical drama GoT crime drama Photos WGN TBS History NYCC Martial Arts Disney The CW Best and Worst Thanksgiving singing competition GLAAD Showtime Kids & Family vampires IFC CBS All Access Tumblr Rock based on movie Fox News Opinion Interview DC Universe Super Bowl Countdown Calendar Watching Series police drama Oscars transformers FXX Hulu science fiction comiccon Fall TV Red Carpet Crackle Dark Horse Comics American Society of Cinematographers Grammys Christmas Esquire Nat Geo Box Office MTV Action Sundance SundanceTV dc Valentine's Day APB Video Games BET VH1 Winners CBS Premiere Dates FOX Marvel GIFs Sneak Peek thriller NBC Sci-Fi Summer ratings psycho Character Guide Horror Certified Fresh ABC Lionsgate Biopics Winter TV RT History Tomatazos talk show PBS USA Network Trivia TruTV Spring TV E! social media Awards Netflix Drama 2015 Animation historical drama ITV aliens Rocky Comic Book FX Country YA Nominations CNN 24 frames Creative Arts Emmys Writers Guild of America cinemax 21st Century Fox Spike Rom-Com Fantasy cops DirecTV discovery Extras