Critics Consensus

Tomb Raider Is an Aggressively Average Adventure

Plus, Love, Simon is a refreshing romance, 7 Days in Entebbe is hijacked by mediocrity, and we can only imagine the Tomatometer for I Can Only Imagine.

by | March 15, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have a rebooted Lara Croft (Tomb Raider, starring Alicia Vikander, and Dominic West), a coming-of-age romance with a twist (Love, Simon, starring Nick Robinson and Katherine Langford), the fact-based tale of a military raid to rescue hostages taken by terrorists (7 Days in Entebbe, starring Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl), and a father-son drama inspired by a hit song (I Can Only Imagine, starring J. Michael Finley and Dennis Quaid). What are the critics saying?


Tomb Raider (2018) 52%

Movies based on video games haven’t exactly had an easy time of it with critics over the years, but as technological advancements continue to blur the line between immersive entertainment we control and/or passively consume, we could be getting closer to the point where a film inspired by a game manages to capture the essence of its source material while still offering an engaging viewing experience. On paper, this weekend’s Tomb Raider reboot looks like it has what it takes: the long-running video game series has spun a globetrotting yarn that’s nothing if not cinematic, and in new franchise lead Alicia Vikander, this Raider stars the sort of Oscar-winning talent that isn’t typically attracted to this type of project. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have added up to the paradigm shift the game-to-film genre has been looking for — critics say Tomb Raider is sadly less than the sum of its parts, with an uninspired story and frenetic direction that undermine this installment’s added realism and talented cast. Filmgoers in the mood for some adventurous derring-do at the cineplex may still wish to give Tomb a try — but unlike the game, it doesn’t appear to have much in the way of replay value.


Love, Simon (2018) 92%


With her 2015 novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, author Becky Albertalli earned awards and critical acclaim by tracing the time-honored coming-of-age arc with a twist: her book’s protagonist, 16-year-old Simon Spier, is a closeted gay high school student who’s exploring an anonymous online relationship with a young man he’s never met. It isn’t the type of premise that would have gotten much traction at a major studio until recently, but times have changed — and critics say that the film adaptation, retitled Love, Simon, marks a potential turning point for mainstream movies while functioning as a pretty solidly entertaining outing in its own right. Although some reviews have pointed out that director Greg Berlanti‘s TV roots are a little too visible in the film’s overall aesthetic, and others have noted that this may not be the most accurate representation of the gay community or experience, those end up being relatively minor quibbles against an affecting story told from a refreshingly different perspective.


7 Days in Entebbe (2018) 24%


In the summer of 1976, terrorists hijacked an Air France flight in Athens and took the plane to Uganda, where a number of passengers were freed and the rest — largely Jewish — were held in exchange for the release of Palestinian political prisoners. A weeklong standoff ensued, culminating with a daring nighttime raid on Entebbe Airport in Uganda — and if all this sounds familiar, it might be because it’s been the basis for more than one movie over the last 40-plus years. Director José Padilha adds a fourth film to the list with this weekend’s 7 Days in Entebbe, and while he may deserve points for moxie when it comes to taking a whack at previously well-told stories, critics say the end result really doesn’t add all that much to previous dramatizations. Daniel Brühl and Rosamund Pike are certainly a pair of talented leads, and Gregory Burke‘s screenplay adds a few fresh narrative wrinkles, but on the whole, this Entebbe is neither tense nor intelligent enough to justify the return trip.


I Can Only Imagine (2018) 63%


If your musical tastes don’t run toward Christian contemporary, you may never have listened to — or even heard of — the group MercyMe. But their 2001 single “I Can Only Imagine” has proven an impressively long-lasting crossover success, climbing into the top five of the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart months after its initial release — and now it’s the basis for the new faith-based film I Can Only Imagine, which dramatizes the relationship between singer Bart Millard (played by J. Michael Finley) and his father Arthur (Dennis Quaid). If you’ve heard the song — or, to be fair, even looked at the poster — you’re probably aware that there’s a heartstring-tugging story waiting to be told here; given the involvement of Quaid and Cloris Leachman, one might also be willing to surmise that this will end up being a few cuts above the type of stuff mainstream Christian cinema is known for. Alas, we can’t say for sure just yet, because only a handful of reviews have trickled in. While we wait, how about a round of Guess the Tomatometer?


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Keep the Change (2018) , about an aspiring filmmaker whose court-ordered service work leads to an unexpected love connection, is at 100%.
  • Journey's End (2018) , a new adaptation of the classic play about life on the front lines during World War I, is Certified Fresh at 96%.
  • 12 Days (12 Jours) (2018) , a documentary look at French citizens unwillingly placed in psychiatric care, is at 92%.
  • Maineland (2018) , a documentary that observes the lives of Chinese teens after they’ve immigrated to Maine, is at 86%.
  • Ramen Heads (2018) , a documentary about Japanese ramen chefs, is at 80%.
  • Us and Them (2018) , a black British comedy fueled by rage against economic inequality, is at 63%.
  • Flower (2018) , starring Zoey Deutch as a teenager at a potentially disastrous crossroads, is at 58%.
  • Dear Dictator (2018) , starring Michael Caine as a fleeing dictator who takes refuge with his teen American pen pal and her family, is at 18%.

