Critics Consensus

The Kid Who Would Be King Is a Fun, Family-Friendly Fantasy

Plus, Serenity is bonkers and Stan & Ollie and The Image Book are Certified Fresh.

by | January 24, 2019 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a first-rate fantasy (The Kid Who Would Be King, starring Louis Ashbourne Serkis and Patrick Stewart), a nutty noir (Serenity, starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway), and a dynamic duo (Stan & Ollie, starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly). What are the critics saying?

The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) 89%

A lot of classic tales are being rebooted these days, and it was just last year that we got something of a misguided attempt to revive the legend of King Arthur, thanks to Guy Ritchie. Maybe the trick was to modernize the story, age it down by a decade or so, and give it a Goonies vibe. At least, that’s what writer-director Joe Cornish (Attack the Block) thought, and it seems to have paid off. Louis Ashbourne Serkis (son of Andy) stars as ordinary kid Alex, who stumbles upon the mythical sword Excalibur and finds himself thrust with his friends into a legendary, centuries-old battle against evil. Critics say The Kid Who Would Be King is a joyful, good-natured reimagining of the Arthurian legend that manages to hit the right notes and remain entertaining throughout for all ages. It also tackles a few grown-up issues deftly without being heavy-handed, so there’s a little something for everyone.

Serenity (2019) 20%

It takes more than the involvement of a few top-notch actors to make a movie work, as we’ve seen time and again over the years, but it’s frequently difficult to pin down why a movie full of them might fail to make the most of their talents. In the case of Serenity, the reunion of Interstellar co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway apparently isn’t enough to overcome what amounts to a mind-boggling story. McConaughey stars as a charter boat captain with a troubled past whose ex-wife (Hathaway) suddenly shows up on his idyllic island and enlists his aid in disposing of her abusive new husband. Not everything is as it seems, of course, and the film’s noir elements give way to far more outrageous developments. Critics say Serenity is an ambitious outing for writer-director Steven Knight, but its ballsy narrative turns are a bit much to digest. This may be a case where you have to see it for yourself to believe it, but you may find yourself scratching your head as you leave the theater.

Stan & Ollie (2019) 92%

Expanding to wide release this week is a film industry-adjacent biopic that opened in just a few theaters a few weeks ago at the end of 2018. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly star in Stan & Ollie, a look back at the twilight years of the famous comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. Set in the 1950s, the story follows the pair as they embark on a British music hall tour and attempt to put together their final film. Along the way, old resentments resurface and drive a wedge between them, even as they commit themselves to their public obligations on the tour. Critics say Stan & Ollie is a worthy tribute to the legendary comedians, bolstered by strong performances from Coogan and Reilly and a script that treats the movie’s core relationship thoughtfully and with tenderness.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

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