Critics Consensus

Good Boys Is a Good Time

Plus, The Angry Birds Movie 2 is video game adaptation royalty, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is a solid sequel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette? is disappointing, and Blinded by the Light is Certified Fresh.

by | August 15, 2019 | Comments

This week at the movies — the second straight with five new wide releases — we’ve got foul fowl (The Angry Birds Movie 2, featuring the voices of Jason Sudeikis and Josh Gad), pre-teen misadventures (Good Boys, starring Jacob Tremblay and Keith L. Williams), divers in peril (47 Meters Down: Uncaged, starring Sophie Nélisse and Corinne Fox), a missing mom (Where’d You Go, Bernadette, starring Cate Blanchett and Billy Crudup), and a man inspired by The Boss (Blinded by the Light, starring Viveik Kalra and Hayley Atwell). What are the critics saying?


The Angry Birds Movie 2 (2019) 73%

Considering its non-narrative source material, there are likely few who would have guessed that The Angry Birds Movie 2 could become the best-reviewed video game movie of all time. Yet, here we are, with the mobile app-inspired animated adventure poised to take the crown away from Detective Pikachu, who mounted the throne just earlier this year. Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Maya Rudolph, Bill Hader, and Danny McBride all return to voice their characters from the first film, as Red (Sudeikis) and the birds join forces with Leonard (Hader) and the pigs against a new enemy (voiced by Leslie Jones) bent on taking over their islands. Also, there’s a subplot about three young birds attempting to retrieve some lost eggs. It’s all harmless stuff, say the critics, who also point out that The Angry Birds Movie 2 is fast-paced, zipping from set piece to set piece, and full of both potty jokes for the kids and more pop culture-savvy humor for the adults. When all is said and done, and the Tomatometer score settles a bit, this may indeed become the best video game movie yet, and most seem to be just fine with that.


Good Boys (2019) 79%

On paper, it’s a little tough to suss out who exactly is supposed to be the target audience for Good Boys. Its R rating means kids the same age as the three leads won’t be able to see it — some of the movie’s marketing has been keen to point that out — and there’s no guarantee that those who are of appropriate age to see the film will get much of a kick out of a trio of pre-teens getting into outlandish shenanigans en route to a spin-the-bottle party. Yet, here we are, with the film earning fairly enthusiastic praise from a majority of the critics — presumably all adults — who have seen it. Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon play the titular Boys, one of whom is invited to a kissing party where he may get to smooch his crush. But when an attempt to spy on the girls with a drone goes sideways, the threesome embark on a riotous journey that will teach them more than they ever wanted to know. Critics say Good Boys, written and directed by The Office vets Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, is frequently funny, getting a lot of mileage out of the boys’ naivete about grown-up things, and surprisingly earnest. It’s essentially a middle-school riff on Superbad, but less cynical, and with noticeably more jokes about sex toys.


47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) 42%

First off, we’ll get the obvious question out of the way: Why isn’t this movie called 48 Meters Down? Seems like the most logical way to name a sequel to 47 Meters Down, and it’s a whole lot less clumsy than its actual title: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. Yet, here we are, wondering how cages factor into this story about scuba divers in Mexico terrorized by sharks. This time around, it’s a quartet of young women on vacation who take an underwater excursion to explore some submerged Mayan ruins, only to discover they’ve invaded the hunting grounds of a school of ravenous sharks. Critics are currently split on the Uncaged, with some calling it a standard B-movie thriller that knows what it sets out to do and does it fairly successfully, while others lament what they feel are sluggish pacing, subpar writing, and a lack of originality. At the very least, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged is tracking on the Tomatometer to be on par with the first film — a tad better, even — so if you enjoyed that one, you’re likely to be on board with this one, too.


Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2019) 49%

It’s tempting to think that the combination of an acclaimed director, a supremely talented cast, and best-selling source material should make for a surefire bet at the cineplex, even if we’ve seen similar projects fail time and again in the past. Yet, here we are, staring down the release of Richard Linklater‘s Where’d You Go, Bernadette? as critics lament what could have been. Based on the novel of the same name and starring an ensemble cast that includes Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, Laurence Fishburne, and, in the title role, Cate Blanchett, Where’d You Go revolves around a stay-at-home mom (she’s agoraphobic) and former hotshot architect who gradually suffers a nervous breakdown and takes flight from her domestic troubles in order to rekindle her creative instincts. Though he does occasionally dip into the Well of Whimsy, this is Linklater’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by way of Wes Anderson, which, according to critics, isn’t as enjoyable as it might sound to some. While most critics have few negative things to say about Blanchett’s central performance, many of them find the movie surrounding her less impressive, largely due to a sprawling but thin plot that fails to explore more interesting themes surrounding its enigmatic protagonist. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? may appeal Linklater completionists (they exist, right?), but others may leave the theater dissatisfied.


Blinded by the Light (2019) 89%

Jukebox musicals are, on the whole, hit-or-miss affairs, as it’s understandably difficult to shape dialogue around frequently nebulous pop-song lyrics without turning the enterprise into a cloying mess. Yet, here we are, with just such an endeavor based on the hits of Bruce Springsteen earning the best reviews of any wide release this week. Loosely adapted from a memoir by British journalist Sarfraz Manzoor (who also co-wrote the script), Blinded by the Light follows teenaged aspiring writer Javed (Viveik Kalra) as he struggles to escape his hometown and his strict, traditional family; he finds the strength to stand on his own when he’s introduced to the music of The Boss, who inspires him to follow his own path. Critics say that while the film is not without its movie musical cliches, the cast — which includes Hayley Atwell as a supportive teacher — is well-suited to the material, and the story is so charming that it overpowers any sense of excessive sentimentality. Will Springsteen fans enjoy it? Very much so, but those just along for the ride will likely find their spirits suitably lifted.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Aquarela (2019) , a documentary about visceral power and beauty of water in its various natural forms on Earth, is at 100%.
  • Los Reyes (2019) , a documentary about a pair of stray dogs who live in a famous Chilean skate park and the people who interact with them, is at 100%.
  • Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas) (2019) , an animated film about the early career of filmmaker Luis Buñuel, is at 100%.
  • End of the Century (2019) , a romantic drama about two men who begin a fling in Spain, where one of them is vacationing, is at 89%.
  • Kingdom (2019) , an epic action-adventure based on a Japanese manga about ancient China’s Warring States period, is at 89%.
  • The Amazing Johnathan Documentary (2019) , a meta documentary ostensibly about the career and retirement of magician/comedian The Amazing Johnathan, is at 88%.
  • Adam (2019) , a comedy about a teenager who visits his socially conscious older sister in New York and gets mistaken as a trans man, is at 85%.
  • What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? (2019) , a documentary chronicling the frustrations of black communities in Louisiana and Mississippi in 2017, is at 83%.
  • Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019) , an investigation into mysterious circumstances of the 1961 plane crash that killed then UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, is at 81%.
  • Gwen (2019) , a period horror film about a young Welsh woman hoping to save her farm from greedy land barons — and possibly an occult threat — is at 75%.
  • Driven (2019) , starring Jason Sudeikis and Lee Pace in a biopic about disgraced auto mogul John DeLorean, is at 71%.
  • The Divine Fury (2019) , an action-horror flick from South Korea about a talented MMA fighter who teams up with a priest to battle supernatural evil, is at 44%.

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

Tag Cloud

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