Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Argo Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Here Comes the Boom is predictable, Sinister is spooky, Seven Psychopaths is Certified Fresh, and Atlas Shrugged was not screened.

by and | October 12, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a daring escape (Argo, starring Ben Affleck and Alan Arkin); a tough teacher (Here Comes the Boom, starring Kevin James and Salma Hayek); frightening footage (Sinister, starring Ethan Hawke and Vincent D’Onofrio); criminal cinephiles (Seven Psychopaths, starring Colin Farrell and Christopher Walken); and striking capitalists (Atlas Shrugged: Part II, starring Samantha Mathis and Jason Beghe). What do the critics have to say?



Argo

96%

As a director, Ben Affleck is on a roll. With two Certified Fresh films (Gone Baby Gone and The Town) under his belt, critics say Affleck scores again with Argo, a tense, darkly comic thriller with terrific characters and an eye for period detail. In the midst of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, a group of militants take hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. When six Americans escape and hole up elsewhere, CIA agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with a scheme to rescue them: pretend they’re filmmakers working on an epic sci-fi movie. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Argo is a terrific entertainment — it’s suspenseful, deftly scripted, sharply acted, and politically reflective.



Here Comes the Boom

40%

Here Comes the Boom borrows from two musty sub-genres: it’s both an underdog sports story and an inspirational teacher movie. And critics say it’s not all that bad — Kevin James gives a warm, committed performance that occasionally makes up for the movie’s slavish devotion to formula. James stars as an indifferent high school teacher who is roused into action when the school is threatened with budget cuts. His solution: raise money by battling on the mixed martial arts circuit. The pundits say James is surprisingly convincing as a fighter, but Here Comes the Boom is a little too bland and predictable to work as a whole. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames, in which we take a pictorial look at co-star Salma Hayek’s career..)



Sinister

64%

Found footage frightfests are all the rage these days, but critics say it’s to Sinister‘s credit that it creates a tense atmosphere out of some familiar parts. Ethan Hawke stars as a true crime writer who moves his family into a house where a family was mysteriously killed. While investigating the deaths, he discovers a cache of old super 8 movies, and discovers awful secrets that could threaten him and his family as well. The pundits say Sinister is sometimes over-reliant on jump scares, but it’s also intelligent and involving, thanks to strong performances and a creeping sense of dread. (Check out our interview with Hawke here.)



Seven Psychopaths

82%

Director Martin McDonagh and star Colin Farrell have apparently found a formula that works; having earned accolades for their work together in 2008’s In Bruges, the pair reunite for Seven Psychopaths, a dark comedy that critics say delivers a heaping helping of witty dialogue and gleeful violence. Farrell stars as a struggling screenwriter whose well-meaning buddy (Sam Rockwell) places him in danger when he unwittingly kidnaps a dog belonging to a violent gangster (Woody Harrelson) who will stop at nothing to rescue his beloved pet. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Seven Psychopaths is terrifically written, with memorable performances and a sly sense of humor. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Walken’s best-reviewed films.)



Atlas Shrugged: Part II

4%

Give the folks behind Atlas Shrugged: Part II points for perseverance, especially since Part I disappointed both critically and commercially. Unfortunately, the film was not screened for critics prior to its release, so we can’t tell you if the second chapter will fare better with the pundits. In this installment, the global economy is near collapse after a number of prominent industrialists and thinkers have gone missing. Time to guess the Tomatometer!

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Gayby, a comedy about two close friends who decide to conceive a child together despite their mismatched sexual orientations, is at 100 percent.
  • In My Mother’s Arms, a documentary about an orphanage for troubled children in Baghdad, is at 100 percent.
  • Photographic Memory, in which a filmmaker attempts to revisit key places in his life in an attempt to connect with his son, is at 100 percent.
  • Middle of Nowhere, a drama about a med student whose life is upended when her husband is incarcerated, is at 92 percent.
  • Smashed, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead in a dramedy about a young woman struggling with alcoholism, is at 84 percent.
  • The Big Picture, a French thriller about a successful man who assumes a new identity to escape his existence, is at 81 percent.
  • Two Years at Sea, a doc about a Scottish man living in near isolation, is at 75 percent.
  • Simon and the Oaks, a coming-of-age drama about two childhood friends whose lives are upended by the turmoil of World War II, is at 50 percent.
  • 3, 2, 1… Frankie Go Boom, starring Chris O’Dowd and Lizzy Caplan in a comedy about two brothers who hire a hacker to scrub the internet of an embarrassing video, is at 44 percent.
  • Special Forces, starring Diane Kruger and Djimon Hounsou in an action movie about a military unit working to free a kidnapped journalist from the Taliban, is at 33 percent.
  • Hotel Noir, starring Carla Gugino and Mandy Moore in the pulpy tale of a down-on-his-luck detective who meets a variety of interesting characters during the course of a night, is at 20 percent.
  • War of the Buttons, a period drama about rival preteen gangs who set aside their differences to protect a friend in Nazi-occupied France, is at 17 percent.
  • Smiley, a horror film about a mad slasher who kills people who participate in internet video chats, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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