Critics Consensus

Paddington 2 Is Certified Fresh

Plus, The Post is also Certified Fresh, The Commuter is undemanding action, and Proud Mary wasn't screened for critics.

by | January 11, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have a Certified Fresh talking bear (Paddington 2, starring Ben Whishaw and Hugh Grant), an all-star salute to high-stakes journalism (The Post, starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep), Liam Neeson‘s long, violent ride home (The Commuter, co-starring Vera Farmiga), and an assassin with a pint-sized problem (Proud Mary, starring Taraji P. Henson). What are the critics saying?

Paddington 2 (2018) 100%

For decades, taking one’s children to the movies was often a devil’s bargain — in exchange for a couple hours of keeping the kids entertained, parents had to pay to sit through lowest-common-denominator pictures that were often little more than toy commercials with thuddingly obvious moral messages. Things have clearly improved quite a bit over the last couple of decades, but even by the inflated standards of modern family-friendly entertainment, Paddington 2 is a big winner: critics have been universal in their acclaim for the fuzzy little guy’s second big-screen outing, applauding the way it holds fast to the sweet spirit of the books while uniting a terrific cast (including a scene-stealing Hugh Grant) for an adventure that’s truly fun for all ages. If you’re thinking about a trip to the cineplex with the family this weekend, your best bet is a little brown bear who hails from darkest Peru.

The Post (2018) 88%

The movies are great for mindless entertainment, but sometimes we head out to the theater in search of a viewing experience that tells us something about the world — and for those moments, the names Hanks, Streep, and Spielberg are generally fairly reliable indicators that we’re about to get maximum bang for our filmgoing buck. Put the three of ’em together, and what have you got? This weekend’s The Post, a period political thriller that wrings timely resonance out of the real-life journalistic drama over whether (and where) to publish the Pentagon Papers. Hanks stars as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, Streep works her reliable magic as the paper’s publisher Kay Graham, and Spielberg ringleads the way only Spielberg can; unsurprisingly, critics are pretty worked up about the end results, which are perfectly calibrated to make audiences feel good about freedom of the press at a moment when the importance of the Fourth Estate has been thrown into stark relief. Like a lot of things these days, The Post seems destined to spark plenty of political debate, but underneath all the noise, it’s also a solid, old-fashioned, grown-up drama. Plan your ticket-buying accordingly.

The Commuter (2018) 56%

Once upon a time, the idea of Liam Neeson whooping bad guy butt in an action movie seemed ludicrous — but then came Taken, which opened an unexpected second career for the onetime arthouse mainstay. With this weekend’s The Commuter, Neeson reunites with director Jaume Collet-Serra, who helmed his previous action outings Unknown, Non-Stop, and Run All Night; this time out, the duo tell the tale of an insurance salesman lured by a mysterious stranger into a deadly conspiracy during his train ride home. If you’ve seen this kind of thing before — and you almost certainly have — there’s still a certain pleasure in seeing it delivered by professionals, and critics say The Commuter definitely fits that bill. If it isn’t the most original or exciting action movie ever sent to theaters, it still does its job more often than not — and it’s hard to argue with the cast, which surrounds Neeson with a group of seasoned veterans that includes Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Elizabeth McGovern, and Sam Neill. You probably won’t miss anything by waiting for its arrival on the home market, but if solidly undemanding action fare is what you’re in the mood for, The Commuter should get you there painlessly enough.

Proud Mary (2018) 26%

Liam Neeson isn’t the only acclaimed veteran anchoring an action movie this weekend. That honor also goes to Taraji P. Henson, who stars in Proud Mary as a hitwoman (named Mary, natch) whose life of crime goes sideways after she crosses paths with a boy orphaned while she was in the line of duty. Henson’s got more than enough talent to shoulder a shoot-’em-up, and director Babak Najafi demonstrated his action chops while helming 2016’s London Has Fallen — but unfortunately, we can only guess at what critics will think of the end result, because Proud Mary wasn’t screened in advance. Until those reviews start coming in, the big wheel will keep on turnin’, so let’s start rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on a game of Guess the Tomatometer!

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • What Lies Upstream (2018) , a documentary about the United States public water supply, is at 100 percent.
  • The Insult (L'insulte) (2018) , a Beirut-set drama about two men from different backgrounds on opposite sides of a legal conflict, is at 95 percent.
  • Saturday Church (2018) , a drama about a teen boy exploring his gender identity while struggling to fit in at home, is at 88 percent.
  • Dim the Fluorescents (2018) , about an actor and playwright whose friendship is pushed to its limits by a high-pressure corporate gig, is at 88 percent.
  • Lover For A Day (L'amant d'un jour) (2018) , about a woman in her early 20s who finds herself living with her father and his much younger girlfriend, is at 86 percent.
  • Vazante (2018) , a Brazilian drama about a girl forced to marry her aunt’s slave trader husband, is at 82 percent.
  • My Art (2018) , starring writer/director Laurie Simmons as a woman who embarks on an artistic journey of self-discovery, is at 63 percent.
  • Abe & Phil's Last Poker Game (2018) , starring Martin Landau and Paul Sorvino as two men who strike up an unlikely — and soon to be tested — friendship inside an assisted living facility, is at 57 percent.
  • Inside (2018) , a horror remake about a widowed expectant mother in for the fight of her (and her unborn baby’s) life, is at 50 percent.
  • Freak Show (2018) , in which a young man decides to run for homecoming queen of his high school, is at 38 percent.

Tag Cloud

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