Critics Consensus

Kung Fu Panda 3 Is Po-fectly Entertaining

Plus, The Finest Hours offers traditional thrills, You, Me, and the Apocalypse is Certified Fresh, and guess Fifty Shades of Black's Tomatometer.

by | January 28, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a portly protector (Kung Fu Panda 3, featuring the voices of Jack Black and J.K. Simmons), high seas heroics (The Finest Hours, starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck), and a steamy spoof (Fifty Shades of Black, starring Marlon Wayans and Kali Hawk). What do the critics have to say?


Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) 87%

If any studio is capable of challenging the perennial dominance of Pixar, it’s DreamWorks Animation, home to fairy tale ogres, trained dragons, and a bevy of zoo animals stranded in Madagascar. This week, another DreamWorks success story unleashes its third installment, and critics say Kung Fu Panda 3 is a visually delightful treat, even if its story is a tad ho-hum. This time out, Po (voiced by Jack Black) unites with another panda from his past (Bryan Cranston) to train a new generation of warriors and defeat an evil master (J.K. Simmons) from the spirit realm. The pundits say that, despite a thinner plot, Kung Fu Panda 3 is as entertaining and spectacularly animated as its predecessors.


The Finest Hours (2016) 64%

Remarkable true stories don’t always translate to compelling cinema, even when they’re about harrowing maritime encounters — see last year’s In the Heart of the Sea, for example. Critics say this week’s The Finest Hours, which is based on a 1952 Coast Guard rescue off the coast of Cape Cod, mostly gets by on some old-fashioned thrills, but it also stumbles in its efforts to stir up drama. Chris Pine stars as Bernard Webber, a Coast Guard officer who leads a small motorboat crew into rough seas to retrieve the survivors of a tanker ripped in half by a powerful nor’easter. The pundits say The Finest Hours is a fairly traditional survival drama that benefits from its gripping rescue sequences but stalls whenever it cuts away from the action.


Fifty Shades of Black (2016) 7%

There are some who would argue that the erotic drama Fifty Shades of Grey was unintentionally comedic in its own way, but those looking for even less subtlety can look forward to Fifty Shades of Black, a parody of the EL James adaptation that wasn’t screened for critics. Marlon Wayans — the master satirist behind the Scary Movie and A Haunted House franchises — stars as the titular exec, who presumably reveals his penchant for BDSM and pop culture references when he becomes involved with an innocent reporter (Kali Hawk) looking to write a story about him. Time to guess the Tomatometer!


What’s Hot on TV

You, Me and the Apocalypse: Series 1 (2015) 83%

You, Me, and the Apocalypse has a lot of fun with the end of the world, if you can keep up with its unpredictable, oddball twists.


 

Outsiders: Season 1 (2016) 76%

Outsiders‘ gritty performances keep the backwoods drama intriguing, even when the story gets stuck in the mud.


Chelsea Does: Season 1 (2016) 79%

Chelsea Does manages to investigate some meaningful topics, but the show’s polarizing namesake is also its greatest liability.


Lucifer: Season 1 (2016) 50%

Lucifer‘s got sex appeal, but the show’s hackneyed cop procedural format undermines a potentially entertaining premise.

 


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • The Clan (El Clan) (2016) , a based-on-true-events period crime drama about an Argentine family who kidnapped wealthy citizens and held them for ransom, is at 92 percent.
  • Requiem For The American Dream (2016) , a documentary compiled from interviews with political activist Noam Chomsky, who explores the nature of income inequality, is at 86 percent.
  • Mountain Men (2016) , starring Chace Crawford and Tyler Labine in a comedy about two brothers trying to evict a squatter from their family cabin, is at 83 percent.
  • Lazer Team (2016) , a sci-fi comedy about four unlikely heroes who must work together to prevent an alien invasion , is at 58 percent.
  • Rabin, the Last Day (2016) , a documentary about the assassination of Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, is at 50 percent.
  • Eternity: The Movie (2016) , a comedy about two musicians trying to make it in the mid-1980s smooth R&B scene, is at zero percent.
  • Jane Got a Gun (2016) , starring Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor in a western about a woman who seeks help from a former lover to defend herself from a gang of bandits, was not widely screened for critics.
  • Mike Smith

    So we to guess both Jane Got a Gun and 50 Shades of Black-again??? Did we have that last week???

    • MontyPythonFanatic2

      Welcome to January. Oh, and be prepared to guess next week for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, if not The Choice as well.

      • Clark

        At least the Coen bros come to the rescue next week with Hail Caeser!

  • Brian

    Too bad, you never revealed last week’s winners. Anyway:

    50 Shades of Black: 11 percent (Weak take on an already comedic franchise)
    Jane Got a Gun: 35 percent (Strong cast can’t make up for weak Western material)

Tag Cloud

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