Critics Consensus

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 is a Satisfying Sendoff

Plus, The Night Before is uneven but often hilarious, and Jessica Jones and The Man in the High Castle are Certified Fresh.

by and | November 19, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Julianne Moore), some party-hearty bros (The Night Before, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen), and a dogged detective (Secret in their Eyes, starring Chiwetel Ejioforand Julia Roberts). What do the critics have to say?

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (2015) 70%

The Hunger Games franchise has helped make Jennifer Lawrence a household name, and critics say her assured performance as Katniss Everdeen is the best thing about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, a satisfying — if occasionally overly grim — conclusion to the series. This time, Katniss leads a guerilla army to eliminate the despotic President Snow (Donald Sutherland) — and discovers that some within the rebellion may have agendas of their own. The pundits say Mockingjay – Part 2 is bleak and a little too long, but it’s also rousing, jolting, and intelligent, which befits a saga that has done much to alter the action movie landscape.

The Night Before (2015) 67%

When Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and director Jonathan Levine last joined forces, the result was 2011’s 50/50, a funny, heartfelt dramedy that was as moving as it was funny. Anthony Mackie joins them in their latest collaboration, The Night Before, and critics say the result is a surprisingly warm holiday bromance, even if its drug-fueled humor sometimes misses the mark. Boyhood buddies Isaac (Rogen), Ethan (Gordon-Levitt), and Chris (Mackie) have traditionally celebrated Christmas Eve with hedonistic yuletide festivities; now faced with looming adult responsibilities, the trio reunite to seek out one last, legendary party. The pundits say The Night Before is suitably raucous and unexpectedly sweet, though it might not tickle your funny bone as often as you might want.

Secret in Their Eyes (2015) 39%

Not every American remake of a foreign language film is doomed to failure; some, like Best Picture winner The Departed, have equaled or surpassed the originals. Unfortunately, critics say Secret in their Eyes (based upon the Oscar-winning 2009 Argentinian film of the same name) never justifies its own existence, despite the best effort of an A-list cast that includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts, and Nicole Kidman. Ejiofor stars as a former FBI agent who has resumed his investigation into the murder of a colleague’s daughter after discovering new information — but solving this mystery may uncover even darker secrets. The pundits say Secret in their Eyes lacks the specific political context that made the original so chilling, and what’s left is little more than a decent police procedural.

What’s Hot on TV

The Man in the High Castle: Season 1 (2015) 95%

The Man in the High Castle is unlike anything else on TV, with an immediately engrossing plot driven by quickly developed characters in a fully realized post-World War II dystopia.

Marvel's Jessica Jones: Season 1 (2015) 94%

Jessica Jones builds a multifaceted drama around its engaging antihero, delivering what might be Marvel’s strongest TV franchise to date.

Into the Badlands: Season 1 (2015) 63%

Into the Badlands is loaded with off-kilter potential that’s left largely unfulfilled — although its well-choreographed action sequences should satisfy martial arts fans.

Donny!: Season 1 (2015) 23%

While adding nothing new to the established medical procedural formula, Dick Wolf‘s Chicago Med hits its familiar beats forcefully enough to satisfy a few genre enthusiasts.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Democrats (2015) , a documentary about the fragile state of coalition government in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, is at 100 percent.
  • Kingdom Of Shadows (2015) , a documentary about the U.S.-Mexican drug war from several different perspectives, is at 100 percent.
  • Carol (2015) , starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in a period drama about an illicit affair between a lonely housewife and a younger woman, is Certified Fresh at 96 percent.
  • Mustang (2015) , a drama about five sisters whose free-spiritedness get them into trouble with their parents, is at 95 percent.
  • Censored Voices (2015) , a documentary featuring audio interviews recorded with Israeli soldiers shortly after the Six Day War, is at 92 percent.
  • The Summer Of Sangaile (2015) , a coming-of-age drama about a risk-averse teenager who falls in love with a more brazen peer, is at 86 percent.
  • Mediterranea (2015) , a drama about two friends from Burkina Faso seeking a better life in Italy, is at 100 percent.
  • Very Semi-Serious (2015) , an inside look into the creation of the New Yorker’s cartoons, is at 82 percent.
  • Flutter (2015) , a thriller about and indebted gambler who makes a Faustian bargain with a mysterious bookie, is at 60 percent.
  • Legend (2015) , starring Tom Hardy in a dual role as both the notorious Kray brothers, is at 59 percent.
  • Criminal Activities (2015) , starring John Travolta and Dan Stevens in a thriller about a group of friends who run afoul of a ruthless mob boss, is at 56 percent.

Tag Cloud

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