UK Critics Consensus: Was W. Wicked? Is Pride & Glory Proud and Glorious?

Plus; Easy Virtue, Does Biel Appeal?

by | November 7, 2008 | Comments

This week in the UK cinemas we have Oliver Stone’s latest presidential dissection, the George W. Bush biopic W. with Josh Brolin in the title role. Also out is Pride & Glory, a US cop thriller with a stellar cast, and an adaptation of the Noel Coward play, Easy Virtue, starring Jessica Biel and British stalwart Colin Firth. But what did the UK critics have to say?

In a momentous and historical week when the USA got shot of President Bush and replaced him with a newer, shinier model, Oliver Stone’s latest film W. hits the UK cinema screens with some mischievous scheduling at play. Never shy of making incendiary political pictures, this is Stone’s third presidential picture, following JFK (84% on the Tomatometer) and Nixon (74% on the Tomatometer), but where does W. stand in comparison? At a rather bland, almost Fresh but not quite, 57% on the Tomatometer, it seems that W. doesn’t quite stand shoulder to shoulder with Stones previous political polemics. The critics enjoyed the performances in the film, with Josh Brolin being tipped for honours in the award season, and the stellar supporting cast putting in quality turns.

Reviewers also applauded the films warmth, humour and honesty in its portrayal of a man who, rather than being the embodiment of imperialist evil, was actually simply out of his depth. This approach angered others however, with many grumbling at Stone’s apparently toothless and even handed approach to the subject. The director was accused of pulling his punches with a flippant and neutral film that many are calling a missed opportunity. Made on a shoestring budget, and rushed out to meet its election time scheduling, the film has also been derided for its cheap production values and throwaway nature. So not classic Stone then; and another example of his fading powers perhaps?

Pride & Glory is a cop procedural that brings together two of modern cinema’s more enigmatic and possibly problematic stars; Edward Norton and Colin Farrell. Norton’s last film was Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk reboot (a decent 67% on the Tomatometer), and Farrell has had a mixed year so far with the disappointing Woody Allen flick Cassandra’s Dream (49%) and the hilarious In Bruges (81% on the Tomatometer). So how would they do when they share the screen in Pride and Glory? Not very well as it turned out. At a measly 35% Pride and Glory has been dismissed by the critics for being a cliché ridden, predictable and hackneyed picture despite a decent turn from Edward Norton. Macho, derivative, generic and unforgivable are just some of the many adjectives used by the hacks to describe Pride and Glory, which means the film shouldn’t be proud, or expect to bathe in any glory at all.

Easy Virtue is a big screen adaptation of the Noel Coward play of the same name, which recently showed at the London Film Festival. Starring the stunning Jessica Biel as Larita, the glamorous American bride recently married to Ben Barnes‘ English gent John Whittaker, who is brought to 1920s England to meet the stuffy parents. Some critics enjoyed the films fizzy and breezy tone, along with performances from the stars who deliver the witty dialogue with playful ease. Others however were less amused, slamming the film for its lack of laughs, heavy-handed approach to the source material, and its smug and irksome soundtrack, which may have been better suited to the small screen. Currently standing at 53% on the Tomatometer, Easy Virtue has not been given an easy ride by the UK critics.

Also worth checking out this week…

Let’s Talk About The Rain — A loose and subtle French ensemble comedy of manners with solid performances and a few witty one liners. 77% on the Tomatometer.

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest Of Spies – This clever spy spoof plays politics and movie conventions for laughs and features a great turn by Jean Dujardin as a smarmy-suave nouveau-Bond. 76% on the Tomatometer.

Quote Of The Week

“A detonation of flatulent, macho-sentimental gibberish is what this ugly and violent film positively farts out of the screen at you.”

Pride And Glory. Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

Tag Cloud

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