Critics Consensus

Only the Brave Is a Powerful Tribute

Plus, Geostorm is a flashy disaster, The Snowman earns a chilly critical reception, and Mindhunter is Certified Fresh.

by | October 19, 2017 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have a fact-based firefighter drama (Only the Brave, starring Josh Brolin and Miles Teller), a world on the brink of destruction (Geostorm, starring Gerard Butler and Jim Sturgess), Madea’s latest brush with the supernatural (Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween, starring Tyler Perry and Cassi Davis), a detective on the trail of a serial killer (The Snowman, starring Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson), and the tale of an unlikely real-life friendship (Same Kind of Different as Me, starring Greg Kinnear and Renée Zellweger). What are the critics saying?

Only the Brave (2017) 87%

It can feel like it’s almost impossible to find a real hero these days — from the scurrilous behavior we see in the headlines to the darkness that seems to plague most modern incarnations of our most beloved cinematic good guys, life (and pop culture) makes it easy to second-guess who you’ve been rooting for. But in Only the Brave, the lines are pretty clear: on one side, you’ve got a raging wildfire threatening to engulf Arizona; on the other, you have the band of determined first responders who battled the blaze, some of whom paid the ultimate price for their dedication. It’s an old-fashioned tribute to heroism, in other words, and critics say it’s a darned effective one — a down-to-earth change of pace for Oblivion and Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski, it’s led by a solid ensemble cast rounded out by Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, and Miles Teller. Both as a stirring drama and a powerful tribute to the real-life firefighters who lost their lives, it’s being lauded as the kind of movie that sends you out of the theater full of emotion. If you’ve ever complained that Hollywood doesn’t make ’em like they used to, Only the Brave looks like a good way to invest your theatergoing dollars this weekend.

Geostorm (2017) 16%

As the writer and producer of effects-fueled movies like Independence Day and the 1998 Godzilla, Dean Devlin has learned a thing or two about blockbuster spectacle during his career — and Gerard Butler, star of 300 and the [Insert City Here] Has Fallen franchise, certainly knows his way around some CGI and a bunch of explosions. This weekend, the duo unite for Geostorm, a futuristic sci-fi action thriller — written, produced, and helmed by first-time director Devlin — in which Butler plays a satellite designer racing against time to save humanity after the machines controlling Earth’s climate go haywire. We can definitely expect a lot of serious looks, millions of dollars’ worth of special effects, and perhaps the destruction of a landmark or two, but unfortunately, the few critics who have weighed in thus far haven’t been particularly impressed by Devlin’s brand of world destruction, which they describe as flashy but ultimately uninspired. While more reviews steadily roll in and the Tomatometer begins to settle, feel free to check out our list of 24 disastrous disaster movies.

Tyler Perry's Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (2017) 4%

A year after scaring up nearly $75 million with Boo! A Madea Halloween, Tyler Perry has donned his most famous creation’s getup for the inevitable sequel. The tenth film in Perry’s wildly popular Madea series, Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween finds the title character in a haunted campground, where she, her cousin Aunt Bam, and their friend Hattie wind up in the middle of all manner of supernatural shenanigans. There will certainly be a lot of screaming involved, although whether any of it will come from the critics, we can only imagine. Boo 2! wasn’t screened in advance, so we’re still waiting on word regarding whether the scribes think Madea’s latest is worth your hard-earned income. In other words, guess the Tomatometer!

The Snowman (2017) 6%

All things considered, “Harry Hole” probably has to be one of the more unfortunate names for a big-screen police detective, but when an actor with Michael Fassbender’s steely charisma is playing a character, names don’t matter as much — and anyway, ol’ Harry has been thrilling readers with his bestselling exploits for 20 years, courtesy of author Jo Nesbø’s apparently boundless imagination for twisted crime stories. Detective Hole makes his Hollywood debut with this weekend’s The Snowman, helmed by director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and adapted from the seventh novel in the series, in which he must find and decommission a serial killer with a distinctively nasty calling card. Needless to say, this movie would seem to have all the right ingredients for a chilly good time, which makes it all the more disappointing that critics have rejected it so resoundingly — reviews describe a movie that misses the mark on any number of levels, from its clichéd and uninvolving plot to its troublingly sexist overtones. Fassbender remains an actor with more than enough cinematic authority to flash a badge and catch a perp, but The Snowman looks like a cold case in all the wrong ways.

