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

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