Critics Consensus

First Man Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is disappointingly formulaic, Titans makes an impressive debut, and The Haunting of Hill House and Bad Times at the El Royale are also Certified Fresh.

by | October 11, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got one giant leap (First Man, starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy), one supernatural sequel (Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, starring Wendy McLendon-Covey and Madison Iseman), and one wild night (Bad Tmies at the El Royale, starring Jeff Bridges and Chris Hemsworth). What are the critics saying?


First Man (2018) 87%

Sending people into space easily ranks among the most impressive achievements we’ve ever pulled off as a species, so it only stands to reason that our first manned flight to the moon remains a persistent subject of fascination for filmmakers. In fact, it’s inspired enough feats of cinema that a director would have to be blessed with a lot of moxie to try and add to the list — which is why it’s extra fortunate that this weekend’s First Man is being brought to us by the award-winning duo of Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling. Chazelle, who most recently directed Gosling in the acclaimed hit musical La La Land, reunites here with his leading man to tell the story of Neil Armstrong, the Apollo 11 astronaut who became the — wait for it — first man to walk on the moon. They’re obviously telling a very different type of story, but critics say their respective strengths are well served by this biopic, which foregoes a fair bit of the expected sweeping space vistas and epic narrative grandeur in favor of a more intimately focused drama that pulls back the curtain on Armstrong’s occasionally quite arduous personal journey. As an inspiring example of what we’re capable of when we work together or a gripping piece of solidly crafted entertainment that’s further elevated by stellar cinematography and an outstanding supporting performance by Claire Foy, First Man looks like a fittingly successful voyage.


Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018) 47%

Hollywood famously pumps out mediocre horror sequels as if it were controlled by an occult hand. But while it was probably inevitable that the delightful Goosebumps would get a part two, critics say Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween is too slavishly devoted to the original template to take any — ahem — spook-tacular risks. Once again, a group of youngsters must stop the evil machinations of Slappy the Dummy, who escapes from the pages of an enchanted book; this time out, Slappy’s got a gang of monsters to help sow chaos in the small town of Wardenclyffe. The pundits say that kids will probably like this new Goosebumps just fine, but their parents or guardians are likely to wonder what happened to the wit and energy of its predecessor.


Bad Times at the El Royale (2018) 75%

In his feature debut The Cabin in the Woods, director Drew Goddard demonstrated an almost preternatural knack for wringing fresh surprises out of well-worn genre cliches. Now he’s back in the director’s chair with the Tarantino-inspired thriller Bad Times at the El Royale, and critics say Goddard and his cast are in top form. El Royale is the story of seven strangers (whose ranks include Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, and Cynthia Erivo) who congregate at the titular motel and find out what happens when things start to get surreal. The pundits say the cast is terrific, the plot is deliciously twisty, and the production design is impeccable, and even if it doesn’t deliver all that it promises, the Certified Fresh El Royale is definitely worth a visit.


What’s New on TV

The Haunting of Hill House: Miniseries (2018) 93%

The Haunting of Hill House is an effective ghost story whose steadily mounting anticipation is just as satisfying as its chilling payoff.


Titans: Season 1 (2018) 78%

Despite a few tonal growing pains, Titans does justice to its source material and truly shines when its titular ensemble finally assembles.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Liyana (2018) , an animated adventure combining African tradition and actual events, is at 100%.
  • All Square (2018) , in which a small-town bookie comes up with a decidedly unorthodox way of fixing his failing business, is at 100%.
  • Over the Limit (2018) , a documentary look at the controversial system for training Russian Olympic athletes, is at 100%.
  • After Everything (Shotgun) (2018) , starring Maika Monroe and Jeremy Allen White as a young couple whose budding romance is threatened by some fateful news, is at 92%.
  • The Sentence (2018) , a documentary unspooling the aftermath of a woman’s imprisonment for crimes committed by her ex-boyfriend, is at 91%.
  • Sadie (2018) , a drama about a teen’s increasing determination to keep her mother from striking up a new relationship in her father’s absence, is at 86%.
  • B&B (2018) , a thriller about the unhappily memorable stay awaiting two men who sue for the right to book a room at a Christian lodge, is at 83%.
  • 22 July (2018) , a Paul Greengrass-directed dramatization of the events surrounding Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack, is Certified Fresh at 80%.
  • The Oath (2018) , a political comedy looking for dark humor in divided times, is at 77%.
  • The Happy Prince (2018) , a look at Oscar Wilde’s final years directed, written by, and starring Rupert Everett, is Certified Fresh at 72%.
  • Apostle (2018) , a period drama starring Dan Stevens as a man determined to wrest his sister from the clutches of a cult, is at 72%.
  • Beautiful Boy (2018) , an adaptation of the bestselling addiction memoir starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet, is at 67%.
  • Stella's Last Weekend (2018) , in which a family reunites to say goodbye to their dog, only for two brothers to end up embroiled in a love triangle, is at 63%.

Tag Cloud

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