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) 38%

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) 49%

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) 52%

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

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