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

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