Critics Consensus

Greta Is a Little Silly, but Isabelle Huppert Is Insanely Good

Plus, Whiskey Cavalier season 1, Climax, The Hole in the Ground, Transit, and Better Things season 3 are all Certified Fresh.

by | February 28, 2019 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a friend fatale (Greta, featuring the voices of Isabelle Huppert and Chloë Grace Moretz) and a franchise finale (Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral, starring Tyler Perry and Cassi Davis). What are the critics saying?


Greta (2019) 60%

Almost 30 years ago, writer-director Neil Jordan won an Oscar for his screenplay for The Crying Game, and while he’s made great films since then, he’s never quite achieved that same level of success again, and the past several years have been quiet ones for him. This week, he returns to theaters with a thriller starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Academy Award nominee Isabelle Huppert. In Greta, Huppert plays the widow of the title, a French piano teacher who befriends — then gradually stalks and terrorizes — the wide-eyed young woman (Moretz) who discovers her lost purse on the subway and personally returns it to her. Critics say the film is knowingly over-the-top, which works to its advantage at times but undermines its effectiveness at others, and it’s buoyed by a committed performance from Huppert. It doesn’t quite establish itself as a campy guilty pleasure or a whole-hog horror film to satisfy fans looking for either of those things, but it’s twisty and a little demented, and Huppert is pretty convincing as a lonely nutcase. Then again, she can be pretty convincing in any role.


Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral (2019) 12%

Tyler Perry’s films have rarely struck a positive chord with critics, but they’ve typically been pretty reliable at the box office. That said, Perry is apparently ready to hang up his dress, as A Madea Family Funeral is reportedly the swan song for his titular matriarch. The story follows Madea and her kin as they travel to rural Georgia, where preparations for a funeral take place and long-kept secrets threaten to reveal themselves. We’d love to tell you what reviews have been saying about the film, but like previous entries in the Madea franchise, this wasn’t screened early for critics. With that in mind, it’s time to play Guess the Tomatometer!


What’s New on TV

Better Things: Season 3 (2019) 100%

Pamela Adlon fully asserts her authorial voice over Better Things in a triumphant third season that examines the exhaustion of motherhood with exhilarating artistry.


Whiskey Cavalier: Season 1 (2019) 78%

Fun, feisty, and fueled by the chemistry between its charismatic leads, Whiskey Cavalier overcomes its familiar structure to deliver an attractive take on a well-worn formula.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Apollo 11 (2019) , a documentary charting the 1969 mission to the moon, is at 100%.
  • Sharkwater Extinction (2019) , a documentary exposé of the illegal shark fin industry, is at 100%.
  • The Sower (Le semeur) (2019) , a drama about a 19th century village of abandoned women who vow to share the first man to come along, is at 100%.
  • Transit (2019) , a wartime drama about a German refugee who falls in love with the widow of the man whose identity he has assumed, is Certified Fresh at 95%.
  • Giant Little Ones (2019) , about a popular high schooler struggling with his sexual identity, is at 93%.
  • Woman at War (Kona fer í stríð) (2019) , about an otherwise unremarkable woman who secretly operates as a disruptive environmental activist, is at 92%.
  • Styx (2019) , about a doctor on a solo sailing trip who faces tough choices when she comes upon a sinking fishing boat, is at 92%.
  • The Hole in the Ground (2019) , a horror film about a young boy who vanishes in the woods and returns changed, is Certified Fresh at 87%.
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) , Chiwetel Ejiofor‘s directorial debut based on the true story of a Malawian teen who helped save his village from drought, is at 85%.
  • Climax (2019) , Gaspar Noé‘s hallucinatory nightmare about a dance rehearsal that devolves into chaos when the dancers inadvertently ingest acid, is Certified Fresh at 82%.
  • Virginia Minnesota (2019) , about two young women on a road trip back to the girls’ home where they were raised, is at 80%.
  • The Hours and Times (2019) , a fictional account of an April 1963 weekend that John Lennon and Beatles manager Brian Epstein spent together, is at 78%.
  • Level 16 (2019) , a thriller about two girls at a mysterious boarding school who set out to discover the truth behind their confinement, is at 71%.
  • The Wedding Guest (2019) , starring Dev Patel in Michael Winterbottom‘s thriller about a man who attends a wedding in Pakistan with the intent of kidnapping the bride, is at 47%.
  • Saint Judy (2019) , starring Michelle Monaghan in the true story of a woman who fought to change American asylum law, is at 44%.
  • Mapplethorpe (2019) , starring Matt Smith in a biopic of the controversial photographer, is at 36%.

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