This week at the movies, we’ve got a high-flying house (Up, with voice work by Ed Asner and Christopher Plummer) and a demonic curse (Drag Me to Hell, starring Alison Lohman and Justin Long). What do the critics have to say?
At this point, raving about Pixar is almost cliché. Every one of the company’s features is Certified Fresh, and all but one is about 90 percent on the Tomatometer. But there’s a reason for such critical adulation: Pixar continues to expand the boundaries of the animation medium, and the critics say Up is yet another winner. Up is the tale of the curmudgeonly Carl Fredricksen who rigs his house with hundreds of balloons with the intention of floating to South America. Along for the ride is Russell, an irrepressible eight-year old with a jones for exploration, and together they discover strange wildlife and a talking dog. The pundits say Up is whimsical, poignant, mature, and hilarious; better still, it puts Pixar’s deft storytelling and technical skills on full display. At 97 percent on the Tomatometer, Up isn’t just Certified Fresh, it’s also one of the best-reviewed films of the year. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down all of Pixar’s offerings by Tomatometer.)
Sam Raimi started out making perversely entertaining horror fare like the Evil Dead movies before helming blockbusters like Spider-Man. With Drag Me to Hell, the pundits say he’s back and in outstanding B-movie form. Alison Lohman stars as a loan officer who becomes the victim of a curse, with evil spirits on her trail and certain damnation in her future — unless she can break the spell. The critics say Drag Me to Hell is a wicked good time: blood-curdlingly scary and ghoulishly funny, it’s also taut and timely. Drag Me to Hell is Certified Fresh, and it’s the best-reviewed horror film in years.
Also opening this week in limited release: