Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Thor: The Dark World is Pretty Strong

Plus, About Time is schmaltzy but charming, and 12 Years a Slave is Certified Fresh.

by | November 8, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the God of thunder (Thor: The Dark World, starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman) and a time-traveling romantic (About Time, starring Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams). What do the critics have to say?

Thor: The Dark World


With a half-dozen movie franchises and a network TV series, the Avengers ecosystem has been a commercial juggernaught for Marvel, though one could be forgiven for wondering if the brand is a bit over-extended. Thankfully, critics say Thor: The Dark World is a rock-solid entry in Marvel’s cinematic canon, with enough muscular thrills and goofy humor to compensate for its occasionally confusing plot. This time out, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must stop an ancient race called the Dark Elves from plunging the cosmos into darkness. Things get personal when one of the elves inhabits the body of Thor’s sweetheart Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), and he’s forced to team up with his untrustworthy brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in order to save the universe. The pundits say Thor: The Dark World suffers from a bit too much exposition, but its action sequences are suitably stirring and Tom Hiddleston’s puckish performance nearly steals the show. (Watch our video interviews with Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Portman, and more, and click through our gallery of Marvel movie heroes.)

About Time


Just because a romantic comedy is saccharine, schmaltzy, and predictable doesn’t mean it won’t turn audiences’ hearts to mush. Critics say that’s the case with About Time, an overly sentimental but often sweet and poignant charmer from Love Actually director Richard Curtis. Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) is a single guy who learns from his father that he has the ability to travel back in time to change his fate. However, when he utilizes his strange gift to woo Mary (Rachel McAdams), he discovers that other aspects of his life don’t quite line up the way he’d like them to. The pundits say that About Time is sometimes sappy and illogical, but Gleeson and McAdams make for an appealing onscreen couple. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down McAdams’ best-reviewed movies.)

12 Years a Slave


After winning raves in limited release, 12 Years a Slave goes wide this week, and critics say it’s arguably the most powerful cinematic depiction of slavery ever captured on film. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup, a free man who’s kidnapped and sold into slavery; he quickly learns that in order to survive, he must suppress his identity and keep his head down while periodically enduring a series of painful and dehumanizing punishments. The pundits say that the Certified Fresh 12 Years a Slave is a painful but important work, thanks to Steve McQueen‘s brilliant direction and an Oscar-worthy performance from Ejiofor.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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