Critics Consensus

The Nun Is No Fun

Plus, Peppermint lacks flavor, Mayans M.C. is solid, USA's The Purge is bloated, and God Bless the Broken Road is too earnest for its own good.

by | September 6, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have a cloistered demon (The Nun, starring Taissa Farmiga and Demian Bechir), one super ticked off widow (Peppermint, starring Jennifer Garner), and a country song come to life (God Bless the Broken Road, starring Lindsay Pulsipher and Makenzie Moss). What are the critics saying?


The Nun (2018) 27%

Taking something ostensibly safe, trustworthy, or benign and turning it sinister is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in the horror movie playbook. The suburbs, babies, grandparents — they’ve all been twisted in genre cinema’s chilly grasp, and given the deep-seated emotions many people have regarding religion, it’s no surprise that its tenets and imagery have long ranked among filmmakers’ favorite nightmare fuel. With this weekend’s The Nun, producer James Wan expands his burgeoning Conjuring cinematic universe by giving the demon Valak, one of The Conjuring 2‘s scarier creatures, her own standalone feature — and explaining the backstory of the wimpled menace along the way. Of course, as horror fans are all too aware, it’s often what we can’t see, don’t know, and don’t understand that proves scariest; go back to one boogeyman too often, and its effectiveness can rapidly diminish. According to the critics, that’s exactly what’s happened with The Nun, which hurls a series of jump scares at the audience in order to try and cover up for a slow and familiar story. We’ve seen Conjuring spinoff franchises struggle out of the gate before, so here’s hoping if there’s a follow-up, the reviews are kinder; overall, this is still one of the better mainstream horror series going, and it’d be a real shame if it made a (cough) habit of earning disappointing Tomatometers.


Peppermint (2018) 10%

As the star of the long-running hit series Alias, Jennifer Garner proved herself more than capable of playing a believable action hero — but when she started cracking skulls on the big screen in Daredevil and its spinoff Elektra, the results were less than spectacular. More than a decade after the latter film crashed and burned in theaters, Garner’s got a shot at genre redemption with Peppermint, in which she plays a woman who nearly dies in an attack that kills her husband and daughter — and after emerging from a yearlong coma, dedicates herself to exacting revenge on the people responsible. Sadly, critics say she needn’t have bothered; while Garner remains a charismatic screen presence, and more than a few reviews have given her credit for her clear commitment to the role, it still doesn’t add up to much besides reheated Death Wish, with all the borderline irresponsible fearmongering that goes with the territory. If you’re seriously in the mood to watch some bad guys get thunked this weekend, Peppermint might do the trick — but then again, you could also just watch a better-made vigilante thriller instead.


God Bless the Broken Road (2018) 10%

While one wide release uses religious iconography to give filmgoers the willies this weekend, God Bless the Broken Road takes an altogether different faith-based direction. Helmed by God’s Not Dead director Harold Cronk, this drama — which takes its title from Marcus Hummon’s oft-covered country single — adapts the Jennifer Dornbush novel of the same name to tell the story of a single mom (Lindsay Pulsipher) struggling to put her life back together after her husband is killed in action during a tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan. When her nine-year-old daughter (Makenzie Moss) befriends a racecar driver (Andrew Walker), love starts to bloom… only to be threatened by our grieving protagonist’s fear of losing another beau to a dangerous vocation. You pretty much know where this is all heading, which is a big part of why the target demographic responds to it — and why critics tend to turn up their noses at it. We’ve still only seen a handful of reviews for Broken Road, but early returns suggest this will be yet another earnest, religion-tinged drama that hits a hard dead end with the pundits. If it’s in your wheelhouse, odds are that won’t make much of a difference.


What’s New on TV

Mayans M.C.: Season 1 (2018) 71%

Mayans M.C. is a thrilling drama with compelling characters, but it struggles to find its pace and the Tellers are hard to forget.


The Purge: Season 1 (2018) 45%

Bloated and boring, The Purge kills its own fleetingly fun premise and proves that not all stories work better on the small screen.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • I Am Not a Witch (2018) , about a young Zambian girl accused of witchcraft after an incident in her school, is Certified Fresh at 100%.
  • Bisbee '17 (2018) , a documentary about a town’s reckoning with a painful chapter in its past, is at 95%.
  • Hal (2018) , a documentary tribute to the filmmaking career of director Hal Ashby, is at 90%.
  • Kusama: Infinity (2018) , a documentary about the life and career of artist Yayoi Kusama, is at 82%.
  • Diane (2018) , a supernatural horror outing in which a war veteran crosses paths with a corpse and quickly regrets it, is at 80%.
  • Five Fingers for Marseilles (2018) , an apartheid-era drama about the battles fought by the members of a small South African gang, is at 80%.
  • The Apparition (L'apparition) (2018) , in which a French journalist is sent to investigate reports of a supernatural occurrence in a small village, is at 70%.
  • Cold Skin (2018) , a sci-fi/horror story about a meteorologist whose remote assignment is far more dangerous than he realized, is at 53%.

Tag Cloud

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