Catastrophe, black-ish, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, This Is Us (Amazon, ABC, Fox, NBC)

TV Series That Give Us #RelationshipGoals

No relationship is perfect. But for viewers tuning in for just 30 minutes to an hour, they can seem like they are.

Some comedies, like Amazon’s Catastrophe, Fox’s New Girl, and Hulu’s recently ended The Mindy Project, prove that the perils of dating, marriage, and parenting are far from the bill of Norman Rockwell–hued goods many of us were sold as children. The humor in those series, however, is something that critics clearly appreciate: Catastrophe is Certified Fresh at 100% for each of its three seasons; New Girl’s review count has dipped as its seasons have gone on, but dedicated critics have kept its score high; and Mindy has an 87% Fresh Tomatometer score.

Meanwhile, shows like NBC’s This Is Us, ABC’s black-ish, and former NBC series Friday Night Lights remind us that some couples do get relationships with marks almost as high as their Tomatometer scores if they’re willing to put in the work. Even teen dramas, like former Fox series The O.C. and Glee, are known for their devotion to the intricacies of relationships. And then there’s Homer and Marge Simpson, who have been going strong for decades and seem to have not aged a day.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve gathered a list of TV shows that offered the best portrayals of coupledom in all its funny, messy, emotional, complicated glory.

The series are arranged first by Tomatometer score, then alphabetically where the show does not currently have a series score.

Which is your favorite TV couple and why? Tell us in the comments!

Catastrophe (2015)
98%

#1
Synopsis: During a business trip in London, an American named Rob meets Sharon, an Irish teacher with whom he shares incredible... [More]

Jane The Virgin (2014)
100%

#2
Synopsis: Jane Villanueva, the daughter of a teen mother, grew up determined not to repeat her mom's mistakes. Jane is studying... [More]

Friday Night Lights (2006)
97%

#3
Synopsis: "Friday Night Lights" centers on the rural town of Dillon, Texas, where winning the state football championship is prized above... [More]

The Fosters (2013)
97%

#4
Synopsis: Stef, a dedicated police officer, is in a relationship with Lena. The two have built a close-knit family with Stef's... [More]

black-ish (2014)
92%

#5
Synopsis: Dre Johnson (Anthony Anderson) has it all: a great job, a beautiful wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids and... [More]

Outlander (2014)
89%

#6
Synopsis: After serving as a British Army nurse in World War II, Claire Randall is enjoying a second honeymoon in Scotland... [More]
Directed By: Ronald D. Moore

You're the Worst (2014)
95%

#7
Synopsis: "You're the Worst" is a modern look at love and happiness told through the eyes of two people who haven't... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Falk

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013)
94%

#8
Synopsis: The detectives of Brooklyn's 99th Precinct -- hotshot Jake Peralta, overachiever Amy Santiago, tough-as-nails Rosa Diaz, sweetheart Charles Boyle, devoted... [More]

New Girl (2011)
95%

#9
Synopsis: After going through a rough breakup, awkward and upbeat Jess (Zooey Deschanel) moves in with three single guys. Intelligent and... [More]

This Is Us (2016)
93%

#10
Synopsis: The Pearson family's generational story unfolds in this emotional drama. In moments of love, joy, triumph and heartbreak, revelations emerge... [More]

Parenthood (2010)
88%

#11
Synopsis: The four grown Braverman siblings -- Adam, Sarah, Crosby and Julia -- share the joys, heartaches and headaches of parenthood... [More]

#12
Synopsis: Leslie Knope, a midlevel bureaucrat in an Indiana Parks and Recreation Department, hopes to beautify her town (and boost her... [More]

The Mindy Project (2012)
86%

#13
Synopsis: Mindy Lahiri is a successful, skilled doctor, but when she leaves the office, all bets are off. She aspires to... [More]

Modern Family (2009)
85%

#14
Synopsis: Told from the perspective of an unseen documentary filmmaker, the series offers an honest, often-hilarious perspective of family life. Parents... [More]

