Critics Consensus

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens: Believe the Hype

Plus, Sisters provides some laughs, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip is a dead end, and Son of Saul and Transparent are Certified Fresh.

by and | December 17, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the most anticipated film of the year: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Harrison Ford). In addition, we’ve got party-hearty siblings (Sisters, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler) and traveling rodents (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, starring Jason Lee and Justin Long). What do the critics have to say?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) 93%

Star Wars casts such a powerful shadow over the pop cultural landscape that it’s difficult to evaluate any of the films without nostalgia or prejudice. That said, critics say Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens both affectionately recalls the franchise’s best moments and promises an auspicious future. Daisy Ridley stars as Rey, a capable scavenger who teams up with disgraced soldier Finn (John Boyega) to help locate Luke Skwalker before the First Order, a new evil empire, can track him down. Along the way, they run into some formidable foes and friendly faces. The pundits say the Certified Fresh The Force Awakens successfully evokes the familiar wonder of its predecessors, introduces engaging new characters, and offers appropriately thrilling action in a worthy addition to the Star Wars saga.

Sisters (2015) 60%

The comedic chemistry between Tina Fey and Amy Poehler is so infectious, critics say, that it can carry viewers through some of the rougher patches of Sisters, a comedy that balances its gross-out humor with some big laughs and a surprising amount of heart. Fey and Poehler star as thirtysomething wild child Kate Ellis and her frumpy divorcee sister Maura, who fly home to Orlando when they discover their parents have sold their childhood house. Faced with the impending loss, they decide to let loose and throw one last raging party. The pundits say Sisters benefits from some solid gags and the inherent likability of its leads, even if it doesn’t offer many surprises.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (2015) 15%

Say what you will about Alvin and the Chipmunks, but they’ve made one indelible contribution to seasonal merriment with “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late).” Critics say Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip is much more ephemeral — little kids will probably be mildly amused, their guardians will not, and all will forget about it hours later. This time out, Dave (Jason Lee) is planning to propose to his girlfriend, and Alvin, Simon, and Theodore think he’s going to give them the heave-ho, so they hit the road in an attempt to change his mind. The pundits say The Road Chip is, at best, a moderately inoffensive time-waster.

 What’s Hot on TV

Transparent: Season 2 (2015) 98%

Transparent‘s second season ups its dramatic stakes while retaining the poignancy and humor that have made the series such a consistently entertaining example of the best that modern serial drama has to offer.

The Expanse: Season 1 (2015) 78%

The Expanse blends sci-fi elements and detective noir into a visually compelling whole, though it takes a few episodes for the story to capture viewers’ intrigue.

Childhood's End: Season 1 (2015) 70%

While it doesn’t quite live up to the book that inspired it, Childhood’s End has a balanced narrative and sympathetic performances.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Son of Saul (2015) , a drama about a prisoner of Auschwitz who attempts to arrange a proper Jewish burial for a dead child, is Certified Fresh at 92 percent.
  • He Never Died (2015) , starring Henry Rollins in a horror comedy about a grizzled depressive who literally cannot expire, is at 71 percent.
  • Dreams Rewired (2015) , an essay film about the collective response to technological advances, is at 63 percent.
  • The Emperor's New Clothes (2015) , a documentary in which Russell Brand examines the causes and effects of income inequality, is at 64 percent.
  • Noma, My Perfect Storm (2015) , a documentary portrait of celebrity chef René Redzepi and his innovative restaurants, is at 33 percent.
  • Extraction (2015) , starring Kellan Lutz and Bruce Willis in a thriller about a man who puts together a plan to rescue his ex-CIA agent father from the terrorists who kidnapped him, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

