Critics Consensus

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part Is Certified Fresh

Plus, What Men Want is likable but a little fluffy, Cold Pursuit is an effective, darkly funny thriller, and The Prodigy is slow and derivative.

by | February 7, 2019 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a brickbuster sequel (The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, featuring the voices of Chris Pratt and Elizabeth Banks), a gender-swapped remake (What Men Want, starring Taraji P. Henson and Aldis Hodge), a stone-cold vigilante (Cold Pursuit, starring Liam Neeson and Laura Dern), and a creepy kid (The Prodigy, starring Taylor Schilling). What are the critics saying?

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019) 84%

A lot of folks were skeptical when Warner Bros. announced they were planning a feature film based on LEGOs, the decidedly non-narrative building blocks popular with kids the world over. All of that changed when the film finally came out in early 2014 and, to everyone’s surprise, was actually really good. We’ve gotten a couple of spinoffs since then, but this week brings the first true sequel in the cheekily titled The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. This time around, fledgling Master Builder Emmet (Chris Pratt) springs into action and embarks on a spacefaring adventure when Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett), and a few other Bricksburg residents are kidnapped by Duplo-sized aliens from the Systar System (you can probably see where the movie’s going with this setup). Critics say The Second Part isn’t quite as surprising or fresh as the first film, but it’s still a fairly fun and satisfying experience for the whole family, and it’s Certified Fresh, making it another early-year treat like its predecessor.

What Men Want (2019) 42%

Generally speaking, romantic comedies are so formulaic that it usually takes something really out of the ordinary to stand out. Back in 2001, Nancy Meyers achieved great box office success — less so with critics — with the high-concept comedy What Women Want, which explored what would happen if an egocentric man were suddenly gifted with the ability to read the minds of women. That movie also benefited from a talented cast that included Helent Hunt, Marisa Tomei, Alan Alda, and a pre-controversy Mel Gibson. Fast forward to 2019, and we now have a gender-swapped version of the tale starring Taraji P. Henson as a female sports agent who, suddenly able to read men’s thoughts, uses her newfound power to rise in her career and learn a few lessons about the opposite sex. Critics so far have responded to What Men Want about the same as they did to the original film, saying that its leads and lighthearted story are likable enough, but also that it’s an uneven comedy that telegraphs its jokes and provides few, if any, surprises in the narrative department. As far as the box office, though, we’ll have to wait and see if it matches the earlier film’s $374 million total.

Cold Pursuit (2019) 69%

It’s the first quarter of a new year, which means we’re in prime Liam Neeson Vigilante Movie season, and sure enough, this week brings us the latest in the aging star’s late-career resurgence as an action hero, controversial interviews notwithstanding. A remake of Norwegian thriller In Order of DisappearanceCold Pursuit follows Neeson’s Colorado snowplow driver Nels Coxman, who sets out in search of frigid justice when his son is killed by a local drug kingpin who harbors a particularly fierce protective streak over his own spawn. The one thing Cold Pursuit has over other Neeson thrillers of late, critics say, is a nasty, dark sense of humor, which reveals itself in ridiculous kills that are sometimes played for laughs. Overall, it’s a solid outing for Neeson and a worthy transplant of the original film, whose director Hans Petter Moland was also tapped to helm this remake.

The Prodigy (2019) 41%

There’s a long history of creepy kids wreaking havoc in horror movies, so it’s a little difficult for any new take on the subject to set itself apart from the others that have come before it. Such is the case with this week’s The Prodigy, a new fright flick that stars Taylor Schilling and Peter Mooney as exasperated parents Sarah and John trying to make sense of the erratic behavior of their son Miles (Jackson Robert Scott). Despite the warnings of the various experts who examine Miles, the young couple attempt to suss out the source of his violent quirks and discover something supernatural may be to blame. So far, The Prodigy has split the critics, nearly half of whom think the film is a competently crafted exercise in slow-build suspense while the other half feel it suffers from pacing issues, murky storytelling, and a less than satisfying payoff. In other words, if you’re looking for a good scare, your mileage may vary with this one.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • To Dust (2019) , a drama about a devout Hasidic man seeking to understand the biological nature of his recently deceased wife’s physical decay, is at 89%.
  • The Final Wish (2019) , a horror film about a grieving man who discovers a sinister wish-granting urn, is at 88%.
  • Lords of Chaos (2019) , a biopic about pioneering Norwegian black metal band Mayhem, is at 79%.
  • The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot (2019) , starring Sam Elliott as the titular hero in a story that accurately reflects its title, is at 77%.
  • The Gospel of Eureka (2019) , a documentary about the connections between a small town’s drag queens and evangelical Christian community, is at 75%.
  • St. Agatha (2019) , a horror film about a pregnant con woman who seeks shelter at a convent with dark secrets, is at 64%.
  • Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben) (2019) , starring Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz in Asghar Farhadi‘s drama about the secrets that surface when a child is abducted during a wedding celebration, is at 62%.
  • Untogether (2019) , a romantic comedy about a pair of couples struggling with unusual relationship issues, is at 32%.
  • Under the Eiffel Tower (2019) , a romantic comedy about a man who travels to France with a younger ladies’ man in hopes of finding new love, is at 29%.
  • The Amityville Murders (2019) , a new take on the story of mass murderer Ronald DeFeo Jr. and the house he claimed compelled him to kill, is at 0%.
  • Berlin, I Love You (2019) , an ensemble anthology film comprised of 10 stories set in the titular city, is at 0%.

Tag Cloud

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