Critics Consensus

The Light Between Oceans Is Beautiful but Uneven

Plus, Morgan fails to live up to its premise, and You're the Worst is Certified Fresh.

by | September 1, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a pair of lighthouse-dwelling impromptu parents (The Light Between Oceans, starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander) and a synthetic humanoid facing off against a corporate consultant with the power to order its extinction (Morgan, starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Kate Mara). What do the critics have to say?


The Light Between Oceans (2016) 62%

Nothing quite heralds the arrival of the fall season at the box office like a prestige drama — you know, the kind that comes with beautiful, sad-looking stars and a classy serif font on the poster. This year, just in time for Labor Day, we’ve got The Light Between Oceans, writer-director Derek Cianfrance‘s adaptation of the M.L. Stedman bestseller about a couple (Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander) whose marriage is haunted by his painful past and their shared grief over not being able to have a child — until a boat washes up on the shore of their lighthouse with a dead man and a baby inside. That discovery sets up a sumptuously filmed old-fashioned weepie that reviews describe as lovely to look at and undeniably effective, albeit also fairly chilly and dark. It seems likely we’ll see more satisfying dramas this season, but if you’re looking to get your cry on this weekend, the critics say you can safely head toward The Light Between Oceans.


Morgan (2016) 38%

Luke Scott, son of Ridley, makes his directorial debut with this weekend’s Morgan, a sci-fi thriller about a lab-grown organism (Anya Taylor-Joy) whose potentially lethal powers prompt a visit from a consultant (Kate Mara) sent to assess whether “she” should be terminated. It’s a premise with a number of intriguing possibilities, some of which have been examined by the elder Scott with powerful results (see: Blade Runner), but unfortunately, critics say Morgan isn’t really interested in exploring enough of them. Reviews describe the end result as a fairly boilerplate action picture whose standard set pieces aren’t nearly enough to cover the hole where a truly intelligent narrative might have fit, and although it’s still fairly painless as these things go, you might just be better off waiting for the rental.


What’s Hot on TV

You're the Worst: Season 3 (2016) 100%

You’re the Worst continues to chart serious territory with intelligence, heart, and noxious wit in its third season, even as the anti-rom-com’s damaged narcissist protagonists slowly start to get over themselves.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • White Girl (2016) , writer-director Elizabeth Wood’s provocative (and semi-autobiographical) look at a young woman’s descent into New York City’s underbelly, is at 71 percent.
  • Zoom (2016) , a trio of interlinked dramedies about artists from different disciplines, is at 69 percent.
  • Antibirth (2016) , starring Natasha Lyonne as a hard-partying woman who finds herself potentially impregnated through highly unusual means, is at 53 percent.
  • Kickboxer: Vengeance (2016) , a new installment in the venerable series that hails the return of original star Jean-Claude Van Damme, is at 50 percent.
  • Skiptrace (2016) , a Renny Harlin action-adventure starring Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville, is at 31 percent.
  • Yoga Hosers (2016) , Kevin Smith‘s Tusk spinoff about a pair of teenage convenience store clerks caught in a supernatural conflict, is at 22 percent.

Tag Cloud

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