Critics Consensus

Jason Bourne Thrills but Lacks Identity

Plus, Bad Moms is raucous but uneven, and Nerve is fitfully twisty.

by | July 28, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ll spend some time with a revenant spy (Jason Bourne, starring Matt Damon and Alicia Vikander), misbehaving mothers (Bad Moms, starring Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell), and a dangerous game (Nerve, starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco). What do the critics have to say?

Jason Bourne (2016) 54%

Death and taxes are often said to be life’s only inevitabilities, but in Hollywood, we’ve just about reached the point where we can add sequels to that list (and possibly ranked higher than taxes, but that’s a discussion for another day). This weekend’s Jason Bourne is the latest proof of that principle in action, bringing Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass back to the Ludlum-derived spy franchise nearly a decade after they swore they were finished with it — and unfortunately, quite a few critics say they should have left well enough alone. Where the original trilogy injected the espionage thriller genre with fresh visual kinetics and a satisfyingly complex post-Cold War perspective, this Bourne is content to play a variation on its predecessors’ themes, sending Damon’s titular ex-amnesiac assassin back into the breach for another round of globetrotting action that feels disappointingly similar. While watching Damon beat up bad guys still remains a fairly good time at the movies, reviews suggest this is one series that may have given us one sequel too many.

Bad Moms (2016) 58%

After decades of treating every non-rom-com genre as almost exclusively the dudes’ domain, Hollywood finally seems to be waking up to the idea that women can carry movies too, and that long-overdue transition makes it tempting to root for any movie that gives a traditionally male-centric premise a distaff twist — which is one reason why more than a few critics have admitted they had high hopes for Bad Moms. Starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn as suburbanites who shake off the social strictures of the minivan elite and bawdily embrace maternal imperfection, this raunchy comedy offers its stars a too-rare opportunity to indulge in the type of humor that usually goes to the bros, and reviews describe a movie that’s engaging even if it’s something less than the sum of its parts. Writer-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore obviously mean well, say the pundits, but considering the talent assembled, the end result should have been more consistent and far more daring; still, for filmgoers seeking a fun night out, Bad Moms should be worth the price of a ticket.

Nerve (2016) 67%

Anyone who’s ever felt the giddy rush of a social media like, retweet, or celebrity follow understands the lure of online acceptance — and how easy it is to get caught up in chasing its addictive lure. Nerve, the latest effort from Catfish directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, uses that craving as the springboard for a techno-driven teen thriller about a shy high school student (Emma Roberts) whose ordinary life is enlivened when she starts using an app that offers virtual notoriety (and real-world riches) in exchange for accepting crowd-sourced dares — and she soon finds herself snared in a sinister web of strangers’ demands. Critics say that although it’s arguably more compelling for the tween set, Roberts and co-star Dave Franco have an easy chemistry that adds an extra spark to the story’s timely themes, and Schulman and Joost direct the proceedings with plenty of visual flair. While few reviews argue it’s among the most thought-provoking cinematic statements on its subject, Nerve holds up as a generally agreeable mid-summer diversion.

What’s Hot on TV


Stranger Things: Season 1 (2016) 97%

Exciting, heartbreaking, and sometimes scary, Stranger Things acts as an addictive homage to Spielberg films and vintage 1980s television.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

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