Critics Consensus

The Fifty Shades Trilogy Climaxes with a Whimper

Plus, Peter Rabbit is an agreeable update on a classic character, The 15:17 to Paris is a well-meaning misfire, and the new Queer Eye is charming and addictive.

by | February 8, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have the Fifty Shades trilogy’s inevitable climax (Fifty Shades Freed, starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan), a bestselling bunny’s big-screen bounce (Peter Rabbit, starring Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson), and Clint Eastwood‘s latest fact-based ode to American resolve (The 15:17 to Paris, starring Anthony SadlerAlek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone). What are the critics saying?

Fifty Shades Freed (2018) 12%

No matter how humble it may seem, you can never really tell what might happen if you follow an idea. Take author E.L. James, for example: after being inspired to write some Twilight fan fiction, she found herself with the erotically charged tale of a billionaire bondage enthusiast and the young publisher’s assistant who captures his heart. From that simple setup sprouted the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, which sold more than 125 million copies — thus prompting the film franchise that concludes with this weekend’s Fifty Shades Freed. As they did for the first two installments, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan play unorthodox lovebirds Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, who enter the concluding chapter of their big-screen story as newlyweds; of course, even as domestic bliss beckons on the horizon, there are complicating factors waiting to muck things up, like the petty squabbles of married life — not to mention some potentially far more nefarious developments. Unfortunately, Dornan and Johnson aren’t the only things that have remained the same for Fifty Shades Freed; critics’ widespread disdain for the franchise is also right where they left it last time around, making this one trilogy that’s managed the wrong kind of trifecta with the pundits. If you’re a Fifty Shades fan, you probably aren’t reading many reviews anyway, but if you were waiting to see how the Tomatometer would shake out for the series conclusion, the answer is probably as disappointing as it is unsurprising.

Peter Rabbit (2018) 64%

Since making his debut on the pages of the 1902 classic The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter’s most famous creation has proven a persistent favorite for generations of young readers — and he’s hopped his way onto the screen numerous times. He’s never quite gotten the Hollywood push he’s getting with Peter Rabbit, however: from this Columbia-distributed effort’s up-to-the-minute CGI animation to the all-star voice cast that includes big names like Daisy Ridley and Margot Robbie as well as late-night fixture James Corden in the lead, few corners appear to have been cut in terms of the movie’s look and sound. What has been cut, to the dismay of some critics (particularly those in the U.K.), is much of a connection to the Potter tales that brought us these characters in the first place — with rock songs on the soundtrack and modern slang in the script, this Peter may have more in common with the bunny Russell Brand played in Hop. Does this mean kids won’t have a good time? Not at all. In fact, quite a few of the pundits say Peter Rabbit is actually a pretty good time for the younger set — just don’t expect anything that really resembles the fuzzy little fellow you’re used to.

The 15:17 to Paris (2018) 23%

On August 21, 2015, a man riding a train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris opened fire on his fellow passengers. Although several people were injured, the attack was ultimately foiled by a group of fast-thinking commuters who fought back, disarming and finally subduing their assailant. For obvious reasons, the incident made headlines worldwide — and now it’s getting the big-screen treatment courtesy of director Clint Eastwood, who’s dramatized the events with The 15:17 to Paris. Not content to give this story the average Hollywood treatment, Eastwood took the surprising step of casting three of the survivors — Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek Skarlatos — as themselves. It’s a bold gambit, and unfortunately, critics say it didn’t really pay off; Eastwood, never one to spend undue time laboring over his productions, has applied his trademark streamlined style to Paris, and reviews describe a well-intentioned drama whose seams all too often show in the performances. Even more problematically, the script strains to wring a full-length feature’s worth of drama out of an act of violence that was over in a few minutes. Eastwood has more than proven his mettle as a helmsman for fact-based cinema, but this time out, it looks like he missed his mark by a surprisingly wide margin.

What’s New on TV

Queer Eye: Season 1 (2018) 97%

Queer Eye adapts for a different era without losing its style, charm, or sense of fun, proving that the show’s formula remains just as sweetly addictive even after a change in location and a new group of hosts.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Becks (2018) , a drama inspired by the life and career of real-life singer/songwriter Alyssa Robbins, is at 90 percent.
  • Still/Born (2018) , a supernatural horror film about the creepy goings-on that unravel after a woman gives birth to twins and only one of them survives, is at 89 percent.
  • Bomb City (2018) , about a group of punks struggling to fit in — and survive — in a Texas town, is at 83 percent.
  • Permission (2018) , in which a long-term couple (Rebecca Hall and Dan Stevens) decide to try experimenting with different partners before they get married, is at 73 percent.
  • Entanglement (2018) , starring Thomas Middleditch as a man whose personal journey leads to unexpected love, is at 73 percent.
  • Golden Exits (2018) , about the ways in which a visit from a young woman (Emily Browning) disrupts the relationships between two families, is at 71 percent.
  • The Female Brain (2018) , a gender-driven comedy from co-writer/director/star Whitney Cummings, is at 44 percent.
  • Monster Family (2018) , an animated outing about a family who take the form of monsters after being cursed by a witch at a costume party, is at 33 percent.
  • Basmati Blues (2018) , a long-delayed, Bollywood-inspired film starring Brie Larson as a scientist who’s sent to India to sell genetically modified rice, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

