Critics Consensus

Kin Is an Unsatisfying Genre Mash-Up

Plus, Operation Finale is held up by its performances, Searching is Certified Fresh, and Amazon's Jack Ryan is well-paced and action-packed.

by | August 30, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a family’s flight from danger (Kin, starring Jack Reynor and Zoë Kravitz), a war criminal’s extradition (Operation Finale, starring Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingsley), and a father’s desperate quest for his missing daughter (Searching, starring John Cho). What are the critics saying?

Kin (2018) 35%

As the calendar ticks toward Labor Day, kids across the country are settling back into their school routines — while at the cineplex, we’re entering our third consecutive weekend of kids on epic adventures that have nothing to do with the classroom. Following on the heels of Alpha and A.X.L., both of which offered some variation on the classic “boy and his dog” formula, here’s Kin, in which a teenager (Myles Truitt) hits the road with his adopted big brother (Jack Reynor) in order to escape the clutches of a local hood (James Franco). Their only hope? A weapon that could give them the edge over their pursuers — even if they aren’t quite sure where it came from. Rounded out by supporting turns from Zoë Kravitz and Dennis Quaid, Kin is a feature-length spin on Bag Man, the 2014 short from directors Jonathan and Josh Baker and screenwriter Daniel Casey; unfortunately, critics say it doesn’t exactly benefit from the added length, particularly due to a story that awkwardly balances a road trip drama against a crime thriller before taking a late pivot into sci-fi territory. Reviews describe an outing that seems to have been made with sequels in mind — but one that doesn’t seem likely to receive the franchise treatment.

Operation Finale (2018) 61%

The trial of Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann — and the mission to extract him from his secret Argentinian exile and bring him to justice decades after World War II ended — is a riveting real-life story, so it’s only natural that it’s inspired a slew of films over the years. Any movie seeking to put its own spin on this tale is covering well-trod ground, in other words, but when you’ve got a couple of stellar actors in your cast, you can get away with a certain lack of originality — and Operation Finale, starring Ben Kingsley as Eichmann and Oscar Isaac as Peter Malkin, the Israeli agent determined to capture him, certainly fits the bill. It’s a good thing, too: while a slim majority of the pundits definitely approve of this latest dramatization, a number of reviews credit much of its success to the talent onscreen, and performances that add some of the extra depth and shading that isn’t always supplied by the script. It all adds up to a movie that probably won’t be thought of as the definitive statement on the subject, but the cast — and director Chris Weitz‘s efforts at the reins — make Operation Finale worth a watch for fans of fact-based period drama.

Searching (2018) 91%

Producer Timur Bekmambetov believes our screens have taken over our lives to the point where they can be used as a vantage point for entire movies — and he’s proven it with his burgeoning “Screen Life” genre, which includes the Unfriended franchise as well as this weekend’s Searching, in which a panicked father (John Cho) uses his missing daughter’s online history to try and find her before it’s too late. Using phones and computer screens as a movie’s point of view is the type of filmmaking twist that can quickly become a gimmick, but in this case, critics say the end result is thoroughly entertaining — an engrossing thriller whose old-school underpinnings serve its unique visual trappings well. “Screen Life” may ultimately end up feeling as played out as found footage; for now, however, Searching looks like one of the more effective missing-person movies in recent memory.

What’s New on TV

Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan: Season 1 (2018) 75%

Though not as thematically rich as some of its geopolitical predecessors, Jack Ryan is a satisfying addition to the genre buoyed by exceptional action sequences and a likable cast.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Pick of the Litter (2018) , a documentary about puppies raised to be guide dogs for the blind, is at 100%.
  • Inventing Tomorrow (2018) , a documentary look at teens trying to solve the global environmental threats facing human civilization, is at 100%.
  • Prototype (2017) , an experimental 3D film plunging viewers into the aftermath of a natural disaster, is at 100%.
  • Let the Corpses Tan (2017) , in which a pair of thieves face a fateful confrontation with local police after a robbery, is at 86%.
  • Active Measures (2018) , a documentary investigation into the ties between Donald Trump and Russia, is at 80%.
  • The Little Stranger (2018) , starring Domhnall Gleeson and Ruth Wilson in an adaptation of the Sarah Waters gothic horror novel, is at 62%.
  • Blood Fest (2018) , a horror comedy about a bloodbath that erupts at a film festival that’s even more sinister than it seems, is at 55%.
  • Destination Wedding (2018) , starring Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder as a pair of single misanthropes thrown together by a couple’s nuptials, is at 39%.
  • Reprisal (2018) , an action thriller starring Frank Grillo and Bruce Willis, is at 0%.
  • Ya veremos (2018) , about a boy hoping to use his illness to reunite his estranged parents, is at 0%.

