Critics Consensus

The BFG Is a Visually Striking Adventure

Plus, The Legend of Tarzan swings and misses and The Purge: Election Year is a B-movie blast.

by | June 30, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a big friendly giant (The BFG, starring Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill), an iconic jungle dweller (The Legend of Tarzan, starring Alexander Skarsgård and Margot Robbie), and a bunch of masked marauders (The Purge: Election Year, starring Frank Grillo and Elizabeth Mitchell). What do the critics have to say?

The BFG (2016) 74%

Few modern filmmakers have been able to capture the conflicting emotions of childhood as successfully as Steven Spielberg, and few authors have crafted young protagonists as gracefully as Roald Dahl — so Spielberg adapting Dahl’s classic The BFG should add up to an automatic home run. This latest cinematic take on the tale of a young girl named Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) who embarks on an adventure with a big friendly giant (a mo-capped Mark Rylance) certainly benefits from the latest technology, presenting viewers with a series of visual splendors, yet many critics can’t help wishing for something more. Although overall quite positive, reviews point to a disarmingly sweet film that ignores the darker elements of Dahl’s source material, not to mention the sense of danger that informed Spielberg’s earlier work. All the same, younger viewers — and the young at heart of all ages — will likely be swept up by The BFG just as easily as he scoops up little Sophie.

The Legend of Tarzan (2016) 35%

It’s been quite awhile since a U.S. studio decided to make a big-budget film based on the vine-swinging jungle adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic Tarzan character — and based on the reviews for the David Yates-directed The Legend of Tarzan, it could be years before it happens again. Starring Alexander Skarsgård as the erstwhile ape man and Margot Robbie as Jane, Legend does its level best to grapple with the most problematic elements of the character; unfortunately, critics say those efforts aren’t enough to enliven what is, at bottom, a fairly ordinary action-adventure outing with not enough of either — and an overload of obvious CGI. There may yet be a way to turn Tarzan into a viable 21st-century film franchise, but the reviews point back to the drawing board after The Legend of Tarzan.

The Purge: Election Year (2016) 56%

When you’re living in the midst of a presidential election year, it can be difficult to imagine ways in which campaign season could possibly become even more of a circus. Well, now there’s The Purge: Election Year, which infuses the franchise’s traditional skull-cracking violence with a shotgun blast of politically timely relevance. Returning audiences to a future in which citizens have an annual 12-hour pass to legally commit all manner of mayhem — including murder — writer-director James DeMonaco’s third installment in the series envisions an election in which one candidate (Elizabeth Mitchell) vows to do away with the Purge if she’s elected. She’s got series protagonist Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) on her side, but shadowy government forces are determined to stop her — and critics say it adds up to a wickedly dark action flick that, while perhaps not quite as lethally effective as its predecessors, is still high-caliber enough to recommend for filmgoers seeking a summer dose of genre thrills.

What’s New on TV

Thirteen: Miniseries (2016) 88%

Thirteen gives a well-worn premise an intriguing facelift with haunting execution and compelling performances across the board.

Queen of the South: Season 1 (2016) 68%

Queen of the South enlivens an overdone premise with action and narrative vigor — and shows hints of intriguing potential.

Dead of Summer: Season 1 (2016) 63%

Dead of Summer sets a spooky stage for a silly period creepfest, but its lack of actual scares adds up to an altogether underwhelming experience.

Roadies: Season 1 (2016) 35%

Roadies‘ condescending tone, boring and underdeveloped characters, and lack of dramatic intrigue lead to a failure to rock.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Microbe and Gasoline (2015) , Michel Gondry‘s new comedy about two teenage outcasts who plan to traverse france in a homemade car, is at 95 percent.
  • The Innocents (2016) , a drama about a Red Cross doctor tasked with treating a group of pregnant nuns in a Polish convent, is at 85 percent.
  • Life, Animated (2016) , a documentary about an autistic child who immersed himself in Disney films, is at 82 percent.
  • Our Kind of Traitor (2016) , starring Ewan McGregor and Naomie Harris in a thriller about a vacationing couple who stumble into an international plot, is at 67 percent.
  • Carnage Park (2016) , a horror thriller about bank robbers and a hostage who cross paths with a crazed sniper, is at 60 percent.

Tag Cloud

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