Same Kind of Different as Me (2017) 40%

Only the Brave isn’t the only movie based on a real-life story this week. We also have Same Kind of Different as Me, inspired by the book written by Ron Hall and Denver Moore about how fundamentally both of their lives changed after they struck up a friendship sparked by Hall’s wife. Starring Greg Kinnear as Hall, Djimon Hounsou as Moore, and Renée Zellweger as Deborah Hall, Different makes its way to theaters after a long delay in the studio pipeline — this is a picture that was originally scheduled to be released last April, which doesn’t tend to bode well for a movie’s critical fortunes. Alas, we can’t say for sure quite yet, and you know what that means: it’s time to play Guess the Tomatometer for the second time this week.

What’s New on TV

Mindhunter: Season 1 (2017) 96%

Mindhunter distinguishes itself in a crowded genre with ambitiously cinematic visuals and a meticulous attention to character development.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Jane (2017) , a documentary about animal rights advocate Jane Goodall’s life and pioneering work, is at 100 percent.
  • Bad Day for the Cut (2017) , about a farmer who embarks on a campaign for vengeance after his mother is murdered, is at 100 percent.
  • BPM (Beats Per Minute) (2017) , a drama about Parisian public health activists in the early ’90s, is Certified Fresh at 98 percent.
  • A Silent Voice (2016) , an animated drama about the shifting circumstances of a bully and his target, is at 90 percent.
  • Dealt (2017) , a documentary about the life and career of blind card magician Richard Turner, is at 88 percent.
  • Never Here (2017) , a dark suspense outing from writer-director Camille Thoman about a woman drawn into a police case after she tells a fateful lie, is at 88 percent.
  • Kills on Wheels (2016) , writer-director Attila Till‘s action drama about budding wheelchair-bound assassins, is at 86 percent.
  • Tragedy Girls (2017) , about two girls whose quest for social media stardom takes a decidedly dark turn, is at 84 percent.
  • The Bachelors (2017) , a road trip dramedy starring J.K. Simmons as a widower traveling cross-country with his teenage son, is at 83 percent.
  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017) , in which a family’s domestic tranquility is threatened by a father’s secrets, is at 75 percent.
  • Tokyo Ghoul (2017) , a horror drama about life in a world populated by flesh-eating ghouls, is at 75 percent.
  • Wonderstruck (2017) , director Todd Haynes‘ adaptation of the Brian Selznick bestseller about two children on fateful quests at different times, is at 69 percent.
  • Jungle (2017) , starring Daniel Radcliffe as a man fighting for survival after an exotic vacation goes horribly awry, is at 56 percent.
  • Killing Gunther (2017) , a mockumentary about contract killers courtesy of SNL vet Taran Killam, is at 56 percent.
  • Leatherface (2017) , offering the origin story of the Texas Chain Saw Massacre killer, is at 35 percent.

