Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Charlotte's Web" Is Good, Indeed; Smith Is Strong, "Pursuit" Less So; "Eragon" Gets Burned

by | December 14, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a barnyard full of talking animals ("Charlotte’s Web," starring Dakota Fanning and the voices of Julia Roberts and Robert Redford), a real-life rags-to-riches story ("The Pursuit of Happyness," starring Will Smith), and a tale of dragons and swordplay ("Eragon," starring Edward Speleers and Jeremy Irons). What do the critics have to say?

If there’s one thing critics can agree on with "Charlotte’s Web," it’s how much they all loved the children’s novel. If there’s another, it’s how much they like the big screen adaptation, about a bunch of talking farm animals and a pig saved by a very literate spider. Though some feared that the simple story would be modernized with the ironic and brash attitudes afflicting recent kid flicks, the pundits are in awe of the quiet, humble replication of E.B. White’s genteel and distinguished prose. Also, they really like Robert Redford doing the voice of Ike the wussy horse. At 89 percent Tomatometer, this is some movie, indeed.

"How about you and I cruise in my Power Wheels sometime?"

Will Smith has been in pursuit of an Oscar for a while, and with "The Pursuit of Happyness" the critics think this could be where he catches up with the Academy. Smith, as a homeless single father trying to climb the corporate ladder, is garnering widespread praise for his performance, though said praise isn’t quite being doled out upon the film itself. The critics are calling "Happyness" a slick Hallmark card of a movie, a bit too obsessed with the desire to inspire. At 56 percent on the Tomatometer, the critics are split on whether "Happyness" is worth it for Smith’s heartfelt presence alone.

"Once upon a time, in the Kingdom of Periodic Stock Dividends…"

Scribes have posited several excuses as to the overwhelming awfulness of "Eragon" (the movie’s source books were written by a teenager, it’s being directed by a first-timer, etc.), but few critics are terribly forgiving of the derivative plot. "Eragon" spins a tale of a peasant boy (Speleers) who is suddenly entrusted with a dragon and must, with the help of a mentor (Irons), train, grow strong, and defeat an evil emperor. The way the critics describe it, the makers of the "Star Wars"-esque"Eragon" should soon be expecting an annoyed phone call from George Lucas, though the movie’s current nine percent Tomatometer might be insult enough. (At the scene for "Eragon"’s London Premiere was RT-UK’s Joe Utichi; check out his writeup here.

"Wait, what movie are we from again?"

Also playing this week in limited release: Oscar hopeful "Dreamgirls," starring Beyonce Knowles, Jamie Foxx, and Eddie Murphy in the tale of a Motown group’s rise and fall, is at 83 percent (check out RT’s interview with co-star Jennifer Hudson here); "The Secret Life of Words," starring Tim Robbins and Sarah Polley in a tale of high drama on an oil rig, is at 80 percent; "Automatons," a zero-budget dystopian sci-fi flick, is at 67 percent; "Breaking and Entering," a story of the tangled webs weaved after a burglary starring Jude Law and Juliette Binoche, is at 48 percent; "The Good German," Steven Soderbergh’s "Casablanca"-esque drama set in post-WWII Berlin starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, is at 26 percent; and "Home of the Brave," about the trials of vets returning home from Iraq starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel, and 50 Cent, is at 15 percent.

"I’m giving the wardrobe guy the evil eye."

Recent Will Smith Movies:
69% — Hitch (2005)
35% — Shark Tale (2004)
59% — I, Robot (2004)
25% — Bad Boys II (2003)
38% — Men in Black II (2002)

Recent Dakota Fanning Movies:
63% — Dreamer (2005)
73% — Nine Lives (2005)
73% — War of the Worlds (2005)
13% — Hide and Seek (2005)
74% — In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)

