Critics Consensus

Ready or Not Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Angel Has Fallen is more of the same, and Brittany Runs a Marathon, American Factory, and Tigers Are Not Afraid are also Certified Fresh.

by | August 22, 2019 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got murderous in-laws (Ready or Not, starring Samara Weaving and Mark O’Brien), an agent on the run (Angel Has Fallen, starring Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman), and a faithful runner (Overcomer, starring Alex Kendrick and Aryn Wright-Thompson). What are the critics saying?

Ready or Not (2019) 88%

Dealing with meddlesome in-laws is a necessary evil for many married couples, but how frequently do those in-laws engage in ritualized murder? That’s the premise behind Ready or Not, a sneaky, cheeky thriller starring Samara Weaving as a young woman who marries into an ultra-wealthy family who made their fortune in the board game industry. On the night of her wedding, she’s obliged to observe a longstanding family tradition and play a game chosen at random, and the game she picks is a particularly deadly version of Hide and Seek. Can she survive until dawn? Why are her new relatives so bloodthirsty? And what happens if she wins? You’ll have to see the movie to find out, but thankfully, critics say Ready or Not is well worth a watch, full of outlandish violence, a few unexpected surprises, and a starmaking performance by Weaving. Seriously, everyone loves Samara Weaving in this movie. It’s not likely to win any awards, blow you away with its nightmarish beauty, or worm its way into your psyche and keep you awake at night, but as far as late-summer diversions go, most say this one is pretty entertaining.

Angel Has Fallen (2019) 38%

Let’s be real: 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen was essentially the latest in a long line of “Die Hard, but in a [insert location here]” knock-offs, and even the Die Hard franchise itself eventually ran out of good ideas. Nevertheless, this week brings us the third installment of what we’ll call the Fallen franchise, starring Gerard Butler as the John McClane-esque Secret Service agent Mike Banning. In Angel Has Fallen, an assassination attempt on President Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) is pinned on Banning, who goes on the lam from the FBI and the Secret Service in order to clear his name and uncover the true threat. It’s a plot we’ve seen play out on screen a number of times in other movies, and critics say there aren’t many surprises here, from the predictable storyline to the cardboard cutout characters, but it occasionally works if you don’t think too hard about it. If you’re expecting something fresh and inventive, look elsewhere, but if all you need from a movie is Gerard Butler in full-on action mode, that’s what you’ll get.

Overcomer (2019) 53%

Faith-based films don’t exactly boast a heavenly track record on the Tomatometer, as they’re frequently preachy and overtly sentimental, even if they’re competently filmed and acted. But since they typically cater to a very specific audience — one that doesn’t mind a bit of sermonizing — the studios that release them rarely allow for early screenings. Such is the case for this week’s Overcomer, a drama about a small-town high school basketball coach (Alex Kendrick, also the director and co-writer of the film) who is asked to head up the cross-country team as well and bonds with one runner, Hannah (Aryn Wright-Thompson), who must… overcome her asthma to become a winner. We’d love to tell you what the critics thought of this movie, but almost none of them has seen it, and at the end of the day, their reviews probably won’t matter a whole lot to the folks who will turn up for this film.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Jawline (2019) , an exploration of contemporary internet stardom told through the story of one-time aspiring social media star Austyn Tester, is at 100%.
  • Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles (2019) , a documentary look at how the influential Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof came to be, is at 100%.
  • American Factory (2019) , a look at how progress has affected working-class Americans employed at a factory operated by a Chinese company in Ohio, is Certified Fresh at 98%.
  • Tigers Are Not Afraid (Vuelven) (2019) , a horror-tinged fantasy drama about a group of Mexican orphans struggling to survive amid the rampant drug violence that surrounds them, is Certified Fresh at 96%.
  • Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (2019) , a documentary about the celebrated jazz legend, is at 95%.
  • Give Me Liberty (2019) , a comedy about a medical driver for the disabled who agrees to transport his immigrant relatives to a funeral during his regular route, is at 93%.
  • Brittany Runs a Marathon (2019) , starring Jillian Bell in a comedy about a hard-partying, underemployed woman who finds direction and meaning by training to compete in the New York City Marathon, is Certified Fresh at 87%.
  • Genesis (Genèse) (2019) , an ensemble drama about the relationships that form among a group of college kids — and a companion piece to the film The Demons — is at 87%.
  • The Demons (Les démons) (2019) , a drama about a 10-year-old growing up in Montreal and facing harsh realities, is at 86%.
  • Friedkin Uncut (2019) , a documentary portrait of the Exorcist and French Connection director that includes extensive interviews with the man himself, is at 86%.
  • Tone-Deaf (2019) , a horror-thriller film about a young woman who retreats to the countryside to decompress and faces off against the eccentric owner of her rental house, is at 39%.
  • Vita & Virginia (2019) , starring Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki in a drama about the relationship between Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West, is at 38%.
  • Jacob's Ladder (2019) , a contemporary remake of the 1990 psychological thriller, this time centering on a VA surgeon who is haunted by the death of his brother, is at 13%.
  • Hot Air (2019) , starring Steve Coogan in a dramedy about a conservative talk radio host whose life is upended by the sudden appearance of his niece, is at 0%.

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