Critics Consensus

Jason Bourne Thrills but Lacks Identity

Plus, Bad Moms is raucous but uneven, and Nerve is fitfully twisty.

by | July 28, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ll spend some time with a revenant spy (Jason Bourne, starring Matt Damon and Alicia Vikander), misbehaving mothers (Bad Moms, starring Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell), and a dangerous game (Nerve, starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco). What do the critics have to say?

Jason Bourne (2016) 55%

Death and taxes are often said to be life’s only inevitabilities, but in Hollywood, we’ve just about reached the point where we can add sequels to that list (and possibly ranked higher than taxes, but that’s a discussion for another day). This weekend’s Jason Bourne is the latest proof of that principle in action, bringing Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass back to the Ludlum-derived spy franchise nearly a decade after they swore they were finished with it — and unfortunately, quite a few critics say they should have left well enough alone. Where the original trilogy injected the espionage thriller genre with fresh visual kinetics and a satisfyingly complex post-Cold War perspective, this Bourne is content to play a variation on its predecessors’ themes, sending Damon’s titular ex-amnesiac assassin back into the breach for another round of globetrotting action that feels disappointingly similar. While watching Damon beat up bad guys still remains a fairly good time at the movies, reviews suggest this is one series that may have given us one sequel too many.

Bad Moms (2016) 58%

After decades of treating every non-rom-com genre as almost exclusively the dudes’ domain, Hollywood finally seems to be waking up to the idea that women can carry movies too, and that long-overdue transition makes it tempting to root for any movie that gives a traditionally male-centric premise a distaff twist — which is one reason why more than a few critics have admitted they had high hopes for Bad Moms. Starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn as suburbanites who shake off the social strictures of the minivan elite and bawdily embrace maternal imperfection, this raunchy comedy offers its stars a too-rare opportunity to indulge in the type of humor that usually goes to the bros, and reviews describe a movie that’s engaging even if it’s something less than the sum of its parts. Writer-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore obviously mean well, say the pundits, but considering the talent assembled, the end result should have been more consistent and far more daring; still, for filmgoers seeking a fun night out, Bad Moms should be worth the price of a ticket.

Nerve (2016) 67%

Anyone who’s ever felt the giddy rush of a social media like, retweet, or celebrity follow understands the lure of online acceptance — and how easy it is to get caught up in chasing its addictive lure. Nerve, the latest effort from Catfish directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, uses that craving as the springboard for a techno-driven teen thriller about a shy high school student (Emma Roberts) whose ordinary life is enlivened when she starts using an app that offers virtual notoriety (and real-world riches) in exchange for accepting crowd-sourced dares — and she soon finds herself snared in a sinister web of strangers’ demands. Critics say that although it’s arguably more compelling for the tween set, Roberts and co-star Dave Franco have an easy chemistry that adds an extra spark to the story’s timely themes, and Schulman and Joost direct the proceedings with plenty of visual flair. While few reviews argue it’s among the most thought-provoking cinematic statements on its subject, Nerve holds up as a generally agreeable mid-summer diversion.

What’s Hot on TV


Stranger Things: Season 1 (2016) 97%

Exciting, heartbreaking, and sometimes scary, Stranger Things acts as an addictive homage to Spielberg films and vintage 1980s television.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

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