Critics Consensus

Ford v Ferrari Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Charlie's Angels is fun but a little flat, The Good Liar is a bit too predictable, and Atlantics, Waves, and The Report are also all Certified Fresh.

by | November 14, 2019 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a racing rivalry (Ford v Ferrari, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale), angelic agents (Charlie’s Angels, starring Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott), and conniving conman (The Good Liar, starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen). What are the critics saying?

Ford v Ferrari (2019) 92%

Director James Mangold is no stranger to the Oscars, his most recent film Logan having earned him a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, and he looks poised to make some noise again at the next ceremony with his latest film, Ford v Ferrari. The last time Mangold took on a story based on true events — the 2005 Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, specifically — the end result was five Academy Award nominations, and based on the reception to Ford v Ferrari so far, it’s not out of the question to assume more nominations are in the cards. Matt Damon and Christian Bale star as legendary car designer Carroll Shelby and British racecar driver and engineer Ken Miles, respectively, who were hired by the Ford Motor Company after its president, Henry Ford II, felt slighted by Ferrari owner Enzo Ferrari pulling out of a business deal between the two companies. Shelby and Miles’ mission? To develop and race a car that would defeat Scuderia Ferrari in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1966. Critics say Ford v Ferrari not only delivers on the pulse-pounding action on the race track but also serves up outstanding performances from Damon, Bale, and their supporting cast, as well as a crowd-pleasing story infused with plenty of human intrigue. Even if you aren’t an auto enthusiast, this is likely to be a satisfying drama that maybe doesn’t take many risks but hits almost all the right notes.

Charlie's Angels (2019) 52%

Elizabeth Banks did a pretty respectable job when she made her feature directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2 in 2015, so for her sophomore effort, she decided to help revive and reinvent a classic franchise with similar female bonding themes. Charlie’s Angels began as a television series back in the mid- to late-1970s and found new life in a pair of cheeky, early 2000s action flicks starring Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore — both revolved around a trio of female agents who specialized in investigation and espionage and were commanded by a mysterious man named Charlie. In this modern update, the angels (or would-be angel, in one case) are played by Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska, and Naomi Scott, and they comprise just one team of many around the world who all take orders from various “Bosleys” — their own is played by Banks herself. When one of the trio discovers the company she works for is developing a potentially dangerous technology, she unwittingly stumbles upon a conspiracy that the Angels must work to unravel. Critics say Charlie’s Angels is an earnest effort from all involved, with a particularly sprightly performance from Kristen Stewart, but it’s also a little disappointingly rote, as far as action fare goes, and it doesn’t make the greatest case for why it was revived. That said, it’s energetic, breezy, and appropriately cheeky, even if it is formulaic, and it may be just fun enough to pass the time for most.

The Good Liar (2019) 63%

Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren are two of modern cinema’s most celebrated and revered actors, so it may surprise some to learn that, between their extensive resumes, they have yet to share the screen together. That all changes this week with The Good Liar, a twisty, dramatic thriller that critics say doesn’t quite live up to the talents of its two esteemed stars. McKellen plays a veteran conman who sets his sights on a wealthy widower (Mirren) and inserts himself into her life. As he dodges her suspicious grandson, the elder pair grow closer, but his past threatens to catch up with him and bring the whole scheme crashing down. Critics say The Good Liar, directed by Bill Condon (Beauty and the BeastMr. Holmes), just misses the mark; though both McKellen and Mirren are magnetic on screen, the story twists itself into impossible knots in its efforts to squeeze intrigue out of what amounts to a fairly basic premise, and the end result may be a little difficult for some viewers to swallow. Though it sports all the trappings of a classic mystery, it only halfway meets its ambitious goals and ends up feeling like a pulpier take on better-executed films.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Mickey and the Bear (2019) , a drama about a young woman seeking independence from her Iraq War veteran father, is at 100%.
  • Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project (2019) , a documentary about the woman who recorded her television around the clock for over 30 years, is at 100%.
  • Everybody's Everything (2019) , a documentary about the life of rapper Lil Peep, who died at 21 years old from a drug overdose, is at 100%.
  • White Snake (2019) , an animated film about a young woman with amnesia who uncovers a supernatural conspiracy as she strives to recover her memory, is at 100%.
  • Atlantics (2019) , a romantic mystery about a young Senegalese woman’s relationship to a disgruntled construction worker who may be the only survivor of a boat crash, is at Certified Fresh at 96%.
  • Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer (2019) , a documentary about the notorious tabloid and its questionable practices over the years, is at 93%.
  • I Lost My Body (2019) , an animated French film about a disembodied hand who journeys to reunite with its body, is at 92%.
  • Waves (2019) , starring Sterling K. Brown and Kelvin Harrison Jr. in Trey Edward Shults‘ drama about a Florida family’s trials and tribulations, is Certified Fresh at 89%.
  • The Hottest August (2019) , a documentary portrait of New York City over the course of an entire month, specifically August of 2017, is at 86%.
  • The Report (2019) , starring Adam Driver in Scott Z. Burns‘ dramatization of the release of the report detailing the U.S. government’s use of torture following 9/11, is Certified Fresh at 84%.
  • The Shed (2019) , a horror film about a teenager who discovers a vampire hiding out in his abusive grandfather’s tool shed, is at 71%.
  • The Warrior Queen of Jhansi (2019) , a historical action film about a female general in 19th century India who became a feminist icon, is at 10%.

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

Tag Cloud

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