Tag Cloud

Watching Series Lifetime Dark Horse Comics Writers Guild of America rotten movies we love political drama feel good TLC name the review PaleyFest action-comedy Fox News Sundance TV Rom-Com marvel cinematic universe prank Masterpiece boxing 71st Emmy Awards king arthur BBC documentaries dramedy TCA Winter 2020 james bond Universal 20th Century Fox all-time saw Heroines Disney streaming service suspense Starz reboot black comedy Warner Bros. Disney+ Disney Plus movies mission: impossible Acorn TV Superheroe Spectrum Originals summer TV preview Video Games VICE ghosts canceled Paramount Pictures stoner cancelled television legend Mary poppins popular The Witch sitcom Endgame Hollywood Foreign Press Association FX on Hulu films robots E3 medical drama Lionsgate Disney nbcuniversal DGA Action japan HBO Max ratings Cosplay National Geographic Arrowverse nfl FOX TV One book Pet Sematary Syfy monster movies Comic-Con@Home 2021 young adult Calendar Vudu Baby Yoda Ovation obi wan American Society of Cinematographers TNT TCA 2017 2021 First Reviews Crackle Trophy Talk Britbox italian Amazon Prime Video live event vs. asian-american marvel comics theme song Musicals trailers TIFF HFPA TCA Awards know your critic fast and furious Comedy parents Star Trek Pirates Red Carpet Anna Paquin scorecard 2020 Kids & Family Hallmark Christmas movies indiana jones CNN golden globe awards GLAAD composers golden globes First Look Summer Winter TV Marvel Studios Best Picture BBC America Oscars Marvel ABC 45 E! heist movie Pixar breaking bad zombies aapi series Apple TV Plus Rocketman kong 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards archives Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt japanese MSNBC joker sag awards Year in Review Holiday high school Chernobyl Pride Month space comic books Shudder Columbia Pictures A&E Awards Tour versus slasher 2018 Universal Pictures revenge ABC Signature 90s CMT mob Brie Larson kids LGBT cars MCU Travel Channel comics natural history casting comic book movie Tubi cancelled TV shows scary Lucasfilm BAFTA Epix Set visit concert Esquire IMDb TV Marvel Television Fall TV Drama international CBS TV renewals mockumentary biopic hidden camera spain Amazon SundanceTV Exclusive Video rotten screen actors guild sopranos psychological thriller Valentine's Day anthology dc historical drama 24 frames Chilling Adventures of Sabrina romantic comedy Avengers crime Trivia cats Sneak Peek Tumblr Comics on TV Television Academy BBC One fresh streamig Emmys Hulu foreign streaming razzies scary movies Ghostbusters Film Festival spider-man spider-verse football romance Rocky crime drama comiccon PBS criterion El Rey twilight news Family festivals Tags: Comedy Comedy Central technology Adult Swim History Music live action renewed TV shows TV movies olympics Focus Features Bravo telelvision biography serial killer Television Critics Association Women's History Month Best Actor australia A24 Reality critics zombie ABC Family TV NBA Funimation GoT debate miniseries stop motion scene in color cartoon strong female leads travel war HBO Go worst cops Thanksgiving adaptation OWN Classic Film jamie lee curtis PlayStation obituary Extras discovery Walt Disney Pictures OneApp 4/20 FXX DC Universe Marathons Oscar Interview ID The Academy Schedule Sony Pictures Grammys Emmy Nominations 93rd Oscars royal family NYCC sequel werewolf DC streaming service adventure docuseries Tomatazos satire what to watch Quiz San Diego Comic-Con gangster dark Fargo Song of Ice and Fire festival science fiction Winners cancelled TV series halloween facebook crime thriller The Walking Dead superhero summer preview psycho venice award winner cults blockbuster Turner Classic Movies 73rd Emmy Awards Academy Awards USA richard e. Grant Awards Sundance Now HBO animated Showtime FX Polls and Games latino Captain marvel child's play Freeform TCA sports Wes Anderson Stephen King wonder woman target hispanic BET independent Cartoon Network spanish CW Seed Biopics BET Awards basketball art house politics true crime classics Podcast Trailer television halloween tv Spike universal monsters new star wars movies 79th Golden Globes Awards diversity RT21 canceled TV shows based on movie 21st Century Fox adenture Fantasy talk show Western french quibi book adaptation king kong transformers christmas movies MGM 007 Star Wars harry potter ESPN elevated horror Tarantino South by Southwest Film Festival a nightmare on elm street Black Mirror hispanic heritage month broadcast trophy Peacock Superheroes Holidays Ellie Kemper dreamworks LGBTQ Paramount Plus Mary Poppins Returns YouTube Premium TV Land GIFs APB DC Comics witnail dragons Reality Competition vampires USA Network Tokyo Olympics rt labs critics edition worst movies Cannes YouTube Red ITV hollywood blockbusters Certified Fresh 99% posters Netflix Election Country die hard Disney Plus Apple TV+ Nickelodeon streaming movies black X-Men Black History Month RT History Nominations anime Best and Worst game show Apple WGN toronto batman Film ViacomCBS cooking franchise TBS aliens genre lord of the rings Infographic 2017 unscripted 2015 south america Sundance TruTV nature rt labs zero dark thirty Food Network rom-coms finale Turner Binge Guide sequels Amazon Prime toy story Paramount Crunchyroll emmy awards video Horror game of thrones dceu video on demand women Spring TV laika supernatural movie mutant Photos screenings chucky SXSW Pacific Islander slashers IFC leaderboard rt archives cancelled indie binge Discovery Channel Hear Us Out children's TV 94th Oscars green book TCM Nat Geo AMC new york Instagram Live Countdown Toys YouTube See It Skip It disaster directors Neflix Broadway Netflix Christmas movies Mystery police drama 2016 Character Guide Creative Arts Emmys crossover Christmas social media President Disney Channel Opinion deadpool VH1 dexter free movies best Prime Video WarnerMedia CBS All Access YA Rock comic The CW DirecTV Pop Logo Shondaland Premiere Dates blaxploitation kaiju mcc critic resources Hallmark stand-up comedy Super Bowl justice league AMC Plus jurassic park NBC docudrama 72 Emmy Awards Martial Arts Fox Searchlight Best Actress comedies Sci-Fi remakes pirates of the caribbean Image Comics reviews Legendary godzilla New York Comic Con Mary Tyler Moore The Arrangement Elton John SXSW 2022 The Purge period drama teaser spanish language spy thriller SDCC tv talk 2019 Pop TV dogs hist spinoff new zealand 1990s Comic Book singing competition Lifetime Christmas movies boxoffice Box Office Best Director cinemax superman VOD IFC Films documentary doctor who MTV Mudbound Animation comic book movies Amazon Studios Teen summer TV The Walt Disney Company thriller Mindy Kaling Alien Paramount Network Musical