Critics Consensus

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Is Imaginative but Messy

Plus, Deepwater Horizon is thrilling, Masterminds lacks wit, and Transparent, Luke Cage, Pitch, and Westworld are all Certified Fresh.

by | September 29, 2016 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have a magical orphanage (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, starring Eva Green and Asa Butterfield), Mark Wahlberg to the rescue (Deepwater Horizon, co-starring Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson), bumbling bank robbers (Masterminds, starring Zach Galifianakis and Kristen Wiig) and an awards-season checkmate (Queen of Katwe, starring Lupita Nyong’o and Madina Nalwanga). What do the critics have to say?

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016) 64%

Tim Burton‘s love of ornate visuals and dark whimsy hasn’t always jibed with the mainstream, but with his adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, he’s tackling a property that’s not only squarely in his wheelhouse, but has enough of an audience to encourage hopes for a blockbuster. Inspired by Ransom Riggs’ YA bestseller, Peculiar follows the adventures of Jake (Asa Butterfield), a grieving boy who stumbles into a time loop populated by strange and wonderful people — just in time to be drawn into their life-or-death battle against a terrifying foe (Samuel L. Jackson). Packed with quirk (and franchise potential), the story sets the table for a cinematic feast of truly Burtonian proportions; unfortunately, reviews describe an end product that’s something less than the sum of its parts. Perhaps too frightening for younger viewers and too loose with the source material for hardcore fans of the books, Burton’s Peculiar Children may prove a hard sell — but one not without its charms for the director’s fans and those seeking something strange and a little dark at the cineplex this weekend.

Deepwater Horizon (2016) 83%

How do you turn a catastrophic real-life disaster into entertainment? It’s tricky, obviously, but with Deepwater Horizon, director Peter Berg proves it can be done. Inspired by the events leading up to the 2010 oil spill that killed 11 crewmen and left a devastating environmental imprint in the Gulf of Mexico, this ensemble thriller stars Mark Wahlberg as a rig worker who leaps into the fray after the explosion that threatens the lives of his crew — and critics say he does a fine job, along with a list of co-stars that includes Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, and Kate Hudson, while Berg remains a dependably deft hand with a senses-rattling set piece. While many critics have hastened to add that Deepwater might have been more satisfying if it took the time to consider the regional aftermath of the events it dramatizes, reviews still point to an absorbing, well-acted action drama with some extra poignant nonfictional heft.

Masterminds (2016) 34%

Comedy is subjective, but even taking individual tastes into account, this weekend’s Masterminds boasts a pretty impressive pedigree: Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon are just a few of the funny people in its ensemble cast, and if that isn’t enough, it also has Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess at the helm — as well as a script inspired by the true story of an absurd bank heist sparked by a toxic blend of greed and unrequited love. Alas, critics say most of that potential is squandered here; although the movie almost can’t help but manage a handful of funny moments, they’re smothered in an aggressively wacky caper that mistakes questionable hairstyles for genuine laughs.

Queen of Katwe (2016) 94%

For a cerebral game that may not seem inherently cinematic, chess has served as the backdrop for some pretty entertaining films over the years — a list upon which Disney’s Queen of Katwe can now claim a spot of honor. This inspirational drama finds director Mira Nair commanding a stellar cast led by Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo, and starring newcomer Madina Nalwanga as real-life Ugandan chess champion Phiona Mutesi, and although its portrayal of Mutesi’s life might be guilty of indulging in a few stereotypical Hollywood shenanigans, the story of this unlikely prodigy is undeniably compelling. Critics say Nyong’o and Oyelowo deliver outstanding performances, while Nair has earned some of her best reviews since 2002’s Monsoon Wedding. If it’s feelgood fare you seek this weekend, check your local listings for Queen of Katwe.


What’s Hot on TV

Transparent: Season 3 (2016) 100%

Uniquely its own, and compelling and poignant as ever, Transparent continues to transcend the parameters of comedic and dramatic television with sustained excellence in its empathetic portrayal of the Pfefferman family.

Marvel's Luke Cage: Season 1 (2016) 90%

An immersive, socially conscious narrative and a confident, charismatic lead performance make Marvel’s Luke Cage a stellar sampling of the new Marvel/Netflix universe.

Pitch: Season 1 (2016) 93%

A terrific lead performance and well-constructed setup and timely themes make Pitch a home run.

Westworld: Season 1 (2016) 87%

With an impressive level of quality that honors its source material, the brilliantly addictive Westworld balances intelligent, enthralling drama against outright insanity.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Long Way North (2015) , a period adventure following a 19th-century teenaged Russian aristocrat on a beautifully animated Arctic quest, is at 100 percent.
  • Sand Storm (2016) , about the effects of entrenched patriarchy on the women of one Israeli family, is at 94 percent.
  • Among the Believers (2015) , a look at a real-life cleric’s efforts to impose Sharia law in Pakistan, is at 91 percent.
  • Harry & Snowman (2015) , a documentary about the bond between Harry de Leyer and his champion horse, is at 89 percent.
  • A Man Called Ove (2015) , a Swedish import adapting the bestselling novel about an elderly man whose plans for suicide are foiled by unwanted friendships, is at 86 percent.
  • Tharlo (2015) , a Tibetan import about a shepherd caught in a legal bind, is at 86 percent.
  • Do Not Resist (2016) , a documentary about the police in modern America, is at 85 percent.
  • American Honey (2016) , about a teenage runaway’s experiences with a group of potentially unsavory new friends, is at 78 percent.
  • The Apostate (2015) , about the bureaucratic entanglements suffered by a Spaniard struggling to excommunicate himself from the Catholic church, is at 76 percent.
  • Denial (2016) , starring Rachel Weisz in a fact-based drama about the legal battle that erupts after an author is accused of being a Holocaust denier, is at 70 percent.
  • Danny Says (2015) , a documentary about the little-known yet incredible career of music industry figure Danny Fields, is at 60 percent.
  • ClownTown (2016) , about a group of stranded friends fighting to survive in a town full of homicidal clowns, is at 13 percent.
  • The Headhunter's Calling (2016) , starring Gerard Butler and Willem Dafoe in a drama about a headhunter vying for control of the company where he works, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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