Critics Consensus

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Probably Shouldn't Have Gone Back

Plus, Ouija: Origin of Evil is a vastly superior sequel, Keeping Up with the Joneses is a dud, and Black Mirror is masterful dystopian storytelling.

by | October 20, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we have the return of Jack Reacher (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starring Tom Cruise and Cobie Smulders) a board game prequel (Ouija: Origin of Evil, starring Lulu Wilson and Elizabeth Reaser), a suburban spy comedy (Keeping Up with the Joneses, starring Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher), and Tyler Perry‘s latest drag (Boo! A Madea Halloween, starring Perry and Cassi Davis). What are the critics saying?

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) 38%

The first Jack Reacher wasn’t exactly a critical darling in 2012, but it had a slew of bestselling books just waiting to inspire sequels — and more importantly, a hefty enough worldwide gross to justify the expenditure — so Tom Cruise comes sprinting back into action this weekend with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Unsurprisingly, critics are even less enthused this time around, and reviews describe Reacher’s second big-screen outing about the way you’d expect; although Cruise remains an aggressively watchable presence and Cobie Smulders makes for a fine co-star, the boilerplate plot (and the absence of Werner Herzog, who played the first film’s villain) adds up to a sequel that struggles to (ahem) reach its predecessor’s rather low bar. See it if you’re itching for action this weekend, but temper your expectations accordingly.

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) 82%

Speaking of sequels to movies that didn’t inspire much in the way of critical applause, here’s Ouija: Origin of Evil. The 2014 original racked up a pitiful 7 percent on the Tomatometer — but it also made more than $100 million against a budget of $5 million, so a follow-up was a foregone conclusion. Few might have guessed, however, the critical reversal of fortune enjoyed by this new installment, which is garnering some of the best reviews earned by any horror movie this year. Although a number of writers have pointed out that Origin of Evil isn’t anywhere near the scariest or most original movie in its genre, they’re just as quick to praise director Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush), whose skill helps make this not only better than its predecessor, but solidly entertaining in its own right.

Keeping Up With The Joneses (2016) 18%

Are you an impassioned fan of Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot, Isla Fisher, or Zach Galifianakis? Have you ever stopped to consider the hilarity that might ensue if a couple of secret agents moved in next door to a pair of bored suburbanites? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then Keeping Up with the Joneses might be just the movie for you — but otherwise, the vast majority of critics are urging you to give this putative comedy a wide berth. Reviews say the cast gives it their all, but they’re consistently let down by Greg Mottola‘s listless direction and an uninspired script. If you’re in the mood to watch any or all of these stars, you’ll probably be far better served by queuing up one of their many superior efforts.

Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016) 20%

Last but not least, we have Boo! A Madea Halloween, writer-director Tyler Perry’s ninth outing as the titular tough matriarch. This time around, she’s apparently facing off against an array of paranormal entities — all while dealing with some juvenile delinquents. Unfortunately, because it wasn’t screened in advance, that’s all we can tell you… and you know what that means: it’s time to Guess the Tomatometer!

What’s New on TV


Black Mirror: Season 3 (2014) 86%

Black Mirror answers the call for a larger season with half a dozen solid episodes that prove Charlie Brooker remains a masterful dystopian storyteller.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again (2016) 28%

Laverne Cox‘s fabulous portrayal of Frank N. Furter leads a strong ensemble effort, but the stars can’t infuse this reimagining with enough energy, creativity, and quirk to make TRHPS: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again a worthwhile endeavor.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • A Stray (2016) , about the travails of a homeless Muslim teen in Minneapolis, is at 100 percent.
  • We Are X (2016) , a documentary look at the wildly popular band X Japan on the eve of a long-awaited reunion, is at 100 percent.
  • Moonlight (2016) , a gently probing look at one man’s search for meaning across several stages of his life, is Certified Fresh at 98 percent.
  • Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) (2016) , a documentary about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in and around the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, is at 98 percent.
  • The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi) (2016) , director Park Chan-wook‘s period drama inspired by the Sarah Waters novel Fingersmith, is Certified Fresh at 93 percent.
  • Creepy (Kuripi: Itsuwari no rinjin) (2016) , which marks writer-director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s return to the thriller, is at 92 percent.
  • In a Valley of Violence (2016) , director Ti West‘s affectionately faithful take on the Western genre, is at 78 percent.
  • King Cobra (2016) , about the potentially deadly competition that erupts over the services of a gay porn star, is at 56 percent.
  • The Beat Beneath My Feet (2016) , starring Luke Perry as a former rock star hiding out in suburbia after faking his death to avoid the IRS, is at 50 percent.
  • 31 (2016) , the latest luridly violent outing from director Rob Zombie, is at 46 percent.
  • Michael Moore In TrumpLand (2016) , the veteran documentarian’s attempt to sway voters in the 2016 presidential election, is at 43 percent.
  • The Whole Truth (2016) , a courtroom drama starring Keanu Reeves and Renee Zellweger, is at 21 percent.
  • Autumn Lights (2016) , about an American photographer’s fateful meeting with a pair of strangers in Iceland, is at 20 percent.
  • Jacqueline Argentine (2016) , about the aftermath of a woman’s alleged leak of state secrets, is at 20 percent.
  • American Pastoral (2016) , debuting director Ewan McGregor‘s adaptation of the 1997 Philip Roth novel, is at 17 percent.

Tag Cloud

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