Critics Consensus

Ghost in the Shell Looks Great, but Rings Hollow

Plus, The Boss Baby isn't a bundle of joy, and Harlots is Certified Fresh.

by | March 30, 2017 | Comments

This week at the movies, we have Scarlett Johansson in the future (Ghost in the Shell, co-starring Michael Pitt) and Alec Baldwin in a diaper (The Boss Baby, with voice work from Steve Buscemi). What are the critics saying?

Ghost in the Shell (2017) 44%

Scarlett Johansson has convincingly kicked butt in more than one action movie, and the enduring popularity of the Ghost in the Shell media franchise has long since ably demonstrated its story’s appeal. Put the two together, and what do you have? A gorgeous techno-thriller with committed work from its leading lady — but one that, like its protagonist, isn’t quite what it was in its original incarnation. As the Major, a machine-enhanced law enforcement officer whose mind has been transplanted from a ruined flesh-and-blood body, Johansson acquits herself admirably enough that many critics are willing to look past the accusations of whitewashing that dogged the production; more troublesome, however, is the live-action Ghost‘s inability or unwillingness to satisfyingly deal with the story’s many intriguing philosophical questions. Instead, viewers are left with some solid acting and loads of cool special effects — fine for a fun night out, but still something of a disappointment in the context of the source material.

The Boss Baby (2017) 52%

America loves to laugh at talking toddlers, and — as millions of 30 Rock fans are still happy to attest — Alec Baldwin can be a pretty funny guy. So The Boss Baby, which puts Baldwin’s voice inside its pint-sized protagonist, should be a safe bet, right? Unfortunately, as we’ve seen all too often in this space, what looks great on paper can be a painful ordeal on the screen, and critics say this movie — inspired by Marla Frazee’s board book of the same name — offers yet another example. The premise, just fine for a short story, suffers from being stretched to feature length, and screenwriter Michael McCullers fills the gap with all the scatological humor one might fear from a 3D animated movie about a baby with a briefcase. The youngsters in your life will probably want to see it — and they might very well laugh themselves silly — but the reviews point to a nominally kid-friendly film with little to offer older chaperones.

What’s New on TV

Harlots: Season 1 (2017) 92%

Harlots uses its titillating subject matter to draw the viewer into a deeper drama about the intersection of survival, business, and family.

Imaginary Mary: Season 1 (2017) 25%

Imaginary Mary‘s appealing cast is canceled out by uninspired material and a ridiculous premise whose deficiencies are compounded by an unfunny, ill-advised CGI creature.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • David Lynch: The Art Life (2017) , a documentary profile of the director and his art, is at 100 percent.
  • Karl Marx City (2017) , which finds filmmaker Petra Epperlein taking a look back at her childhood in East Germany — and her father’s suicide — is at 93 percent.
  • All This Panic (2017) , a documentary look at the lives of young women in Brooklyn, is at 91 percent.
  • The Blackcoat's Daughter (February) (2017) , in which a pair of boarding school students are stalked by an evil presence, is at 74 percent.
  • God Knows Where I Am (2017) , a documentary look at the tragic aftermath of a woman’s mental illness, is at 67 percent.
  • Carrie Pilby (2017) , starring Nathan Lane as a psychiatrist trying to nudge a young genius (Bel Powley) out of her shell, is at 64 percent.
  • Here Alone (2017) , about three people drawn together in the wake of a catastrophic epidemic, is at 63 percent.
  • The Zookeeper's Wife (2017) , starring Jessica Chastain in a fact-based drama about Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II, is at 56 percent.
  • Cezanne and I (Cézanne et Moi) (2017) , a dramatization of the real-life friendship between painter Paul Cézanne and writer Emile Zola, is at 50 percent.
  • Live Cargo (2017) , about a couple whose escape to the Bahamas is nowhere near as idyllic as they’d planned, is at 38 percent.
  • Despite The Falling Snow (2017) , about a Cold War spy who falls for her Communist quarry, is at 11 percent.

Tag Cloud

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