Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Exodus: Gods and Kings Fails to Reach the Promised Land

Plus, Top Five is Certified Fresh, and Sons of Anarchy ties up loose ends in a satisfying fashion.

by | December 11, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a Biblical epic (Exodus: Gods and Kings, starring Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton) and a conflicted comedian (Top Five, starring Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson). What do the critics have to say?


Exodus: Gods and Kings

30%

It’s got a daring escape from slavery, the parting of the Red Sea, the unveiling of the Ten Commandments, and a literal river of blood — yep, the Book of Exodus is certainly one of the Old Testament’s most action-packed installments. Unfortunately, critics say that while Exodus: Gods and Kings director Ridley Scott mostly succeeds in crafting an eye-popping spectacle, he fails to bring the story’s legendary people to vivid life. You probably know the story, but if not, here goes: the orphaned Moses (Christian Bale) was raised by the Pharaoh, but he’s cast out when it’s discovered that his parents were Jewish. God reveals to Moses that he’s been chosen to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but first he must free his people before undertaking an epic trek across the desert. The pundits say Exodus: Gods and Kings mostly avoids taking a theological stand on the story, but as a result the film’s spectacular visuals overwhelm the heat and passion this oft-told tale continues to evoke. (Watch our video interviews with Scott and stars Bale, Joel Edgerton, and Aaron Paul, and check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down co-star Sigourney Weaver’s best-reviewed films.)



Top Five

86%

Few would deny that Chris Rock is one of the best standup comedians of his generation — or that, for the most part, his movie career has left something to be desired. That’s about to change, as critics say Top Five represents a career peak for Rock as a director and actor — it’s a semi-autobiographical portrait of the artist as a neurotic that recalls Woody Allen at his best. Rock plays Andre Allen, a popular comic actor who’s about to be married to a famous reality TV star. He agrees to be profiled by a New York Times reporter (Rosario Dawson), and as they stroll about the city, Allen begins to question the decisions he’s made in his life and career. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Top Five is blessed with palpable chemistry between its leads, and the result is timely, insightful, and often hilarious. (Watch our video interviews with Rock and co-stars Anders Holm, Ben Vereen, and JB Smoove.)

What’s Hot on TV:


Critics say the final episode of Sons of Anarchy is, like the series itself, both twisty and turbulent, but ultimately, “Papa’s Goods” (87 percent) is a fitting farewell to the SAMCRO gang that ties up loose ends in an involving, poetic fashion.


The penultimate episode of HBO’s The Newsroom, “Oh Shenandoah,” stirred up a lot of internet chatter this week, and much of it was negative; critics objected to everything from a subplot on campus rape to the unprompted death of a major character.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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