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


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


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.)



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


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

video TCA The Arrangement Brie Larson Emmy Nominations diversity know your critic Holiday prank cancelled TV series Television Academy canceled TV shows basketball golden globe awards CBS NBC dogs australia movie Awards Mystery streaming reboot WGN Masterpiece teaser Pop king kong Wes Anderson Starz comics mockumentary 2020 TCM transformers Musical TV Land a nightmare on elm street 24 frames space Trailer GLAAD Tumblr Arrowverse foreign razzies ABC Family MCU stop motion heist movie halloween Pet Sematary BET high school children's TV romantic comedy TBS FXX richard e. Grant BBC America trailers TLC AMC revenge blockbuster stand-up comedy VICE cancelled television Super Bowl cooking telelvision dramedy Country Pride Month medical drama Funimation 93rd Oscars Marvel Television spanish breaking bad documentary Christmas IFC Red Carpet Binge Guide Trophy Talk documentaries Summer TCA Awards Reality Competition serial killer Syfy Lifetime Christmas movies Winter TV fast and furious latino mission: impossible Sundance Now strong female leads new york Star Wars rotten movies we love Family disaster Shondaland comedies Fox Searchlight TCA 2017 99% Paramount Plus crossover robots composers harry potter what to watch kids Fantasy Spike laika jurassic park renewed TV shows Image Comics television Rom-Com true crime PaleyFest international GoT Avengers book Turner TV movies GIFs cops Reality 4/20 Lifetime Calendar james bond cancelled Fall TV cancelled TV shows docuseries Grammys APB Hallmark Toys Thanksgiving godzilla Captain marvel 1990s news hist comic name the review period drama Sneak Peek singing competition 007 werewolf Apple TV+ dragons The Witch LGBT unscripted 2018 movies tv talk Black History Month TruTV Ghostbusters critics TIFF criterion adenture 45 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina blaxploitation A24 Lucasfilm police drama green book wonder woman YA Valentine's Day casting new star wars movies Film Festival Pixar marvel cinematic universe slashers Lionsgate Rocky franchise archives comic books Disney Channel San Diego Comic-Con book adaptation elevated horror Amazon Prime Video target supernatural Sony Pictures Comic-Con@Home 2021 See It Skip It new zealand zero dark thirty sequels jamie lee curtis RT History Hallmark Christmas movies crime thriller Disney 2017 90s Quiz psycho Hear Us Out Spring TV politics christmas movies Mindy Kaling technology CW Seed USA Network Mary poppins die hard pirates of the caribbean talk show DC Comics boxoffice concert Infographic hidden camera Freeform First Reviews obituary Discovery Channel CBS All Access Travel Channel sequel festivals kong Cosplay Spectrum Originals Chernobyl YouTube Red Acorn TV ghosts HBO satire DirecTV cults finale Awards Tour hollywood Logo witnail Food Network Britbox natural history nature E3 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards dc Crunchyroll theme song romance Bravo Ovation dark Year in Review festival spain indie Tokyo Olympics films Disney streaming service historical drama PBS cartoon scene in color Election ITV HBO Max indiana jones nbcuniversal Netflix Christmas movies vampires worst movies SundanceTV President scorecard Best and Worst binge monster movies french Song of Ice and Fire Exclusive Video biography Box Office USA A&E Hulu ViacomCBS black Comic Book Vudu Ellie Kemper chucky ID HBO Go spy thriller adventure Disney+ Disney Plus crime drama Extras 2021 LGBTQ remakes ABC Crackle Sci-Fi The Walking Dead south america child's play X-Men quibi New York Comic Con Comedy Central spider-man Superheroes TCA Winter 2020 thriller football Paramount The Academy RT21 zombies 72 Emmy Awards Amazon Prime golden globes sitcom nfl classics 2016 spanish language docudrama Netflix Horror cinemax aapi 20th Century Fox 71st Emmy Awards directors political drama Martial Arts FOX fresh cats 21st Century Fox IFC Films Dark Horse Comics Apple batman Elton John Star Trek science fiction Emmys Certified Fresh Podcast psychological thriller Marathons Polls and Games 2019 series Interview spinoff Marvel Broadway Epix Teen mutant Fox News El Rey First Look TV renewals toy story MTV hispanic The Purge doctor who superman Apple TV Plus blockbusters comiccon Kids & Family VH1 Trivia discovery PlayStation canceled rom-coms FX Animation NYCC Paramount Network screenings miniseries game show boxing Warner Bros. Oscars ratings screen actors guild saw BAFTA Tarantino adaptation Creative Arts Emmys Character Guide BET Awards reviews cars Esquire Disney Plus Amazon Studios toronto Western Mary Poppins Returns Action Universal Sundance TV Cannes Superheroe VOD Mudbound streaming movies Tubi animated Pirates CMT Columbia Pictures Peacock Biopics Opinion Adult Swim Writers Guild of America WarnerMedia Drama anthology Comedy Rocketman award winner Watching Series DC streaming service Cartoon Network emmy awards History National Geographic Walt Disney Pictures rt archives legend Mary Tyler Moore Classic Film MSNBC Baby Yoda Anna Paquin crime TV One stoner Turner Classic Movies Video Games Pop TV The CW scary movies japanese italian Music Black Mirror DC Universe suspense Photos SDCC kaiju game of thrones facebook venice YouTube Premium CNN Shudder OWN Sundance dceu Tomatazos BBC E! Holidays FX on Hulu YouTube DGA rotten Schedule universal monsters zombie halloween tv Premiere Dates Set visit Showtime Legendary Television Critics Association twilight popular superhero Winners anime based on movie ABC Signature Stephen King Academy Awards versus Nickelodeon Nat Geo justice league japan travel TNT Film war aliens social media Marvel Studios joker Women's History Month parents video on demand Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt independent sag awards deadpool Heroines women Pacific Islander Rock American Society of Cinematographers sports Comics on TV Musicals asian-american live action free movies worst best all-time lord of the rings NBA OneApp olympics Nominations Countdown Amazon BBC One Endgame Alien SXSW TV ESPN The Walt Disney Company 2015