Critics Consensus

X-Men: Apocalypse Is a So-So Superhero Slugfest

Plus, Alice Through the Looking Glass is short on magic, and Roots is profoundly powerful.

by and | May 26, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got mutant mayhem (X-Men: Apocalypse, starring James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) and a return to Wonderland (Alice Through the Looking Glass, starring Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp). What do the critics have to say?


X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) 47%

The X-Men series has been through a reboot and a couple of spinoff franchises at this point, and all that history is a bit of a mixed blessing — on the one hand, it’s that much easier for each new entry to take advantage of the team’s decades of history in print; on the other, it gets progressively more difficult to do justice to each character as the cast and crowded mythology expand. Sadly, although it tries to honor the comics by bringing a key villain’s saga to life, critics say X-Men: Apocalypse stumbles under the weight of a muddled storyline that can’t fully do justice to its core components — and eventually falls back on the CGI Sturm und Drang that has reduced far too many superhero sequels to digital noise in the final act.


Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) 29%

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland had a great cast and incredible special effects, but it wasn’t exactly a critical darling. Lukewarm reviews notwithstanding, it made an absolute ton of money worldwide — which is why, even though Burton’s no longer in the director’s chair, Alice Through the Looking Glass was a foregone conclusion. Alas, although the core members of the cast are back (including Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp, and Anne Hathaway), critics say new director James Bobin brings even less of the source material’s delightful whimsy to this follow-up, sacrificing Lewis Carroll’s classic stories on a brightly colored altar of computer-generated chaos.


What’s Hot on TV

Roots: Miniseries (2016) 96%

A powerfully impressive — and still relevant — update on a television classic, Roots boasts remarkable performances, deep emotion, and occasionally jarring beauty.


All the Way (2016) 88%

Anchored by Bryan Cranston‘s phenomenal performance as LBJ, All the Way is an engrossing portrayal of a complicated man during a pivotal moment in US history.


Wayward Pines: Season 2 (2016) 43%

Wayward Pines drifts away from the intrigue and mystery established during its debut season, slipping into a dull, repetitive, and trite narrative.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Lasseter's Bones (2016) , a documentary about an 85-year-old man searching the desert for a treasure his father claimed to have found in 1931, is at 100 percent.
  • Presenting Princess Shaw (2016) , a documentary about the retirement home employee who became a YouTube star, is at 89 percent.
  • Jia Zhangke, a Guy from Fenyang (2016) , a documentary about the celebrated Chinese filmmaker, is at 80 percent.
  • Chevalier (2016) , a dramedy about six well-heeled Greeks aboard a boat who engage in an ill-defined but heated competition, is at 77 percent.
  • The Ones Below (2016) , starring Clémence Poésy and David Morrissey in a thriller about the twisted relationships between two couples in the same apartment building, is at 74 percent.
  • Unlocking the Cage (2016) , a documentary about attorney Steven Wise and his attempt to get legal protection for animals, is at 71 percent.
  • The Idol (Ya Tayr El Tayer) (2016) , a fictionalized retelling of Palestinian Muhammad Assaf’s attention-grabbing run on Arab Idol, is at 71 percent.
  • To Life (À la vie) (2016) , a drama about three Holocaust survivors who reunite years later at a French seaside town, is at 60 percent.
  • Holy Hell (2016) , a documentary about a man who spent nearly 25 years as the videographer for a cult, is at 58 percent.

Tag Cloud

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