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) 60%

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) 37%

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

Emmys PBS zombies IFC Films harry potter TNT Schedule Esquire dramedy Nickelodeon Martial Arts E! ABC Box Office SundanceTV WGN TCA 2017 cats AMC NBC Masterpiece Creative Arts Emmys ratings LGBTQ Ovation Paramount Network Ghostbusters Superheroe Oscars TCM 24 frames what to watch Comedy Marathons The CW crime thriller FOX Certified Fresh GIFs Columbia Pictures composers Star Trek National Geographic ITV romance Food Network Holidays Rock dceu Sneak Peek politics CNN Animation Warner Bros. Red Carpet science fiction TCA 2015 Marvel Valentine's Day jamie lee curtis cults biography doctor who anime Spring TV Universal Winter TV Musical adventure Freeform BBC Polls and Games Walt Disney Pictures based on movie First Look sitcom Spike President Comedy Central Drama police drama Video Games Cosplay ABC Family supernatural GLAAD VH1 crossover Britbox Fall TV OWN festivals Dark Horse Comics Mary Tyler Moore Nominations Amazon Country comiccon 2017 YA Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt CBS All Access TBS blaxploitation Countdown Music Crackle Election Winners Superheroes Teen Shondaland Mystery San Diego Comic-Con Photos war Pixar Sundance Netflix Tumblr Comic Book Mindy Kaling Apple Writers Guild of America diversity USA Pirates Christmas Paramount Sundance Now Horror TV Land thriller YouTube Red transformers A&E 45 DC Universe E3 Syfy MSNBC American Society of Cinematographers RT History dc ESPN technology BET binge singing competition robots YouTube Premium Acorn TV Pop Summer Fox News Extras mutant Character Guide Best and Worst Star Wars political drama Epix Fantasy aliens MTV travel Disney cooking SDCC See It Skip It golden globes talk show 2016 Year in Review Trivia period drama Shudder Set visit Kids & Family GoT Trailer The Arrangement Podcast Western DC Comics Song of Ice and Fire Musicals social media X-Men Tomatazos HBO Lifetime vampires BBC America VICE Awards FXX El Rey hist USA Network 20th Century Fox 007 TLC spy thriller PaleyFest Nat Geo Toys Biopics Interview APB Sci-Fi Hulu cinemax Watching Series Action crime justice league Opinion Adult Swim Showtime History NYCC historical drama DC streaming service unscripted Premiere Dates Ellie Kemper Infographic cops Lionsgate Rom-Com Super Bowl IFC sports Reality Cartoon Network Disney Channel Logo boxoffice CBS discovery serial killer medical drama Calendar Thanksgiving Sony Pictures Bravo streaming crime drama TIFF Lucasfilm Grammys finale Starz CW Seed zombie TV SXSW Reality Competition Rocky TruTV FX 21st Century Fox psycho docudrama DirecTV CMT