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

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