Critics Consensus

Risen Is A So-So Faith-Based Mystery

Plus, Race is reasonably inspiring, and The Witch and Better Call Saul are Certified Fresh.

by | February 18, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a biblical mystery (Risen, starring Joseph Fiennes and Cliff Curtis), Olympic heroics (Race, starring Stephan James and Jason Sudeikis), and demonic happenings (The Witch, starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Ineson). What do the critics have to say?

Risen (2016) 53%

Christ’s death and resurrection have inspired countless films and TV series, but most stick reasonably close to the Gospels. Risen takes a slightly different tack: in the film, Pontius Pilate tasks Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a Roman centurion and skeptic, to find out whether Jesus was resurrected after his death. Critics say it’s a faith-based film that might even entertain a few non-believers: despite its occasional hokiness, Risen balances its weighty themes with a wry sense of humor, and the performances are sincere and committed.

Race (2016) 62%

The story of Jesse Owens is so gobsmackingly awesome that it’s pretty surprising nobody has made a movie about it until now. Race chronicles Owens’ performance at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, in which he won four gold medals while taking Hitler’s racist arrogance down a few notches. Critics say the result is well acted (particularly by relative newcomer Stephan James in the lead), beautifully photographed, deeply respectful of its hero… and often a bit too slavish in its adherence to the inspirational sports movie playbook.

The Witch (2016) 90%

The Witch has generated heated anticipation among horror buffs since its screening at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Set in New England in the 1600s, The Witch is the tale of a family that establishes a homestead in a remote wooded area after being  exiled from their Puritan community. But when they are threatened by otherworldly horrors, the family members accuse each other of consorting with the demonic.  Critics say the Certified Fresh The Witch conjures a mood of profound dread that will linger long after the lights go up in the theater.

What’s Hot on TV

Better Call Saul: Season 2 (2016) 97%

Better Call Saul continues to tighten its hold on viewers with a batch of episodes that inject a surge of dramatic energy while showcasing the charms of its talented lead.

The New Yorker Presents: Season 1 (2016) 86%

Though it can never live up to its parent publication in terms of purpose and cachet, many of the segments in The New Yorker Presents are classy, polished, and culturally educational.

Vinyl: Season 1 (2016) 75%

Though the execution feels almost as dated as the period it represents, 11.22.63 gradually reveals a compelling, well-performed series of events.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Embrace Of The Serpent (El Abrazo De La Serpiente) (2016) , the Best Foreign Language Film nominee about two European scientists who venture into the Amazon jungle 20 years apart, is at 97 percent.
  • Rolling Papers (2016) , a documentary about the Denver Post’s hiring of a marijuana editor in the wake of Colorado’s legalization of weed, is at 75 percent.
  • Snowtime! (2016) , a Canadian animated family film about an epic snowball fight, is at 67 percent.
  • Forsaken (2016) , starring Kiefer and Donald Sutherland in a Western about a former gunfighter who returns to town to reconcile with his father and ends up protecting the community from bandits, is at 33 percent.

Tag Cloud

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