Critics Consensus

Latest Smurfs Gives Critics the Blues

Plus, Going in Style is an unnecessary makeover, Brockmire is funny and compelling, and Your Name and Colossal are Certified Fresh.

by | April 6, 2017 | Comments

This week at the movies, we have miniature woodland critters with the blues (Smurfs: The Lost Village, featuring the voices of Demi Lovato and Rainn Wilson), retirees with an axe to grind (Going in Style, starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin), and a married couple at a religious crossroads (The Case for Christ, starring Mike Vogel and Erika Christensen). What are the critics saying?

Smurfs: The Lost Village (2017) 40%

At this point, there are no surprises with the Smurfs — you’re either on board with the little blue creatures debuted by Belgian artist Peyo in 1958 or you find their antics insufferable, and never the twain shall meet. With that in mind, it’s worth noting that this weekend’s Smurfs: The Lost Village represents something of a departure from recent installments in the franchise, given that it’s an all-animation outing instead of the live-action/CGI hybrids of the previous trilogy, but the story remains substantially the same. On one side of the story, you’ve got the Smurfs happily smurfing along; on the other, you have their eternal nemesis, the wicked wizard Gargamel (voiced by Rainn Wilson). This adventure adds a few new narrative wrinkles, but as has been the case with recent Smurfs outings, critics aren’t impressed — whether it’s the rather mundane story or the middle-of-the-road animation, reviews identify no shortage of deficiencies for discerning family audiences. The next time you’re in urgent need of a cinematic babysitter, it might do in a pinch, but this Lost Village probably isn’t worth finding at a theater near you.

Going in Style (2017) 48%

If a movie offers a brilliant cast a too-rare opportunity to shine — but still ends up being somewhat less than compelling — should it still be celebrated on some level? That’s the question facing critics this weekend with Going in Style, which puts veteran talents Alan Arkin, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Ann-Margaret back in the spotlight for a loose remake of the somewhat forgotten 1979 dramedy of the same name. Like the original, which starred George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg, the plot finds a trio of retirees plotting a robbery — but this time around, instead of just looking for one last adventure, our protagonists are righteously ticked off after being cheated out of their pensions by unscrupulous bankers. There’s an opportunity to justify this remake with a fresh timely perspective, in other words; alas, critics say director Zach Braff leaves it on the table — along with just about everything else that might have made the movie more than a painless passing diversion. That being said, the opportunity to watch these old pros work together might make Going in Style worth a watch… if only to let Hollywood know there’s still a demand for its stars’ services.

The Case for Christ (2017) 59%

An Easter-season dramatization of the real-life marital/spiritual crisis that engulfed journalist Lee Strobel after his wife experienced a religious awakening, The Case for Christ (starring Mike Vogel and Erika Christensen as the Strobels) purports to tell the tale of his unexpected journey upon setting out to debunk Christianity once and for all. We’d love to tell you what the critics have to say about all this, but unfortunately, the movie didn’t screen for them ahead of time — and you know what that means. Guess the Tomatometer!

What’s New on TV

Brockmire: Season 1 (2017) 94%

Brockmire insinuates itself as the series goes on, elevated by assured, compelling performances from Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet — and a raw humor all its own.

Prison Break: Season 5 (2017) 55%

Prison Break recaptures some of its old urgency in its return, but familiar faces and frenetic action aren’t enough to make up for a plot that manages to bore while beggaring belief.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Truman (2017) , about two old friends reconnecting under the specter of looming sadness, is Certified Fresh at 100 percent.
  • Alive and Kicking (2017) , a documentary look at the culture of swing dancing, is at 100 percent.
  • Your Name. (Kimi No Na Wa.) (2017) , an anime about two teens who suddenly swap bodies — and genders — is Certified Fresh at 97 percent.
  • Graduation (Bacalaureat) (2017) , about a father’s progressively more complicated efforts to ensure a bright academic future for his daughter, is Certified Fresh at 96 percent.
  • Their Finest (2017) , about a woman pressed into service writing propaganda movies for Britain during World War II, is at 92 percent.
  • The Transfiguration (2017) , about two alienated teens who form a potentially fraught bond, is at 86 percent.
  • SHOT!: The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock (2017) , a documentary look at the life and career of photographer Mick Rock, is at 86 percent.
  • The Void (2017) , about the supernatural chaos that erupts after a policeman discovers a dying man and rushes him to treatment, is at 80 percent.
  • Colossal (2017) , writer-director Nacho Vigalondo‘s balancing act between monster movie and addiction drama, is Certified Fresh at 76 percent.
  • All These Sleepless Nights (2017) , about the complications that develop between two friends during their school years in Warsaw, is at 75 percent.
  • i hate myself 🙂 (2017) , a self-reflexive documentary examining director Joanna Arnow‘s life and filmmaking process itself, is at 60 percent.
  • Gifted (2017) , starring Chris Evans as a man whose guardianship of his niece is threatened by the attention attracted by her prodigious intellect, is at 57 percent.
  • Aftermath (2017) , starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a man struggling to come to terms with the sudden death of his wife and daughter, is at 40 percent.
  • The Ticket (2017) , starring Dan Stevens as a man whose life is upended in unexpected ways after he regains his eyesight, is at 39 percent.
  • Salt and Fire (2017) , a Werner Herzog drama about a hostage situation starring Michael Shannon and Gael García Bernal, is at 29 percent.
  • The Assignment (2017) , starring Michelle Rodriguez as a hitman who undergoes forced gender reassignment surgery at the hands of a vengeful doctor (Sigourney Weaver), is at 24 percent.
  • Mine (2017) , starring Armie Hammer as a soldier stranded alone in hostile territory after a mission goes violently awry, is at 19 percent.
  • Queen of the Desert (2017) , starring Nicole Kidman in a biopic about English explorer Gertrude Bell, is at 11 percent.

