Critics Consensus

Kong: Skull Island Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Raw and My Scientology Movie are Certified Fresh.

by | March 9, 2017 | Comments

This week at the movies, we have the return of everyone’s favorite skyscraper-scaling monster (Kong: Skull Island, starring Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston) and a whole bunch of limited releases. What are the critics saying?

Kong: Skull Island (2017) 75%

A man, a plan, a giant ape: these ingredients have come together to create creature-feature magic on more than one occasion since King Kong debuted in 1933, and they’re back together again for this weekend’s Kong: Skull Island. Starring Brie Larson, John Goodman, Tom Hiddleston, and Samuel L. Jackson, the big furry guy’s latest onscreen adventure basically hits the reboot button on the Kong saga, sending a group of intrepid adventurers out to an uncharted island where giant creatures fight for dominance — including the nasty “skull crawlers” that have pushed Kong’s kind to the verge of extinction. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts lays some heavy Apocalypse Now vibes over the ’70s-set action, but there are some progressive narrative elements in the mix too — none of which are as important as the all-out giant monster action, which critics say is pretty cool even if we’ve seen more or less all of this before. The fate of Legendary’s emerging “MonsterVerse” hinges on how well Kong: Skull Island fills its chest-thumping brief; fortunately, reviews describe a movie that manages to deliver all the effects-driven excitement audiences are looking for. If it sometimes skimps on the human drama underneath it all, well, that’s par for the course — and hey, maybe 2019’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters will make room for a few more character-driven moments. (Just kidding!)

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Uncertain (2017) , a documentary look at the residents of a small Texas town, is at 100 percent.
  • Betting on Zero (2017) , a documentary probe of the multi-level marketing corporation Herbalife, is at 100 percent.
  • Love & Taxes (2017) , a semi-autobiographical comedy about the financial and emotional fallout from a man’s lengthy tax evasion, is at 100 percent.
  • Revolution - New Art for a New World (2017) , a documentary about the history of the Russian Avant-Garde art movement and its legacy, is at 100 percent.
  • Actor Martinez (2017) , about a man who hires a pair of filmmakers to direct him in a movie, only to lose control of the project, is at 91 percent.
  • Raw (2017) , about the increasingly grisly fallout from a vegetarian college student’s carnivorous awakening, is at 90 percent.
  • My Scientology Movie (2017) , a documentary look at the internal practices (and external controversies) of the titular organization, is at 87 percent.
  • Burning Sands (2017) , a drama about the violent hazing within a college fraternity, is at 83 percent.
  • The Other Half (2017) , a drama that traces the arc of a star-crossed affair between a man and a bi-polar woman, is at 82 percent.
  • Personal Shopper (2017) , starring Kristen Stewart as a celebrity attendant with some supernatural secrets, is at 75 percent.
  • The Sense Of An Ending (2017) , starring Jim Broadbent as a man forced to belatedly reckon with his past, is at 72 percent.
  • Suntan (2017) , about the affair between a middle-aged doctor and a much younger woman — and its inevitable repercussions — is at 67 percent.
  • Who's Crazy? (2017) , a recovered print of Thomas White’s 1965 Ornette Coleman-scored oddity about escaped mental patients holed up in a Belgian farmhouse, is at 67 percent.
  • This Beautiful Fantastic (2017) , about the unlikely friendship that develops between a misanthrope and an aspiring children’s book author, is at 57 percent.
  • Brimstone (2017) , a period drama about a mute midwife (Dakota Fanning) who runs afoul of a preacher (Guy Pearce), is at 36 percent.
  • The Ottoman Lieutenant (2017) , a period WWI drama starring Ben Kingsley and Josh Hartnett, is at 24 percent.

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