Critics Consensus

Shazam! Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Pet Sematary is better the second time around, Jordan Peele's The Twilight Zone is appropriately thought-provoking, and The Best of Enemies should be better.

by | April 4, 2019 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a silly superhero (Shazam!, starring Zachary Levi and Mark Strong), a cursed graveyard (Pet Sematary, starring Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz), and an unlikely partnership (The Best of Enemies, starring Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell). What are the critics saying?


Shazam! (2019) 90%

If the critical and commercial success of Wonder Woman and Aquaman wasn’t quite enough to convince some moviegoers that Warner Bros. and DC were headed in the right direction, maybe their latest big-screen effort will seal the deal. Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Mark Strong star in this part-superhero origin story, part-coming-of-age comedy about a teen named Billy Batson, who is recruited by a wizard who bequeaths him the power to transform into an adult with superpowers. As Billy learns to control his newfound abilities, he draws the attention of an evil man who wants Shazam’s powers for himself. Critics say Shazam!, directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out, Annabelle: Creation — weird choice, we know, but it worked!), is a blast, full of childlike wonder, genuine laughs, and an abundance of heart that grounds it. This is about as pure as fantasy wish fulfillment can get, and it’s a rock-solid piece of blockbuster entertainment.


Pet Sematary (2019) 57%

It only took six years from the time Stephen King published Pet Sematary to see it adapted for the big screen, but it took another 30 — and a misguided 1992 sequel — before anyone decided to give it another go. Taking the reins this time are directing duo Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, who previously helmed the well-received indie thriller Starry Eyes, and who make a few changes to the original story. In the updated version, a Boston doctor (Jason Clarke) relocates with his wife (Amy Seimetz) and two children to Maine, where he learns about a mysterious burial site behind their new home that’s rumored to bring the dead back to life. When tragedy hits the family, he decides to test those rumors, and things begin to spiral out of control. With regard to the critics, not everyone is on board with the new interpretation, and those who aren’t feel that the narrative fails to do enough to justify remaking the original. That said, the overall reaction has been positive, with reviews touting the performances for selling their grief with authenticity and the directors for effectively harnessing the more disturbing elements of the source material.


The Best of Enemies (2019) 53%

By now, most of us have seen our fair share of films that essentially serve as odes to racial reconciliation, heartfelt dramas and dramedies that pit a pair of unlikely partners against each other and gradually bring them into agreement. One of those movies just won Best Picture at the Oscars. This week, we get a new entry in the genre, and critics say it’s earnest but all too familiar. Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell anchor Best of Enemies as civil rights activist Ann Atwater and Ku Klux Klan leader C.P. Ellis, respectively, who were both called up on to lead their North Carolina community in a decision over school segregation in 1971. In the process of co-chairing the summit, the two of them came to terms with each other and learned something about mutual respect. If that sounds like a template you’ve heard before, it’s because you have, and critics are largely split on whether the rest of the film — the acting, the period-accurate trappings — is enough to make up for that. Critics say Best of Enemies is a noble effort buoyed by strong performances, but its by-the-numbers narrative is a little tired, the film fails to portray its characters with much nuance.


What’s New on TV

The Twilight Zone: Season 1 (2019) 71%

The Twilight Zone explores the strangeness of the modern world through Rod Serling‘s winning formula, creating a thought-provoking — if not always spine-tingling — showcase for Jordan Peele and his exceptional crop of collaborators.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Amazing Grace (2018) , a concert documentary of Aretha Franklin’s 1972 Los Angeles performance of the titular gospel album, is at 97%.
  • High Life (2018) , starring Robert Pattinson and Juliette Binoche in Claire Denis‘ sci-fi drama about the lone survivor of a dangerous mission in space, is Certified Fresh at 89%.
  • Suburban Birds (2018) , a mystery about a team of surveyors investigating a small neighborhood slowly sinking into the ground, is at 78%.
  • The Wind (2018) , a horror film about a 19th century man and woman living on the American frontier who are terrorized by an unseen force on their homestead, is at 70%.
  • Storm Boy (2019) , about a successful, aging man recalling his isolated childhood for his granddaughter, is at 64%.
  • Peterloo (2018) , director Mike Leigh‘s recounting of the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 in England, is at 63%.
  • The Public (2018)Emilio Estevez‘s drama about a showdown between a library’s employees and the homeless who have taken shelter there during a particularly frosty night, is at 63%.
  • The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019) , starring Hilary Duff as the titular actress, who sees premonitions of her fate and comes face to face with Charles Manson, is at 23%.

