Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Bucket Gets Kicked, The Orphanage is Certified Fresh, In the Name of the King Not Screened

Also: Kite Runner flies reasonably high, Veggietales fairly tasty, First Sunday has sinned.

by | January 10, 2008 | Comments

This week
at the movies, we’ve got two wild and
crazy guys (The Bucket
, starring
Jack Nicholson
and Morgan Freeman),
pious crooks (First Sunday, starring
Ice Cube and
Tracy Morgan), botanical
buccaneers (The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A Veggietales Movie),
haunted expatriates (The
Kite Runner
), tormented mothers (The
), and Uwe Boll (In
the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
, starring
Jason Statham
and Burt
). What do the critics have to say?

How can a
movie directed by Rob Reiner and starring
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman
possibly fail? If, say critics, it has a really contrived, sappy script, which
is the problem with
The Bucket List
Nicholson and Freeman star as a couple of sixtysomethings who, after discovering they each have terminal
illnesses, team up to do all the living they can in the time they have left —
in the form of skydiving and tattoo-getting, among other things. Pundits say the
two stars give it their all, but they’re undercut by a predictable plot that
overdoses on schmaltz. At 44 percent on the Tomatometer, Bucket probably
shouldn’t top your list.

"I never would’ve put strip solitaire on my list."

Ice Cube


Tracy Morgan
are talented people. Unfortunately, critics say their despite
their combined ability to generate intermittent chuckles, they’re unable to save

First Sunday. The film is a tale of two incompetent crooks who contrive a
plot to rob the local house of worship. However, their plan goes awry rather
quickly, and the pair has a crisis of faith. Pundits say First Sunday has
its moments, but it’s ultimately undone by a script that lacks nuance and
consistency; others aren’t buying the sentimentality of the last act. At 25
percent on the Tomatometer, First Sunday might need to do penance.

Ice Cube in the first Sunday the Friday after next.

Fear not,

The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A Veggietales Movie
no plank-walking, keel-hauling, or bottles of rum. But guess what? Critics say
it’s clever enough to keep you entertained. The latest in Christian animation’s
most venerable franchise since
Davey and Goliath
, Pirates follows
the comic misadventures of Larry the Cucumber, Mr.
Lunt and Pa Grape, as they are transported from their humdrum lives back in time
to the days of William Kidd — and trouble on the high seas. Pundits say while Pirates,
may be several cuts below
, it’s sweet and inoffensive, with a
positive message and some good laughs.
At 67 percent on the Tomatometer,
this Pirates‘ life may not be for everyone, but at least it won’t make
you want to mutiny.

"We’re off to see the Eggplant Wizard!"

Khaled Hosseini
‘s novel


Kite Runner
drew widespread praise for its tale of
youngsters living through a tumultuous period in Afghani history. And critics
say Marc Forster’s big-screen adaptation does a reasonably good job of
translating the book’s sweep — while still taking some liberties. Kite
stars Zekiria Ebrahimi and
Ahmad Khan Mahmoodzada as two youngsters who survive both the Soviet invasion and the rise
of the Taliban — albeit with some pretty heavy emotional baggage. The scribes
say Forster gets some great performances from his child actors, and captures the
visual beauty of the war-torn land. But some say the film doesn’t quite have the
same impact as the novel, dialing up some of the big emotions while skimping on
nuance. Still, at 65 percent on the Tomatometer, this Kite flies
reasonably high. (Check out our interviews
here and

"Take dictation, please. Possible candidates for kite flying

If you
feel the fine art of cinematic suspense has drowned in a sea of gore, critics
say you’re in for a treat with

The Orphanage
. Produced by
Guillermo del Toro, The Orphanage follows Laura (Belén
) and Carlos (Fernando Cayo) , the adoptive parents of Simon (Roger
Príncep), an orphan suffering from HIV. The boy has a host of imaginary friends,
and what he says about them starts sounding pretty sinister. The scribes say
Juan Antonio Bayona‘s film is loaded with dread and spooky atmospherics, but it
also succeeds as a heart-wrenching psychological portrait. At 85 percent on the
Tomatometer, The Orphanage is Certified Fresh. (Check out our interview
with Bayona and screenwriter Sergio Sanchez
here and our review from Cannes

"Oh, crap, I didn’t mean to screen Manos, the Hands of

Yes, Uwe
Boll, everyone’s favorite critical pariah, has a new movie out:

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
. No it wasn’t screened for critics. But
what did you expect, given the fact that the man’s career Tomatometer is at five
percent? Critics don’t really dig him, especially the one he knocked out. Dungeon

Jason Statham
Ray Liotta,
Leelee Sobieski,

, and
Matthew Lillard in a tale of a regular guy who must do battle with beasts
conjured by an evil sorcerer; swordplay no doubt ensues. Hey kids, stop laying
siege to that dungeon and guess the Tomatometer! (And read our [qualified]
defense of Mr. Boll’s work in this week’s Total Recall.)

Just pretend it’s your agent, Jason.

opening this week in limited release:

  • Liberty Kid
    , a drama about the
    after-effects of 9/11 on several blue-collar New Yorkers, is at 100 percent on
    the Tomatometer.

  • Hong Sang-soo‘s
    Woman on the Beach
    , a subtle rom-com
    about a filmmaker with writer’s block, is at 94 percent.

  • The Business of
    Being Born
    , a documentary about several couples and their experiences with
    childbirth, is at 71 percent.

  • The Turkish import
    Times and Winds
    a deceptively simple tale of three youngsters coming of age in a small village,
    is at 73 percent.

It looks like Anne Geddes is going in a more avant garde direction.

props to
tabascoman77, both for boldly announcing that
One Missed Call

would end up at zero percent on the Tomatometer, and for his excellent taste in
hot sauce. Personally, I like the garlic Tabasco, but that’s just me.

Morgan Freeman Movies:
93% — Gone Baby Gone (2007)
42% — Feast of Love (2007)
24% — Evan Almighty (2007)
62% — 10 Items or Less (2006)
52% — Lucky # Slevin (2006) 

Uwe Boll
4% — BloodRayne (2006)
1% — Alone in the Dark (2005)
4% — House of the Dead (2003)
11% — Blackwoods (2002)

Tag Cloud

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