Critics Consensus

Suicide Squad Shoots Itself in the Foot

Plus Nine Lives wasn't screened for critics, and The Little Prince is Certified Fresh.

by | August 4, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a team of villains (Suicide Squad, starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie) and a man in a cat’s body (Nine Lives, starring Kevin Spacey and Jennifer Garner). What do the critics have to say?

Suicide Squad (2016) 27%

Everyone wants their own shared cinematic universe these days, and on paper, Warner Bros. has a better shot than most, but their DC Extended Universe — DCEU for short, natch — has had a bumpy early go of it. Suicide Squad  was supposed to be the movie that finally turned things around, with a killer cast (including Viola Davis, Margot Robbie, Will Smith, and Jared Leto) and an entertaining premise assembling a team of superpowered villains to save the world from an even greater threat. Unfortunately, the DCEU remains DOA among critics; while more than a few reviews spare some kind words for the performances (particularly Robbie and Smith’s) and the welcome influx of humor, none of it’s enough to rescue what most scribes describe as a muddled, mind-numbingly over-the-top, and overall unpleasant affair. Diehard fans may find a few fun set pieces among the noisy wreckage, but on the whole, it’s hard to see much more than missed opportunities here.

Nine Lives (2016) 14%

It’s been an awfully long time since Hollywood gave us a good old-fashioned heartwarming comedy about a person whose spirit gets trapped in the body of an animal, and we’d love to be able to tell you that this weekend’s Nine Lives — starring Kevin Spacey as a billionaire whose consciousness ends up in a cat — lives up to the time-honored standard set by the classics of the genre. Alas, the picture hasn’t been screened for critics, so you know what that means: it’s time to Guess the Tomatometer!

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Little Men (2016) , about a friendship between two boys that’s threatened by a conflict between their parents, is at 95 percent.
  • The Little Prince (2016) , an animated adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic tale featuring voice performances by Rachel McAdams and Jeff Bridges, is Certified Fresh at 93 percent.
  • Neither Heaven nor Earth (Ni le ciel ni la terre) (2016) , about a troop of soldiers targeted by a mysterious threat in Afghanistan, is at 93 percent.
  • Richard Linklater: Dream Is Destiny (2016) , a documentary portrait of the director of Boyhood and Dazed and Confused, is at 91 percent.
  • Sun Choke (2016) , about the troubling aftermath of a woman’s nervous breakdown, is at 87 percent.
  • Citizen Soldier (2016) , a documentary offering a soldier’s-eye view of modern warfare in the Middle East, is at 80 percent.
  • The Tenth Man (El rey del Once) (2016) , which explores the fraught parent-child dynamic through a narrative set against a religious backdrop, is at 78 percent.
  • The Mind's Eye (2016) , about a pair of people with psychokinetic powers on the run from an unscrupulous doctor, is at 73 percent.
  • Five Nights in Maine (2016) , starring David Oyelowo and Dianne Wiest in a drama about a grieving man who visits his mother in law after his wife’s death in a car accident, is at 33 percent.

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