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) 30%

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) 60%

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) 92%

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

Tag Cloud

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