Tag Cloud

werewolf biography Lucasfilm dragons APB jamie lee curtis National Geographic Family Awards WarnerMedia VICE dreamworks live action blockbusters rt archives ratings Horror Amazon Studios Acorn TV FOX book adaptation spain Nominations Crackle 93rd Oscars SXSW 2022 Broadway wonder woman toronto comedies disaster thriller The Walking Dead Avengers golden globe awards Set visit spanish Pride Month fresh PlayStation Britbox NBC true crime Comic-Con@Home 2021 movies Lifetime indie Paramount suspense scary movies rom-coms ID 73rd Emmy Awards Song of Ice and Fire miniseries Chernobyl Polls and Games toy story Thanksgiving reviews zero dark thirty Tubi 99% Hallmark Christmas movies Cartoon Network RT History Lionsgate adenture police drama Brie Larson Awards Tour Neflix crime thriller Rocketman The CW Black Mirror Adult Swim theme song Nat Geo zombies casting Opinion politics Teen films canceled TV shows batman strong female leads SDCC The Arrangement joker scene in color TV Land Music 2021 sequel CW Seed king arthur debate foreign Masterpiece 21st Century Fox Creative Arts Emmys Sci-Fi Writers Guild of America monster movies target hispanic scary book 20th Century Fox rt labs dark History TBS scorecard E! Discovery Channel SundanceTV south america Heroines Warner Bros. Holidays Comedy Central PaleyFest rotten Calendar saw TV movies finale based on movie BAFTA TV One Trailer Academy Awards rotten movies we love a nightmare on elm street Universal Pictures MGM Film TV know your critic quibi mission: impossible marvel comics Funimation golden globes Hollywood Foreign Press Association Turner BET Kids & Family spider-man USA Network documentaries political drama anthology olympics dogs Premiere Dates crossover FX comic book movies aapi Rock WGN Paramount Plus Sneak Peek ABC Family nbcuniversal Pacific Islander Tomatazos Disney comic books chucky TCM sag awards trophy Peacock war teaser slasher kids stop motion 2020 mockumentary historical drama Infographic psycho cats Lifetime Christmas movies Elton John Classic Film Prime Video Netflix Christmas movies obituary GIFs sports Film Festival reboot parents 90s Super Bowl streaming movies comic book movie aliens unscripted award winner Rom-Com Action NYCC new zealand Countdown Turner Classic Movies Instagram Live children's TV Holiday game of thrones revenge black comedy romantic comedy italian Netflix Spring TV critic resources worst Arrowverse 2017 Character Guide 72 Emmy Awards hispanic heritage month superman Toys Cosplay DirecTV streaming royal family Pirates emmy awards Superheroe Christmas Spike ViacomCBS Anna Paquin LGBTQ Winners Syfy Biopics tv talk universal monsters child's play razzies ABC Signature cancelled high school Sundance TV kong Logo YouTube Marvel Winter TV Star Trek twilight christmas movies Columbia Pictures streamig Quiz live event television Marvel Studios adventure Best Actress vs. Certified Fresh movie obi wan james bond Ghostbusters Comics on TV asian-american mob comics Best Actor AMC Video Games Black History Month DC Universe feel good franchise Starz Shondaland remakes transformers TIFF vampires 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards medical drama jurassic park Musical A&E boxing best genre Tumblr Pixar Amazon technology harry potter sopranos 45 Fox Searchlight Hear Us Out PBS Hulu Photos LGBT king kong Emmys serial killer kaiju Sundance Now TCA Awards Shudder Chilling Adventures of Sabrina ABC spinoff game show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt indiana jones independent latino Nickelodeon new york archives 71st Emmy Awards 007 comic cooking 1990s facebook classics Fox News Podcast OneApp Mindy Kaling Star Wars rt labs critics edition ITV The Witch Fargo Fall TV 79th Golden Globes Awards Pop TV natural history Pet Sematary supernatural Paramount Network Fantasy Disney+ Disney Plus Country doctor who marvel cinematic universe AMC Plus pirates of the caribbean dceu diversity australia BET Awards VOD japanese cops Mary poppins elevated horror Apple TV Plus ESPN Martial Arts Watching Series Tokyo Olympics blockbuster nfl young adult robots IFC Films satire mutant what to watch halloween tv sitcom Walt Disney Pictures South by Southwest Film Festival FXX talk show heist movie CMT name the review Animation japan sequels HBO Go 2019 hist Best Director Mary Poppins Returns Mary Tyler Moore Ellie Kemper American Society of Cinematographers renewed TV shows Crunchyroll Spectrum Originals documentary X-Men spy thriller IFC CNN blaxploitation Year in Review Bravo Marathons godzilla Summer El Rey science fiction MCU biopic Binge Guide Ovation DC streaming service Box Office trailers Sundance Comedy 24 frames die hard cartoon Best and Worst spanish language telelvision ghosts BBC One psychological thriller 2016 black women Pop SXSW justice league prank art house composers TV renewals anime Wes Anderson Travel Channel worst movies festivals Hallmark lord of the rings YA Freeform news Disney Channel superhero See It Skip It cinemax crime drama Vudu GLAAD hollywood MTV San Diego Comic-Con crime Marvel Television Extras Cannes richard e. Grant leaderboard IMDb TV cults Oscars canceled criterion Alien A24 international CBS All Access TCA Winter 2020 breaking bad spider-verse directors posters 4/20 Endgame laika Disney Plus Amazon Prime Video YouTube Premium Drama action-comedy Apple GoT HBO dramedy boxoffice Reality Competition period drama DGA TCA 2017 discovery 2018 mcc Tags: Comedy Amazon Prime Television Critics Association stand-up comedy Valentine's Day Western First Look Election fast and furious OWN binge zombie adaptation Interview HBO Max HFPA CBS Emmy Nominations Dark Horse Comics MSNBC social media stoner New York Comic Con BBC America Exclusive Video The Academy deadpool Disney streaming service witnail President The Purge Oscar docudrama Sony Pictures animated space nature docuseries Tarantino all-time Apple TV+ 2015 festival Red Carpet Captain marvel TNT BBC singing competition venice Women's History Month video screenings green book slashers Legendary Food Network comiccon 94th Oscars dc free movies screen actors guild basketball Comic Book Musicals football FX on Hulu travel The Walt Disney Company Best Picture dexter TruTV RT21 Epix Superheroes USA Schedule Stephen King gangster romance cancelled TV shows cancelled television Trophy Talk NBA E3 TLC video on demand Image Comics VH1 versus cars First Reviews series Baby Yoda Reality Television Academy Trivia Grammys Mudbound legend new star wars movies concert TCA hidden camera Universal popular Showtime Esquire Rocky YouTube Red critics french Mystery halloween cancelled TV series DC Comics