Critics Consensus

Patriots Day and Silence Are Certified Fresh

Plus, Monster Trucks, Live By Night, and The Bye Bye Man are mediocre, and Sleepless wasn't screened for critics.

by | January 12, 2017 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have a real-life terrorist attack dramatized (Patriots Day, starring Mark Wahlberg and J.K. Simmons), monsters and trucks (Monster Trucks, starring Lucas Till and Jane Levy), a Prohibition rum-runner (Live by Night, starring Ben Affleck and Elle Fanning), pure evil (The Bye Bye Man, starring Douglas Smith and Lucien Laviscount), Jesuits in Japan (Silence, starring Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver), and some bad cops in trouble (Sleepless, starring Jamie Foxx and Michelle Monaghan). What do the critics have to say?


Patriots Day (2017) 81%

Mark Wahlberg loves himself a thriller based on actual events, especially if director Peter Berg is along for the ride. With this weekend’s Patriots Day, the duo cap a trilogy of action movies ripped from the headlines, following Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon — and given that this outing dramatizes the events of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing in Wahlberg’s hometown, expectations were high for a particularly powerful film. While critics admit Patriots Day has its flaws — and a number of scribes have their issues with turning real-life tragedy into entertainment so soon — the consensus says the end result is still a fast-paced drama that manages to be respectful (and largely accurate) while keeping you glued to your seat.


Monster Trucks (2017) 32%

Countless times over the years, we’ve seen studios take what seems like a crass concept and turn it into a perfectly entertaining picture, so there was reason to believe that Monster Trucks — hatched from a four-year-old’s idea about trucks overtaken by, y’know, monsters — might actually turn out okay. Sadly, that isn’t the case: critics say this is one family-friendly outing that’s just as dunderheaded as its title would suggest, with thinly conceived characters deployed at the mercy of flashy but ultimately insufficient CGI. If you really want to see a monster at the wheel of a truck, go grab a ticket; otherwise (ahem), steer clear.


Live By Night (2017) 34%

Ben Affleck’s taken his lumps as an actor over the years, but he’s proven himself a pretty capable director, as his Best Picture Oscar for Argo can attest. On paper, it looked like Live by Night was just the thing to soothe the recent critical barbs from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice — not only was Affleck directing himself, he was working from a novel by Dennis Lehane, the same bestselling author who wrote the Affleck-adapted Gone Baby Gone. Unfortunately, the reality is far less compelling: critics say this Prohibition-set gangster drama, about a police chief’s son falling into a life of crime, is nowhere near as narratively hefty as its epic scope would suggest. Although it demonstrates some visual growth from Affleck as a director, he could have been tougher on himself as a leading man — and he really let himself down as a screenwriter.


The Bye Bye Man (2017) 19%

January has a reputation as a dumping ground for Hollywood’s dregs, which isn’t always entirely deserved; why, just this week, we have a couple of Certified Fresh movies entering wide release. But when you see a horror movie on the calendar this time of year, you can pretty much guess it won’t be a critical winner — and such is unfortunately the case with The Bye Bye Man, which imagines the bloody campaign of terror wrought by a nefarious being capable of controlling the actions of anyone who so much as thinks his name. Critics say it’s all fairly derivative stuff, and in spite of a talented cast (including Faye Dunaway and Doug Jones), it adds up to considerably less than the sum of its parts.


Silence (2017) 83%

For film buffs, every Martin Scorsese movie is an event, but even in the context of this great director’s distinguished filmography, Silence is something special. An adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s 1966 novel about the perilous journey taken by Jesuit priests to 17th century Japan in order to find a missing member of the order, it’s been a passion project of Scorsese’s for decades, and it comes to the screen boasting a talented cast that includes Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, and Andrew Garfield — as well as a hefty 161-minute running time. Fortunately, critics say the end result is worth the wait in both senses: reviews describe a thought-provoking, emotionally absorbing work that probes worthy themes with grace and intelligence, and rewards the patient filmgoer with enough payoff to justify the investment.


Sleepless (2017) 25%

Finally, we have Sleepless, starring Jamie Foxx and T.I. as a pair of crooked cops whose livelihood — and one of their sons — is threatened when they’re caught pilfering a druglord’s stash. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you more because it wasn’t screened for critics, so you know what that means: time to play Guess the Tomatometer!


What’s New on TV

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 1 (2017) 94%

Enjoyably dark, A Series of Unfortunate Events matches the source material’s narrative as well as its tone, leaving viewers with a wonderfully weird, dry, gothic comedy.


Taboo: Season 1 (2017) 76%

After a sluggish start, Taboo takes hold as a mysterious, dark, and often brutal period drama with plenty of promise as a series — most notably evident in Tom Hardy‘s exceptionally watchable performance.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

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