Critics Consensus

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Lacks Turtle Power

Plus, Me Before You is a middling tearjerker, and Popstar is a sharp music satire.

by and | June 2, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got turtle power (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett), a tear-jerking love story (Me Before You, starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin), and a pop music satire (Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, starring Andy Samberg and Imogen Poots). What do the critics have to say?

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016) 38%

Beloved by middle schoolers the world over, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have yet to power their way into the hearts of movie critics, who say that while their latest big screen outing, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, holds a slight edge over its 2014 predecessor, it’s still too noisy and juvenile to satisfy. The plot is the usual silliness — the evil Shredder is bent on world domination, and the Turtles must stop him — but pre-teens and nostalgic TMNT die-hards are unlikely to mind. The pundits say Out of the Shadows occasionally works as a cartoonish slam-bang popcorn flick, but mostly, it’s a relentlessly juvenile time-waster.

Me Before You (2016) 54%

Films about beautiful people falling in love on their way to a weepy ending are essentially critic-proof — just ask Nicholas Sparks — so it’s hard to imagine anyone involved with Me Before You worrying too much about how critics are reacting to their adaptation of the Jojo Moyes bestseller. For what it’s worth, many reviews note the strong work delivered by — and solid chemistry between — stars Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin; it’s just that, as far as a good number of pundits are concerned, the movie doesn’t do a good enough job of handling its sensitive subject, and too often succumbs to sentimentality rather than treating its love story with the clear-eyed dignity it deserves. Still, if you’re looking for a tissue-worthy summer romance, you could do (and probably have done) a heck of a lot worse.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016) 79%

You really can’t make a rock mockumentary without being compared to Spinal Tap — and those comparisons, more often than not, turn out to be unfavorable. So if nothing else, Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island partners Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone would have earned points for moxie for even making an attempt to brave the genre with their feature-length debut, this weekend’s Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping. Happily for the comedy trio, critics say the film lives up to its title by lobbing a constant volley of often hilarious barbs at the modern mainstream pop scene and 21st century celebrity in general — and even if it can’t help but lose a little momentum after a sidesplitting first half, the end result stands as another solid entry in the SNL vets’ budding filmography.

What’s Hot on TV

Roots: A New Vision: Miniseries (2016) 96%

A powerfully impressive — and still relevant — update on a television classic, Roots boasts remarkable performances, deep emotion, and occasionally jarring beauty.

The Dresser (2015) 100%

The Dresser brilliantly showcases two of the most gifted actors of their generation within a thoughtful, well-executed production offering intelligent commentary on the human condition.

Bloodline: Season 2 (2016) 53%

Despite impressive performances and attractive cinematography, Bloodline‘s second season fails to recapture its predecessor’s dramatic intrigue.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • The Wailing (2016) , a thriller about a small town reeling from a series of brutal murders after the arrival of a mysterious stranger, is at 100 percent.
  • The Fits (2015) , a psychological drama about a young athlete whose peers are suffering from a strange condition, is at 95 percent.
  • The President (2014) , a drama about a deposed dictator who flees a coup with his innocent grandson, is at 88 percent.
  • The Witness (2015) , a documentary about the life and death of famed murder victim Kitty Genovese, is at 86 percent.
  • Time to Choose (2015) , a documentary that looks at various attempts to combat climate change, is at 80 percent.
  • The Final Master (2015) , a martial arts film about a young fighter fulfilling his master’s wish to establish a school of his own, is at 63 percent.
  • Approaching the Unknown (2016) , starring Mark Strong and Luke Wilson in a sci-fi drama about an astronaut undertaking a perilous mission to Mars, is at 33 percent.

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