Critics Consensus

The Kid Who Would Be King Is a Fun, Family-Friendly Fantasy

Plus, Serenity is bonkers and Stan & Ollie and The Image Book are Certified Fresh.

by | January 24, 2019 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a first-rate fantasy (The Kid Who Would Be King, starring Louis Ashbourne Serkis and Patrick Stewart), a nutty noir (Serenity, starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway), and a dynamic duo (Stan & Ollie, starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly). What are the critics saying?


The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) 90%

A lot of classic tales are being rebooted these days, and it was just last year that we got something of a misguided attempt to revive the legend of King Arthur, thanks to Guy Ritchie. Maybe the trick was to modernize the story, age it down by a decade or so, and give it a Goonies vibe. At least, that’s what writer-director Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) thought, and it seems to have paid off. Louis Ashbourne Serkis (son of Andy) stars as ordinary kid Alex, who stumbles upon the mythical sword Excalibur and finds himself thrust with his friends into a legendary, centuries-old battle against evil. Critics say The Kid Who Would Be King is a joyful, good-natured reimagining of the Arthurian legend that manages to hit the right notes and remain entertaining throughout for all ages. It also tackles a few grown-up issues deftly without being heavy-handed, so there’s a little something for everyone.


Serenity (2019) 20%

It takes more than the involvement of a few top-notch actors to make a movie work, as we’ve seen time and again over the years, but it’s frequently difficult to pin down why a movie full of them might fail to make the most of their talents. In the case of Serenity, the reunion of Interstellar co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway apparently isn’t enough to overcome what amounts to a mind-boggling story. McConaughey stars as a charter boat captain with a troubled past whose ex-wife (Hathaway) suddenly shows up on his idyllic island and enlists his aid in disposing of her abusive new husband. Not everything is as it seems, of course, and the film’s noir elements give way to far more outrageous developments. Critics say Serenity is an ambitious outing for writer-director Steven Knight, but its ballsy narrative turns are a bit much to digest. This may be a case where you have to see it for yourself to believe it, but you may find yourself scratching your head as you leave the theater.


Stan & Ollie (2019) 93%

Expanding to wide release this week is a film industry-adjacent biopic that opened in just a few theaters a few weeks ago at the end of 2018. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly star in Stan & Ollie, a look back at the twilight years of the famous comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. Set in the 1950s, the story follows the pair as they embark on a British music hall tour and attempt to put together their final film. Along the way, old resentments resurface and drive a wedge between them, even as they commit themselves to their public obligations on the tour. Critics say Stan & Ollie is a worthy tribute to the legendary comedians, bolstered by strong performances from Coogan and Reilly and a script that treats the movie’s core relationship thoughtfully and with tenderness.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

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