Critics Consensus

Spectre Is Decent 007

Plus, Master of None, Spotlight, and Brooklyn are Certified Fresh.

by , and | November 5, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got 007 (Spectre, starring Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux) and Snoopy (the animated feature The Peanuts Movie). What do the critics have to say?


Spectre (2015) 63%

In 2006’s Casino Royale, Daniel Craig helped redefine James Bond for the modern era, eschewing the increasingly silly elements of previous Bond films for a more visceral, vulnerable interpretation of the character. Spectre, Craig’s fourth outing as the British superspy (and 24th film in the franchise overall), hews closer to the 007 formula of old, and critics say it’s mostly effective, even if it suffers from comparison to its predecessor. This time out, Bond squares off with a shadowy criminal organization with ties to his past, all while he and M (Ralph Fiennes) push back against the imminent cancellation of the double-0 program. The pundits say that Spectre abounds in glorious action and affectionate callbacks to the franchise’s earlier films, but it also lacks the heart that made the last entry so compelling.


The Peanuts Movie (2015) 87%

It’s been 65 years since Charles Schulz published the first Peanuts strip, and 35 years since the gang’s last big screen appearance with 1980’s Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!). That latter fact is being rectified with the release of The Peanuts Movie, and critics say this warm, deeply-felt feature will appeal to longtime fans and a new audience that wasn’t even alive the last time a new Peanuts strip was published. In this movie, lovable loser Charlie Brown goes into panic mode when The Little Red-Haired Girl, his perennial crush, moves in across the street, setting off an adventure that crosses paths with all the classic characters: Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Schroeder, Snoopy, and many more. The pundits say The Peanuts Movie ‘s subtle charms and absurdist turns of imagination will engage people of all ages and offer a gentle reminder that our tenacity and hope prove there’s a little Charlie Brown in all of us.


 

What’s Hot on TV

Master of None: Season 1 (2015) 100%

Exceptionally executed with charm, humor, and heart, Master of None is a refreshingly offbeat take on a familiar premise.


The Returned: Season 2 (2015) 95%

After a long wait, The Returned is back with more of the chilling, deliberate, and masterful storytelling that made season one a spooky success.


THE WALKING DEAD, SEASON 6, EPISODE 4: "HERE'S NOT HERE" 91%

“Here’s Not Here” is a stand-out installment of The Walking Dead, using Morgan’s backstory as a powerful reminder of what it means to be human.


DOCTOR WHO, SEASON 9, EPISODE 7: "THE ZYGON INVASION" 95%

With “The Zygon Invasion,” Doctor Who delivers a thrilling episode that pays special attention to character development and the consequences of time travel.


HOMELAND, SEASON 5, EPISODE 5: "BETTER CALL SAUL" 83%

While “Better Call Saul” contains its fair share of ridiculous moments, the end pays off with the reunion of Homeland‘s most important characters.


GOTHAM, SEASON 2, EPISODE 7: "RISE OF THE VILLAINS: MOMMY'S LITTLE MONSTER" 63%

Even though it dwells too long on Bruce’s teenage drama, “Mommy’s Little Villain” is mostly an action-packed episode of Gotham with new developments for many of the major characters.


 

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • In Jackson Heights (2015) , Frederick Wiseman‘s documentary portrait of the culturally diverse Queens neighborhood, is at 100 percent.
  • Of Men and War (2014) , a documentary about PTSD-afflicted veterans of the Iraq War, is at 100 percent.
  • Palio (2015) , a documentary about the world’s oldest horse race, is at 100 percent.
  • Brooklyn (2015) , starring Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson in a drama about an Irish immigrant dealing with love and loneliness in 1950s New York, is Certified Fresh at 98 percent.
  • Spotlight (2015) , starring Michael Keaton and Rachel McAdams in a drama about the team of Boston Globe reporters who uncovered charges of sexual abuse against the Catholic Church, is Certified Fresh at 94 percent.
  • Sand Dollars (2014) , starring Geraldine Chaplin in a drama about the relationship between and older American woman and a twentysomething Dominican, is at 92 percent.
  • Theeb (2014) , a period drama about a young Bedouin who guides a British soldier across inhospitable terrain to find a water hole in the desert, is at 90 percent.
  • The Notorious Mr. Monks (1958) , a documentary about the infamous arms dealer who was dubbed “the Merchant of Death,” is at 89 percent.
  • In the Basement (2014) , a documentary about several eccentric Austrians and the various uses they have for their basements, is at 86 percent.
  • Trumbo (2015) , starring Bryan Cranston in a biopic of the legendary blacklisted screenwriter, is at 69 percent.
  • The Hallow (2015) , a horror film about a scientist whose study of an Irish forest conjures an assortment of malevolent supernatural beings, is at 69 percent.
  • Miss You Already (2015) , starring Toni Collette and Drew Barrymore in a drama about two close friends in the midst of big life changes, is at 68 percent.
  • What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy (2015) , a documentary about two children of Nazi war criminals attempting to come to terms with their fathers’ evil deeds, is at 67 percent.

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