Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Monsters University is Certified Fresh

Plus, World War Z is smart and tense, and The Bling Ring is stylish and lurid.

by | June 21, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got collegiate creatures (Monsters University, with voice performances from Billy Crystal and John Goodman), worldwide walking dead (World War Z, starring Brad Pitt and Mireille Enos), and juvenile jewel thieves (The Bling Ring, starring Emma Watson and Leslie Mann). What do the critics have to say?



Monsters University

80%

It’s not unfair to say that Pixar isn’t quite what it used to be; the animation studio that dazzled audiences and critics hasn’t reached the dizzying creative heights of its 2000s heyday since 2010’s Toy Story 3. Still, a decent Pixar movie still beats practically everybody else in the multiplex, and critics say Monsters University is pleasant, funny, and visually resplendent, though it’s less imaginative than its predecessor. This prequel to Monsters Inc. shows how diminutive, one-eyed Mike (Billy Crystal) and imposing, blue-furred Sulley (John Goodman) became friends while studying how to frighten children in college. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Monsters University lacks the inventiveness of past triumphs, but it’s still warm, witty, and beautifully animated. (Check out this week’s Total Recall for a countdown of Goodman’s best-reviewed movies, as well as our interviews with the Monsters University cast and crew.)



World War Z

66%

Not every film with a tortured production history is a disaster waiting to happen. Take World War Z, for example: despite extensive reshoots and rescheduled release dates, critics say this is largely a smart horror adventure with several white-knuckle action scenes and a terrific performance from Brad Pitt that helps to offset its patchy narrative. When mankind is threatened by a global zombie outbreak, it’s up to ex-United Nations operative Gerry Lane (Pitt) to scour the planet to find the source of the pandemic. The pundits say World War Z sometimes feels overstuffed and under-developed, but for the most part, it’s brainy and visceral, with a palpable sense of dread. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of memorable zombie movies.)



The Bling Ring

59%

If Sofia Coppola is in the director’s chair, you can safely assume her characters will be young, rich, ennui-laden, or some combination thereof. Thus, the heist-happy teens featured in The Bling Ring would seemingly be the perfect Coppola characters, but critics are split; some find the film to be stylish and subversive, while others feel it’s shallow and tawdry. Based on a true story, The Bling Ring is the story of a group of teenagers who steal millions in cash and valuables from the homes of folks like including Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Orlando Bloom. The pundits say there’s a tabloid fascination to this material that keeps things watchable, but the film’s moral detachment keeps the audience at arm’s length.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • A Hijacking, a thriller about a Danish cargo ship commandeered by a group of Somali pirates, is Certified Fresh at 100 percent.
  • The Attack, a drama about a prominent Israeli Palestinian whose wife is posthumously accused of being a suicide bomber, is at 92 percent.
  • Unfinished Song, starring Gemma Arterton and Terence Stamp in a dramedy about a grumpy older guy who comes out of his shell when he joins a local choir, is at 64 percent.
  • Maniac, starring Elijah Wood in a thriller about a withdrawn shop owner whose dark side is unleashed, is at 54 percent.
  • The French import Three Worlds, a drama about disparate people who reconnect after a hit-and-run accident, is at 43 percent.
  • Somm, a documentary about a group of wine experts working to pass the demanding Master Sommelier test, is at 33 percent.
  • Rushlights, a thriller about a pair of teens who get into big trouble when they attempt to claim an inheritance under false pretenses, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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