Critics Consensus

Good Boys Is a Good Time

Plus, The Angry Birds Movie 2 is video game adaptation royalty, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is a solid sequel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette? is disappointing, and Blinded by the Light is Certified Fresh.

by | August 15, 2019 | Comments

This week at the movies — the second straight with five new wide releases — we’ve got foul fowl (The Angry Birds Movie 2, featuring the voices of Jason Sudeikis and Josh Gad), pre-teen misadventures (Good Boys, starring Jacob Tremblay and Keith L. Williams), divers in peril (47 Meters Down: Uncaged, starring Sophie Nélisse and Corinne Fox), a missing mom (Where’d You Go, Bernadette, starring Cate Blanchett and Billy Crudup), and a man inspired by The Boss (Blinded by the Light, starring Viveik Kalra and Hayley Atwell). What are the critics saying?


The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) 73%

Considering its non-narrative source material, there are likely few who would have guessed that The Angry Birds Movie 2 could become the best-reviewed video game movie of all time. Yet, here we are, with the mobile app-inspired animated adventure poised to take the crown away from Detective Pikachu, who mounted the throne just earlier this year. Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, and Danny McBride all return to voice their characters from the first film, as Red (Sudeikis) and the birds join forces with Leonard (Hader) and the pigs against a new enemy (voiced by Leslie Jones) bent on taking over their islands. Also, there’s a subplot about three young birds attempting to retrieve some lost eggs. It’s all harmless stuff, say the critics, who also point out that The Angry Birds Movie 2 is fast-paced, zipping from set piece to set piece, and full of both potty jokes for the kids and more pop culture-savvy humor for the adults. When all is said and done, and the Tomatometer score settles a bit, this may indeed become the best video game movie yet, and most seem to be just fine with that.


Good Boys (2019) 80%

On paper, it’s a little tough to suss out who exactly is supposed to be the target audience for Good Boys. Its R rating means kids the same age as the three leads won’t be able to see it — some of the movie’s marketing has been keen to point that out — and there’s no guarantee that those who are of appropriate age to see the film will get much of a kick out of a trio of pre-teens getting into outlandish shenanigans en route to a spin-the-bottle party. Yet, here we are, with the film earning fairly enthusiastic praise from a majority of the critics — presumably all adults — who have seen it. Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon play the titular Boys, one of whom is invited to a kissing party where he may get to smooch his crush. But when an attempt to spy on the girls with a drone goes sideways, the threesome embark on a riotous journey that will teach them more than they ever wanted to know. Critics say Good Boys, written and directed by The Office vets Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, is frequently funny, getting a lot of mileage out of the boys’ naivete about grown-up things, and surprisingly earnest. It’s essentially a middle-school riff on Superbad, but less cynical, and with noticeably more jokes about sex toys.


47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) 44%

First off, we’ll get the obvious question out of the way: Why isn’t this movie called 48 Meters Down? Seems like the most logical way to name a sequel to 47 Meters Down, and it’s a whole lot less clumsy than its actual title: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. Yet, here we are, wondering how cages factor into this story about scuba divers in Mexico terrorized by sharks. This time around, it’s a quartet of young women on vacation who take an underwater excursion to explore some submerged Mayan ruins, only to discover they’ve invaded the hunting grounds of a school of ravenous sharks. Critics are currently split on the Uncaged, with some calling it a standard B-movie thriller that knows what it sets out to do and does it fairly successfully, while others lament what they feel are sluggish pacing, subpar writing, and a lack of originality. At the very least, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is tracking on the Tomatometer to be on par with the first film — a tad better, even — so if you enjoyed that one, you’re likely to be on board with this one, too.


Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) 50%

It’s tempting to think that the combination of an acclaimed director, a supremely talented cast, and best-selling source material should make for a surefire bet at the cineplex, even if we’ve seen similar projects fail time and again in the past. Yet, here we are, staring down the release of Richard Linklater‘s Where’d You Go, Bernadette? as critics lament what could have been. Based on the novel of the same name and starring an ensemble cast that includes Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, Laurence Fishburne, and, in the title role, Cate Blanchett, Where’d You Go revolves around a stay-at-home mom (she’s agoraphobic) and former hotshot architect who gradually suffers a nervous breakdown and takes flight from her domestic troubles in order to rekindle her creative instincts. Though he does occasionally dip into the Well of Whimsy, this is Linklater’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by way of Wes Anderson, which, according to critics, isn’t as enjoyable as it might sound to some. While most critics have few negative things to say about Blanchett’s central performance, many of them find the movie surrounding her less impressive, largely due to a sprawling but thin plot that fails to explore more interesting themes surrounding its enigmatic protagonist. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? may appeal Linklater completionists (they exist, right?), but others may leave the theater dissatisfied.


Blinded by the Light (2019) 89%

Jukebox musicals are, on the whole, hit-or-miss affairs, as it’s understandably difficult to shape dialogue around frequently nebulous pop-song lyrics without turning the enterprise into a cloying mess. Yet, here we are, with just such an endeavor based on the hits of Bruce Springsteen earning the best reviews of any wide release this week. Loosely adapted from a memoir by British journalist Sarfraz Manzoor (who also co-wrote the script), Blinded by the Light follows teenaged aspiring writer Javed (Viveik Kalra) as he struggles to escape his hometown and his strict, traditional family; he finds the strength to stand on his own when he’s introduced to the music of The Boss, who inspires him to follow his own path. Critics say that while the film is not without its movie musical cliches, the cast — which includes Hayley Atwell as a supportive teacher — is well-suited to the material, and the story is so charming that it overpowers any sense of excessive sentimentality. Will Springsteen fans enjoy it? Very much so, but those just along for the ride will likely find their spirits suitably lifted.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Aquarela (2019) , a documentary about visceral power and beauty of water in its various natural forms on Earth, is at 100%.
  • Los Reyes (2019) , a documentary about a pair of stray dogs who live in a famous Chilean skate park and the people who interact with them, is at 100%.
  • Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas) (2019) , an animated film about the early career of filmmaker Luis Buñuel, is at 100%.
  • End of the Century (2019) , a romantic drama about two men who begin a fling in Spain, where one of them is vacationing, is at 89%.
  • Kingdom (2019) , an epic action-adventure based on a Japanese manga about ancient China’s Warring States period, is at 89%.
  • The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019) , a meta documentary ostensibly about the career and retirement of magician/comedian The Amazing Johnathan, is at 88%.
  • Adam (2019) , a comedy about a teenager who visits his socially conscious older sister in New York and gets mistaken as a trans man, is at 85%.
  • What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? (2019) , a documentary chronicling the frustrations of black communities in Louisiana and Mississippi in 2017, is at 83%.
  • Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019) , an investigation into mysterious circumstances of the 1961 plane crash that killed then UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, is at 81%.
  • Gwen (2019) , a period horror film about a young Welsh woman hoping to save her farm from greedy land barons — and possibly an occult threat — is at 75%.
  • Driven (2019) , starring Jason Sudeikis and Lee Pace in a biopic about disgraced auto mogul John DeLorean, is at 71%.
  • The Divine Fury (2019) , an action-horror flick from South Korea about a talented MMA fighter who teams up with a priest to battle supernatural evil, is at 44%.

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

Tag Cloud

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