UK Critics Consensus: Indifference For Defiance, Whilst Slumdog Millionaire Shines

Plus, UK Scribes Enjoy Both Role Models & Sex Drive

by | January 9, 2009 | Comments

A trip to the cinema is a sure-fire way to beat the January blues, but which film should you be shelling out to see? Vying for your pennies this weekend we have Daniel Craig in non-Bond mode for the WWII epic Defiance. Already a big festival hit, Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire finally hits the UK cinemas, as do two US comedies in the Apatow-vein, Role Models and Sex Drive. So what did the British critics have to say?

Defiance tells the incredible true story of the Bielski brothers, a trio of Jewish resistance fighters in Belarus, who saved thousands of lives through their actions in WWII. Directed by Edward Zwick and starring Daniel Craig, Jamie Bell and Liev Schreiber, Defiance is an all-action epic with an amazing true story at it’s heart, but it has split the critics. Currently standing at 52% on the Tomatometer, most critics were wowed by the previously rarely heard story, but felt the production was let down by clichéd narrative, drab cinematography and an all-round muddled approach to the central story. Xan Brooks of The Guardian summed up the general consensus:

Defiance makes a noise but leaves no echo. It feels progressively more bogus and less significant the further it recedes from view, and myths are meant to wax in the memory, not wane.”

Danny Boyle has been a stalwart of British cinema since breaking onto the scene first with Shallow Grave, then the critically acclaimed Trainspotting. Always defying convention, Boyle has tried his hand at many genres, and has now turned his eye to Bollywood, with his Mumbai-set Slumdog Millionaire. With no Rotten ratings compiled from the UK reviews, Slumdog proudly stands at a very healthy, and Certified Fresh, 94% on the Tomatometer. There was universal praise for its uplifting tone, inspirational fairytale story, and stunning use of location and setting. Rob Daniel, Sky Movies, said about the film:

“Hard hearts may balk at the unashamed sentiment, black and white morality, and question-flashback contrivances, but let them eat pie and mash: this is a tangy banquet of smile-on-the-face feel good.”

Role Models and Sex Drive hit the UK cinemas this week both boasting impressive current US-comedy pedigree. Role Models stars Paul Rudd, Seann William-Scott and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (AKA McLovin of Superbad fame) in a comedy about two thirty-something slackers on community service, whilst Sex Drive features Clark Duke, James Marsden and Seth Green in a teen coming-of-age road movie. Role Models is currently faring better on the Tomatometer at a Certified Fresh 76%, whilst Sex Drive is lagging behind at 42% overall, but both films tallied a similar number of fresh ratings with the UK critics, so if a laugh-out-loud comedy is what you are looking for this weekend, you are spoilt for choice. Nigel Andrews of The Financial Times said of the two films:

“Neither film wins a prize for visual style. Each deserves one for clever gags and zanily zig-zagging dialogue.”

Quote Of The Week

“This unfunny studio comedy is so downright demeaning I ended up hating not only it but my entire gender — and most specifically myself for secretly quite wanting to watch it.”

Bride Wars

Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro.

Tag Cloud

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