Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: 2012 Isn't Quite Earth-Shaking

Plus, Pirate Radio gently rocks, and Fantastic Mr. Fox is Certified Fresh.

by | November 12, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a global catastrophe (2012, starring John Cusack and Chiwetel Ejiofor) and some rock ‘n’ roll rebellion (Pirate Radio, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Bill Nighy). What do the critics have to say?



[tomatometer]MuzeID=1205696[/tomatometer]

2012

Nobody goes to a Roland Emmerich picture expecting art or realism; they go for sheer spectacle. On that level, critics say, 2012 largely delivers. However, they also note that if you enjoy character development, witty dialogue, remotely plausible science, and brevity, you’re out of luck. John Cusack stars as a sci-fi writer desperately trying to save his family from global calamity, while Chiwetel Ejiofor is the top government scientist who learns the earth is on a fast track to total destruction — just like the Mayans predicted. The pundits give Emmerich some credit: the man’s been destroying the world’s landmarks onscreen since Independence Day, and on that point, he’s still visually inventive on a grand scale. But they also say the movie’s way too long, and its characters too shallow, and its scenarios so ludicrous that it ultimately becomes overbearing. (Check out Emmerich’s Five Favorite Films, as well as this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down John Cusack’s best-reviewed movies.)



[tomatometer]MuzeID=10011834[/tomatometer]

Pirate Radio

It’s an understatement to say that the mid-to-late-1960s was a revolutionary period for British rock music, and Pirate Radio is a fond, celebratory comedy about those heady times. Critics say it may not rock quite hard enough, but it’s got enough infectious good humor — and hummable tunes – to drown out objections. Loosely based upon the wacky story of the pirate station Radio Caroline, the movie tells the story of an American DJ (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who, on a boat in the North Atlantic, plays rock records all day and all of the night, much to the consternation of the staid BBC. The pundits say Pirate Radio often plays more like a collection of scenes rather than a full narrative, and the film lacks the gonzo sensibility — or the danger — of the era. Still, they also note the film works as a better-than-average nostalgia trip, with some big laughs and a fantastic soundtrack — that is, if you happen to like bands like the Who, Cream, and the Kinks. (Check out the RT staff’s favorite rock ‘n’ roll movies here.)


Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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