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) 45%

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) 49%

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

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