Crackle Animation directors toy story series golden globes Captain marvel natural history Ellie Kemper news ABC Schedule Trivia talk show mission: impossible The Arrangement National Geographic Biopics VOD casting historical drama independent joker Country spanish language History ghosts Nickelodeon indie Brie Larson spider-man Apple Superheroe Star Wars Extras President Writers Guild of America Hallmark Elton John war romantic comedy Mystery New York Comic Con RT History Emmy Nominations video Masterpiece ITV BET Awards Lionsgate Trophy Talk Nominations Shondaland serial killer psycho Disney streaming service DGA theme song Logo crossover HBO Max Chilling Adventures of Sabrina FXX anime SDCC concert Sundance TV blockbuster Acorn TV PaleyFest Watching Series anthology Reality Competition dceu Hallmark Christmas movies Hulu Holiday HBO political drama Family singing competition Crunchyroll CMT medical drama CW Seed Thanksgiving Pop Infographic ABC Family Sony Pictures Nat Geo unscripted satire RT21 screenings LGBT Lucasfilm 21st Century Fox TCA 2017 Sundance foreign Mindy Kaling franchise die hard TCA latino CBS Pirates Ghostbusters a nightmare on elm street Disney Plus Western cartoon free movies miniseries TCA Winter 2020 TIFF documentary Avengers Song of Ice and Fire Anna Paquin PlayStation MTV Star Trek Classic Film OWN Women's History Month BBC One Ovation facebook PBS HBO Go Best and Worst reviews canceled TV shows reboot true crime 20th Century Fox what to watch Amazon Studios cops Premiere Dates dark slashers Pride Month Paramount Rocky adaptation Paramount Network elevated horror films FOX WGN Heroines asian-american cancelled VICE technology supernatural CBS All Access kids award winner Christmas 2015 ratings spain scary movies Valentine's Day cinemax TV Peacock NBC BBC America The Walking Dead 4/20 game of thrones Showtime Tubi renewed TV shows Countdown biography robots halloween cults teaser ESPN Film Festival Lifetime Red Carpet FX politics jamie lee curtis Election 2019 Netflix Christmas movies APB Year in Review comics Sundance Now TruTV Warner Bros. TBS Universal travel GLAAD diversity Comedy Central El Rey Horror Emmys social media Podcast A&E sports universal monsters Certified Fresh 45 DirecTV boxoffice Rock E! strong female leads MSNBC cars 2018 criterion Toys adventure romance Awards Tour festivals Netflix Cannes Comic Book Holidays Pet Sematary vampires name the review Mary poppins Endgame Bravo dragons Mary Tyler Moore Turner Super Bowl period drama children's TV Academy Awards zombie dc Martial Arts Quiz The CW rotten movies we love versus USA Network DC streaming service Pixar parents IFC Films binge revenge crime Creative Arts Emmys Dark Horse Comics Walt Disney Pictures DC Comics green book Vudu Arrowverse Trailer comiccon YouTube Premium television transformers Disney Hear Us Out Polls and Games NYCC Starz Esquire breaking bad sitcom south america FX on Hulu Britbox IFC Music game show harry potter Black Mirror werewolf science fiction hist stoner AMC psychological thriller Summer documentaries Fox News Comics on TV Fantasy 71st Emmy Awards GoT sag awards discovery 007 docudrama Superheroes Spike dogs First Reviews YouTube all-time SundanceTV Musical cancelled TV shows Disney+ Disney Plus Apple TV Plus cancelled TV series crime thriller batman child's play Amazon VH1 hispanic Pop TV Lifetime Christmas movies richard e. Grant streaming Action CNN 24 frames animated sequel Television Academy Rom-Com Reality movie Binge Guide Character Guide Rocketman Amazon Prime Video Spectrum Originals mutant WarnerMedia Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Awards movies Mudbound TV Land Chernobyl Freeform TCM DC Universe Funimation book composers GIFs LGBTQ Tomatazos Sneak Peek Marvel Studios Set visit Black History Month finale Kids & Family zero dark thirty BET OneApp cooking aliens Marathons Disney Channel 2020 Discovery Channel cancelled television Syfy Tumblr YouTube Red A24 Columbia Pictures Food Network spinoff Epix Adult Swim thriller Amazon Prime Sci-Fi 2017 Mary Poppins Returns police drama disaster San Diego Comic-Con screen actors guild blaxploitation X-Men zombies chucky justice league comedies christmas movies The Purge Video Games See It Skip It critics Tarantino Musicals Teen Opinion TNT TV renewals doctor who Winter TV canceled Comedy 2016 Fall TV TLC quibi Apple TV+ Film Turner Classic Movies USA Spring TV Cosplay indiana jones Calendar dramedy Interview The Witch based on movie Baby Yoda Oscars crime drama Stephen King spy thriller Marvel Television tv talk nature Photos cats Drama YA Box Office space SXSW E3 video on demand Winners Grammys comic Travel Channel Shudder MCU witnail American Society of Cinematographers BAFTA First Look BBC Marvel mockumentary Cartoon Network twilight stand-up comedy best