Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Grindhouse" Is Gory Glory; "Done" Needs Fixing; "Firehouse" Is Mangy; "Reaping" Is Plagued

by | April 5, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got sleaze (Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’ "Grindhouse," starring Kurt Russell and Rose McGowan), fixer-uppers ("Are We Done Yet?," starring Ice Cube), plagues ("The Reaping," starring Hilary Swank), and pooches ("Firehouse Dog"). What do the critics have to say?

Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have made careers of turning trashy material into cinematic treasure. And just like the good old days of the drive-in double feature, critics say "Grindhouse" is two schlocky treats for the price of one, albeit made with a greater level of skill than the old school-sleazemeisters. Rodriguez’ "Planet Terror," starring Rose McGowan and Freddy Rodriguez, tells the tale of a gas that threatens to turn the world’s population into zombies, and Tarantino’s "Death Proof" stars Kurt Russell as a killer stuntman. The critics say "Grindhouse" delivers an exhilarating platter of exploitation style with wit and panache, and its makers improve upon their source material with their feral intelligence. At 87 percent on the Tomatometer, the Certified Fresh "Grindhouse" is a trashy delight. (For more on the history of exploitation cinema, check out RT’s "Grindhouse A to Z" feature.)

Two of a grind.

Ice Cube once rapped, "I’m scarin ya, wanted by America." If "Are We Done Yet?" is any indication, those days are long gone — and critics say that’s not a good thing. "Are We Done Yet?" is not only a sequel to 2005’s poorly reviewed "Are We There Yet?," it’s also a loose remake of the Cary GrantMyrna Loy comedy "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House." The author of "Parental Discretion Iz Advised" plays a family man fixing up a money pit in the suburbs, and his wonderfully expressive scowl is reserved for shoddy construction and an unhinged contractor. The pundits say the film is way too safe, featuring generic slapstick and amiable but uninspired domestic foibles. At 10 percent on the Tomatometer, "Are We Done Yet?" may be aptly titled.

"No more buffets, okay?"

The latest in a storied line of cinematic Fidos, "Firehouse Dog" at least gets points for originality: it features an undercover movie-star pooch that rides skateboards and does laundry. The movie tells the tale of Rexxx, an Irish terrier who’s a hairpiece-wearing, overly pampered canine thespian who accidentally gets dumped in a small town and is adopted by, yep, the local firehouse. The "Doc Hollywood"-esque plot has promise, and some say "Firehouse Dog" is warm enough to please the little ones. But the majority of critics say the movie ruins it with endless fart and poop jokes, and an overlong run time. At 37 percent Tomatometer, this one’s strictly for the dogs.

You’re the man now, dawg!

Why, oh why, ask critics, if the Bible is so loaded with action, suspense, and miracles, have the recent glut of religious-themed dramas been so gosh-darned dull? The latest in Good Book-inspired mediocrity is "The Reaping," starring Hilary Swank as a faithless former missionary who travels the country disproving religious phenomena. But when she comes across a series of plagues in a small Louisiana town, her adherence to science is sorely tested as she tries to save the community. Critics say "The Reaping" is schlocky, spiritually shallow, and wasteful of a grade-A cast that includes David Morrissey, AnnaSophia Robb, Stephen Rea, and Idris Elba (aka Stringer Bell on "The Wire"). At six percent on the Tomatometer, "The Reaping" is an unholy mess.

"So who wants to try my jambalaya?"

Also opening this week in limited release: "The Hoax," starring Richard Gere in the true story of biography-forging Clifford Irving, is at 89 percent on the Tomatometer; "Black Book," Paul Verhoeven’s epic about a beautiful Dutch resistance fighter in WWII, is Certified Fresh at 75 percent; "The TV Set," a satire of prime time television starring David Duchovny and Sigourney Weaver, is at 60 percent; and "Whole New Thing," the story of a teenager and his crush on his English teacher, is at 44 percent.

"How ’bout we just shut down production and throw on a Mama’s Family rerun?"

Quentin Tarantino Films:
85% — Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)
84% — Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003)
84% — Jackie Brown (1998)
96% — Pulp Fiction (1994)
95% — Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Recent Robert Rodriguez Films:
77% — Sin City (2005)
19% — The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D (2005)
45% — Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)
68% — Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
75% — Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2001)

Tag Cloud

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