Critics Consensus

You're a Fresh One, Mr. Grinch... For Now

Plus, Overlord is grisly fun, The Girl in the Spider's Web is style over substance, Beautiful Boy is earnest and well acted, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is Certified Fresh.

by | November 8, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a green grumbler (The Grinch, featuring the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch and Rashida Jones), Nazi zombies (Overlord, starring Jovan Adepo and Wyatt Russell), a vigilante hacker (The Girl in the Spider’s Web, starring Claire Foy and Sverrir Gudnason), and an ambivalent addict (Beautiful Boy, starring Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet). What are the critics saying?

The Grinch (2018) 59%

Various works of beloved author Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, have been adapted in several forms over the years, but his best-known character is arguably the titular grump from his 1957 story How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The tale was first made into an animated TV special in 1967, then a stage production, and eventually a live-action film starring Jim Carrey as the Grinch. This week, we get the latest incarnation of the character in Illumination Entertainment’s The Grinch, in which Benedict Cumberbatch voices the holiday curmudgeon who plots to ruin Christmas for the citizens of nearby Whoville. Critics say The Grinch’s animation is colorful and top notch, and while it feels tame compared to the 1967 special, it’s currently teetering on the cusp of Freshness, and it’s probably enjoyable enough for young viewers unfamiliar with the story.

Overlord (2018) 82%

Over the past decade and change, J.J. Abrams has made a career of elevating genre films into major blockbuster entertainment — or taking major blockbuster entertainment and gleefully infusing it with genre elements. This week, audiences will get a proper dose of full-on B-movie goodness with an A-list sheen in the Abrams-produced Overlord, a revisionist World War II horror-thriller courtesy of director Julius Avery. Jovan Adepo and Wyatt Russell star in the grisly creature feature, which follows a group of U.S. paratroopers who crash land behind enemy lines, only to come across a secret Nazi lab full of unspeakable horrors. It’s pulpy, visceral, and action-packed, and critics say it’s an entertaining thrill ride for viewers who don’t mind a bit of blood and guts in their popcorn.

The Girl in the Spider's Web (2018) 39%

Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s hugely popular “Millennium” series of novels were already made into a trilogy of films before David Fincher took a crack at adapting the first book again in 2011, with franchise aspirations. Now we get a new story — based on one of the series’ novels that Larsson didn’t write — with another new cast, and it would seem something has been lost in translation. Claire Foy dons the black leather and dragon tattoo as Lisbeth Salander, whose talents are enlisted to secure a dangerous piece of software from the NSA, and critics say the film fails to capture what previously made Lisbeth such a compelling presence. Eschewing complex character development for fairly standard spy-movie elements and favoring action over intrigue, The Girl in the Spider’s Web has style to spare but may not offer much in the way of substance.

Beautiful Boy (2018) 69%

Be prepared for a whole lot more of Timothée Chalamet. After turning heads with his performance in Luca Guadagnino‘s Oscar-winning Call Me By Your Name, Chalamet has signed on for a number of big films, working with people like Greta Gerwig (again) and Denis Villeneuve. Before all that, though, he appears in this drama alongside Steve Carell, and both of them have got people talking about awards. Based on the dual memoirs of writer David Sheff and his son Nic, Beautiful Boy traces Nic’s struggle with addiction that nearly tore his family apart, and critics say it’s an earnest depiction that’s beautifully acted and feels genuine, even if the narrative covers familiar ground. While it may not shed any new light on the nature of addiction, the film is a showcase for Chalamet and Carell, who make the most of their meaty roles.

What’s New on TV

The Great British Baking Show: Series 3 (2014) 91%

There’s even more caramel, cakes, and camaraderie to enjoy in the fifth season of The Great British Baking Show.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)Joel and Ethan Coen‘s anthology film presenting six stories from the wild west, is Certified Fresh at 94%.
  • Chef Flynn (2018) , a documentary about teen culinary sensation Flynn McGarry, is at 89%.
  • El Angel (El ángel) (2018) , a drama about a 17-year-old thief in 1970s Argentina, is at 79%.
  • The Long Dumb Road (2018) , a comedy about a pair of strangers who decide to take a road trip together, is at 73%.
  • Weightless (2018) , about a lonely man who is suddenly reunited with the 10-year-old son he hasn’t seen since infancy, is at 71%.
  • The Delinquent Season (2018) , a drama about two seemingly happy married couples whose lives begin to unravel after a confrontation, is at 70%.
  • In a Relationship (2018) , about two couples whose lives intertwine over the course of a summer, is at 69%.
  • The Front Runner (2018) , starring Hugh Jackman as former U.S. presidential candidate Gary Hart in Jason Reitman‘s look back on his scandal-plagued campaign, is at 68%.
  • Liz and the Blue Bird (2018) , a Japanese animated film about a pair of young musicians who drift apart as they near the end of high school, is at 67%.
  • The New Romantic (2018) , about a college student frustrated with boys her own age who decides to date an older man, is at 65%.
  • Outlaw King (2018) , a Netflix original period adventure-drama starring Chris Pine as Scottish king Robert the Bruce, is at 56%.
  • Postcards From London (2018) , about a gay teen from rural Essex who moves to London and falls in with a group of male escorts, is at 50%.
  • Here and Now (Blue Night) (2018) , starring Sarah Jessica Parker as a veteran blues singer who attempts to balance a new tour with troubling medical news, is at 21%.

Tag Cloud

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