cinemax sag awards gangster 4/20 Columbia Pictures AMC biopic BAFTA series anthology mockumentary scary prank Wes Anderson Box Office Holidays mission: impossible VICE The Academy FX PlayStation PaleyFest TV renewals aapi die hard Tags: Comedy animated First Reviews Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt miniseries Television Academy children's TV saw IMDb TV NBA Sneak Peek TIFF Pop TV Disney Comic Book psychological thriller cancelled TV series Election Western comic books Pixar technology Syfy Trailer Pet Sematary justice league Watching Series criterion 2018 crossover Starz independent godzilla PBS BET documentaries New York Comic Con hispanic Television Critics Association Thanksgiving directors Hallmark Christmas movies black Premiere Dates superman TV Land BBC One DirecTV Hallmark ABC Family award winner MGM universal monsters hist dc comic book movies worst movies toy story new zealand asian-american Schedule CNN spanish politics Paramount sequel stoner summer TV preview boxing movie name the review television marvel cinematic universe romantic comedy kaiju telelvision video canceled TV shows Anna Paquin scene in color LGBT cops 79th Golden Globes Awards CW Seed YouTube Cannes witnail disaster Horror Winners Emmy Nominations Best Actress comic book movie CBS All Access 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Women's History Month USA Apple TV Plus Interview HBO Go Binge Guide 2021 Mary Tyler Moore Acorn TV singing competition posters docudrama rom-coms lord of the rings Hear Us Out rt archives Lionsgate Walt Disney Pictures mutant Fargo new star wars movies Oscar hollywood TV movies live event Trivia Instagram Live Action Fall TV binge Country jamie lee curtis Rock adenture ABC Universal Pictures renewed TV shows young adult Toys Ovation Drama Avengers Cosplay spain ABC Signature Marvel Studios HBO Arrowverse Quiz indie debate Summer king arthur Broadway mob 007 Comedy Central Logo foreign obituary Sony Pictures First Look spider-verse Paramount Plus BBC America women TruTV Fantasy The Walking Dead Video Games Reality Competition Grammys australia Masterpiece versus blockbuster psycho Reality DC Comics Year in Review TCM Travel Channel Mindy Kaling The Purge a nightmare on elm street WarnerMedia festivals AMC Plus NBC Superheroe Spectrum Originals TCA 2017 boxoffice festival dramedy Britbox 45 marvel comics based on movie 2019 high school satire natural history CBS Valentine's Day sopranos trophy Awards spinoff Amazon Prime hispanic heritage month laika rotten tv talk TLC wonder woman Trophy Talk teaser video on demand pirates of the caribbean target cancelled HFPA emmy awards Sundance Now Baby Yoda know your critic Certified Fresh Turner Classic Movies CMT 99% streaming movies Pacific Islander richard e. Grant Dark Horse Comics police drama serial killer Infographic unscripted Red Carpet Character Guide free movies FXX Holiday VOD olympics italian Hulu toronto finale Awards Tour TCA Winter 2020 razzies Nat Geo facebook Hollywood Foreign Press Association Paramount Network hidden camera scorecard OneApp The Arrangement cats Amazon Studios classics Tokyo Olympics 71st Emmy Awards rotten movies we love discovery 72 Emmy Awards war diversity MTV NYCC japanese romance Music Biopics Comedy leaderboard Lucasfilm cancelled TV shows TV nbcuniversal werewolf Disney Plus IFC Films 94th Oscars vampires monster movies zero dark thirty 2017 news football Star Wars mcc documentary History Brie Larson The Witch Kids & Family Film Festival Apple TV+ MSNBC rt labs book Teen South by Southwest Film Festival harry potter nfl 2016 blockbusters crime drama Musical Exclusive Video Podcast Tumblr vs. Opinion SDCC San Diego Comic-Con FX on Hulu Best Picture 73rd Emmy Awards Best Director Creative Arts Emmys science fiction Oscars cartoon live action comiccon royal family YouTube Premium The CW spider-man Christmas National Geographic Shondaland slasher Spring TV green book Freeform reviews screen actors guild Mary Poppins Returns worst movies 20th Century Fox aliens Bravo zombies adventure critics james bond DC Universe twilight Vudu game show cancelled television Calendar space YouTube Red DGA Photos Shudder Super Bowl Marathons Apple summer preview Adult Swim supernatural Comics on TV Tubi Prime Video cults Marvel Television ESPN 2020 fresh blaxploitation Elton John Amazon Emmys Rocketman doctor who black comedy YA obi wan robots international dark Funimation 1990s game of thrones indiana jones Esquire SXSW 2022 Academy Awards Musicals See It Skip It Image Comics social media BET Awards travel stop motion comedies 24 frames Pride Month medical drama TCA Disney+ Disney Plus south america E3 feel good RT History HBO Max Winter TV Crackle halloween cooking VH1 Sundance Black History Month American Society of Cinematographers golden globes parents zombie sitcom Cartoon Network franchise comics Turner Martial Arts The Walt Disney Company king kong japan legend casting Peacock Focus Features RT21 basketball concert President OWN dexter Lifetime art house Netflix 93rd Oscars historical drama Neflix Black Mirror trailers new york elevated horror sequels LGBTQ APB ghosts Heroines spanish language Ellie Kemper streamig Pirates crime thriller Star Trek best Polls and Games reboot Netflix Christmas movies composers heist movie sports A&E films crime Extras thriller GIFs critic resources Crunchyroll summer TV A24 Classic Film Amazon Prime Video batman anime GLAAD USA Network Lifetime Christmas movies screenings period drama political drama breaking bad cars Nominations Chernobyl Paramount Pictures ViacomCBS quibi talk show Fox News El Rey Song of Ice and Fire Tomatazos christmas movies BBC adaptation TCA Awards deadpool Tarantino archives TNT Pop Marvel Countdown Rom-Com canceled all-time docuseries IFC fast and furious Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Best and Worst Showtime Stephen King ITV E! Mudbound X-Men Film Mystery dreamworks Ghostbusters chucky streaming strong female leads Alien nature action-comedy spy thriller Fox Searchlight scary movies Legendary Universal Family ratings MCU dragons transformers rt labs critics edition venice ID jurassic park book adaptation theme song SundanceTV Discovery Channel Animation Mary poppins Set visit Endgame kong Best Actor remakes genre biography popular Spike 21st Century Fox dceu WGN child's play Food Network Captain marvel Warner Bros. Sci-Fi FOX broadcast revenge Disney Channel suspense what to watch Writers Guild of America kids DC streaming service Superheroes Sundance TV Epix superhero comic french stand-up comedy true crime joker slashers 2015 90s Disney streaming service Nickelodeon Rocky Comic-Con@Home 2021 TBS halloween tv dogs TV One SXSW GoT latino golden globe awards