Critics Consensus

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Probably Shouldn't Have Gone Back

Plus, Ouija: Origin of Evil is a vastly superior sequel, Keeping Up with the Joneses is a dud, and Black Mirror is masterful dystopian storytelling.

by | October 20, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we have the return of Jack Reacher (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, starring Tom Cruise and Cobie Smulders) a board game prequel (Ouija: Origin of Evil, starring Lulu Wilson and Elizabeth Reaser), a suburban spy comedy (Keeping Up with the Joneses, starring Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher), and Tyler Perry‘s latest drag (Boo! A Madea Halloween, starring Perry and Cassi Davis). What are the critics saying?

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) 37%

The first Jack Reacher wasn’t exactly a critical darling in 2012, but it had a slew of bestselling books just waiting to inspire sequels — and more importantly, a hefty enough worldwide gross to justify the expenditure — so Tom Cruise comes sprinting back into action this weekend with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Unsurprisingly, critics are even less enthused this time around, and reviews describe Reacher’s second big-screen outing about the way you’d expect; although Cruise remains an aggressively watchable presence and Cobie Smulders makes for a fine co-star, the boilerplate plot (and the absence of Werner Herzog, who played the first film’s villain) adds up to a sequel that struggles to (ahem) reach its predecessor’s rather low bar. See it if you’re itching for action this weekend, but temper your expectations accordingly.

Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) 82%

Speaking of sequels to movies that didn’t inspire much in the way of critical applause, here’s Ouija: Origin of Evil. The 2014 original racked up a pitiful 7 percent on the Tomatometer — but it also made more than $100 million against a budget of $5 million, so a follow-up was a foregone conclusion. Few might have guessed, however, the critical reversal of fortune enjoyed by this new installment, which is garnering some of the best reviews earned by any horror movie this year. Although a number of writers have pointed out that Origin of Evil isn’t anywhere near the scariest or most original movie in its genre, they’re just as quick to praise director Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Hush), whose skill helps make this not only better than its predecessor, but solidly entertaining in its own right.

Keeping Up With The Joneses (2016) 20%

Are you an impassioned fan of Jon Hamm, Gal Gadot, Isla Fisher, or Zach Galifianakis? Have you ever stopped to consider the hilarity that might ensue if a couple of secret agents moved in next door to a pair of bored suburbanites? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, then Keeping Up with the Joneses might be just the movie for you — but otherwise, the vast majority of critics are urging you to give this putative comedy a wide berth. Reviews say the cast gives it their all, but they’re consistently let down by Greg Mottola‘s listless direction and an uninspired script. If you’re in the mood to watch any or all of these stars, you’ll probably be far better served by queuing up one of their many superior efforts.

Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween (2016) 19%

Last but not least, we have Boo! A Madea Halloween, writer-director Tyler Perry’s ninth outing as the titular tough matriarch. This time around, she’s apparently facing off against an array of paranormal entities — all while dealing with some juvenile delinquents. Unfortunately, because it wasn’t screened in advance, that’s all we can tell you… and you know what that means: it’s time to Guess the Tomatometer!

What’s New on TV


Black Mirror: Season 3 (2014) 86%

Black Mirror answers the call for a larger season with half a dozen solid episodes that prove Charlie Brooker remains a masterful dystopian storyteller.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again (2016) 28%

Laverne Cox‘s fabulous portrayal of Frank N. Furter leads a strong ensemble effort, but the stars can’t infuse this reimagining with enough energy, creativity, and quirk to make TRHPS: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again a worthwhile endeavor.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • A Stray (2016) , about the travails of a homeless Muslim teen in Minneapolis, is at 100 percent.
  • We Are X (2016) , a documentary look at the wildly popular band X Japan on the eve of a long-awaited reunion, is at 100 percent.
  • Moonlight (2016) , a gently probing look at one man’s search for meaning across several stages of his life, is Certified Fresh at 98 percent.
  • Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare) (2016) , a documentary about the humanitarian crisis unfolding in and around the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, is at 98 percent.
  • The Handmaiden (Ah-ga-ssi) (2016) , director Park Chan-wook‘s period drama inspired by the Sarah Waters novel Fingersmith, is Certified Fresh at 93 percent.
  • Creepy (Kuripi: Itsuwari no rinjin) (2016) , which marks writer-director Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s return to the thriller, is at 92 percent.
  • In a Valley of Violence (2016) , director Ti West‘s affectionately faithful take on the Western genre, is at 78 percent.
  • King Cobra (2016) , about the potentially deadly competition that erupts over the services of a gay porn star, is at 56 percent.
  • The Beat Beneath My Feet (2016) , starring Luke Perry as a former rock star hiding out in suburbia after faking his death to avoid the IRS, is at 50 percent.
  • 31 (2016) , the latest luridly violent outing from director Rob Zombie, is at 46 percent.
  • Michael Moore In TrumpLand (2016) , the veteran documentarian’s attempt to sway voters in the 2016 presidential election, is at 43 percent.
  • The Whole Truth (2016) , a courtroom drama starring Keanu Reeves and Renee Zellweger, is at 21 percent.
  • Autumn Lights (2016) , about an American photographer’s fateful meeting with a pair of strangers in Iceland, is at 20 percent.
  • Jacqueline Argentine (2016) , about the aftermath of a woman’s alleged leak of state secrets, is at 20 percent.
  • American Pastoral (2016) , debuting director Ewan McGregor‘s adaptation of the 1997 Philip Roth novel, is at 17 percent.

