Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Jarhead" Overflows, "Chicken Little" Undercooked

by | November 3, 2005 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got bored marines fixing for a fight with Saddam ("Jarhead") and a small piece of poultry who overreacts to acorns hitting him on the head ("Chicken Little"). Which of these films will score with critics?

Based on the real-life experiences of Marine Anthony Swofford in the first Gulf War, "Jarhead," starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx, attempts to show a different kind of war-is-hell scenario; in this case, idle hands are the devil’s playthings. The critics say the movie is different from most war films in that, rather than action, "Jarhead" depicts boredom, exhaustion, and ambiguity. Maybe too much ambiguity. While critics are praising the film for its originality, they say it never quite coheres. "Jarhead" currently stands at 51 percent on the Tomatometer.

No joke: The sky IS falling — at least critically — on Disney’s first CGI feature, Chicken Little. The age-old parable gets a fresh coat of paint, as Chicken Little (voiced by Zach Braff) becomes ostracized after making under-researched claims of nimbus and cirrus plummeting. While critics say the movie isn’t bad looking, the most important thing — the story — is undercooked. At 35 percent on the Tomatometer, the critics dislike this one more than a "Little." Beware of low flying CGI flicks — "Valiant," 2005’s other animated avian adventure — scored even lower, at 23 percent on the Tomatometer.

Recent War Movies:
35% — The Great Raid (2005)
37% — Tears of the Sun (2003)
61% — We Were Soldiers (2002)
25% — Pearl Harbor (2001)
93% — Three Kings (1999)

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