Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Arthur Is On The Rocks

Plus, Hanna is Certified Fresh, while Your Highness and Soul Surfer miss the mark.

by | April 8, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got an eccentric imbiber (Arthur, starring Russell Brand and Greta Gerwig); medieval mischief (Your Highness, starring James Franco and Natalie Portman); a teenage assassin (Hanna, starring Saoirse Ronan and Eric Bana); and a surfing survivor (Soul Surfer, starring AnnaSophia Robb and Dennis Quaid). What do the critics have to say?

Arthur

26%

I know it’s crazy, but it’s true: if you get caught between the moon and New York City, critics say you can probably do better than this remake of Arthur, which lacks the charm and wit of the 1981 original. Stepping into the shoes of the late Dudley Moore, Russell Brand stars as the whimsical, heavy-drinking hedonist whose irresponsible pursuit of pleasure threatens the good name of his staid family’s foundation. Arthur is told that he’s obligated to marry a woman he doesn’t particularly like (Jennifer Garner) or lose his inheritance — which is a problem, because he’s just fallen in love with a fellow free spirit (Greta Gerwig). The pundits say that Arthur has some decent gags and a nice supporting turn from the always-stellar Helen Mirren, but it mostly feels like an uninspired cover version of the original, and its protagonist — a frivolous rich guy with a drinking problem — seems a little outdated in our current economic climate.

Your Highness

27%

Theoretically, Your Highness has a lot going for it: a couple of big stars (James Franco, Natalie Portman), an undeniably talented director (the onetime indie darling David Gordon Green), and a reasonably funny premise (medieval swashbuckling mixed with goofy, bawdy yuks). Unfortunately, the critics say the whole of Your Highness is hardly the sum of its parts; it’s a crass, undisciplined lark that gives the impression that its makers decided to film every wacky idea they came up with after a long night hitting the bong. Franco and Danny McBride star as a pair of hapless princes who go on a journey to rescue Franco’s kidnapped fiancée; soon, they’re joined in their quest by a mysterious warrior woman (Portman), who helps them vanquish all sorts of evil monsters. The pundits say Your Highness is a seriously weird movie, and while its sophomoric smuttiness is good for some occasional chuckles, it gets old pretty quickly. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Franco’s best-reviewed movies.)

Hanna

71%

Director Joe Wright made his name with a pair visually striking, widely-praised period romances (Pride and Prejudice and Atonement), so it’s understandable that he’d want to branch out. The result is the action-packed, skillfully crafted Hanna, which critics say is a film so energetic and dreamy that its lapses are largely forgiven. Saoirse Ronan stars as the title character, a 16-year-old whose father (Eric Bana) raised her in seclusion and taught her to become a soldier and a spy. But the real world is a scary place, and soon Hanna is on the run from the CIA and Cate Blanchett, who may have knowledge of the dark secrets in Hanna’s family’s past. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Hanna is a sleekly stylish mix of fairytales and espionage thrillers, featuring a remarkable performance from Ronan and enough mystery and depth to help you ignore the fact that the plot is mostly ludicrous.

Soul Surfer

46%

Bethany Hamilton’s life is so remarkable that no work of fiction could do it justice: as a teenager, she was attacked by a shark while surfing and lost an arm, but she persevered and now surfs professionally. Unfortunately, Hollywood has a way of turning even the most incredible stories into feel-good blandness, and critics say that’s the problem with Soul Surfer, a well-crafted film that can’t rise above its melodramatic trappings. AnnaSophia Robb stars as Hamilton, a deeply religious surfing prodigy whose life is changed forever after a near fatal shark attack. However, you can’t keep a good girl down, and spurned on by loving parents and her faith in God, Hamilton works tirelessly to get back on the board. The pundits say Soul Surfer‘s action scenes are remarkable, but the film follows the inspirational movie playback too closely, and softpeddles both Hamilton’s Christianity and her painful struggles in an attempt to broaden its appeal.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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