Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Colombiana Goes Way Over The Top

Plus, Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark is creepy but thin, and Our Idiot Brother is sweetly funny.

by | August 25, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a vengeful assassin (Colombiana, starring Zoe Saldana and Jordi Molla), a haunted mansion (Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark, starring Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes), and a senseless sibling (Our Idiot Brother, starring Paul Rudd and Elizabeth Banks). What do the critics have to say?

Colombiana

27%

Ain’t nothing wrong with babes brandishing weapons and dispensing justice, right? Well, if you’re in the mood for an over-the-top explosion-fest, critics say Colombiana might be the picture for you, if you’re willing to look past the non-existent plotting and unintentional hilarity. As a young girl, Cataleya (Zoe Saldana) witnesses the brutal murder of her parents by a mobster. She spends the rest of her formative years training to be a stone-cold killer in order to enact revenge. The pundits say Colombiana won’t win any points for subtlety or narrative cohesiveness, but if you’re in the mood for some high-octane thrills, you could do much worse than this stylish thriller.

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

60%

He’s the director of Pan’s Labyrinth and the producer of The Orphanage, so it’s safe to assume Guillermo del Toro loves creepy old houses. But while critics say his latest production, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (directed by newcomer Troy Nixey), has plenty of spooky atmosphere, its scares are too intermittent to be fully satisfying. Guy Pearce stars as an architect who’s fixing up an old mansion, giving his daughter (Bailee Madison) an opportunity to explore the house’s dark corners. What she finds, unfortunately, is the portal to a nightmarish underworld. The pundits say Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark is well crafted and should appeal to fans of old-school haunted house flicks, but its characters are never fully fleshed out, and the movie runs out of steam as it goes along. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Pearce’s best-reviewed movies.)

Our Idiot Brother

70%

Paul Rudd has played confused characters before, but never someone as blissfully oblivious as the protagonist in Our Idiot Brother. And critics say he and his charming co-stars enliven this uneven but undeniably sweet and breezily amusing comedy. Paul Rudd stars as Ned, an utterly guileless organic famer who moves in with his three sisters (played by Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, and Emily Mortimer) after his girlfriend gives him the boot. Soon, however, Ned’s eternal optimism and unfailing honesty is wreaking havoc on his siblings’ personal lives. The pundits say My Idiot Brother is pleasant and gently funny, and the ensemble cast helps to make the most of a simple premise.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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