Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: "Vice," "Ant Bully" Are OK; "Tucker," "Scoop" Lack Laughs; "Little Miss" Shines

by | July 27, 2006 | Comments

This week at the movies, Crockett and Tubbs are back on the beat ("Miami Vice," starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx); an ant bully gets cut down to size ("The Ant Bully"); John Tucker must die ("John Tucker Must Die"); Woody Allen’s got a hot new scoop ("Scoop"); and a Sundance crowd-pleaser ("Little Miss Sunshine") hits theaters. What do the critics have to say?

"High concept" was a buzzword for Hollywood in the 1980s, and virtually nothing embodied that idea more than "Miami Vice," which creator Michael Mann has described as "MTV Cops." Crockett and Tubbs became synonymous for a certain type of glamorous, slightly campy crime fighting that was nonetheless thoroughly engaging. Twenty years later, the film version takes a much darker approach; Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx are deep undercover in a gritty film that’s more like Mann’s "Heat" than "Starsky and Hutch." Maybe that’s the problem; while critics say "Miami Vice" looks terrific and features some outstanding action scenes, they also note that the film is a bit too self-serious and much too long. It currently stands at 55 percent on the Tomatometer, and it’s Mann’s worst-reviewed film since 1983’s "The Keep" (Heard of it? Yeah, me neither).

"Perhaps you’d understand it better/ Standin’ in my shoes/ It’s the ultimate enticement/ It’s the smuggler’s blues."

How’s this for a dream cast? Nicolas Cage, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Paul Giamatti, and Bruce Campbell star in "The Ant Bully," the latest CGI spectacle for the kids. "The Ant Bully" tells the story of a 10-year-old boy who takes out his frustrations on anthills, but subsequently finds himself shrunk down to ant-size, where adventures ensue and he learns a thing about life. The critics say the film is visually remarkable, but lacks originality and a strong narrative. It currently stands at 48 percent on the Tomatometer.

"Run for your lives!"

Missing the mark by a long shot is the romantic vengeance comedy, "John Tucker Must Die," a teen sex laffer about a three-timing lothario ("Desperate Housewives" junk Jesse Metcalfe) and the trio of girlfriends (a cheerleader, a hippie, and a brainiac) out to get him. Critics say that a few too many sight gags and clunky jabs at pop culture savvy make "Tucker" unwatchable for anyone over the age of thirteen; even then, they say it’s one of the better teen flicks to come around of late. Take from that what you will. At 25 percent on the Tomatometer, "Tucker" is far too aptly titled.

"John Tucker Must Die": A movie in dire need of conflict resolution.

News flash! Rumors of Woody Allen‘s career resurgence may have been greatly exaggerated. The scribes say his latest, "Scoop," is more than a little disappointing in the wake of last year’s Certified Fresh "Match Point." Like that one, "Scoop" is set in London, stars Scarlett Johansson, and there’s a murder at the center of the plot. But "Scoop" is a comedy, and an unsuccessful one at that; critics say it relies way too much on hackneyed schtick. At 39 percent on the Tomatometer, "Scoop" is looking like yesterday’s news. And it’s one of the worst-reviewed films of Allen’s great career.

"Little Miss Sunshine": The weakest street gang ever.

"Little Miss Sunshine" was a big hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and now that it’s hitting the theaters, the scribes are just as enthusiastic as the folks in Park City. This tale of a dysfunctional family hitting the road for a child pageant is Certified Fresh, and features sharp performances from its ensemble cast, particularly Greg Kinnear and Steve Carell. At 94 percent, this one’s a ray of "Sunshine." And it’s the third-best reviewed film of the year with 40 reviews or more. (Check out RT’s interview with co-directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton here.)

Also out this week in limited release: The idiosyncratic doc "I Like Killing Flies" is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer; "Brothers of the Head," to our knowledge the only mockumentary about a pair of Siamese twins who are lead singers of a fictitious 1970s punk band, is at 87 percent; the French thriller "13 (Tzameti)," about a Georgian immigrant in France, is at 87 percent; "The Photographer, His Wife, Her Lover," a documentary about the last days of celebrated photographer O. Winston Link, is at 80 percent; "Darshan – The Embrace," a doc about one of India’s most famous spiritual guides, is at 44 percent; "Another Gay Movie," an "American Pie"-style comedy, is at 33 percent; and the muckraking Libertarian documentary "America: Freedom to Fascism" is at zero percent.

The Best Reviewed Films Of 2006 With 40 Or More Reviews:
1. Kekexili (98%)
2. Wordplay (95%)
3. Little Miss Sunshine (94%)
4. Fateless (94%)
5. Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (93%)

Recent TV- To- Film Adaptations:
49% — Strangers with Candy (2006)
10% — Aeon Flux (2005)
80% — Serenity (2005)
15% — The Dukes of Hazzard (2005)
25% — Bewitched (2005)

Recent CG Animated Films
70% — Monster House (2006)
76% — Cars (2006)
75% — Over the Hedge (2006)
58% — Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)
19% — The Wild (2006)

Worst Reviewed Woody Allen Films (As Star Or Director)
29% — Scenes from a Mall (1991)
32% — Casino Royale (1967)
38% — Don’t Drink the Water (1994)
38% — Celebrity (1998)
40% — King Lear (1987)

Tag Cloud

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