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

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