Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Godzilla is Certified Fresh

Plus, Million Dollar Arm is likeable but very predictable.

by | May 16, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the king of the monsters (Godzilla, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen) and an ambitious sports agent (Million Dollar Arm, starring Jon Hamm and Aasif Mandvi). What do the critics have to say?



Poor Godzilla. Decades of campy stomp-fests have transformed the once-mighty king of the monsters into a cuddly oaf. This new Godzilla is an attempt to imbue the franchise with more weight than the typical creature feature, and critics say the result is mostly successful, with fine performances and visually striking effects making up for a tendency toward ponderousness. When a nuclear power plant near Tokyo is damaged by a series of tremors, scientist Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) believes the cause is something more ominous than an earthquake. Years later, Joe’s son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) realizes his father was right — a terrifying beast called the Muto has been causing the tremors, and only one giant lizard can stop it. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Godzilla takes a while to get going, but if you want to watch oversized creatures wreak havoc on big cities, the movie delivers the goods in a reasonably imaginative fashion. (Check out our video interview with Cranston, as well as this week’s Total Recall, in which we present a field guide to giant movie monsters.)

Million Dollar Arm


Who doesn’t love an underdog sports story — especially one that’s based on true events? Critics say Million Dollar Arm is as pleasant as a day at the ballpark, but don’t expect any curveballs or changeups from the script. Jon Hamm stars as J.B. Bernstein, a sports agent whose clientele is short on major league stars. SSo he travels to India and holds a contest to find two strong-armed cricket bowlers who have the stuff to become big-league pitchers. The pundits say Million Dollar Arm is well-crafted and likeable, but it’s pretty predictable, and the film makes only limited use of its setting. (Watch our video interview with the stars, and flip through our gallery of big stars in baseball uniforms.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case, a documentary about the celebrated Chinese artist and political activist, is at 100 percent.
  • The American Nurse, a doc that profiles a diverse range of healthcare workers, is at 100 percent.
  • God’s Horses, a drama about a group of childhood friends who are recruited by a terrorist organization, is at 100 percent.
  • A People Uncounted, a drama about a group of childhood friends who are recruited by a terrorist organization, is at 100 percent.
  • The Immigrant, starring Marion Cotillard and Joaquin Phoenix in a period drama about a young Polish woman seeking a fresh start in New York City who’s forced into prostitution, is at 83 percent.
  • Chinese Puzzle, starring Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou in a dramedy about a Frenchman who becomes lonely when his wife goes to New York for work, is at 83 percent.
  • The Discoverers, starring Griffin Dunne in a comedy about a dysfunctional family that finds itself in the midst of a Lewis and Clark historical reenactment, is at 82 percent.
  • A Short History Of Decay, a comedy about an aimless writer who returns to his hometown to care for his ailing parents, is at 75 percent.
  • Half of a Yellow Sun, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton in a drama about two sisters whose lives take very different paths in the early years of Nigerian independence, is at 58 percent.
  • Wolf Creek 2, a slasher sequel in which tourists are terrorized by a psychopath on the Australian Outback, is at 47 percent.
  • A Night In Old Mexico, starring Robert Duvall in a drama about an elderly rancher who makes a run for the border with his grandson in tow, is at 36 percent.
  • Don Peyote, starring Dan Fogler in a comedy about a soon-to-be-married-guy who goes on a drug-fueled investigation into doomsday prophesies, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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