Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Prometheus is Certified Fresh

Plus, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted proves that third time's the charm.

by | June 8, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got an alien resurrection (Prometheus, starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender) and an incredible journey (Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, with voice work from Ben Stiller and Jada Pinkett Smith). What do the critics have to say?



Prometheus

73%

More than three decades after Alien helped to usher in a new era in sci-fi cinema, Ridley Scott heads back to the cosmos for the ambitious Prometheus. And critics say that while this quasi-prequel to Alien lacks the focus and brutal efficiency of Scott’s 1979 classic, it’s well acted, visually stunning, and filled with big ideas. After unearthing evidence that Earth was visited by an ancient alien race, a group of scientists (led by Noomi Rapace) venture to a distant planet, hoping to discover the origins of mankind. What they find there, however, is far less friendly than they hoped. The pundits say that the Certified Fresh Prometheus often introduces more philosophical concepts than it can deal with, but it possesses a haunting visual grandeur and compelling performances — particularly Michael Fassbender as a fastidious android. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Scott’s best-reviewed movies.)



Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

79%

In spite of the middling critical response to its first installment, the Madagascar franchise has evolved into that rarest of beasts: a film series that improves with each new outing. Critics say Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted is the best of the bunch, a funny, visually sophisticated animated treat for the whole family. This time, our animal pals depart Africa to return to the Central Park Zoo in New York. However, they get blown off course and end up in Europe, eventually hitching a ride with a traveling circus in order to avoid an obsessive animal control officer. The pundits say Madagascar 3 has a pretty thin plot, but it’s so colorful, briskly paced, and deftly animated that you probably won’t notice.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Safety Not Guaranteed, a comedy about the search for the man who placed a mysterious classified ad announcing plans for a journey through time, is at 94 percent.
  • Paul Williams Still Alive, a documentary on the post-fame life of the Grammy-winning songwriter, is at 92 percent.
  • The Italian import Corpo Celeste, a drama about a 13-year-old girl who embarks on a spiritual quest prior to her confirmation, is at 85 percent.
  • Todd SolondzDark Horse, starring Justin Bartha and Selma Blair in a dark comedy about a hostile slacker who awkwardly courts a psychologically damaged woman, is at 75 percent.
  • Lola Versus, starring Greta Gerwig in a comedy about a recently-jilted bride-to-be who attempts to adjust to single life, is at 45 percent.
  • Bel Ami, starring Robert Pattinson and Uma Thurman in a period drama about a man of modest means who climbs Paris’ social ladder by seducing powerful women, is at 31 percent.
  • Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding, starring Jane Fonda and Elizabeth Olsen in a dramedy about a woman in the midst of a personal crisis who takes her teenage childreen to meet their estranged hippy grandmother, is at 26 percent.

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