Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: New Year's Eve Drops the Ball

Plus, The Sitter is crass and only occasionally funny.

by | December 8, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a star-studded celebration (New Year’s Eve, starring Hilary Swank and Halle Berry), and adventures in babysitting (The Sitter, starring Jonah Hill and Ari Graynor). What do the critics have to say?

New Year’s Eve


Director Garry Marshall certainly has a yen for celebrity-populated, holiday-centric comedies, but critics say his latest, New Year’s Eve, is even weaker than the thematically similar (and critically panned) Valentine’s Day, stranding a terrific cast in a thinly plotted, schmaltzy confection. As the title suggests, it’s Dec. 31, and a disparate group of New Yorkers (including Hilary Swank, Halle Berry, Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, and Zac Efron) are looking for love and/or redemption while waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square. The pundits say New Year’s Eve is predictable and sappy, leaving its all-star cast to do what it can with their slightly-realized characters. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down other memorable New Year’s Eve movies.)

The Sitter


In theory, an irresponsible babysitter and his bratty charges embarking on a precarious journey through the big city could be a recipe for hilarity, but critics say The Sitter only occasionally lives up to its promise, with crass humor and undisciplined plotting outweighing moments of bizarre wit. Jonah Hill stars as Noah, a suburban slacker who grudgingly agrees to look after some neighborhood kids while his mother goes on a date. However, when Noah’s sometime girlfriend makes an urgent call to him, he piles the kids into the car and heads into town, where many odd interactions ensue. The pundits say The Sitter has a few gleefully profane gags, but mostly, it traffics in crude, misanthropic jokes and suffers from slack pacing.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, starring Gary Oldman and Colin Firth in an adaptation of John Le Carré’s espionage thriller about a disgraced former spy who’s covertly tasked with finding a mole within MI-6, is Certified Fresh at 91 percent.
  • Knuckle, a documentary about the secret world of nomadic Irish bare-knuckle fighters, is at 93 percent.
  • London River, a drama about an unlikely duo that joins forces to search for their children after the 2005 London terrorist bombings, is at 88 percent.
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin, starring Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly in a psychological thriller about a woman’s tenuous relationship with her violent son, is Certified Fresh at 84 percent.
  • Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt in a comedy about a woman who returns to her hometown and forms a bond with a guy she treated badly in high school, is at 80 percent.
  • Seducing Charlie Barker, a comedy about a struggling actor who cheats on his wife with a woman that’s more trouble than she’s worth, is at 63 percent.
  • My Piece of the Pie, a French dramedy about a single mother who takes a cleaning job with the financial worker who helped shut down the factory where she once worked, is at 57 percent.
  • The French import Goodbye First Love, a drama about a young woman still profoundly affected by a teenage romance, is at 50 percent.
  • W.E., starring Abbie Cornish and James D’Arcy in Madonna‘s biopic of American Duchess of Windsor Wallis Simpson, is at 29 percent.
  • I Melt with You, starring Thomas Jane and Rob Lowe in a drama about four former college buddies who try to stave off their midlife crises during a wild weeklong getaway, is at 12 percent.

Tag Cloud

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