Critics Consensus

The Boss Strains for Laughs

Plus, Hardcore Henry is over the top, for better or worse, and Everybody Wants Some!! is Certified Fresh.

by and | April 7, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a penance-seeking tycoon (The Boss, starring Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Bell), an amnesiac super-soldier (Hardcore Henry, starring Sharlto Copley and Haley Bennett), and hard-partying ballplayers (Everybody Wants Some!!, starring Blake Jenner and Ryan Guzman). What do the critics have to say?

The Boss (2016) 22%

At her best — in films like Bridesmaids and Spy — for example — Melissa McCarthy is as funny as anyone in the movies. But there’s only so much she can do with mediocre material, and critics say The Boss — about a cutthroat tycoon who seeks redemption working with Girl Scouts after a stint in jail — is unnecessarily crude, narratively slack, and unworthy of its star or supporting cast (which includes Kristen Bell and Peter Dinklage, among others).

Hardcore Henry (2015) 51%

Movies have been borrowing from the visual language of video games for years, but Hardcore Henry takes things to their logical conclusion: it’s a nearly plotless series of action scenes shot from a first-person perspective. Critics are split as to whether this experiment in cinematic gimmickry works; suffice it to say that while some are impressed with Hardcore Henry‘s adrenaline-junkie pacing and inventiveness, others find it to be a numbing, vertiginous blast of pointless mayhem.

Everybody Wants Some!! (2016) 87%

Everybody Wants Some!!, Richard Linklater‘s freewheeling comedy about a party-hearty college baseball team, goes wide this week after earning strong reviews in limited release. Critics say that while this nostalgic 1980s period piece doesn’t have much of a plot, that’s actually one of its strengths — as with other Linklater classics like Slacker and Before Sunrise, it captures the rhythms of life in a way that feels absolutely authentic.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Neon Bull (2015) , a Brazilian drama about the lives and dreams of nomadic rodeo workers, is at 100 percent.
  • The Invitation (2015) , starring Michiel Huisman and Tammy Blanchard in a thriller about a man who is invited to a dinner party hosted by his ex-wife and her new husband, but suspects dark ulterior motives, is at 94 percent.
  • Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt (2015) , a docucumentary about the German-Jewish philosopher behind the concept of “the banality of evil,” is at 86 percent.
  • High Strung (2016) , a musical drama about the artistic and personal collaboration between a ballet dancer and a street musician, is at 80 percent.
  • Look at Us Now, Mother! (2015) , in which a documentarian seeks to reconcile with her difficult mother, is at 71 percent.
  • Back Home (2015) , starring Jessie Eisenberg and Isabelle Huppert in a drama about a celebrated war photographer whose death still haunts her family, is at 61 percent.
  • 11 Minutes (2015) , an ensemble drama that follows 11 minutes in the lives of several people, is at 56 percent.
  • Demolition (2015) , starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts in a dramedy about a bereaved man who confronts his grief by breaking things, is at 54 percent.
  • Mr. Right (2015) , starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell in an action comedy about a woman who falls in love with a vigilante hitman, is at 40 percent.
  • One More Time (2015) , starring Christopher Walken and Amber Heard in a dramedy about an aspiring rocker who lives in the shadow of her father’s professional success, is at 38 percent.