Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Mighty Thrills, Spartan Plot In "300"; "Gift" Doesn't Keep On Giving

by | March 8, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got 300 mighty Spartans ("300," starring Gerard Butler) and a reluctant do-gooder ("The Ultimate Gift," starring Abigail Breslin). What do the critics have to say?

Fangirls and fanboys, the wait is over. "300," Zack Snyder’s CG adaptation of Frank Miller‘s cult graphic novel sensation is here. And while critics say it’s a feast for the eyes, many note it’s slightly less a delight for the brain. "300" tells the tale of the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, in which 300 Spartans fought a star-crossed battle against the heavily fortified Persian army. Subtlety is not the order of the day here, nor is slavish attention to historical detail, but the pundits say the movie is visually sumptuous, a spectacle of ultraviolence and visceral thrills. However, others say "300" takes itself seriously to the point of self parody, and lacks compelling characters and cohesive plotting. "300" is currently at 60 percent on the Tomatometer.


Because "Anticipate Defeat!" was less rousing.

"The Ultimate Gift" is a movie about learning the true meaning of wealth, and stepping outside one’s self centered existence. These are good lessons to learn, but critics say the movie, while likeable, is too sappy to fully register. "The Ultimate Gift" tells the story of a trust fund kid who stands to inherit the fortune of his recently deceased grandfather — but only after he completes a series of tasks, which include living on the streets, doing manual labor, and being nice to people. Critics say "The Ultimate Gift" is sweet, heartfelt, and well-meaning — but also schmaltzy and dramatically inert. At 35 percent on the Tomatometer, this may not be the "Ultimate" viewing experience.


"’Silverado’ was 20 years ago. You can change clothes now."

Also opening this week in limited release: the South Korean import "The Host," a monster movie/satire/family drama, is at 94 percent; "Maxed Out," a doc that takes on the credit card industry, is at 85 percent; "Beyond the Gates," a drama about a teacher caught up in the Rwandan genocide starring John Hurt and Hugh Dancy, is at 71 percent; "The Namesake," a drama about a family caught between two cultural worlds starring Kal Penn and Jacinda Barrett, is at 70 percent; and "Exterminating Angels," a French drama about voyeurism and taboos, is at 52 pecent.


"KBBL’s going to give me something stupid!"

Recent Historical Epics:
——————————
65% — Apocalypto (2006)
39% — Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
16% — Alexander (2004)
55% — Troy (2004)
78% — Gladiator (2000)

Tag Cloud

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