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) 81%

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) 40%

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 (2012) 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

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