Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Justin Bieber: Never Say Never Strikes A Chord

Plus, the critics say nay to Just Go With It, meh to Gnomeo and Juliet and the Eagle.

by | February 11, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got Bieber fever (the concert documentary Justin Bieber: Never Say Never); romantic deception (Just Go With It, starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston); Shakespearean lawn ornaments (Gnomeo and Juliet, with voice work by James McAvoy and Emily Blunt); and an epic journey (The Eagle, starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell). What do the critics have to say?

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never


If you’re a 12-year-old girl with a severe case of Bieber fever, you’ll probably love Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. If you’re a parent, or if you’re merely curious about the Bieber phenomenon, critics say you’ll probably have a better-than-average time with this concert/behind-the-scenes doc, which makes a solid case for Bieber’s talent and likeability without going too far beneath the surface. Never Say Never chronicles Bieber’s rise to stardom, culminating in a blowout show in Madison Square Garden with such pop luminaries as Usher, Miley Cyrus, and Ludacris; along the way, we learn about the star’s prodigious talent and hard work. The pundits say the film sometimes has the feel of an infomercial, and is a little overlong, but it’s also an occasionally fascinating peek into the star-making process, and Bieber comes off as a likeable, remarkably polished performer throughout.

Just Go with It


One often needs to suspend disbelief with the unlikely plot mechanics of romantic comedies. However, critics say that’s a tall order with Just Go With It, which requires its talented cast to act foolishly at nearly every turn. Adam Sandler stars as a plastic surgeon who lures women by pretending he’s married; when he meets the girl of his dreams, he asks his long-suffering assistant (Jennifer Aniston) to pretend to be his ex in order to keep up the façade. The pundits say Just Go with It is an implausible, largely laugh-free affair that lacks the energy and comic rhythm required to pull off this kind of farce.

Gnomeo and Juliet


Shakespeare’s works are so universal that they’ve survived innumerable offbeat adaptations. Still, the idea of Gnomeo and Juliet — the Bard’s greatest romantic tragedy set in a world of anthropomorphic garden gnomes – is more idiosyncratic than most, and critics say this animated musical comedy has moments of inspiration but is a little thin over the long haul. Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt) are gnomes that find love despite being from opposite sides of a fence. Can these crazy kids make it work — and keep their fellow lawn ornaments from all-out war? Some pundits are charmed by Gnomeo‘s wit and imagination, but others find it a little too self-referential for its own good (Check out Five Favorite Films with executive producer/composer Sir Elton John.)

The Eagle


An old-school sword-and-sandal epic that gets by without overdosing on CGI is a tasty proposition. Unfortunately, critics say The Eagle doesn’t quite soar — it looks terrific, but its sluggish pacing and so-so central performance from Channing Tatum keep it from standing alongside antiquity flicks of yore. Tatum stars as a Roman centurion on a quest to restore his family’s honor; along with a slave (Jamie Bell), his dangerous journey takes him beyond the borders of the Roman Empire. The pundits say The Eagle has a nice eye for period detail and scenic vistas, but Tatum lacks the authority to pull off the central role, and the battle sequences are hard to follow.(Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we present a list of memorable Romans in the movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Poetry, about a sixtysomething woman who enrolls in a poetry class to stave off personal demons, is at 100 percent.
  • The Sky Turns, a documentary chronicling a young woman’s return to her isolated, sparsely populated village, is at 100 percent.
  • Orgasm, Inc., a doc about the development of pharmaceuticals to treat female sexual dysfunction, is at 88 percent.
  • Cedar Rapids, starring Ed Helms and John C. Reilly in a comedy about a naive guy representing his company at an insurance convention, is at 85 percent.
  • Carancho, a noir-ish romance set amidst an Argentine underworld that profits from traffic fatalities, is at 73 percent.
  • Carbon Nation, a doc about individuals addressing the climate change crisis, is at 57 percent.
  • Certifiably Jonathan, a mock/doc hybrid featuring legendary comic Jonathan Winters, is at 20 percent.

Tag Cloud

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