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

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