Critics Consensus

Pan Gets Panned

Plus, The Walk, The Affair, Homeland, and The Leftovers are all Certified Fresh.

by | October 8, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a high-flying orphan (Pan, starring Levi Miller and Hugh Jackman) and a high-wire daredevil (The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Charlotte Le Bon). What do the critics have to say?


Pan (2015) 27%

Do we really need to know the origin story of every iconic fictional character? The trouble with Pan, critics say, is not simply its narrative incoherence and excessive special effects, but its inability to get at the heart of its familiar hero. In this telling, Peter Pan (Levi Miller) is snatched from a London orphanage by a floating pirate ship bound for Neverland. There, Peter makes friends with such famous faces as Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and the future Captain Hook (Garrett Hedlund), and quickly runs afoul of the evil Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). The pundits say Pan has a few moments of visual invention, but mostly, it’s a generic fantasy that fails to capture the mischievous spirit of its beloved protagonist.


The Walk (2015) 83%

The unbelievable story of Philippe Petit, the French acrobat who devised a mad scheme to tightrope-walk between the towers of the World Trade Center, was already chronicled in the Oscar-winning documentary Man On Wire. However, critics say The Walk is a gripping, tense, visually astonishing fictional recreation of that bizarre incident that demonstrates director Robert Zemeckis‘ knack for dazzling imagery — even if it sometimes meanders when the story is on the ground.

 


What’s Hot on TV

The Flash: Season 2 (2016) 94%

With distinctive visuals and a terrific cast, The Flash remains one of the strongest comic book shows on television.


The Good Wife: Season 7 (2015) 91%

Reinvigorated storylines and an even stronger cast keep The Good Wife fresh in its seventh season — and away from the doldrums that overcome many long-running dramas.


The Affair: Season 2 (2015) 90%

The Affair shifts its emphasis in season two, moving psychological drama to the foreground and expanding the show’s central crime story to include two new points of view.


The Leftovers: Season 2 (2015) 94%

The Leftovers continues to be unpredictable and provocative in season two with its new location, though the inexplicable circumstances will still frustrate many viewers.


Homeland: Season 5 (2015) 88%

Homeland re-energizes itself in season five by setting up a twisty Berlin-set spy thriller that spotlights Carrie’s questionable ethics more than ever.


American Horror Story: Hotel (2015) 64%

Favoring garish style over effective storytelling, the fifth American Horror Story strands a talented cast at Ryan Murphy’s Hotel.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • The Forbidden Room (2015) , starring Charlotte Rampling and Mathieu Amalric in director Guy Maddin‘s unclassifiable assemblage/pastiche of cinematic esoterica, is at 96 percent.
  • Steve Jobs (2015) , starring Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet in Danny Boyle‘s biopic of the Apple founder, is at 90 percent.
  • In My Father's House (2015) , a documentary about rapper Rhymefest and his reunion with his estranged father, is at 88 percent.
  • (T)ERROR (2015) , a documentary about the inner workings and potential problems of a an FBI counterterrorism sting operation, is at 86 percent.
  • The Greek import Xenia (2014) , a coming-of-age road trip drama about two brothers seeking their estranged father and a shot to audition for a televised song contest, is at 82 percent.
  • Brand: A Second Coming (2015) , a documentary portrait of comedian Russell Brand, is at 79 percent.
  • The Final Girls (2015) , starring Taissa Farmiga and Malin Akerman in a horror comedy about a teenage girl who finds herself trapped in a 1980s slasher movie, is at 79 percent.
  • Victoria (2015) , a real-time drama about a woman whose wild night in Berlin starts at a nightclub and leads to participating in a bank robbery, is at 77 percent.
  • Trash (2014) , a thriller about a trio of Brazilian kids who run afoul of a corrupt politician after discovering a wallet in a garbage dump, is at 70 percent.
  • Takashi Miike‘s Yakuza Apocalypse (2015) , an action/fantasy about an aspiring mobster who’s also a vampire, is at 63 percent.
  • Gravy (2015) , starring Gabourey Sidibe and Sarah Silverman in a horror comedy about a trio of psychopaths who hold a restaurant’s staff hostage with the intention of feasting on their flesh, is at 43 percent.
  • Knock Knock (2015) , starring Keanu Reeves in a thriller about a man whose life is turned upside down after he tries to assist what he thinks are a pair of damsels in distress, is at 35 percent.
  • Big Stone Gap (2014) , starring Ashley Judd and Patrick Wilson in a romantic comedy about a woman who discovers a startling family secret, is at 22 percent.

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