Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Charlotte's Web" Is Good, Indeed; Smith Is Strong, "Pursuit" Less So; "Eragon" Gets Burned

by | December 14, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a barnyard full of talking animals ("Charlotte’s Web," starring Dakota Fanning and the voices of Julia Roberts and Robert Redford), a real-life rags-to-riches story ("The Pursuit of Happyness," starring Will Smith), and a tale of dragons and swordplay ("Eragon," starring Edward Speleers and Jeremy Irons). What do the critics have to say?

If there’s one thing critics can agree on with "Charlotte’s Web," it’s how much they all loved the children’s novel. If there’s another, it’s how much they like the big screen adaptation, about a bunch of talking farm animals and a pig saved by a very literate spider. Though some feared that the simple story would be modernized with the ironic and brash attitudes afflicting recent kid flicks, the pundits are in awe of the quiet, humble replication of E.B. White’s genteel and distinguished prose. Also, they really like Robert Redford doing the voice of Ike the wussy horse. At 89 percent Tomatometer, this is some movie, indeed.


"How about you and I cruise in my Power Wheels sometime?"

Will Smith has been in pursuit of an Oscar for a while, and with "The Pursuit of Happyness" the critics think this could be where he catches up with the Academy. Smith, as a homeless single father trying to climb the corporate ladder, is garnering widespread praise for his performance, though said praise isn’t quite being doled out upon the film itself. The critics are calling "Happyness" a slick Hallmark card of a movie, a bit too obsessed with the desire to inspire. At 56 percent on the Tomatometer, the critics are split on whether "Happyness" is worth it for Smith’s heartfelt presence alone.


"Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of Periodic Stock Dividends…"

Scribes have posited several excuses as to the overwhelming awfulness of "Eragon" (the movie’s source books were written by a teenager, it’s being directed by a first-timer, etc.), but few critics are terribly forgiving of the derivative plot. "Eragon" spins a tale of a peasant boy (Speleers) who is suddenly entrusted with a dragon and must, with the help of a mentor (Irons), train, grow strong, and defeat an evil emperor. The way the critics describe it, the makers of the "Star Wars"-esque"Eragon" should soon be expecting an annoyed phone call from George Lucas, though the movie’s current nine percent Tomatometer might be insult enough. (At the scene for "Eragon"’s London Premiere was RT-UK’s Joe Utichi; check out his writeup here.


"Wait, what movie are we from again?"

Also playing this week in limited release: Oscar hopeful "Dreamgirls," starring Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy in the tale of a Motown group’s rise and fall, is at 83 percent (check out RT’s interview with co-star Jennifer Hudson here); "The Secret Life of Words," starring Tim Robbins and Sarah Polley in a tale of high drama on an oil rig, is at 80 percent; "Automatons," a zero-budget dystopian sci-fi flick, is at 67 percent; "Breaking and Entering," a story of the tangled webs weaved after a burglary starring Jude Law and Juliette Binoche, is at 48 percent; "The Good German," Steven Soderbergh’s "Casablanca"-esque drama set in post-WWII Berlin starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, is at 26 percent; and "Home of the Brave," about the trials of vets returning home from Iraq starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel, and 50 Cent, is at 15 percent.


"I’m giving the wardrobe guy the evil eye."

Recent Will Smith Movies:
———————————
69% — Hitch (2005)
35% — Shark Tale (2004)
59% — I, Robot (2004)
25% — Bad Boys II (2003)
38% — Men in Black II (2002)

Recent Dakota Fanning Movies:
—————————————
63% — Dreamer (2005)
73% — Nine Lives (2005)
73% — War of the Worlds (2005)
13% — Hide and Seek (2005)
74% — In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)

Tag Cloud

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