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) 26%

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) 12%

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) 18%

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) 72%

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) 42%

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

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