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

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