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) 47%

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) 61%

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) 56%

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 (2015) , about two old friends reconnecting under the specter of looming sadness, is Certified Fresh at 100 percent.
  • Alive and Kicking (2016) , a documentary look at the culture of swing dancing, is at 100 percent.
  • Your Name (2016) , an anime about two teens who suddenly swap bodies — and genders — is Certified Fresh at 97 percent.
  • Graduation (2016) , 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 (2016) , about a woman pressed into service writing propaganda movies for Britain during World War II, is at 92 percent.
  • The Transfiguration (2016) , about two alienated teens who form a potentially fraught bond, is at 86 percent.
  • SHOT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock (2016) , a documentary look at the life and career of photographer Mick Rock, is at 86 percent.
  • The Void (2016) , about the supernatural chaos that erupts after a policeman discovers a dying man and rushes him to treatment, is at 80 percent.
  • Colossal (2016) , writer-director Nacho Vigalondo‘s balancing act between monster movie and addiction drama, is Certified Fresh at 76 percent.
  • All These Sleepless Nights (2016) , about the complications that develop between two friends during their school years in Warsaw, is at 75 percent.
  • I Hate Myself 🙂 (2013) , 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 (2016) , 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 (2016) , a Werner Herzog drama about a hostage situation starring Michael Shannon and Gael García Bernal, is at 29 percent.
  • The Assignment (2016) , 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 (2016) , 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 (2015) , starring Nicole Kidman in a biopic about English explorer Gertrude Bell, is at 11 percent.