Tag Cloud

Turner Classic Movies Chernobyl Television Academy Teen directors Bravo dceu Rocky ghosts See It Skip It Vudu Certified Fresh HBO supernatural dc TV renewals Baby Yoda crime Biopics adventure Ghostbusters binge vampires Western television comic Captain marvel Toys cars 2016 screenings Drama Comics on TV miniseries TCA Winter 2020 Epix TCA Animation Turner crossover Premiere Dates Polls and Games technology Film Festival talk show The CW Country Adult Swim Apple Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Paramount festivals Song of Ice and Fire singing competition Kids & Family Tomatazos DC Comics Lifetime Christmas movies true crime CBS All Access SDCC Nickelodeon period drama CNN Sci-Fi animated independent NBC TNT unscripted Cartoon Network Valentine's Day ABC documentary Walt Disney Pictures Crackle Marvel dragons Martial Arts Rock The Walking Dead Sneak Peek Amazon Prime Video movie TruTV Mary Tyler Moore teaser versus MSNBC Superheroes CBS Disney Star Trek Mary Poppins Returns cops FX aliens serial killer X-Men Dark Horse Comics werewolf Sundance TV Fox News spain composers National Geographic TCA 2017 Creative Arts Emmys Disney streaming service book SundanceTV casting nature Super Bowl OneApp richard e. Grant Mindy Kaling Nominations police drama spider-man medical drama President sag awards DGA RT History Infographic cats mutant zero dark thirty AMC sports movies MTV TCM Box Office Sundance Now Reality Competition Spring TV quibi Tumblr OWN screen actors guild NYCC The Arrangement Rom-Com Winter TV ratings Awards Tour A24 Character Guide romance CMT biography Britbox crime thriller 2020 PaleyFest Comedy political drama Spectrum Originals cancelled TV series 2015 Calendar zombies 20th Century Fox romantic comedy indie USA Network blockbuster USA Nat Geo Pride Month Emmy Nominations TIFF renewed TV shows thriller Photos HBO Max New York Comic Con Netflix Grammys Anna Paquin Shudder Columbia Pictures Cosplay free movies jamie lee curtis Reality Black Mirror First Look cancelled TV shows cancelled television canceled TV shows E3 south america elevated horror Universal FXX Academy Awards Marvel Television TV Land Lionsgate dogs APB Musicals Oscars BBC America Mary poppins Family Chilling Adventures of Sabrina A&E Red Carpet Discovery Channel Elton John Tubi The Witch Lucasfilm E! VICE Extras space psychological thriller ABC Family boxoffice cartoon name the review natural history Thanksgiving kids Set visit Ellie Kemper mockumentary sitcom Quiz Crunchyroll cooking DC Universe sequel 21st Century Fox harry potter DC streaming service tv talk reboot RT21 FOX what to watch Paramount Network WGN Star Wars Arrowverse YouTube Red spanish language halloween 007 WarnerMedia Trailer Sundance American Society of Cinematographers DirecTV Fantasy Masterpiece children's TV ITV Brie Larson Endgame diversity Countdown comiccon batman historical drama based on movie Warner Bros. TBS 2018 spy thriller Writers Guild of America game of thrones Food Network 2019 Shondaland latino doctor who Apple TV Plus YouTube Premium Sony Pictures Awards Christmas Comedy Central Watching Series theme song Tarantino science fiction finale Amazon Studios Hallmark Christmas movies Pirates PBS Logo dramedy crime drama History Binge Guide cancelled Holiday hist BET Emmys Trophy Talk comics Best and Worst facebook Cannes 71st Emmy Awards stand-up comedy IFC Films cults anthology BBC Disney+ Disney Plus Winners The Purge adaptation Syfy streaming San Diego Comic-Con Comic Book GIFs CW Seed canceled 24 frames Musical joker YouTube MCU social media series blaxploitation Starz Apple TV+ 2017 Classic Film video Peacock TV Acorn TV revenge Trivia slashers strong female leads Music witnail VH1 game show green book LGBT Women's History Month IFC Mystery Marvel Studios Disney Plus ESPN zombie Summer anime Podcast Film politics Pet Sematary travel war LGBTQ Disney Channel Interview GoT golden globes docudrama Hallmark Opinion rotten movies we love breaking bad discovery Avengers 45 Video Games spinoff christmas movies Ovation Horror SXSW robots Rocketman hispanic GLAAD Superheroe Heroines First Reviews Spike Fall TV YA Marathons El Rey Action Freeform Amazon Prime Lifetime Esquire Pop Pixar cinemax disaster Year in Review foreign psycho Netflix Christmas movies Amazon toy story Holidays justice league Showtime Election transformers TLC Mudbound award winner Stephen King Hulu Schedule