Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Tomorrowland is Visually Striking But Narratively Uneven

Plus, the Poltergeist reboot fails to live up to live up to the original, and Mad Men ends on a high note.

by | May 21, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a futuristic realm (Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney and Brittany Robertson) and a possessed property (Poltergeist, starring Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie DeWitt). What do the critics have to say?


Tomorrowland

50%

Heartfelt, audacious, and visually striking, Tomorrowland is a testament to the power of imagination. Unfortunately, critics say it’s only a half-successful one — while the film is dazzling to the eye, its storytelling is uneven and its overall effect is muted as a result. Brittany Robertson stars as Casey, a smart, idealistic teenager who can’t get the vision of a magical, futuristic realm out of her head. She discovers that Frank (George Clooney), a fallen scientific wunderkind, can help to transport her to the place of her dreams. The pundits say Tomorrowland deserves credit for eschewing predictability and conventionality, but the end result is more admirable than emotionally satisfying. (Check out this week’s Total Recall for our Tomatometer guide to Disneyland, and watch our video interview with Clooney, Robertson, and more.)



Poltergeist

31%

Haunted house movies never seem to go out of style, as The Conjuring, Insidious, and Paranormal Activity demonstrate. Now, an update of Poltergeist tries to out-scare the competition, but unfortunately, critics say it’s a professional but lackluster chiller with little to distinguish it beyond its brand name. Strapped for cash, Eric (Sam Rockwell) and Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) move their family into a suburban fixer-upper. Soon, however, their three children are bedeviled by mysterious supernatural entities, while Eric and Amy discover what happened to the house’s previous occupants. The pundits say Poltergeist offers up a few decent scares, but it’s a far cry from the inventive, iconic 1982 original. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of famous movie clowns.)

What’s On TV:


Person to Person” (92 percent) shoulders the burden of concluding a masterpiece by avoiding predictability while still offering a sweet sendoff for most of Mad Men‘s main characters.

Unbalanced storytelling and unnecessary, excessive brutality add up to disturbing viewing, although “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” (59 percent) still includes enough plot revelations to offer hope for future episodes.

Creepy and strange in the best way possible, Wayward Pines (Certified Fresh at 85 percent) is a welcome return to form for M. Night Shamalyan.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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