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) 58%

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

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