Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Take Or Leave This "Lead,: An Odd "Number," "Benchwarmers"

by | April 6, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, we explore the joys of dance ("Take the Lead"), mistaken identity ("Lucky Number Slevin"), our national pastime ("The Benchwarmers"), and the search for love ("Phat Girlz"). What do the critics say?

It’s a scenario Hollywood loves to ("Stand and") deliver: A tough-but-fair new teacher helps a ragtag bunch of teenage troublemakers learn to be better citizens and believe in themselves through a disciplined approach to basketball/martial arts/poetry/feng shui/tiddley winks, etc. Add ballroom dancing to the list. "Take the Lead" stars Antonio Banderas as a professional dancer whose old-school approach melds with the students’ hip-hop sensibilities. (If this sounds familiar, it’s because there was a documentary called "Mad Hot Ballroom" that told the same tale, albeit with elementary school kids, and uh, it was real.) Critics say the movie is fine, if a little shopworn; while the performances and dance numbers are stirring, we’ve kinda seen this one before. It’s currently at 45 percent on the Tomatometer.

From its inscrutable title to its labyrinthine plot, the scribes are pretty split on "Lucky Number Slevin." Is the screenplay smart? Yes, critics say. Too clever for its own good? Perhaps, they concede. Josh Hartnett stars as a regular dude who falls into a web of intrigue after a case of mistaken identity. The film has a stellar cast (Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, Lucy Liu, Ben Kingsley) and a plot with more twists and turns than a marathon session of Chutes and Ladders. So, is "Lucky" any good? Depends on which critic you ask. At 55 percent on the Tomatometer, "Slevin" is either pulp heaven or an overplotted purgatory.

Like a utility infielder hitting well below the Mendoza line, "The Benchwarmers" probably deserves to ride the pine, since the scribes weren’t allowed to see it. And likewise, "Phat Girlz," which was also not screened for critics, is probably not all that, uh, phat. So kiddies, it’s time for our new national pastime: Guess the Tomatometer! The winner gets tickets to the World Series and a complete makeover. (Sorry, you only win props.)

Recent Antonio Banderas Movies:
26% — The Legend of Zorro (2005)
89% — Shrek 2 (2004)
44% — Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)
68% — Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003)
33% — Imagining Argentina (2003)

Recent Josh Hartnett Movies:
78% — Sin City (2005)
24% — Wicker Park (2004)
31% — Hollywood Homicide (2003)
38% — 40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)
76% — Black Hawk Down (2001)

Tag Cloud

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