Critics Consensus

Now You See Me 2 Is all Smoke and Mirrors

Plus, Warcraft is a disappointing fantasy, and The Conjuring 2 is a spooky sequel.

by | June 9, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got rogue magicians (Now You See Me 2, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mark Ruffalo), a Horde of Orcs (Warcraft, starring Ben Foster and Paula Patton), and paranormal investigators (The Conjuring 2, starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson). What do the critics have to say?

Now You See Me 2 (2016) 33%

Now You See Me didn’t exactly inspire critical adulation when it arrived in theaters in 2013, but it made a lot of money — so now we have Now You See Me 2, which reunites most of the original’s showy cast while adding a few new faces for another magical heist filled with twists, turns, and double-crosses. The problem, according to most critics, is the same one that dogged the original — namely, that the movie is more interested in giving the appearance of a busy caper than actually making sense. If it’s a talented onscreen assemblage you’re after, Now You See Me 2 offers this weekend’s biggest bang for your buck, but for genuine cinematic magic, the pundits suggest looking elsewhere.

Warcraft (2016) 28%

It isn’t often that the critical establishment even bothers to feign interest in a video game adaptation — but then, most video game adaptations don’t have Warcraft‘s pedigree. With director Duncan Jones at the helm, this fantasy saga threatened to deliver more than just another exercise in franchise-building; alas, instead of offering filmgoers an experience as enchanting as its source material, critics say the Warcraft movie is a hollow shell of CGI eye candy with a narrative void at its center. Although Jones gets credit for assembling an impressive visual spectacle, his efforts aren’t enough to compensate for subpar acting, dense mythology, and a plodding plot — and in the end, Warcraft is one more in a long line of game-to-film journeys ending with a critical walk of shame.

The Conjuring 2 (2016) 80%

Director James Wan gave horror enthusiasts a Certified Fresh surprise with 2013’s The Conjuring, which used chilling restraint to tell a terrifically creepy tale drawn from the archives of real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. More than $300 million later, Wan is back — along with stars Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga — to offer another dramatization of the Warrens’ ghostbusting exploits. Although most critics can’t help but point out that this stuff isn’t quite as scary the second time around, they’re also quick to admit that Wan remains a deft genre filmmaker, and while The Conjuring 2 is subject to the laws of diminishing returns suggested by its title, it’s still got its share of suitably nasty scares.

What’s New on TV

Outcast: Season 1 (2016) 80%

A cut above average summer fare, Outcast provides the genuine chills one should — but often can’t — expect from television horror.

Maya & Marty: Season 1 (2016) 38%

Maya & Marty is a safer, weekday version of Saturday Night Live with little to recommend it other than Maya Rudolph and Martin Short‘s admittedly considerable charms.

Feed the Beast: Season 1 (2016) 23%

Feed the Beast‘s visual appeal isn’t enough to make up for predictable plotting, convoluted dialogue and unlikable characters.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

