Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Pirates! Band of Misfits Is Certified Fresh

Plus, The Five-Year Engagement is overlong but sweet, Safe is predictable but exciting, and The Raven is spooky but dull.

by | April 27, 2012 | Comments


This week at the movies, we’ve got silly seafarers (The Pirates! Band of Misfits, with voice work from Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson); longtime companions (The Five-Year Engagement, starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt); mafia targets (Safe, starring Jason Statham and Catherine Chan); and a literary gumshoe (The Raven, starring John Cusack and Alice Eve). What do the critics have to say?

The Pirates! Band of Misfits


Aardman Animations, the folks behind Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit films, make animated features the old-fashioned way: using stop-motion claymation. And critics say they’ve got another winner with The Pirates! Band of Misfits, a bright, breezy, gleefully eccentric nautical adventure/comedy. A pirate captain named Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) is on a quest to win the prestigious Pirate of the Year Award; along the way, buckles are swashed, planks are walked, and ships are plundered (ineffectively, but still). The pundits say the Certified Fresh Pirates! Band of Misfits stands as another triumph for Aardman — it’s filled with witty sight gags and inventive visual touches, and it’s likely to amuse both children and their parents.

The Five-Year Engagement


With their patented mix of heart and raunch, Judd Apatow‘s productions — including, but not limited to, Superbad and Bridesmaids — have scored big with audiences and reviewers. Critics say The Five-Year Engagement doesn’t quite measure up to those standards, but despite some slack pacing, it’s still a pretty warm and honest look at modern love. Jason Segel and Emily Blunt star as Tom and Violet, whose matrimonial happiness is perpetually delayed by everything from bad luck to professional complications. The pundits say The Five-Year Engagement is way too long, and not every gag is a winner, but it’s redeemed by some big laughs and the sweet, believable chemistry between its leads. (Check out our countdown of the best-reviewed wedding movies here.)



Jason Statham is equally adept at roundhouse kicks and existential brooding. And while not every Statham vehicle is created equal, critics say Safe is better than most; though it’s formulaic to the bone, the film is gritty and exciting thanks in large part to its star’s charisma and acrobatics. Statham stars as Luke Wright, an ultimate fighter who botches a fixed fight, drawing the ire of the mafia. However, when he rescues and protects a 12-year-old girl with valuable information in her head, the two are pursued by both mobsters and corrupt government officials. The pundits say Safe is really predictable, but it’s an efficient, tough yarn that should satisfy adrenaline junkies. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down memorable movies with matching titles.)

The Raven


The Raven is an odd (if intriguing) bird: it’s a period thriller in which Edgar Allen Poe helps to track a serial killer inspired by the author’s most macabre works. But, to paraphraseth the titular poem, critics say the result has made them weak and weary, as it vainly tries to borrow from fantastic terrors we’ve seen before. After a series of brutal slayings, a young detective calls upon Poe (John Cusack) to help ensure that the writer’s most homicidal fan will kill nevermore. The pundits say The Raven has a spooky gothic look, but it’s mostly a gloomy procedural that offers few thrills — or insights into Poe’s life and works. (Check out Cusack’s Five Favorite Films here.).)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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