Critics Consensus

Hunter Killer Is Substandard

Plus, Mid90s, Bodyguard, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Burning are Certified Fresh.

by | October 25, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got underwater intrigue (Hunter Killer, starring Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman), Jonah Hill‘s coming-of-age coming-out party (Mid90s, starring Sunny Suljic and Lucas Hedges), and a faith-based military drama (Indivisible, starring Justin Bruening and Sarah Drew). What are the critics saying?

Hunter Killer (2018) 36%

There’s solid drama to be mined from the undersea adventures of dozens of men tossed into a weaponized metal tube and expected to traverse the ocean in covert exercises. See Das Boot, The Hunt for Red October, or Crimson Tide, for starters. This week’s Hunter Killer, which stars Gerard Butler and Gary Oldman in a thriller about a high-stakes submarine rescue mission, aims to join the ranks of those classics by combining geopolitics and good, old-fashioned blockbuster action. Unfortunately, critics say the film is neither thoughtful enough to fully explore any complex themes nor directed with enough pizzazz to work even as an effective B-grade time-killer. Hunter Killer may satisfy those looking for an undemanding, by-the-numbers actioner, but it’s not likely to excite anyone who’s ever seen any submarine thriller before.

Mid90s (2018) 80%

With so many films about youth culture available for anyone with a streaming account to watch, it’s increasingly rare to find a coming-of-age film that isn’t either frustratingly derivative or cloyingly sentimental, much less one that’s also a directorial debut. Luckily, Jonah Hill has apparently managed to avoid doing that in his first feature behind the camera. Mid90s follows the life of 13-year-old Stevie (Sunny Suljic), a Los Angeleno who hooks up with a new group of friends at his local skate shop and experiences a summer of discovery, and critics say it’s a touching, earnest look at growing up that depicts the titular decade affectionately without fetishizing it. It’s a promising first outing for Hill in the director’s chair and a reminder that he’s come a long way from his stoner comedies just a decade ago.

Indivisible (2018) 74%

The hardships endured by military families are well familiar to a vast swath of the population, and the toll they exact is ripe material for sensitive storytelling. Enter Pure Flix’s Indivisible, based on the true story of a U.S. Army chaplain who was deployed to Iraq not long after graduating from seminary school, leaving behind his wife and three children. While we’d love to tell you what the reviews say about the drama, it wasn’t screened for critics. Faith-based films typically rely on a built-in audience and word of mouth, but you know the drill. Guess that Tomatometer!

What’s New on TV

Bodyguard: Series 1 (2018) 93%

Bodyguard maintains a palpable tension throughout its pulpy proceedings to create an absorbing and addicting psychological thriller.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 1 (2018) 91%

Bewitchingly beautiful and wickedly macabre, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina casts an intoxicating spell and provides a perfect showcase for Kiernan Shipka‘s magical talents.

Heathers: Season 1 (2018) 29%

Despite promising performers, Heathers‘ aspirational angst is let down by its blunt, misguided attempts at social commentary.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Shirkers (2018) , a documentary following director Sandi Tan‘s efforts to recover a film she made as a teen in 1992 that was stolen by a collaborator, is at 100%
  • A Bread Factory, Part One: For the Sake of Gold (2018) , the first half of Patrick Wang‘s two-part drama about a community-driven art collective fighting to keep its funding, is at 100%.
  • A Bread Factory, Part Two: Walk with Me a While (2018) , the companion piece to A Bread Factory: For the Sake of Gold, is at 100%.
  • Weed the People (2018) , a documentary chronicling the effort of parents to track down cannabis oil as an alternative treatment for their children’s cancer, is at 100%.
  • Border (Gräns) (2018) , a mystery from Sweden about a customs agent with an uncanny sense of smell who falls for a man who blunts her power, is at 97%.
  • 1985 (2018) , about a closeted gay man who returns home to Texas and contends with his religious parents and an old friend, is at 95%.
  • Burning (Beoning) (2018) , South Korean director Lee Chang-dong‘s mystery about an explosive love triangle, is Certified Fresh at 92%.
  • Life and Nothing More (La Vida y Nada Más) (2018) , about a single mother struggling to keep her teenage son out of trouble with the law, is at 92%.
  • The Dark (2018) , a horror film about a troubled man who forms a bond with the spirit of a murdered girl in the woods, is at 92%.
  • Monrovia, Indiana (2018) , a documentary focusing on the titular city to illustrate rural, small-town American culture, is at 91%.
  • Suspiria (2018)Luca Guadagnino‘s remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 horror film of the same name, is at 72%.
  • Viper Club (2018) , starring Susan Sarandon in a drama about a nurse’s efforts to free her journalist son from terrorists, is at 71%.
  • Don't Go (2018) , about a grieving couple haunted by visions of their dead daughter, is at 50%.
  • Silencio (2018) , a sci-fi drama about a woman searching for a powerful meteorite that might save her son’s life, is at 43%.
  • Johnny English Strikes Again (2018) , starring Rowan Atkinson as the bumbling British agent, who is pulled out of retirement to prevent a technological catastrophe, is at 31%.
  • London Fields (2018) , starring Billy Bob Thornton in a thriller about a dying author who finds inspiration for his last book in a group of new acquaintances, is at 0%.

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