Critics Consensus

The Hitman's Bodyguard Misses the Mark

Plus, Logan Lucky and Marvel's The Defenders are Certified Fresh.

by | August 17, 2017 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have Deadpool trading quips with Nick Fury (The Hitman’s Bodyguard, starring Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson) and the big screen return of Steven Soderbergh (Logan Lucky, starring Channing Tatum and Adam Driver). What are the critics saying?

The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017) 41%

At this point, it seems safe to say that pretty much no one is looking for anything new out of a buddy action comedy; when new entries in the genre succeed, it’s because they work well within the established formula and/or treat audiences to stars with enough chemistry to offset the fact that we’ve seen it all before. With Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds in the lead, The Hitman’s Bodyguard offers plenty of the latter, but unfortunately, critics say the story’s so rote that no amount of their profanity-peppered repartee would be enough to make it worth a trip to the theater. Still, there’s a certain amount of enjoyment to be had from a movie that throws these two together as a hunted hitman (Jackson) and the bodyguard who happens to hate him (Reynolds), and plenty of pundits have argued that the movie’s basic shoot-’em-up ingredients are part of the fun. You may want to stream it at some point, in other words, but a trip to the theater probably isn’t necessary.

Logan Lucky (2017) 92%

We’ve all long since learned that “retirement” in the entertainment industry rarely lasts long, and from the moment director Steven Soderbergh announced he was walking away from making movies in 2013, film buffs started wondering how quickly he’d be back. The answer is this weekend’s Logan Lucky, starring Adam Driver, Riley Keough, and Channing Tatum as siblings who hatch a robbery scheme in order to reverse their family’s miserable financial fortunes. It’s a well-cast heist movie with a fair amount of topical potential, in other words, and critics say Soderbergh and his gifted ensemble (which also includes Daniel Craig and Katie Holmes) fulfill it with an energetic action caper that seasons its breezy old-school escapism with humor and grounds the whole thing in a character-driven plot arc. Whether you’re a Soderbergh fan, intrigued by the cast, or simply in the mood for what Gary Thompson of the Philadelphia Daily News called “the best Burt Reynolds movie he never made,” Logan Lucky looks like a pretty safe investment.

What’s New on TV

Marvel's The Defenders: Season 1 (2017) 76%

Marvel’s The Defenders further develops well-known characters in an action-packed arc whose payoff packs more than enough of a punch to offset its flaws.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • California Typewriter (2017) , a documentary ode to the titular instrument and the people who remain devoted to it, is at 100 percent.
  • Gook (2017) , a drama about the friendship between Korean-American men and a young African-American girl during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, is at 94 percent.
  • Marjorie Prime (2017) , in which an aging widow turns to an AI construct of her deceased husband for emotional support, is at 90 percent.
  • The Wound (Inxeba) (2017) , about the dangers facing a man as his secrets threaten to spill over during a traditional initiation rite, is at 85 percent.
  • Shot Caller (2017) , starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as a man who undergoes a harrowing transformation after being sent to prison, is at 75 percent.
  • Patti Cake$ (2017) , about a New Jersey teen who dreams of hip-hop stardom, is at 71 percent.
  • Lemon (2017) , about an actor whose fading hopes of stardom are mirrored by his less-than-satisfying family life, is at 70 percent.
  • Dave Made a Maze (2017) , starring Nick Thune as a frustrated artist whose cardboard fort becomes a supernatural gateway to mortal danger, is at 68 percent.
  • Crown Heights (2017) , a fact-based account of the long and torturous quest to free a man wrongly imprisoned for murder, is at 65 percent.
  • The Ice Cream Truck (2017) , in which a woman returns to her suburban hometown and discovers the fine line between frozen refreshment and death, is at 50 percent.
  • Liza, Liza, Skies Are Grey (2017) , a ’60-set coming-of-age story about a pair of teens who take to the road with their relationship at a turning point, is at 50 percent.
  • 6 Days (2017) , a dramatization of the real-life 1980 terrorist attack at the Iranian Embassy in London, is at 40 percent.
  • The Queen of Spain (La reina de España) (2017) , a sequel to The Girl of Your Dreams starring Penélope Cruz as a Spanish actress returning home after achieving fame in Hollywood, is at 29 percent.

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