HBO Film Festival Anna Paquin Trivia renewed TV shows Mudbound tv talk BET Shondaland zero dark thirty transformers Quiz Cosplay singing competition witnail Logo Television Academy all-time TNT CW Seed DC streaming service Spectrum Originals Photos Kids & Family Hallmark scary movies First Look Avengers nfl HBO Go Extras stand-up comedy chucky crime thriller Nat Geo Character Guide MTV best Biopics Crunchyroll thriller Animation Disney streaming service BBC TIFF stoner SundanceTV OWN laika ABC Opinion Drama criterion politics universal monsters DC Comics strong female leads directors elevated horror Travel Channel movie Schedule Vudu The Walking Dead 2018 Musical adventure Awards Tour NYCC cinemax Creative Arts Emmys Star Trek USA Network ITV series anthology Mary Poppins Returns Set visit serial killer TCA Bravo Binge Guide nature Super Bowl harry potter The CW cops christmas movies Alien natural history theme song WGN Mary poppins spanish Emmys YouTube Sundance Now Musicals Western zombie comics critics Food Network Nickelodeon Turner medical drama sitcom streaming Valentine's Day Pet Sematary Family Film social media Netflix Stephen King psychological thriller technology Fox Searchlight casting CMT 2015 72 Emmy Awards TV Pride Month festivals Walt Disney Pictures Dark Horse Comics First Reviews what to watch ABC Family documentary Song of Ice and Fire indiana jones Marvel Studios halloween Comedy YA Pixar worst reviews football Lucasfilm kids Lifetime Polls and Games Reality Competition Syfy Elton John WarnerMedia Sony Pictures Oscars nbcuniversal werewolf hist El Rey dark Superheroes doctor who sag awards anime breaking bad movies 2017 cars Marvel finale Pop archives game show sports supernatural Captain marvel quibi BBC One dramedy fast and furious Chernobyl richard e. Grant cooking Marathons Discovery Channel Premiere Dates Action golden globes Holidays Podcast independent 2016 dc screen actors guild 99% rotten Hear Us Out romantic comedy Tubi Fox News Freeform Warner Bros. justice league Hulu TCA Awards hollywood Masterpiece Lionsgate deadpool 2020 comiccon james bond Columbia Pictures SXSW remakes Grammys crime drama TCA Winter 2020 4/20 Amazon cults CBS All Access Infographic The Purge Nominations Election 007 foreign Video Games Disney+ Disney Plus emmy awards Red Carpet adaptation BET Awards The Witch Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Winners green book child's play comedies YouTube Premium obituary FX on Hulu Trophy Talk Calendar Ghostbusters Netflix Christmas movies History versus children's TV Showtime TLC Apple Summer latino Britbox Star Wars Women's History Month joker Amazon Prime Video RT21 21st Century Fox Comic Book Writers Guild of America Arrowverse Acorn TV south america Universal Epix LGBTQ book SDCC DirecTV cancelled television biography documentaries Rom-Com Shudder Ellie Kemper BBC America blaxploitation award winner boxing disaster VOD news black TCM Amazon Studios NBC Disney Plus The Arrangement Fantasy CNN Paramount 24 frames Holiday New York Comic Con 20th Century Fox Toys cartoon FXX aliens Certified Fresh FX MCU stop motion spain YouTube Red Sundance PlayStation period drama venice VH1 Tarantino worst movies TruTV Mindy Kaling boxoffice Funimation ghosts Year in Review ESPN cancelled See It Skip It X-Men parents Apple TV Plus mockumentary concert travel Lifetime Christmas movies canceled TV shows 2019 crime A24 Martial Arts Amazon Prime satire GoT Marvel Television teaser TV Land PBS Cannes Countdown LGBT TCA 2017 Cartoon Network Mystery AMC reboot based on movie vampires Pirates BAFTA Television Critics Association video Teen President spider-man romance superhero Baby Yoda Box Office Classic Film Disney Channel television Music Mary Tyler Moore rt archives docudrama Tomatazos historical drama screenings crossover films Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Hallmark Christmas movies toronto Disney indie National Geographic sequels Thanksgiving french jamie lee curtis animated Winter TV GLAAD Spike Best and Worst Heroines DGA scorecard Sci-Fi DC Universe Ovation Reality classics talk show Tumblr Starz psycho TBS Rock Comics on TV a nightmare on elm street The Academy dceu spinoff HBO Max Spring TV Pop TV Brie Larson halloween tv PaleyFest Sneak Peek facebook comic toy story australia Apple TV+ Comedy Central TV renewals italian cancelled TV series comic books Watching Series game of thrones true crime MSNBC Adult Swim dragons franchise revenge space Esquire Academy Awards japanese VICE Horror binge Paramount Network 45 Interview hispanic Emmy Nominations mutant 71st Emmy Awards mission: impossible Rocky USA Fall TV war Crackle American Society of Cinematographers Black Mirror FOX blockbuster Sundance TV Trailer composers asian-american canceled Rocketman video on demand ratings CBS discovery political drama miniseries sequel Awards die hard spy thriller Peacock ID name the review IFC slashers Endgame batman GIFs zombies spanish language OneApp San Diego Comic-Con Christmas cats E3 free movies robots Turner Classic Movies Superheroe twilight APB rotten movies we love A&E festival E! cancelled TV shows police drama Black History Month fresh dogs IFC Films science fiction RT History Country diversity unscripted