Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Insurgent is a Muddled Mess

Plus, The Gunman misses the mark, and iZombie and Community are Certified Fresh.

by | March 19, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a rebellious teen (Insurgent, starring Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet) and a repentant assassin (The Gunman, starring Sean Penn and Javier Bardem). What do the critics have to say?



Insurgent

28%

Shailene Woodley is well on her way to becoming one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. However, critics say there’s only so much she can do to save Insurgent, a middling middle chapter with frenetic action sequences but little narrative cohesion or character development. This time out, Tris (Woodley) and her fellow Divergents are on the run from evil overlord Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), who wants to exterminate the rebels and take control of futuristic Chicago’s various factions. The pundits say Insurgent is a definite step back for the franchise, as its excessive violence and confusing story overwhelm a terrific cast. (Watch our video interview with Woodley and co-stars Theo James, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, and Octavia Spencer, and click through our gallery of young adult novels that have been adapted to film.)



The Gunman

16%

The veteran actor-shooting-people action subgenre is all the rage these days, and The Gunman has two things to set it apart from the pack: geopolitics and Sean Penn. Unfortunately, critics say it’s pretty generic otherwise, with a predictable plot and a shortage of energy. Years after carrying out a hit in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jim Terrier (Penn) is working for a humanitarian organization when he discovers he’s the target of a shadowy organization — and that his ex has fallen into its clutches. The pundits say The Gunman benefits greatly from its scenic locations, but otherwise, this is a so-so thriller that doesn’t live up to its lofty ambitions. (Check out Penn’s best-reviewed films here.)

What’s On TV:


Despite cast and broadcast changes, Community (Certified Fresh at 91 percent) manages to remain at the top of its quirky class.


An amusing variation on the zombie trend, iZombie (Certified Fresh at 90 percent) is refreshingly different, if perhaps too youth-oriented to resonate with adult audiences.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Metalhead, a dramedy about a girl who immerses herself in heavy metal as a way of dealing with the death of her older brother, is at 100 percent.
  • Spring, starring Lou Taylor Pucci in a horror film about an American backpacker who strikes up a relationship with an Italian woman who’s harboring a shocking secret, is at 95 percent.
  • Amour Fou, a drama about writer Heinrich von Kleist and his attempt to get a society woman to join him in a suicide pact, is at 94 percent.
  • Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, starring Rinko Kikuchi in a drama about a woman who leaves behind her life in Japan to search for the buried cash in Fargo, is Certified Fresh at 89 percent.
  • Backcountry, a thriller about a couple that gets lost while hiking in the remote Canadian wilderness, is at 83 percent.
  • Jauja, starring Viggo Mortensen in a period drama about a Danish engineer who goes searching for his daughter after she runs off with a soldier, is at 78 percent.
  • She’s Lost Control, a drama about a sex surrogate whose life is thrown into disarray when she gets too close to one of her clients, is at 75 percent.
  • Zombeavers, a horror comedy about three friends vacationing at remote cabin who are menaced by the title creatures, is at 60 percent.
  • Danny Collins, starring Al Pacino and Christopher Plummer in a dramedy about a veteran rocker who decides to change his ways after discovering a long-lost letter from a music legend, is at 61 percent.
  • Tracers, starring Taylor Lautner in an action flick about a crew of thieves who use their parkour skills for a series of daring heists, is at 14 percent.
  • Growing Up and Other Lies, starring Adam Brody and Amber Tamblyn in a comedy about a group of millennials who walk across Manhattan while discussing the state of their lives, is at 14 percent.
  • David O. Russell‘s Accidental Love, starring Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal in a romantic comedy about a woman whose behavior changes when she gets a nail lodged in her skull, is at zero percent.
  • The Walking Deceased, a spoof of zombie apocalypse movies, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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