Tag Cloud

Hallmark Christmas movies RT21 MGM jurassic park Animation sopranos young adult Reality Competition psychological thriller VICE cancelled Disney Channel TV renewals Hear Us Out children's TV BAFTA Ovation rom-coms cats reboot spain laika Baby Yoda reviews Watching Series new star wars movies award winner royal family hidden camera Christmas AMC Plus crossover Ghostbusters 93rd Oscars Netflix Christmas movies ghosts DGA renewed TV shows Lifetime Christmas movies Infographic science fiction japan cartoon Nickelodeon CW Seed adenture First Reviews Comic-Con@Home 2021 Wes Anderson versus Cosplay Rocky Pop The CW Acorn TV teaser cinemax 2019 TNT comic black franchise IFC Films DC Comics golden globe awards Heroines Nominations natural history movie SXSW 2022 pirates of the caribbean crime President 24 frames serial killer Shondaland comic books transformers halloween tv Vudu TBS streaming period drama new zealand comic book movies Turner singing competition mob Schedule toronto comedies Shudder Podcast Best Picture thriller kids genre saw Winners obi wan BBC One YouTube Academy Awards Premiere Dates kong sequel cancelled TV shows summer preview Freeform 20th Century Fox archives Binge Guide live event sports Winter TV Holiday obituary cars Creative Arts Emmys vs. Horror sag awards Fox Searchlight series Focus Features true crime Sundance Now RT History revenge theme song NBA facebook directors dramedy godzilla book adaptation vampires WarnerMedia Paramount Plus action-comedy TV movies LGBTQ Comedy Central discovery critics Alien parents ABC Signature NBC LGBT video on demand finale nfl basketball TCA Winter 2020 television BBC America FOX TCA spider-verse miniseries mutant twilight HBO 79th Golden Globes Awards cancelled television Photos Oscars 45 dark Paramount Network IFC Best Director IMDb TV 1990s women concert international mission: impossible king kong documentary Ellie Kemper festivals Television Critics Association AMC worst movies game of thrones Turner Classic Movies screenings 72 Emmy Awards fast and furious streamig Amazon Prime Mary Poppins Returns Black Mirror GoT Year in Review italian Adult Swim Video Games ITV Amazon Rocketman know your critic Tokyo Olympics rt labs critics edition blockbuster Columbia Pictures sequels Peacock Sci-Fi australia jamie lee curtis Amazon Studios HFPA rotten movies we love Sundance TV FXX Reality Quiz Instagram Live casting Kids & Family news new york Valentine's Day Disney worst political drama cooking Biopics japanese 94th Oscars adaptation Syfy spider-man politics foreign docudrama PBS comic book movie romantic comedy 2016 Trivia Lucasfilm slashers Crunchyroll stop motion Fall TV The Academy target joker zombie Brie Larson asian-american hispanic emmy awards feel good TCA Awards cops fresh critic resources Paramount Pictures ABC Family scene in color GIFs french dreamworks indie Sundance boxoffice Pride Month Awards Tour remakes Pirates Oscar Bravo Red Carpet The Walt Disney Company Character Guide 2015 A&E space zombies stoner Showtime canceled Spectrum Originals indiana jones DirecTV olympics Captain marvel trailers 21st Century Fox Drama A24 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Action Discovery Channel films superman anime Certified Fresh Spike Dark Horse Comics PlayStation Summer aliens SundanceTV Countdown Prime Video Box Office wonder woman Teen Walt Disney Pictures quibi Set visit South by Southwest Film Festival Marvel Studios Rock YA Apple Anna Paquin Avengers binge Music San Diego Comic-Con Hollywood Foreign Press Association based on movie aapi TCA 2017 Image Comics tv talk X-Men Britbox MCU Universal Pictures comiccon medical drama Sneak Peek Trophy Talk sitcom spy thriller crime thriller justice league The Walking Dead Pacific Islander Mudbound Pet Sematary SDCC superhero strong female leads south america green book Tumblr Tomatazos Amazon Prime Video social media El Rey golden globes Spring TV independent American Society of Cinematographers disaster FX on Hulu book criterion documentaries Pop TV MTV legend game show 73rd Emmy Awards marvel cinematic universe Rom-Com TV One See It Skip It war lord of the rings mockumentary scary Fox News football heist movie 2018 dc TV nature Opinion universal monsters rotten Film BET ID Hallmark docuseries composers Arrowverse Comedy 2021 technology black comedy trophy movies ViacomCBS satire Neflix 71st Emmy Awards police drama travel Pixar screen actors guild dceu Polls and Games classics Family Song of Ice and Fire Trailer Best and Worst Musicals what to watch MSNBC Apple TV+ rt labs Thanksgiving Elton John Interview spinoff Marvel TIFF Starz WGN History DC streaming service OWN Endgame talk show posters ratings streaming movies Awards all-time Legendary robots ESPN HBO Go SXSW romance Marathons Best Actor APB adventure Best Actress Masterpiece video TCM a nightmare on elm street Universal Apple TV Plus doctor who leaderboard HBO Max diversity suspense hispanic heritage month National Geographic Lifetime Television Academy Grammys cancelled TV series breaking bad monster movies kaiju PaleyFest Country name the review Chernobyl CMT CBS halloween christmas movies Star Wars Stephen King Cartoon Network Emmys marvel comics Warner Bros. YouTube Red BBC Musical Esquire supernatural mcc batman Paramount art house E3 summer TV preview free movies chucky GLAAD werewolf blockbusters cults historical drama Fantasy Superheroe king arthur 4/20 2017 E! NYCC telelvision USA Black History Month Western Women's History Month biography hist First Look Broadway die hard ABC USA Network BET Awards comics latino richard e. Grant Comics on TV nbcuniversal scorecard popular elevated horror Writers Guild of America boxing summer TV The Arrangement best blaxploitation Hulu Disney streaming service deadpool Super Bowl Crackle TLC 90s 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Film Festival VH1 Tubi Logo TV Land The Witch Comic Book YouTube Premium dragons scary movies Cannes Lionsgate New York Comic Con Calendar dogs razzies Star Trek biopic FX gangster Election high school dexter Exclusive Video witnail CNN 99% The Purge spanish language Funimation VOD hollywood Epix Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Classic Film Fargo unscripted child's play Mindy Kaling Martial Arts Superheroes Tags: Comedy Disney+ Disney Plus james bond canceled TV shows anthology Nat Geo OneApp Extras Mary poppins Sony Pictures crime drama slasher 007 TruTV Holidays debate zero dark thirty toy story spanish 2020 Mary Tyler Moore animated Emmy Nominations rt archives Food Network Mystery CBS All Access festival harry potter live action stand-up comedy Netflix prank venice Toys Disney Plus Travel Channel Marvel Television psycho DC Universe Tarantino