Synopsis: This British drama series follows the lives of the Crawley family and its servants in the family's classic Georgian country... [More]
Directed By: Julian Fellowes

Grey's Anatomy (2005)
84%

#16
Synopsis: The medical drama series focuses on a group of doctors at a hospital in Seattle, including several who began their... [More]

Glee (2009)
70%

#17
Synopsis: Optimistic teacher Will Schuester heads up McKinley High School's glee club -- New Directions -- a place where ambitious and... [More]

Bewitched (1964)

#18
Synopsis: Samantha falls in love with New York ad exec Darrin Stephens and marries him in the first episode of the... [More]

Cheers (1982)
87%

#19
Synopsis: Laid-back Sam Malone, a former relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, owns and runs Cheers, a cozy bar in... [More]

#20
Synopsis: Behind the facade of a postcard-perfect subdivision live four women whose lives are anything but idyllic. Klutzy Susan is divorced... [More]

Synopsis: Considered to be one of television's classics, "The Dick Van Dyke Show" centers on the personal and professional lives Rob... [More]

#22
Synopsis: Policeman Carl Winslow has enough to deal with on the job. But when he gets home, he still has to... [More]

Synopsis: Will Smith more or less plays himself in this good-natured NBC sitcom. As the show's popular theme song explains, fictional... [More]

Fresh Off the Boat (2015)
94%

#24
Synopsis: Based on chef Eddie Huang's best-selling memoir of the same name, "Fresh Off the Boat" takes a humorous look at... [More]

Friends (1994)
82%

#25
Synopsis: Three young men and three young women -- of the BFF kind -- live in the same apartment complex and... [More]

Gilmore Girls (2000)
85%

#26
Synopsis: Set in a storybook Connecticut town populated by an eclectic mix of dreamers, artists and everyday folk, this multigenerational drama... [More]

Gossip Girl (2007)
84%

#27
Synopsis: High school is over for the privileged former students at an exclusive prep school on Manhattan's Upper East Side, but... [More]

#28
Synopsis: Ted has fallen in love. It all started when his best friend, Marshall, drops the bombshell that he plans to... [More]

I Love Lucy (1951)

#29
Synopsis: Lucy Ricardo is the wacky wife of Cuban bandleader Ricky Ricardo. Living in New York, Ricky tries to succeed in... [More]

Moonlighting (1985)
89%

#30
Synopsis: After being cleaned out by her no-good manager, model Maddie Hayes is about to sell one of her few remaining... [More]

The O.C. (2003)
67%

#31
Synopsis: This modern soap opera mines the intertwined lives of the Cohen, Cooper and Nichol families for drama, with a contemporary... [More]

The Office (2005)
81%

#32
Synopsis: This U.S. adaptation -- set at a paper company based in Scranton, Pa. -- has a similar documentary style to... [More]

Roseanne (1988)
76%

#33
Synopsis: Explore life, death and everything in between through the relatable, hilarious and brutally honest lens of the working-class Conner household,... [More]

Sex and the City (1998)
70%

#34
Synopsis: A sex columnist, Carrie Bradshaw, and her three friends -- Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda -- explore Manhattan's dating scene, chronicling... [More]

The Simpsons (1989)
85%

#35
Synopsis: This long-running animated comedy focuses on the eponymous family in the town of Springfield in an unnamed U.S. state. The... [More]

thirtysomething (1987)
83%

#36
Synopsis: Sensitive, introspective adults or self-absorbed, whiny yuppies? That debate still rages around this drama series about a group of close-knit... [More]

#37
Synopsis: "The Wonder Years" tracks life in the turbulent late 1960s and early '70s through the eyes of the increasingly less... [More]

Happy New Year from Rotten Tomatoes! Hopefully, your resolutions don’t involve watching less TV because 2016 promises to be rich with more scripted shows than ever. Many are coming back this month, some are hitting streaming, and a few are just darn cool. So grab your remote and whatever terrible low-carb, low-calorie, low-fat snack you’re eating for the next two weeks and start bingeing!