Tag Cloud

BBC One First Reviews IFC Films Fall TV thriller Mary Poppins Returns spanish language MTV supernatural trailers know your critic docudrama breaking bad 99% directors comics Creative Arts Emmys fresh TLC Brie Larson Marvel Marathons Cosplay Star Trek elevated horror VH1 YouTube Premium christmas movies Sci-Fi Pop TV scorecard Pride Month Turner Classic Movies richard e. Grant tv talk Martial Arts Summer vampires japan space universal monsters Travel Channel james bond comic books HBO Go Arrowverse Netflix Christmas movies 2017 GoT foreign dceu police drama based on movie sports 72 Emmy Awards Acorn TV 20th Century Fox award winner book Tomatazos deadpool Fantasy FX on Hulu Logo sitcom Shondaland MSNBC adventure hist Premiere Dates critics Syfy Baby Yoda SundanceTV witnail biography Showtime BET Awards animated Women's History Month crime thriller toronto dramedy HBO comiccon CBS All Access OWN PBS Netflix PlayStation harry potter Stephen King cancelled television cancelled TV shows social media Polls and Games halloween 2019 mockumentary Anna Paquin CBS YA WGN Superheroes 45 Christmas theme song teaser romance SDCC true crime ID YouTube Red zombies Hallmark Christmas movies The Arrangement best Nat Geo 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards ABC Signature reviews DGA USA Network Trailer Winners Tokyo Olympics Comic-Con@Home 2021 Nominations Disney archives BAFTA Mary Tyler Moore high school DirecTV olympics YouTube cats Musicals Comedy Central saw Adult Swim documentaries romantic comedy The Walt Disney Company women Set visit dc Comic Book A24 Photos NYCC Countdown 2015 book adaptation Elton John kaiju lord of the rings Kids & Family politics casting black Turner Epix spider-man quibi FX Columbia Pictures boxing werewolf classics MCU 2016 sag awards Star Wars Reality Competition Election Comics on TV Lifetime french live action LGBT marvel cinematic universe parents Awards screen actors guild Music blaxploitation cops Valentine's Day Pop comedies cancelled TV series superhero Interview Dark Horse Comics game of thrones Film cults Freeform Sundance a nightmare on elm street Heroines venice unscripted independent free movies Emmy Nominations Mary poppins 4/20 halloween tv Superheroe screenings adenture cinemax Grammys Paramount Plus American Society of Cinematographers TCA robots Action indiana jones television ABC Family remakes spinoff Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt NBC Thanksgiving San Diego Comic-Con nbcuniversal Pacific Islander adaptation Red Carpet Amazon Prime Rom-Com Sundance TV satire scene in color Schedule CNN Lucasfilm Western Chernobyl 1990s stoner italian aapi Funimation Fox Searchlight Year in Review WarnerMedia Podcast war period drama Avengers blockbusters Film Festival Biopics Spring TV stop motion Shudder rt archives docuseries Academy Awards ESPN Wes Anderson Crackle CMT diversity Video Games basketball movies historical drama heist movie Super Bowl asian-american Television Academy Amazon Studios worst movies Chilling Adventures of Sabrina finale dark franchise HBO Max First Look Box Office ghosts zombie obituary Opinion NBA psychological thriller children's TV joker jurassic park name the review TV One Amazon Prime Video disaster movie TruTV Calendar BET Classic Film IFC die hard emmy awards jamie lee curtis football spain Disney streaming service Legendary TNT Watching Series films kong crime drama binge pirates of the caribbean 24 frames canceled crime scary movies Country rotten movies we love DC streaming service Rocketman El Rey Infographic natural history cooking Apple TV Plus Cartoon Network Marvel Studios 2020 007 talk show dragons transformers VICE ITV ABC green book GIFs Song of Ice and Fire boxoffice The Purge suspense international Spike Image Comics Comedy Holidays Oscars Britbox E3 Black Mirror ratings Disney Plus Quiz Endgame Sneak Peek canceled TV shows FOX OneApp Winter TV Paramount Network USA Discovery Channel hispanic TV E! streaming anthology RT History Drama Rocky 93rd Oscars Black History Month Fox News Apple Family Awards Tour sequel prank documentary Crunchyroll President aliens cancelled Nickelodeon miniseries See It Skip It Pixar target telelvision technology strong female leads south america news Television Critics Association Best and Worst singing competition streaming movies VOD doctor who kids Ovation Starz A&E New York Comic Con National Geographic Esquire nfl Disney Channel revenge criterion renewed TV shows child's play Disney+ Disney Plus 90s BBC America science fiction justice league cartoon medical drama AMC Exclusive Video FXX hidden camera laika Rock Walt Disney Pictures golden globe awards monster movies twilight Ghostbusters 2021 Extras Character Guide nature Certified Fresh Ellie Kemper Hear Us Out DC Comics australia TCA Winter 2020 Masterpiece Sony Pictures Vudu DC Universe king kong anime versus Lionsgate TV movies Bravo all-time GLAAD Cannes composers Amazon Emmys TIFF Alien Universal Tubi Peacock fast and furious Tumblr legend slashers wonder woman Teen TCA Awards facebook RT21 zero dark thirty what to watch golden globes indie Broadway concert spy thriller sequels 71st Emmy Awards discovery Tarantino Animation stand-up comedy Mystery TV Land blockbuster rotten new zealand Mudbound toy story dogs Hallmark Horror BBC Warner Bros. 21st Century Fox psycho video batman rom-coms Lifetime Christmas movies Binge Guide TCA 2017 X-Men APB game show Pirates comic japanese Sundance Now The Academy The Witch cars Paramount razzies Holiday new star wars movies TV renewals hollywood popular mutant SXSW Reality godzilla Pet Sematary CW Seed LGBTQ TBS chucky latino serial killer Marvel Television series superman Writers Guild of America crossover Apple TV+ video on demand travel History spanish Hulu The CW Trophy Talk political drama Spectrum Originals Trivia new york Mindy Kaling Toys king arthur 2018 reboot worst Musical Captain marvel ViacomCBS festivals PaleyFest TCM Food Network mission: impossible The Walking Dead festival