Tag Cloud

fast and furious Trophy Talk emmy awards Pop justice league A&E italian romantic comedy Calendar Broadway Extras Disney streaming service Set visit Apple TV Plus children's TV Musicals stop motion halloween tv rotten movies we love E3 legend Star Trek Arrowverse HBO Max El Rey boxoffice X-Men FX on Hulu The Academy tv talk The Arrangement Paramount Plus adaptation Disney+ Disney Plus Kids & Family RT21 rom-coms NBC medical drama documentaries American Society of Cinematographers streaming Pop TV Endgame TLC Acorn TV revenge Cosplay rt labs critics edition Country Interview Chernobyl Mystery Sci-Fi singing competition romance Black History Month ESPN hollywood rt labs Video Games series space international APB First Look classics BBC Certified Fresh hispanic renewed TV shows Nominations WarnerMedia suspense BAFTA mission: impossible Year in Review period drama mcc Toys sopranos rt archives Rock Infographic TV Land Holidays trailers Watching Series Rom-Com action-comedy video stoner comics universal monsters Quiz Tomatazos screenings comiccon PaleyFest CNN hispanic heritage month GLAAD Character Guide name the review pirates of the caribbean Dark Horse Comics posters Neflix animated spider-verse comic books diversity TV versus FOX ABC Family TV movies Teen Alien venice Esquire golden globes 24 frames The Purge historical drama Comics on TV indie Shondaland Universal Pictures Shudder Disney Plus video on demand talk show Podcast sports telelvision ratings twilight black comedy 93rd Oscars Logo Mary Poppins Returns casting Best and Worst Adult Swim BBC One a nightmare on elm street Creative Arts Emmys 20th Century Fox Legendary PlayStation 45 Rocketman Marvel olympics GIFs TCM Film batman TBS vs. 73rd Emmy Awards AMC Plus OneApp TCA Trailer binge die hard Tokyo Olympics prank new zealand lord of the rings TV renewals comic book movies award winner ITV Box Office ID Paramount Network adenture Lucasfilm green book Fox Searchlight Valentine's Day Warner Bros. Baby Yoda anime zombies SundanceTV Awards Tour news political drama Trivia south america CBS All Access 90s Reality Emmy Nominations 2018 saw Song of Ice and Fire Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Tarantino PBS dark gangster Image Comics australia Schedule Biopics cooking Hulu 71st Emmy Awards Showtime women richard e. Grant cinemax Mindy Kaling Apple TV+ art house television Spike mockumentary Pirates Academy Awards werewolf wonder woman Marvel Studios Ghostbusters DirecTV Travel Channel Spring TV game of thrones Family nature YouTube Election kids hist Comedy Central Masterpiece DC streaming service mutant obituary critic resources Exclusive Video Superheroes remakes History Lifetime Christmas movies movie HBO all-time child's play sitcom Amazon feel good sequel genre E! black Animation live action spider-man ghosts TIFF Columbia Pictures superhero politics WGN spy thriller Avengers teaser anthology Sundance TV christmas movies unscripted theme song travel police drama asian-american DC Comics Cartoon Network james bond See It Skip It The Walking Dead discovery halloween First Reviews festivals Emmys chucky free movies heist movie 4/20 Marvel Television cops Crunchyroll canceled kaiju 2019 japanese concert Countdown ABC Signature psychological thriller rotten Tumblr aapi festival kong FXX joker Amazon Prime Winter TV Universal Marathons science fiction Lifetime Nickelodeon toy story aliens Western based on movie Apple Drama Action Television Critics Association docudrama Opinion book slasher japan IFC Films SDCC royal family Grammys parents A24 king kong marvel comics Ellie Kemper Fox News Musical DGA Red Carpet President Hear Us Out Tubi biography The Witch comedies quibi documentary independent boxing 72 Emmy Awards Comic-Con@Home 2021 archives 2021 nfl Comedy DC Universe war Oscars Bravo critics finale AMC Syfy Rocky Mary Tyler Moore cancelled TV shows 2020 franchise godzilla OWN Cannes SXSW Polls and Games dceu dragons Thanksgiving Premiere Dates Sony Pictures Starz football cults Spectrum Originals criterion Wes Anderson latino cancelled TV series canceled TV shows Horror dexter Instagram Live LGBT Classic Film YouTube Premium Anna Paquin Vudu IMDb TV Binge Guide deadpool indiana jones spanish basketball Mudbound worst movies MCU NYCC Hallmark Christmas movies Superheroe technology cartoon scene in color New York Comic Con 21st Century Fox VH1 zero dark thirty superman Epix Netflix serial killer HBO Go target 2016 king arthur robots streaming movies Holiday jamie lee curtis Reality Competition 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards ViacomCBS cancelled television Pet Sematary toronto worst dreamworks Disney composers USA Turner crime thriller scorecard biopic cancelled mob crime drama Pacific Islander thriller Netflix Christmas movies The Walt Disney Company crossover IFC CBS National Geographic BET Awards ABC VICE 2017 high school jurassic park dc satire Christmas strong female leads screen actors guild Television Academy Women's History Month cats TCA Winter 2020 TNT crime directors Sundance Awards YA Super Bowl new york blockbuster monster movies harry potter NBA Martial Arts social media debate new star wars movies scary movies USA Network movies The CW Comic Book zombie Elton John Funimation laika TruTV GoT transformers supernatural Ovation TCA Awards blaxploitation popular reviews TCA 2017 Paramount Sneak Peek Freeform young adult live event Peacock Food Network 99% San Diego Comic-Con Black Mirror docuseries game show Discovery Channel Summer Mary poppins CW Seed films stand-up comedy razzies Britbox dogs Film Festival Pixar witnail vampires reboot BET blockbusters Writers Guild of America comic book movie golden globe awards Disney Channel natural history Turner Classic Movies Stephen King Sundance Now Brie Larson CMT MSNBC foreign book adaptation RT History BBC America spinoff adventure Winners 007 true crime TV One psycho sag awards LGBTQ facebook nbcuniversal Music comic Heroines Captain marvel sequels Hallmark doctor who dramedy Star Wars YouTube Red Fall TV VOD french Lionsgate fresh Fantasy what to watch Crackle best FX miniseries Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt marvel cinematic universe Photos spain Pride Month cars hidden camera Amazon Prime Video disaster scary 2015 Amazon Studios slashers Walt Disney Pictures MTV spanish language elevated horror know your critic Nat Geo 1990s breaking bad