Making a Murderer: Season 1 (2015) 98%

What it is: After spending 18 years in prison for a crime that he didn’t commit, Steven Avery is exonerated by DNA evidence. Two years later he is arrested again for a murder he may not have committed.

Why you should watch it: Filmed over a ten-year period, this highly bingeable series provides a detailed account of the unfathomable events in Avery’s life. The story takes so many unexpected twists and turns that it’s not immediately clear where the truth lies. A guilty man may be facing his comeuppance, or an innocent man might be suffering one of the most egregious miscarriages of justice imaginable.

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: 10 hours.


The X-Files: Season 1 (1993) 83%

 

What it is: FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate unexplained paranormal phenomena. Mulder wants to believe, but Scully is a skeptic.

Why you should watch it: With the reboot premiering on Fox later this month, now is the perfect time to get caught up on this era-defining sci-fi show. Most of the episodes follow a case-of-the week (or monster-of-the-week) format, with Mulder and Scully in pursuit of strange leads in remote locations. They don’t always solve each mystery, but they often discover that truth is stranger than fiction. There are also the myth-arc episodes, which revolve around a government conspiracy to cover up the existence of an alien threat to humanity. Basically, think Criminal Minds meets The Twilight Zone and you’ll be on the right track.

Where to watch: All nine seasons of The X-Files are available on DVD and Blu-ray and streaming on Amazon Prime, iTunesMicrosoftNetflix, Hulu, and Vudu.

Commitment: 154 hours.


Deutschland 83: Deutschland 83 (2015) 95%

What it is: In the midst of the Cold War, a young East German soldier with an ailing mother is tasked with going undercover in the West to steal NATO military secrets.

Why you should watch it: Deutschland 83 is a bit like The Americans’ European cousin, capturing the tension and paranoia of the Cold War from the perspective of a conflicted spy on the front lines. Jonas Nay plays Martin Rauch as both a resourceful operative and a wide-eyed innocent, at once committed to his mission and enticed by the freedoms he finds in the West. It’s tense, exciting stuff, full of evocative period details and fascinating personal conflicts.

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle Play, Hulu, and iTunes.

Commitment: 6 hours.


Younger: Season 1 (2015) 97%

What it is: Liza Miller, a newly single mom, is 40 and without a job. After a chance encounter, she decides to go for broke and enlists the help of her best friend to get a makeover and re-enter the workforce as a 26-year-old.

Why you should watch it: Two factors that should seal the deal on your binge quest: Younger is from famed Sex in the City creator Darren Star, and the show stars Sutton Foster, who out-charms every scene, person and thing she appears with. The show also boasts a cast of delightful characters; sweet, fun exploits; and a whimsical perspective that’s worth your precious time before season two airs on Jan. 13.

Where to watch: Amazon, MicrosoftTVLand.com, and Vudu.

Commitment: 4 hours.


The Venture Bros.: Season 6 (2015) 100%

What it is: Living in the long shadow of his world-famous adventuring playboy father (who vanished under unknown circumstances), Dr. Venture is a disgraced scientist who drags his twin sons, Hank and Dean, around the world on violent misadventures with their Led Zeppelin-lovin’ bodyguard Brock Samson.

Why you should watch it: Initially a spoof on Jonny Quest, Venture Bros. has morphed over its five seasons into a hybrid screwball action/comedy, where the jokes whiz by as fast as the bullets and lasers. Popular characters are slaughtered to jar viewers, the pop culture references range from lowbrow to highly esoteric, and the series’ world-building and callbacks to earlier episodes are unparalleled. It’s a ruthless, specific humor which stems from the fact that the show is still driven by its creators, Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer, who write, direct, and voice most of the vast variety of characters (which explains why it takes forever to get new seasons).

