Critics Consensus

Disney's Aladdin One Jump Ahead of The Fresh Line, For Now

But will it stay there? Plus, Booksmart is smart and cool and Brightburn messes with the superhero trope.

by | May 23, 2019 | Comments

Can Prince Ali, mighty is he, slay at the box office? Aladdin, Disney’s live-action remake of its 1992 animated musical stars Will Smith as the sometimes-blue genie with the power to grant three wishes and Mena Massoud as the titular small-time thief-turned-imposter prince. It’s also the flashiest film opening this weekend – even if it doesn’t come with the highest reviews. That honor goes to director Olivia Wilde’s teen comedy Booksmart. Also in wide release is horror film Brightburn, which serves as a send-up of superhero films. All three movies offer reinventions of staid genres. But, which one will rule this weekend’s multiplexes? The critics have some thoughts.


Booksmart (2019) 96%

The movie trope of high school students wanting one last hurrah before graduation has been done, more often than not leaning on the male gaze (and let’s face it, often come with some sexist overtones that don’t always age well). That’s why Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is so refreshing. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein play self-confident Ivy League-bound seniors on the precipice of adulthood who don’t want some virginity-themed raunchy night out. They just want their classmates to remember them as the smart and fun ladies they – and clearly, the critics – know they are.

Brightburn (2019) 57%

Thanks to the legend of Superman, we’re taught to expect that a lot of good will happen when a child from another world crash-lands on Earth. Director David Yarovesky’s new horror film messes with this misconception, in the process earning some mixed reviews – and an R-rating, which  probably doesn’t help in regards to ticket sales. But the film does come with some interesting pedigree, as its written by Brian and Mark Gunn (a cousin and brother to Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn, who also produced) and stars Slither actor Elizabeth Banks as the mother caring for the alien boy. It’s also on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of most-anticipated horror films of the year.

Aladdin (2019) 57%

Despite the hesitation that ensued among fandoms when footage of Will Smith as a blue genie first appeared online, (How hard is it going to be to take this film seriously? Someone else is playing the part made famous by the late Robin Williams? Is nothing sacred?) most critics say that Disney’s latest live-action remake of one of its animated classics is fine — maybe not totally necessary, but passable. Given the way these new versions rank at the box office (even Dumbo, which opened in March and has a Tomatometer score of 47%, eventually grossed $112 million, despite a $170 million production budget), the Mouse House shouldn’t worry too much. If this movie isn’t to your liking, Disney has many other films on the horizon.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Diamantino (2018) is a sci-fi tinged drama that follows a disgraced former soccer star on the hunt for a new purpose – confronting, along the way, neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification, and abuse at the hands of his evil twin sisters. It is Certified Fresh at 87%.
  • Avengement (2019) is, as suggested by the title, a film that follows a criminal on furlough from prison who uses his time on the outside to take down those who made him a cold-blooded killer. It is Fresh with a 100% Tomatometer.
  • Echo in the Canyon (2018) is a music documentary that looks at influential artists like The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Mamas and the Papas and others who were part of the Laurel Canyon scene of the mid-’60s and contributed to what would be known as the California Sound. It is Fresh with a 100% Tomatometer.
  • Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation (2019) is another music doc set around the turbulent ’60s, and includes never-before-seen footage of the concert that would define a generation. It is Fresh with a 100% Tomatometer.
  • Funny Story (2018) is described as a tragi-comedy and follows an aging heartthrob who attempts to reconnect with his grown daughter – by hitching a ride with her friend and crashing her vacation in Big Sur. It has an 89% Tomatometer score.
  • Halston (2019) is a documentary that looks at influential 1970s fashion designer Halston. Frédéric Tcheng, who also did films about Diana Vreeland and Valentino, writes and directs. It is Fresh with an 80% Tomatometer.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

