Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Monsters vs. Aliens Is A Blast

Plus, The Haunting in Connecticut houses too many cliches, and guess 12 Rounds' Tomatometer!

by | March 26, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a war of the worlds (Monsters Vs. Aliens, with voice work by Reese Witherspoon and Seth Rogen), a demonic abode (The Haunting in Connecticut, starring Virginia Madsen and Martin Donovan), and a royal rumble (12 Rounds, starring John Cena). What do the critics have to say?


Monsters vs. Aliens

Monsters vs. Aliens pays loving homage to B-grade 1950s monster movies, utilizing state-of-the- art 3-D CG animation and a crack voice cast. And critics say it’s rousing, wry, and technically impressive. When Susan Murphy (voiced by Reese Witherspoon) is hit by a meteor on the way to her wedding, it causes her to grow nearly 50 feet tall; she’s ostracized by society, but it turns out that she and her fellow monsters may be the only ones that can save earth from an alien invasion. The pundits say Monsters vs. Aliens is often more whiz-bang than emotionally resonant, and many of the gags will probably soar over the wee ones’ heads. However, those may be small prices to pay for a film of such remarkable visual invention and good humor. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we rank every DreamWorks animated film by Tomatometer, and be sure to take our our DreamWorks Cartoon Challenge.)


The Haunting in Connecticut

The Haunting in Connecticut is allegedly based on a true story. However, most critics feel this New England-set supernatural thriller has more in common with other haunted house flicks like The Amityville Horror than real-life supernatural occurrences. Virginia Madsen and Martin Donovan star as a couple who move to the Nutmeg State only to find the nice old Victorian they’ve just purchased was once a funeral home, and it’s haunted by a demonic presence that only avails itself to the couple’s teenage son. Bedeviling ensues, along with creaking floorboards and (presumably) bad caulking. The pundits say The Haunting in Connecticut has some effectively spooky atmospherics, but ultimately it’s mechanical and cliched.


12 Rounds

It appears the folks behind 12 Rounds were afraid their film would receive a critical beatdown, since it wasn’t screened prior to release. Renny Harlin directs WWE superstar John Cena, who plays a cop in the midst of a cat-and-mouse game with a terrorist who has kidnapped his girlfriend. Kids, take a break from your study of Thuganomics and guess that Tomatometer!

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Ramin Bahrani‘s Goodbye Solo, about the strange relationship between a Senegalese cab driver and a gruff old southerner, is at 100 percent.
  • Shall We Kiss?, a Woody Allen-esque French romantic comedy about the implications of a single kiss on a multitude of characters, is at 80 percent.
  • Guest of Cindy Sherman, a documentary about the failed relationship between the art star and her public access cable host beau, is at 70 percent.
  • Fred Durst‘s The Education of Charlie Banks, starring Jesse Eisenberg in a tale of coming of age in 1970s New York, is at 50 percent.
  • The Czech import The Country Teacher, about a closeted science teacher and his relationship with a local family, is at 40 percent.
  • American Swing, a documentary on the 1970s heyday of the notorious sex club Plato’s Retreat, is at 33 percent.
  • Spinning into Butter, a drama about racial tensions at an elite Vermont college starring Sarah Jessica Parker, is at 27 percent.

Tag Cloud

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