Critics Consensus

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Is Certified Fresh

Plus, The Equalizer 2 doesn't quite equal the first, Unfriended: Dark Web is a decent follow-up, and McQueen, Blindspotting, and The Third Murder are also all Certified Fresh.

by | July 19, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a singalong sequel (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, starring Amanda Seyfried and Lily James), a lethal Lyft driver (The Equalizer 2, starring Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal), and a deadly series of tubes (Unfriended: Dark Web, starring Colin Wooddell and Betty Gabriel). What are the critics saying?

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) 80%

Even if you aren’t a fan of their music, it’s hard not to hand it to ABBA — after selling millions of albums, they helped turn their lengthy list of pop hits into the long-running jukebox musical Mamma Mia!, which spun off a global box office smash hit film adaptation in 2008. A decade later, demand for the Swedish songsmiths’ catalog remains strong: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again reunites members of the original cast and mixes in some new additions for another love story laced with musical numbers, some of which were also used in the first film. It’s an unlikely sequel that looks like it shouldn’t work on paper, in other words, but there’s evidently still no denying that old ABBA magic — in fact, critics are decidedly more enthusiastic about Here We Go Again, which has won over a slew of pundits in spite of (and/or because of) its over-the-top, carefree ridiculousness. Whether you’re a fan of the group, saw the show, loved the first film, or are just in need of some good-natured escapism this weekend, this is one wide release that’s ready to deliver.

Equalizer 2 (2018) 52%

As he’s demonstrated repeatedly throughout his remarkable career, when it comes to acting, Denzel Washington can do pretty much whatever he wants — and he’s just about done it all, with the exception of leading a franchise. That all changes with the arrival of The Equalizer 2, which reunites Washington with his Equalizer director (and frequent collaborator) Antoine Fuqua for a new chapter in the story of CIA vet-turned-reluctant vigilante Robert McCall. This time out, it’s personal: after an old friend is killed, McCall finds himself back on the warpath, dispensing vengeance along the way. It’s just the sort of setup that’s led to plenty of satisfying action thrillers, and critics say Washington is just as magnetic as ever; unfortunately, the movie around him never really lives up to its leading man. Reviews describe a fairly watchable film that might even be an improvement over its predecessor in some respects, but still disappoints by neglecting to do anything truly compelling with its overly familiar ingredients. If you enjoyed the first Equalizer, you may very well enjoy its sequel — but you may also want to wait until it makes its way to home video.

Unfriended: Dark Web (2018) 60%

Great horror works on an elemental level, and every time filmmakers try to tinker with that basic formula, they risk diluting the genre’s visceral impact. But there are always exceptions, like 2015’s Unfriended, in which a group of teens are preyed upon by an unseen killer out for revenge. Using a technique dubbed “screenlife” by producer Timur Bekmambetov, the movie’s action unfolds on computer screens; the end result proved an unlikely minor hit with critics on its way to a wildly profitable theatrical run, and now we’ve got a sequel in this weekend’s Unfriended: Dark Web. It’s exactly the type of gimmick you wouldn’t expect to impress critics a single time, let alone more than once — but the Unfriended follow-up, which finds a different group of young people dealing with a new tech-fueled threat, is doing just about as well with the pundits as its predecessor. Reviews describe a slickly engaging horror outing that gets by on a strong sense of atmosphere and timely themes, even if it doesn’t stand quite as tall as some of the more broadly acclaimed recent entries in the genre. A lot of us are a little scared of our computers these days, and Unfriended: Dark Web looks like it takes advantage of that uneasiness just well enough to recommend.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • McQueen (2018) ,a documentary about the acclaimed fashion designer, is Certified Fresh at 100%.
  • Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms (2018) , an anime outing about a nearly ageless being lured into the world of man after adopting a human child, is at 100%.
  • King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen (2018) , a documentary look at the titular Hollywood outsider’s career, is at 100%.
  • Blindspotting (2018) , a dramedy co-written by and starring Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal as a pair of friends facing challenges while navigating life in Oakland, is Certified Fresh at 89%.
  • Pin Cushion (2018) , in which a mother and daughter expand their social circles after moving to a new town, only to discover friendship can be painfully difficult, is at 89%.
  • The Third Murder (Sandome no satsujin) (2018) , a legal drama about a defense attorney who uncovers unexpected details in his latest case, is Certified Fresh at 88%.
  • Larger Than Life: The Kevyn Aucoin Story (2018) , a tribute to the too-brief life and legacy of makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin, is at 80%.
  • Generation Wealth (2018) , a documentary about the cultural emphasis on material wealth in modern America, is at 50%.
  • Occupation (2018) , in which a small band of resistance fighters try to save the Earth from alien invasion, is at 50%.
  • Damascus Cover (2018) , a suspense thriller about a grieving father who accepts an assignment from the Mossad and soon realizes he’s in over his head, is at 0%.

Tag Cloud

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