Critics Consensus

Disney's Aladdin One Jump Ahead of The Fresh Line, For Now

But will it stay there? Plus, Booksmart is smart and cool and Brightburn messes with the superhero trope.

by | May 23, 2019 | Comments

Can Prince Ali, mighty is he, slay at the box office? Aladdin, Disney’s live-action remake of its 1992 animated musical stars Will Smith as the sometimes-blue genie with the power to grant three wishes and Mena Massoud as the titular small-time thief-turned-imposter prince. It’s also the flashiest film opening this weekend – even if it doesn’t come with the highest reviews. That honor goes to director Olivia Wilde’s teen comedy Booksmart. Also in wide release is horror film Brightburn, which serves as a send-up of superhero films. All three movies offer reinventions of staid genres. But, which one will rule this weekend’s multiplexes? The critics have some thoughts.

Booksmart (2019) 97%

The movie trope of high school students wanting one last hurrah before graduation has been done, more often than not leaning on the male gaze (and let’s face it, often come with some sexist overtones that don’t always age well). That’s why Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is so refreshing. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein play self-confident Ivy League-bound seniors on the precipice of adulthood who don’t want some virginity-themed raunchy night out. They just want their classmates to remember them as the smart and fun ladies they – and clearly, the critics – know they are.

Brightburn (2019) 57%

Thanks to the legend of Superman, we’re taught to expect that a lot of good will happen when a child from another world crash-lands on Earth. Director David Yarovesky’s new horror film messes with this misconception, in the process earning some mixed reviews – and an R-rating, which  probably doesn’t help in regards to ticket sales. But the film does come with some interesting pedigree, as its written by Brian and Mark Gunn (a cousin and brother to Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn, who also produced) and stars Slither actor Elizabeth Banks as the mother caring for the alien boy. It’s also on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of most-anticipated horror films of the year.

Aladdin (2019) 57%

Despite the hesitation that ensued among fandoms when footage of Will Smith as a blue genie first appeared online, (How hard is it going to be to take this film seriously? Someone else is playing the part made famous by the late Robin Williams? Is nothing sacred?) most critics say that Disney’s latest live-action remake of one of its animated classics is fine — maybe not totally necessary, but passable. Given the way these new versions rank at the box office (even Dumbo, which opened in March and has a Tomatometer score of 47%, eventually grossed $112 million, despite a $170 million production budget), the Mouse House shouldn’t worry too much. If this movie isn’t to your liking, Disney has many other films on the horizon.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Diamantino (2019) is a sci-fi tinged drama that follows a disgraced former soccer star on the hunt for a new purpose – confronting, along the way, neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification, and abuse at the hands of his evil twin sisters. It is Certified Fresh at 87%.
  • Avengement (2019) is, as suggested by the title, a film that follows a criminal on furlough from prison who uses his time on the outside to take down those who made him a cold-blooded killer. It is Fresh with a 100% Tomatometer.
  • Echo In the Canyon (2019) is a music documentary that looks at influential artists like The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Mamas and the Papas and others who were part of the Laurel Canyon scene of the mid-’60s and contributed to what would be known as the California Sound. It is Fresh with a 100% Tomatometer.
  • Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation (2019) is another music doc set around the turbulent ’60s, and includes never-before-seen footage of the concert that would define a generation. It is Fresh with a 100% Tomatometer.
  • Funny Story (2019) is described as a tragi-comedy and follows an aging heartthrob who attempts to reconnect with his grown daughter – by hitching a ride with her friend and crashing her vacation in Big Sur. It has an 89% Tomatometer score.
  • Halston (2019) is a documentary that looks at influential 1970s fashion designer Halston. Frédéric Tcheng, who also did films about Diana Vreeland and Valentino, writes and directs. It is Fresh with an 80% Tomatometer.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

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