Election Hollywood Foreign Press Association Comedy spain Universal psychological thriller FOX HBO Max Spike Reality dark cancelled television 1990s Fall TV 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards 21st Century Fox BBC BET Awards Ellie Kemper 2018 Prime Video television Pacific Islander GoT Super Bowl Winter TV Quiz Columbia Pictures Lifetime blockbuster Black History Month crossover Mudbound archives TV One See It Skip It Crunchyroll franchise TruTV Paramount Network natural history classics 45 CW Seed Legendary Emmy Nominations book adaptation nature Cannes Amazon Dark Horse Comics jurassic park award winner game show GLAAD superhero NYCC worst movies Disney+ Disney Plus Television Critics Association Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt spy thriller screen actors guild Polls and Games Nickelodeon Spring TV Awards Tour ABC screenings TV french Kids & Family DC Comics Marvel Studios YouTube Instagram Live crime Women's History Month spinoff space unscripted jamie lee curtis blockbusters teaser Opinion football Mindy Kaling Emmys Christmas mcc Interview X-Men Red Carpet VH1 Teen Shudder hist AMC Plus rt labs Esquire robots reboot PBS Thanksgiving Country Disney USA Network Hear Us Out king kong Fox Searchlight Avengers james bond Comedy Central art house japanese MSNBC adaptation crime thriller WGN halloween Superheroes TBS Reality Competition E! Epix Music anime The Witch breaking bad obituary Amazon Prime Video Funimation fast and furious Warner Bros. The CW directors gangster E3 criterion 20th Century Fox live event comics Wes Anderson Pop doctor who travel razzies deadpool genre zombie Comic Book Animation Character Guide 2019 cars stand-up comedy RT21 IFC Films nbcuniversal 2015 Amazon Prime historical drama sitcom HBO 72 Emmy Awards docudrama casting Heroines what to watch DGA President NBA golden globe awards Logo justice league elevated horror transformers Peacock PlayStation ID Ovation chucky 2020 comic books mutant toronto sequel BBC One Tags: Comedy fresh young adult YouTube Premium Nat Geo HFPA debate feel good cats TCA 2017 Fox News stoner Awards Paramount dogs ABC Signature supernatural boxing blaxploitation Stephen King basketball foreign Cosplay ratings Box Office National Geographic canceled TV shows romance CBS All Access Toys technology spider-verse Elton John cancelled TV shows Comic-Con@Home 2021 hispanic comic book movies trailers Television Academy San Diego Comic-Con best APB 2017 ghosts Pirates Set visit sports Food Network revenge Musical true crime aapi hispanic heritage month Star Trek olympics laika TV renewals The Walt Disney Company Apple TV+ werewolf anthology Tumblr latino Sundance TV Comics on TV PaleyFest new star wars movies new zealand Musicals Alien Mary poppins Trivia green book USA biopic quibi NBC spider-man FX on Hulu Valentine's Day docuseries a nightmare on elm street Freeform Chilling Adventures of Sabrina twilight Action pirates of the caribbean canceled universal monsters Calendar free movies facebook Best and Worst Watching Series CNN comiccon films Marathons 99% Shondaland scene in color El Rey Baby Yoda Apple japan Film DirecTV TIFF 79th Golden Globes Awards superman AMC lord of the rings legend Marvel Television sopranos Chernobyl rom-coms sequels die hard A24 streaming movies cooking Tarantino Countdown Family TCA Winter 2020 Spectrum Originals Tokyo Olympics child's play king arthur game of thrones rt archives Exclusive Video BAFTA marvel comics Broadway romantic comedy slashers slasher batman mockumentary streaming singing competition Adult Swim diversity Rom-Com know your critic festivals The Purge italian science fiction Marvel black comedy zero dark thirty politics IMDb TV 2021 Pop TV Disney Plus Pet Sematary witnail live action new york Bravo Lionsgate harry potter VICE international Masterpiece Star Wars Writers Guild of America joker target LGBT Apple TV Plus all-time Classic Film asian-american telelvision documentaries serial killer marvel cinematic universe kong Pride Month prank cults boxoffice The Academy Horror cinemax Rocky Amazon Studios The Arrangement Lifetime Christmas movies Anna Paquin Arrowverse First Look mob dc war Superheroe Sundance TV movies name the review Lucasfilm TNT Extras A&E nfl trophy Netflix Christmas movies crime drama black video on demand SundanceTV binge Ghostbusters Creative Arts Emmys worst Tomatazos New York Comic Con wonder woman police drama video rt labs critics edition versus Brie Larson vampires halloween tv Western critics theme song FX talk show Syfy Vudu IFC concert ESPN toy story Sci-Fi comic book movie news emmy awards WarnerMedia stop motion OneApp Acorn TV Premiere Dates Starz hollywood vs. movie Fargo dceu women thriller BBC America animated posters Paramount Plus adventure high school Winners MCU cops SXSW Sneak Peek OWN Sony Pictures Biopics finale CBS TCM TCA Infographic Britbox psycho composers Fantasy Holiday Rock Oscars discovery Hallmark Christmas movies HBO Go book saw Rocketman 73rd Emmy Awards christmas movies cancelled TV series Mystery action-comedy comic political drama Holidays mission: impossible Podcast Mary Poppins Returns Disney Channel adenture Year in Review strong female leads kaiju social media Cartoon Network rotten movies we love zombies American Society of Cinematographers Image Comics Disney streaming service golden globes Endgame dramedy australia Schedule rotten Discovery Channel Summer suspense spanish language medical drama LGBTQ SDCC Certified Fresh YouTube Red Netflix monster movies 90s heist movie Video Games indiana jones period drama 2016 festival Academy Awards parents Travel Channel DC streaming service Song of Ice and Fire Showtime aliens Turner RT History Pixar scary movies satire 93rd Oscars richard e. Grant renewed TV shows dragons Hulu disaster Sundance Now cancelled south america reviews 24 frames Martial Arts series ITV comedies Walt Disney Pictures scorecard History kids spanish indie Trophy Talk independent Mary Tyler Moore DC Universe royal family 4/20 Film Festival Binge Guide hidden camera tv talk children's TV venice leaderboard GIFs dexter sag awards dreamworks ViacomCBS Universal Pictures VOD Hallmark 007 Black Mirror miniseries FXX Tubi Nominations documentary YA based on movie Neflix Photos popular CMT Drama The Walking Dead critic resources TLC Trailer TCA Awards 71st Emmy Awards scary ABC Family Crackle First Reviews Captain marvel Grammys BET Turner Classic Movies TV Land MTV cartoon godzilla movies biography remakes