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Hulu, Microsoft, and PlayStation Video. Season six drops Jan. 31 on Adult Swim.

Commitment: 24 hours.


Marvel's Agent Carter: Season 1 (2015) 96%

What it is: Set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Agent Carter takes place shortly after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, following the exploits of Peggy Carter as she joins the Strategic Scientific Reserve in post-WWII New York City.

Why you should watch it: Essential viewing for fans of the MCU, Agent Carter expands on the background that led to the creation of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Stark Industries, while also infusing the universe with a spunky feminist twist. Peggy Carter is one tough cookie who relies on her wits as much as she does her physical strength, battling villains as well as the internalized (and sometimes externalized) sexism of mid-century America.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, MicrosoftPlayStation Video, and Vudu, as well as on DVD and Blu-ray.

Commitment: 5.5 hours.


Parks and Recreation: Season 7 (2015) 89%

ParksAndRec2

What it is: An idealistic small-town government supervisor with an obsessive work ethic and a penchant for waffles helps keep her local Parks and Recreation department running smoothly, despite an eccentric team of easily distracted employees and a boss who deliberately attempts to undermine the bureaucratic process.

Why you should watch it: Here’s why you should watch Parks and Rec: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari, Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza, Adam Scott, and Rob Lowe. There’s a reason why this unabashedly sweet and silly workplace sitcom became the calling card for some of today’s biggest and most promising stars. Part of it has to do with the writing, to be sure — equal parts clever and absurd, incisively satirical at times and lovably earnest at others. Morever, though, each role was so perfectly cast that every star was allowed to shine. Amy Poehler is Leslie Knope, Nick Offerman is Ron Swanson, Chris Pratt is Andy Dwyer, Rob Lowe is Chris Traeger (“lit’rally”), and it is very, very hard to dislike any of them. You will laugh, and you will find yourself wishing you could be a part of the gang. This is comfort TV at its finest.

Where to watch: Amazon, HuluiTunes, NetflixVudu, and on DVD.

Commitment: 48.5 hours.


Bored to Death: Season 3 (2011) 78%

What it is: After his girlfriend dumps him, struggling writer Jonathan Ames (Jason Schwartzman) puts an ad on Craigslist, advertising himself as an unlicensed private detective. As his moonlight investigation job takes off, his best friend Ray (Zach Galifianakis) and his boss George (Ted Danson) join him on his adventures.

Why you should watch it: It’s a neo-noir comedy with a great ensemble. Ted Danson is awesome, and the stable of recurring and guest stars is formidable. Many feel the series was cancelled too soon, and talk of a follow-up movie (Ames reported in 2015 that he’s working on another draft of the script) continues to keep the detective dream alive. Also, it should get you in the laughing mood for Galifianakis’ upcoming new comedy series, Baskets, premiering Jan. 21 on FX.

Where to watch: Amazon PrimeGoogle Play, HBO GoVudu, and also on DVD and Blu-Ray.

Commitment: 12 hours.


The Missing: Season 1 (2014) 91%

What it is: The order of a second season has led The Missing into the anthology series pool. Season one is the horrifyingly realistic tragedy of one couple’s search for their young son, who goes missing during a holiday in France.

Why you should watch it: Subject matter like this can be difficult; it makes one wonder why watching a story about a missing child could be considered “entertainment.” But the familial dramatic arc and the unfolding mystery are presented with exceptional insight, as the characters’ daunting lives are carried out with specificity by a stellar cast that meets the challenge set before them.

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle Play, iTunes, PlaystationStarz Play (with cable subscription), Vudu, and XFinity (with cable subscription), and on DVD and Blu-ray.

Commitment: 13 hours.


Suits: Season 4 (2014) 100%

What it is: In USA Network’s legal drama about a brilliant but unlicensed lawyer (Patrick J. Adams) and his polished mentor (Gabriel Macht), “suits” can refer to the millions of dollars in play for each case — or the well-dressed, fast-talking, claptrap-thinking litigators who wear them.

