Critics Consensus

Pacific Rim: Uprising Is Not That Good

Plus, Paul, Apostle of Christ is a holy mess, Sherlock Gnomes and Midnight Sun weren't screened for critics, and Unsane and Isle of Dogs are Certified Fresh.

by | March 22, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have mankind making one more last stand against one more giant monster invasion (Pacific Rim: Uprising, starring John Boyega, and Rinko Kikuchi), the return of cinema’s top-grossing animated gnomes (Sherlock Gnomes, featuring the voices of James McAvoy and Emily Blunt), star-crossed teen lovers (Midnight Sun, starring Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger), Steven Soderbergh‘s smartphone thriller (Unsane, starring Claire Foy and Joshua Leonard), and a Bible hero in the hoosegow (Paul, Apostle of Christ, starring Jim Caviezel and James Faulkner). What are the critics saying?

Pacific Rim Uprising (2018) 42%

After you’ve racked up hundreds of millions in box office grosses by pitting giant robots against giant monsters, what’s your mandatory next move? A sequel, of course — and that leads us to Pacific Rim Uprising, which finds Steven S. DeKnight taking the reins from Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro for another round of large-scale mayhem with the fate of the human race hanging in the balance. While the original Rim wasn’t exactly a critical darling, reviews promised a cheerfully undemanding good time; unsurprisingly, Uprising delivers more of the CGI-fueled set pieces that drew crowds the first time around, with the added benefits of a pair of likeable leads in John Boyega and Cailee Spaeny. Unfortunately, none of that is enough to counter an unfortunate drift toward assembly-line action that lacks its predecessor’s signature del Toro quirk and leaves all that high-stakes, end-of-the-world drama feeling awfully loud and ordinary. On the other hand, it’s got giant robots and giant monsters punching each other into oblivion, so if you’re in the mood for that, everything else might not matter.

Sherlock Gnomes (2018) 27%

It took half a decade for Pacific Rim fans to get a sequel, but that’s nothing compared to the long wait endured by anyone who walked out of Gnomeo & Juliet hoping for a second installment. After seven long years, Sherlock Gnomes has arrived, reuniting members of the original voice cast (including James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, and Ozzy Osbourne) for an adventure involving the titular detective (voiced by Johnny Depp), his ex-girlfriend (Mary J. Blige), and his fellow sleuth Gnome Watson (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Was it worth the wait? We wish we could tell you what the critics think, but reviews haven’t started posting yet, so we’ll all just have to wait and see. In the meantime, how about a round of Guess the Tomatgnometer?

Midnight Sun (2018) 21%

Ah, young love. Chances are you remember your teenage romances as being fairly ordinary, albeit occasionally melodramatic; in the movies, however, two fresh-faced teens can’t so much as smooch without life-threatening stakes rising up to thwart their hormones. Such is the case with Midnight Sun, starring Bella Thorne as Katie, a 17-year-old with a life-threatening allergy to the sun. She compensates by heading outside after dark, but when one fateful night finds her crossing paths with her neighbor crush (Patrick Schwarzenegger), it’s clear our lovebirds — and the audience — are headed for hankie-dampening heartache. By and large, this sort of thing tends not to play very well with critics, which is probably why Midnight Sun didn’t screen early for the scribes. Guess that Tomatometer!

Unsane (2018) 80%

For decades, Steven Soderbergh has been known as a filmmaker with an uncommon knack for using technical gimmickry in service of a solid story. That streak continues with his latest outing, Unsane, a mystery thriller about a young woman (Claire Foy) who’s institutionalized against her will and undergoes major trauma — perhaps real, perhaps imagined — while she’s locked up. It’s a straightforward enough story, but Soderbergh has told it in somewhat unusual fashion; instead of filming with the traditional array of professional gear, he opted to shoot the picture on the sly with an iPhone. Unsane isn’t the first mainstream release to be made this way — Sean Baker‘s Tangerine is another example of smartphone technology being brought to bear on modern filmmaking — but given the resources at Soderbergh’s command, this was clearly a creative choice not purely driven by financial need. For the most part, the reviews agree it’s a move that paid off here: the movie’s intimate aesthetic works well with the story, adding to the overall creepy tone and making it harder to draw the line between fantasy and reality. Like last year’s Logan Lucky, this is a project that’s left critics cheering the end of Soderbergh’s short-lived — and obviously premature — retirement.

Paul, Apostle of Christ (2018) 46%

Easter Sunday is right around the corner, which makes this weekend a perfectly fine time for a faith-based drama — and writer-director Andrew Hyatt is here to oblige with Paul, Apostle of Christ, a look at the last days of the titular biblical figure (played by James Faulkner) as he reflects on his life while awaiting execution in the prisons of Roman emperor Nero. While serving his sentence, he’s visited in his cell by Luke (Passion of the Christ vet Jim Caviezel), who vows to record Paul’s story — and we all know how that turned out. Of course, as Rogue One proved, knowing how a story ends doesn’t necessarily make it any less enjoyable as long as it’s well told; unfortunately, critics say that’s where Paul stumbles, focusing on a section of its subject’s life that’s overall ill-suited to explore the movie’s desired themes in a truly meaningful or compelling way. For filmgoers who are in the mood for a Bible story at the cinema, it might still be worth the price of a ticket, but all in all, this looks like an example of the book being better than the movie.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Summer in the Forest (2017) , a documentary about the groundbreaking and compassionate legacy established by philosopher and healthcare advocate Jean Vanier, is at 100%.
  • Isle of Dogs (2018) , the latest stop-motion animated adventure from director Wes Anderson, is Certified Fresh at 94%.
  • The Workshop (2017) , in which personality conflicts among the members of a writer’s workshop threaten to turn a retreat into something more sinister, is at 87%.
  • I Kill Giants (2017) , starring Madison Wolfe as a girl who uses an immersive fantasy life to cope with real-world issues, is at 86%.
  • A Bag of Marbles (2017) , about young Jewish brothers living under Nazi occupation in Paris, is at 82%.
  • Final Portrait (2017) , a drama written and directed by Stanley Tucci about the friendship between American writer James Lord and artist Alberto Giacometti, is at 77%.
  • Pyewacket (2017) , about a young woman who lives to regret casting a death curse that unleashes a terrifying creature on her mother, is at 73%.
  • Beauty and the Dogs (2017) , a drama about a Tunisian woman’s efforts to obtain justice after being sexually assaulted, is at 60%.
  • Ismael's Ghosts (2017) , a drama about a grieving filmmaker from writer-director Arnaud Desplechin, is at 59%.
  • Back to Burgundy (2017) , about a trio of siblings brought back together to try and save their family vineyard, is at 58%.
  • Madame (2017) , starring Toni Collette and Harvey Keitel as a couple whose efforts to entertain friends at their new Paris home end up backfiring, is at 28%.

Tag Cloud

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