Critics Consensus

Office Christmas Party Spreads Moderate Yuletide Cheer

Plus, Jessica Chastain elevates Miss Sloane, and Nocturnal Animals and La La Land are Certified Fresh.

by | December 8, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we have an office Christmas party (Office Christmas Party, starring Jason Bateman and T.J. Miller), a lobbyist in for the fight of her career (Miss Sloane, starring Jessica Chastain and Mark Strong), and a couple haunted by their ruined marriage (Nocturnal Animals, starring Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal). What are the critics saying?


Office Christmas Party (2016) 41%

There’s a lot more to a great movie than a talented cast, but rounding up the right people to put in front of the camera definitely counts for a lot — and the folks behind Office Christmas Party got themselves a pretty good head start by assembling an ensemble that includes Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, T.J. Miller, Kate McKinnon, Rob Corddry, Vanessa Bayer, Olivia Munn, and Courtney B. Vance. You’d think putting that many funny people on a set and hatching a plot about an (ahem) office Christmas party would be enough to guarantee laughs, but alas, it isn’t that simple; instead of the raunchy yuletide gut-buster promised by the premise, reviews describe an unnecessarily busy tangle of storylines that’s punctuated by unoriginal gags and topped off with an awkwardly mawkish finale. All things considered, it still might be more entertaining than an actual office Christmas party — but we all know that isn’t necessarily saying much.


Miss Sloane (2016) 76%

Director John Madden gave Jessica Chastain one of her first big-screen breaks with a role in 2010’s The Debt, and they’re back together again with this weekend’s Miss Sloane. Although Chastain’s star has risen quite a bit since then, the duo still make a good pair — in fact, critics say Madden gets another stellar performance out of his star in this politically fueled drama about a Washington lobbyist who locks horns with the gun industry. It’s a good thing, too, because for all its narrative smarts, reviews describe Miss Sloane as a fairly flawed — and perhaps somewhat dated — look at the American political system whose successes largely stem from its leading lady’s powerful work. See it if you’re a fan or if you have a hankering for some (fictional) D.C. drama, but adjust your expectations accordingly.


Nocturnal Animals (2016) 74%

With 2009’s A Single Man, fashion designer Tom Ford made an Oscar-nominated entree into filmmaking — and raised the stakes considerably for his second effort. Happily, Nocturnal Animals mostly avoids falling prey to the sophomore jinx; although critics’ responses have run a bit more of a gamut than they did with A Single Man, this chilly look at a divorced couple (Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal) adds another acclaimed entry to Ford’s budding filmography. Animals‘ nested structure isn’t for everyone — the narrative threads viewers between reality and the story of the novel written by Gyllenhaal’s character — and it certainly isn’t a feel-good affair. But viewers in the mood for a sleekly assured drama don’t have far to look this weekend.


What’s New on TV

Shut Eye: Season 1 (2016) 37%

Shut Eye‘s solid cast isn’t enough to overcome an overdone, overstuffed, and undercooked story.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

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