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) 97%

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 (2019) 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 (2019) 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 (2019) 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

MTV New York Comic Con Comics on TV anime TCA werewolf police drama Star Trek transformers social media Action cartoon teaser quibi blaxploitation indie cops Academy Awards comic FX Hallmark Christmas movies Britbox dragons Tarantino Dark Horse Comics Television Academy ABC Family anthology GLAAD TIFF IFC Films Tomatazos FXX Winners Pirates TLC ABC Netflix Lionsgate 71st Emmy Awards Marvel Extras blockbuster renewed TV shows elevated horror Spike AMC Writers Guild of America Winter TV The Witch spinoff SundanceTV Comedy LGBTQ science fiction movie nature Rock Amazon Prime Video dc PBS Opinion crossover talk show political drama USA WarnerMedia Walt Disney Pictures dogs tv talk Acorn TV Creative Arts Emmys TBS game of thrones south america Discovery Channel BBC Rocky natural history scary movies Grammys Amazon Sneak Peek facebook SXSW CW Seed Disney Plus breaking bad Disney streaming service Song of Ice and Fire Bravo MCU zero dark thirty Turner Classic Movies Emmys DGA San Diego Comic-Con A&E justice league Mystery harry potter mutant TruTV Shondaland crime drama Food Network Pixar Superheroes Amazon Studios disaster E3 Trivia BET television Epix DC streaming service cancelled television Stephen King 2015 crime thriller 21st Century Fox Pet Sematary Drama romance ESPN Infographic Classic Film joker Oscars Ellie Kemper Apple TV+ Starz composers Box Office children's TV Video Games kids Crunchyroll GIFs based on movie strong female leads National Geographic reviews slashers independent sitcom FOX dramedy Travel Channel finale HBO Showtime Film Watching Series CNN animated spider-man hist travel Horror YouTube Red Black History Month Premiere Dates Spring TV Super Bowl Teen Tubi Awards Fox News adaptation YouTube E! streaming CMT Martial Arts crime The Arrangement cooking christmas movies Endgame psycho sequel First Reviews Apple name the review Music Reality zombie doctor who Vudu 2016 spy thriller Amazon Prime Nickelodeon theme song Best and Worst cancelled technology foreign Musicals unscripted hispanic ratings Marvel Studios Biopics 007 Calendar TNT Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Superheroe sag awards Funimation Brie Larson Mary Poppins Returns comics PaleyFest politics Mudbound DC Comics Paramount Network Comedy Central Pop VICE biography Columbia Pictures halloween vampires IFC Marvel Television TV Land APB documentary Rom-Com 2019 Syfy Masterpiece First Look Country screen actors guild VH1 psychological thriller docudrama diversity Black Mirror Comic Book comiccon Film Festival Hulu sports Ghostbusters Cartoon Network Animation Trophy Talk batman golden globes Disney Channel The Purge Avengers Pop TV cats Holiday canceled discovery miniseries series Star Wars versus HBO Max game show Sundance Captain marvel Set visit OneApp richard e. Grant LGBT Hallmark serial killer space medical drama Summer stand-up comedy Toys 2018 NYCC Lifetime SDCC CBS All Access spanish language Logo Trailer Sci-Fi Valentine's Day Character Guide OWN YA Countdown Chernobyl binge robots singing competition ghosts DirecTV Election Christmas Paramount dceu Fall TV Universal jamie lee curtis period drama Mary Tyler Moore casting Podcast 2017 Pride Month WGN Heroines President Elton John Red Carpet mockumentary Binge Guide X-Men thriller CBS Cannes 45 TCM romantic comedy TV Shudder Reality Competition Interview Lucasfilm green book Sony Pictures Arrowverse Disney+ Disney Plus free movies Netflix Christmas movies Anna Paquin war RT History NBC Freeform Women's History Month supernatural video Lifetime Christmas movies 24 frames rotten movies we love DC Universe See It Skip It MSNBC what to watch GoT cars Mindy Kaling BBC America Rocketman Mary poppins FX on Hulu Esquire YouTube Premium Nominations Sundance Now The Walking Dead Awards Tour 2020 Kids & Family TV renewals Sundance TV USA Network Ovation spain book The CW Holidays Certified Fresh award winner true crime History cancelled TV series Musical directors Year in Review Crackle RT21 movies cults adventure latino Emmy Nominations Tumblr 20th Century Fox screenings aliens Warner Bros. Apple TV Plus toy story Schedule franchise festivals revenge witnail Marathons historical drama boxoffice Photos Turner Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cinemax Peacock zombies Disney ITV Family Fantasy Nat Geo TCA 2017 TCA Winter 2020 Baby Yoda Spectrum Originals Thanksgiving canceled TV shows Polls and Games universal monsters American Society of Cinematographers Adult Swim A24 cancelled TV shows El Rey reboot Quiz Western Cosplay