Tag Cloud

movies Rock Comic Book El Rey TLC Discovery Channel Cartoon Network Walt Disney Pictures Showtime Stephen King Disney streaming service universal monsters medical drama Netflix Christmas movies spinoff Funimation comic Turner Classic Movies Pop PBS Mindy Kaling Fantasy TCA 2017 cops ABC Crackle Endgame 2017 Song of Ice and Fire historical drama APB Reality Competition Hulu Avengers Interview 2015 travel Marathons transformers Sony Pictures Country TIFF robots President Amazon Studios Musicals spy thriller RT21 cartoon Dark Horse Comics natural history crime thriller Video Games FX 007 DC Comics BBC 2016 renewed TV shows CMT E3 Superheroes breaking bad rotten Acorn TV cancelled franchise TCM festivals Pet Sematary foreign Rocketman Disney+ Disney Plus Holidays Tubi Red Carpet indie Amazon Prime aliens Cosplay Pixar DC Universe adventure discovery History TNT Marvel Television Ovation concert revenge Heroines halloween Apple Film Festival stop motion canceled TV shows Apple TV Plus reviews true crime Warner Bros. Lucasfilm mutant 72 Emmy Awards The Witch obituary crime GoT 4/20 TBS cults Certified Fresh psychological thriller Pirates documentary crossover game of thrones boxoffice hollywood emmy awards worst comics indiana jones Creative Arts Emmys jamie lee curtis IFC Films Women's History Month free movies elevated horror nature television finale VH1 Trailer Character Guide news a nightmare on elm street blaxploitation anthology cooking DGA Hallmark Christmas movies Lionsgate Rocky romance Turner Drama Set visit christmas movies Extras political drama Spring TV BBC One streaming romantic comedy ITV Logo diversity chucky HBO Go Tomatazos 20th Century Fox Lifetime Christmas movies sequel child's play dogs Polls and Games video on demand sitcom Podcast hist Watching Series SundanceTV Columbia Pictures docudrama mockumentary Comedy Marvel TV Land cars Mudbound Music canceled Tumblr vampires TCA Winter 2020 war biography dceu binge dragons FX on Hulu Winter TV name the review police drama Pride Month Premiere Dates Masterpiece Classic Film zombies Esquire Countdown First Look thriller fast and furious WGN FXX Disney DC streaming service dc Food Network American Society of Cinematographers talk show Emmy Nominations Cannes period drama Britbox cancelled TV series spider-man tv talk GLAAD National Geographic Pop TV Crunchyroll Western Mary Tyler Moore richard e. Grant GIFs comedies Quiz Binge Guide children's TV nbcuniversal VICE Starz hispanic The Walking Dead green book Nominations MSNBC LGBT Arrowverse E! Spike stand-up comedy Apple TV+ Peacock The Arrangement DirecTV game show 2020 series adaptation Writers Guild of America 21st Century Fox zero dark thirty Biopics Chilling Adventures of Sabrina sag awards what to watch sports The CW PlayStation harry potter justice league Comics on TV award winner serial killer TCA Lifetime BAFTA animated NYCC Sci-Fi Anna Paquin dark Kids & Family cancelled television X-Men Hear Us Out Best and Worst YouTube Red joker Netflix Brie Larson batman Comedy Central Adult Swim Election YouTube Premium disaster blockbuster rotten movies we love latino AMC Trivia TV Television Academy See It Skip It best Sundance TV NBC singing competition screen actors guild Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Syfy SDCC 2018 Universal cats CBS All Access Winners miniseries Trophy Talk psycho RT History toy story Grammys theme song Horror Rom-Com MCU Holiday asian-american all-time First Reviews science fiction Disney Plus Oscars A24 laika LGBTQ technology San Diego Comic-Con Valentine's Day scary movies Black Mirror witnail Bravo versus Mary Poppins Returns TV renewals movie video supernatural Superheroe Fox News documentaries Thanksgiving ESPN Musical Year in Review Animation CBS HBO Black History Month book comiccon Sneak Peek criterion Freeform directors Awards ratings Television Critics Association 45 Star Wars 24 frames critics CNN twilight FOX politics Martial Arts zombie Tarantino New York Comic Con composers Christmas Chernobyl ghosts Reality OneApp Epix spanish language independent Amazon doctor who Action USA Infographic Sundance 2019 Shudder CW Seed dramedy screenings Toys Fall TV classics Amazon Prime Video Super Bowl Captain marvel The Purge films strong female leads HBO Max south america crime drama IFC parents TruTV social media 71st Emmy Awards Emmys Ghostbusters superhero die hard Awards Tour satire teaser cinemax Mystery Box Office Travel Channel Paramount Network WarnerMedia cancelled TV shows spain Marvel Studios mission: impossible Academy Awards reboot PaleyFest Ellie Kemper OWN BBC America Paramount TCA Awards unscripted BET Awards Star Trek quibi YA VOD YouTube space stoner Vudu Spectrum Originals Opinion Summer A&E Baby Yoda Nickelodeon casting USA Network Film Mary poppins Hallmark Shondaland Calendar Sundance Now SXSW Elton John facebook Nat Geo ABC Family Family anime MTV slashers Teen golden globes Disney Channel Schedule BET Photos based on movie kids werewolf