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) 79%

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) 41%

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) 48%

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

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