Why you should watch it: There’s usually an interesting lawsuit at the center of every episode, but the dynamic at the office of Pearson Hardman is Suits‘ bread and butter. From Louis Litt’s bullying of the associates to Harvey Specter’s obsession with winning, every character develops into someone you either love or love to hate. With a big cliffhanger heading into the Jan. 27 midseason premiere, now is the perfect time to study up on this quick, smart, well-tailored drama.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, Microsoft, Playstation, USA Network (with cable subscription) and Vudu.

Commitment: 50 hours.

This week on streaming video, Netflix has added a number of fan favorites, including the latest seasons of The Walking Dead and Parks and Recreation, as well as the final season of How I Met Your Mother, among other things. Then, we’ve also got a couple of solid new movie choices, including a music biopic and an indie dramedy. Read on for details:


The Walking Dead – Season Four

When last we left Rick and the gang, they were holed up in a reasonably well-fortified prison. Naturally, it turns out the coast is never clear.

Available now on: Netflix


Parks and Recreation – Season Six

The penultimate season of NBC’s popular workplace comedy finds Leslie (Amy Poehler) struggling with local government issues, domestic life, and the departure of her BFF Ann (Rashida Jones), while Ron (Nick Offerman) learns to be a family man.

Available now on: Netflix


How I Met Your Mother – Season Nine

After the season eight finale reveal of the titular “mother,” CBS’s hit sitcom makes the most of its final season by tying everything together.

Available now on: Netflix


Comic Book Men – Season Three

AMC’s reality show follows director Kevin Smith and the staff of his comic shop in New Jersey, Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash.

Available now on: Netflix


The Double
83%

Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska star in a Certified Fresh adaptation of the Dostoyevsky novel about a lonely man who finds himself pushed aside by his doppelganger.

Available now on: Netflix


Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
61%

Johnny Knoxville stars as Irving Zisman, a mischievous 86-year-old on a road trip with his grandson Billy (Jackson Nicoll) — which is essentially an excuse to string together a series of outrageous gags that shock unsuspecting onlookers.

Available now on: Netflix, Unrated Version


Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
22%

Kirk, Spock, Bones, and the rest of the Enterprise all-stars venture to the end of the universe in this, one of the least-loved entries in the Star Trek franchise.

Available now on: Netflix


Lucky Them
78%

Toni Collette and Thomas Haden Church star in this dramedy about a music writer looking for a forgotten musician who also happens to be her ex.

Available now on: Amazon, iTunes


Nas: Time Is Illmatic
98%

This documentary tells the inside story of Nas’ classic, star-making debut album, and features interviews with the likes of Alicia Keys, Q-Tip, and Busta Rhymes.

Available now on: iTunes, Vudu

Which funny ladies will win the Emmy on Aug. 25? If the Rotten Tomatoes critics we polled are correct, it’ll be a downright shocker if Julia Louis-Dreyfus doesn’t take Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Two of our critics, however, have hope for Amy Poehler in Parks and Recreation. As for Lena Dunham, Edie Falco, Melissa McCarthy, and Taylor Schilling, not one of the 12 Rotten Tomatoes critics we queried picked them for the win. Click over to the Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series tab to see a wider range of predictions.


