Critics Consensus

The Divergent Series: Allegiant is a Sci-Fi Snooze

Plus, Miracles from Heaven is a decent tearjerker, The Americans is Certified Fresh, and Daredevil is solid.

by | March 16, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got teenage rebels (The Divergent Series: Allegiant, starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller) and a heartsick mother (Miracles from Heaven, starring Jennifer Garner and Martin Henderson). What do the critics have to say?

The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016) 11%

The critical knock on the Divergent franchise has tended to be that it’s little more than a second rate Hunger Games, and while that assessment might seem reductive to its legion of teenage fans, it essentially holds true for the latest chapter. Critics say Allegiant — in which a band of teenage revolutionaries, led by Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), escapes post-apocalyptic Chicago, only to discover a eugenics proponent leading a community on the outskirts  — is top-heavy with exposition and special effects, stranding its talented cast in a place-holding installment that’s unlikely to lure any newbies to the series.

Miracles From Heaven (2016) 45%

Even though it’s based on a true story, Miracles from Heaven is the kind of thing you’ve seen before; it’s the story of a mother who refuses to give up hope, even after her daughter has been diagnosed with a rare, untreatable disease. What elevates this faith-based drama, critics say, is the committed, commanding performance of Jennifer Garner, who lends urgency to a film that could have otherwise been merely a collection of melodramatic clichés.

What’s Hot on TV

The Americans: Season 4 (2016) 99%

With its fourth season, The Americans continues to deliver top-tier spy drama while sending its characters in directions that threaten to destroy their freedoms – and their lives.

Marvel's Daredevil: Season 2 (2016) 81%

Bolstered by some impressive action, Daredevil keeps its footing in Season two, even if the additions of Punisher and Elektra can’t quite fill the void left by Wilson Fisk.

Crowded: Season 1 (2016) 32%

A talented cast is left with no room to flourish in Crowded, a misfire whose dated feel is compounded by a pronounced lack of laughs.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Fireworks Wednesday (2006) , Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi‘s drama about a housekeeper who becomes embroiled in her employers’ toxic marital conflict, is at 100 percent.
  • Krisha (2015) , a drama about a troubled woman who receives a weary reception when she joins her family for thanksgiving festivities, is at 96 percent.
  • Too Late (2015) , starring John Hawkes in a neo-noir drama about a private eye searching for a person from his past, is at 88 percent.
  • My Golden Days (2015) , a coming-of-age drama about a French teenager’s troubled family life and misadventures in the Soviet Union, is at 87 percent.
  • A Space Program (2015) , a documentary about artist Tom Sachs’ attempt to create a simulated trip to Mars in New York’s Park Avenue Armory, is at 86 percent.
  • Midnight Special (2016) , starring Michael Shannon and Kirsten Dunst in a sci-fi drama about a man trying to protect his supernaturally gifted son from both a cult and the federal government, is at 83 percent.
  • The Confirmation (2016) , starring Clive Owen and Maria Bello in a drama about a carpenter who searches for his stolen toolbox with his eight-year-old-son, is at 82 percent.
  • Take Me to the River (2015) , starring Logan Miller and Robin Weigert in a drama about a gay teenager whose presence at a Midwestern family reunion ruffles feathers, is at 82 percent.
  • The Program (2015) , starring Ben Foster and Chris O’Dowd in Stephen Frears’ fictional retelling of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal, is at 60 percent.
  • The Bronze (2015) , starring Melissa Rauch in a comedy about a malevolent former Olympic gymnast, is at 26 percent.

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