Tag Cloud

Acorn TV telelvision Extras Paramount Pictures APB docuseries critic resources king arthur olympics NBC Warner Bros. scary documentaries Awards Tour Esquire gangster dark Peacock A24 based on movie BBC ABC Signature revenge CBS docudrama Tomatazos Endgame Spring TV Best Director miniseries Super Bowl Star Wars Celebration godzilla documentary reboot ratings Best Actor diversity SXSW 2022 BET Sundance Travel Channel crime thriller RT History fresh GIFs Character Guide Pacific Islander President Funimation worst Rocketman TV One book saw Grammys ABC Family YouTube Premium Election suspense golden globe awards Classic Film unscripted films 90s Pirates sequel Winter TV Hallmark Christmas movies monster movies blockbuster hispanic heritage month batman discovery LGBTQ Rom-Com cancelled TV series satire teaser sequels razzies Arrowverse Pride Month 2020 SXSW asian-american ViacomCBS VICE mob Best and Worst hollywood Turner Classic Movies movies game of thrones CNN 2018 singing competition robots CBS All Access vampires binge ghosts Showtime scorecard Fox News strong female leads critics X-Men Fargo Shudder The Purge streaming movies TCA Winter 2020 Tokyo Olympics dramedy mission: impossible criterion 2021 Crunchyroll South by Southwest Film Festival nbcuniversal Christmas 45 twilight spinoff Britbox television MTV dceu Mudbound Ellie Kemper green book Paramount Cannes serial killer Set visit stop motion Lifetime award winner new york directors tv talk south america golden globes Vudu new star wars movies HBO posters OneApp USA Network anime superman MCU action-comedy Sneak Peek Indigenous Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt slashers Best Actress sopranos kaiju werewolf crime drama concert Anna Paquin target halloween scene in color police drama Marvel Television cats Creative Arts Emmys Biopics comic book movie Rocky Emmys Oscars 94th Oscars USA Oscar Prime Video rt archives Spike know your critic scene in color film series FOX Watching Series ABC vs. emmy awards Exclusive Video RT21 canceled TV shows kong italian Freeform streamig french witnail quibi indiana jones Superheroe Chernobyl 99% all-time cancelled football The Walt Disney Company GoT Best Picture Paramount Network anthology 2015 20th Century Fox dogs high school video composers First Look Cartoon Network Disney+ Disney Plus Comics on TV The Walking Dead chucky TCA romance hidden camera TCA 2017 mockumentary sag awards Disney historical drama rt labs cancelled television political drama Amazon Prime Video japanese video on demand TCM richard e. Grant TIFF NYCC BBC America MGM Neflix DirecTV Film Festival hist Schedule christmas movies PlayStation Emmy Nominations Horror Spectrum Originals Mary Poppins Returns Western Elton John broadcast period drama Film worst movies El Rey AMC Plus TV obituary Summer spanish Hollywood Foreign Press Association cars screen actors guild sitcom Nat Geo politics jurassic park festivals Marvel trophy MSNBC Musicals First Reviews FXX YouTube Red comic books Fall TV Polls and Games royal family Walt Disney Pictures blaxploitation Drama ESPN psychological thriller pirates of the caribbean Universal Pictures crime kids animated canceled science fiction Writers Guild of America facebook Tumblr 4/20 Photos reviews movie 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Mindy Kaling jamie lee curtis streaming TruTV Trophy Talk nfl Country Instagram Live Pixar interviews zombies Certified Fresh Broadway rotten movies we love Trailer Native cops HBO Max National Geographic hispanic Comedy TNT Stephen King elevated horror Tubi Logo james bond Trivia Music Musical art house Masterpiece indie screenings Mary Tyler Moore YouTube leaderboard Tags: Comedy Nickelodeon DC Universe young adult disaster PBS Starz biopic fast and furious Alien Disney Plus The Arrangement TCA Awards AMC remakes E! Star Wars The CW Calendar LGBT Universal TV movies festival Family Box Office Year in Review Legendary adenture romantic comedy a nightmare on elm street spy thriller spider-verse BET Awards war TV Land slasher Countdown BAFTA mutant Netflix Comic Book cooking Mary poppins Bravo venice cults travel Red Carpet legend Toys classics Kids & Family halloween tv The Witch dragons cartoon Action Sundance Now spanish language Interview series New York Comic Con laika Adult Swim child's play IFC Animation NBA Women's History Month Opinion 79th Golden Globes Awards Columbia Pictures TV renewals Television Academy IMDb TV Premiere Dates cancelled TV shows WGN rotten Valentine's Day 2016 Brie Larson Nominations children's TV Ovation scary movies 73rd Emmy Awards See It Skip It Black Mirror prank supernatural Superheroes The Academy ITV 2017 spider-man Reality San Diego Comic-Con Thanksgiving adventure independent Epix History 71st Emmy Awards Syfy Holiday doctor who dc summer TV 24 frames Lucasfilm heist movie comics SundanceTV archives marvel comics mcc Geeked Week comiccon Video Games name the review GLAAD comedies psycho Winners Tarantino Pet Sematary Heroines dreamworks BBC One Academy Awards dexter cinemax DGA Sony Pictures aliens zero dark thirty Netflix Christmas movies Ghostbusters summer preview Amazon Prime international summer TV preview live action scene in color series Podcast Sony harry potter Hear Us Out Avengers finale talk show free movies Baby Yoda universal monsters stoner Hulu foreign Rock rom-coms feel good 72 Emmy Awards best king kong spain black Martial Arts Wes Anderson Dark Horse Comics Lionsgate new zealand technology YA DC streaming service boxing trailers Pop Focus Features Song of Ice and Fire FX on Hulu popular Apple TV+ Discovery Channel Sci-Fi 2019 VOD women CMT transformers CW Seed Sundance TV 21st Century Fox rt labs critics edition WarnerMedia Infographic VH1 TBS Apple aapi Comic-Con@Home 2021 Reality Competition American Society of Cinematographers casting Lifetime Christmas movies versus HBO Go Fantasy Teen Mystery Marvel Studios blockbusters IFC Films wonder woman Disney Channel obi wan Food Network thriller 1990s deadpool Marathons adaptation OWN japan 93rd Oscars Turner social media latino Image Comics Amazon Crackle space A&E debate theme song target scene in color toy story 007 game show TLC PaleyFest Awards Star Trek nature DC Comics stand-up comedy Disney streaming service franchise live event breaking bad genre news marvel cinematic universe crossover boxoffice Television Critics Association E3 Shondaland Apple TV Plus basketball what to watch renewed TV shows Fox Searchlight Captain marvel Comedy Central medical drama Cosplay Black History Month australia toronto lord of the rings Quiz sports true crime comic Holidays SDCC Paramount Plus superhero parents Hallmark zombie Binge Guide Chilling Adventures of Sabrina book adaptation Amazon Studios ID Pop TV comic book movies black comedy HFPA biography justice league die hard joker natural history FX