She’s unstoppable. There’s no reason why she wouldn’t win. Season three was even more hilarious than the last two years.
Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times
I know it sounds like a re-run, but I think she was the stand out again.
David Hinckley, New York Daily News
She’s really transformed on that show. I think she’s going to go down as one of the great TV characters.Bonnie Stiernberg, Paste Magazine
You almost forget that she was Elaine in Seinfeld because she owns this role so well.
Kristian Harloff, Schmoes Know
I think it’s between Amy Poehler and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. But I really want Amy Poehler to win, and I’ll bet on her just for that sake. Parks and Rec deserves everything that it could possibly get.Ben Travers, IndieWire
It was her best season… I think she will win one more time and then Taylor Schilling will probably win next year.Todd VanDerWerff, Vox Media
Is it Orange is the New Black, or is it Veep? Man, that’s a coin toss. I wouldn’t be surprised by either. But I think people who love Orange recognize that it’s much more of an ensemble piece, whereas Veep is so driven by her, that I think she’ll win it.Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
I always want her to win everything.Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe
She’s won the past two years; they love her. The show’s only getting better. Lori Rackl, Chicago Sun-Times
If I could be the comedy god, my pick would be Edie Falco because I’m a huge Nurse Jackie fan, but I think Julia Louis-Dreyfus will win again and you could make a strong case for why she should. That show’s been really good.Eric Deggans, NPR
She’s won four Emmys, including two for this role, and she has the single funniest scene of anybody in the category. Alan Sepinwall, HitFix
I would love to see Lena Dunham win. She would be my first choice… but I would say Julia Louis-Dreyfus is going to win.Drew Grant, New York Observer


More Emmy Predictions:

Which funny ladies will win the Emmy on Aug. 25? If the Rotten Tomatoes critics we polled are any indication, Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series is anybody’s game. This year’s nominees are: Mayim Bialik as Amy Farrah Fowler in Big Bang Theory; Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy in Modern Family; Allison Janney as Bonnie in Mom; Kate Mulgrew as Galina “Red” Reznikov in Orange Is The New Black; Kate McKinnon in Saturday Night Live; Anna Chlumsky as Amy Brookheimer in Veep.


It’s either going to be Allison Janney or Kate Mulgrew. I would probably lay good odds on Allison Janney winning this — they love her, she’s really good on the show, and she gets to do dramatic things in a comic way.Alan Sepinwall, HitFix
I think Kate Mulgrew is going to take this for Orange is the New Black. Allison Janney would be a good pick as well. The Emmys love her; the TV Academy is a big fan of Allison. But I think Orange is the New Black is going to pick up a few trophies, and that will be one of them.Ben Travers, IndieWire
I’m a diehard SNL person. I love her. She’s probably my favorite person in the cast right now.Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media
I would love to see it go to Kate McKinnon for Saturday Night Live. She’s so funny. Since Kristen Wiig left the show, she’s done a really good job of stepping up and filling that void in the cast.Bonnie Stiernberg, Paste Magazine
I’m going to go Mulgrew. I think if Julia Louis-Dreyfus wins Lead, they might want to give one of the major ladies an award for Orange.Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com
I think she’s got some cachet and she’s better than the show she’s in, which I think always helps. Julie Bowen is terrific, but she’s won already, so I think maybe they’ll go with Allison this year.David Hinckley, New York Daily News
I would love to see Anna Chlumsky get it for Veep. She’s so incredible.Drew Grant, New York Observer
A consensus has formed among awards gurus who’ve probably never even watched Mom that this is Allison Janney’s award to lose. Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
My pick would be Kate Mulgrew. My prediction is it’s going to be Allison Janney.Eric Deggans, NPR
Julie Bowen has deservedly won twice for her portrayal of Claire Dunphy, and she could repeat. But here’s a prediction that Mayim Bialik will score on her third nomination for her hilarious Amy Farrah Fowler portrayal.Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post
She is the brightest light in a very, very dark closet right now. She has no fear. She is very much on the Kristen Wiig and Will Farrell side of things… She is the stand-out star on that show.Kristian Harloff, Schmoes Know
She only joined the show in 2012, but I think she’s already elevated herself to the elite ranks of some of the best in the sketch show’s history.Lori Rackl, Chicago Sun-Times
Allison Janney will win for Mom… She’s the only thing that makes that show bearable for me.Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe
This is a pretty stacked category. I think Kate Mulgrew might win as a way to honor Orange Is the New Black without giving it everything.Michelle Stark, Tampa Bay Times
This is a crazy category because the person who won last year isn’t nominated… I think it’s probably going to be Allison Janney. Her getting two Emmys will be a nice little story and she’s great on Mom. She picked a really good submission. Todd VanDerWerff, Vox Media


More Emmy Predictions:

This week at the movies is a study in camaraderie: two college students on the run, a boy and two young superheroes, a teenage girl befriending a wizard, and Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton. And, oh yeah, Brad and Angelina. Here at Rotten Tomatoes, we know that the relationship between critics and films can be a little rocky at times. Which of this week’s wide releases will get some love and which will be kicked to the curb? Read on to find out.

Currently the most photographed human beings on the planet, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie team up in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” Doug Liman’s hotly anticipated tale of a bored suburban couple who just happen to be assassins – and are assigned to kill each other. “Brangelina” (as the tabloids call them) do indeed kill in this one, and critics say the onscreen sparks between the two stars are vastly more explosive – and interesting—than the many, many, many action sequences. At 64 percent on the Tomatometer, this one sure ain’t no “Gigli” – But it ain’t “The Big Sleep,” either.

Have characters in horror flicks ever been to the movies? Don’t they know that what they think will be a pleasant weekend in the woods will become a vortex of unspeakable horror and bloodshed? At least with the heroines of “High Tension,” they’ve got an excuse: They’re French, so they might have missed “Halloween,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” or “Friday the 13th.” Director Alexandre Aja has clearly seen those, and many other horror flicks, and critics say the film plays best when it works within, and expands upon, the established norms of the slasher genre. But, at 58 percent on the Tomatometer, many have complained about a late-in-the-game twist that turns the high tension into a low blow.

Every kid in the world has an active imagination. And every kid has wanted his or her daydreams and imaginary friends to transcend said imagination and be realized in some tangible form. This usually means busting out the crayons or maybe a video camera, not a multi-million dollar budget and cameos from celebs. But not every kid is the son of Robert Rodriguez. And while the director is adept at creating phantasmagoric visions (see “Sin City”) only 35 percent of critics say he has a winner with “The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D,” which is based upon the stories of Rodriguez’s seven-year-old son. The tale of a boy whose imaginary friends come to life and need his help to defeat evil on the planet Drool, these “Adventures” lack a certain magic.

Cedric the Entertainer is one of the funniest guys around. So it would seem natural that he would shine in an update of “The Honeymooners,” which, for those who’ve been “to the moon” and missed the last half century of popular culture, was a wildly popular and influential 1950s sitcom starring Jackie Gleason and Art Carney. Unfortunately, the critics have smacked the update right in the kisser. Despite the presence of a pretty solid cast, the scribes have derided the lack of laughs beyond a couple of mildly amusing gags, landing “The Honeymooners” at 14 percent on the Tomatometer.

No remakes for Hayao Miyazaki. The master of Japanese animation consistently creates worlds that are powerfully and poignantly original. His latest, “Howl’s Moving Castle,” is no exception. It tells the story of a teenage girl who has been turned into an elderly woman by a wizard, and enters a fantasy kingdom in turmoil. Miyazaki’s work is never less than intriguing and beguiling, and the critics have fallen under the spell of “Howl,” with 90 percent approving of the film’s surreal storyline, detailed animation, childlike wonder, and an absence of pandering gags.

Brad Pitt
Average Tomatometer: 62%
Last Five Films with Tomatometer:
55% – Troy (2004)
55% – Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
73% – Snatch (2001)
57% – The Mexican (2001)
67% – Spy Game (2001)

Angelina Jolie
Average Tomatometer: 36%
Last Five Films with Tomatometer:
22% – Taking Lives (2004)
73% – Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
14% – Alexander (2004)
24% – Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)
16% – Beyond Borders (2003)

Hayao Miyazaki
Average Tomatometer: 96%
Last Five Films with Tomatometer:
98% – Spirited Away (2002)
92% – Princess Mononoke (1997)
100% – Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
100% – My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
100% – Castle in the Sky (1986)

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