Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Man of Steel Is Up, Up, and Okay

Plus, This Is the End and Before Midnight are Certified Fresh.

by | June 14, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the return of Superman (Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill and Amy Adams), an apocalyptic laugh-riot (This Is the End, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen), and a one-of-a-kind love affair (Before Midnight, starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy). What do the critics have to say?

Man of Steel


Superman is arguably the definitive comic book hero, but few would argue that he’s had the kind of unqualified big-screen success as his DC buddy Batman. With Man of Steel, Zack Snyder attempts to update Supe for the 21st Century, but critics say he’s only moderately successful; the action scenes are often rousing and Henry Cavill brings an undeniable charisma to the character, but the film is weighted down by an overabundance of spectacle and a disappointing lack of wit. A child from the planet Krypton is sent to Earth, where he’s raised by the Kent family. He learns to utilize his incredible abilities for good, and becomes Superman in the process, but eventually, the nefarious General Zod goes looking for him. The pundits say Man of Steel delivers plenty of muscular action, but it’s overlong and unfortunately short on character development. (Check out this week’s Total Recall for a rundown of Superman movies, as well as our interviews with the Man of Steel cast and crew.)

This Is the End


Take a bunch of well-known comic actors, stick them in the midst of the apocalypse, and mix liberally. That’s the basic recipe for This Is the End, which critics say is a rapid-fire, absurdist meta-comedy that’s raunchy and surprisingly heartfelt in equal measure. Playing themselves, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and a few other famous pals are partying together when the Rapture hits Los Angeles. Our heroes embark on a cameo-laden quest for salvation, and learn the true meaning of friendship along the way. The pundits say the Certified Fresh This Is the End has so many gags that a few inevitably miss the mark, but for the most part, this is a smart, boundary-pushing comedy from an ensemble that seems to be enjoying every minute of it. (Check out this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of actors playing themselves, as well as our interview with stars Rogen, Robinson, and Jay Baruchel.)

Before Midnight


In Before Sunrise, Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) were two young travelers who formed a bond after a chance meeting in Vienna. In Before Sunset, they were older, wiser, but no less enamored with one another. Now, in Before Midnight, they’re married and hoping to recapture the spark that first brought them together. The third installment in Richard Linklater‘s enduring love story goes wide this weekend, and critics say the Certified Fresh Before Midnight is as funny, insightful, and achingly poignant as its predecessors.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • More Than Honey, a doc about the relationship between people and bees, is at 100 percent.

  • Call Me Kuchu, a documentary about an openly gay man fighting persecution in Uganda, is at 95 percent.

  • 20 Feet From Stardom, a documentary tribute to some of rock’s finest backup singers, is at 94 percent.

  • In the Fog, a World War II drama about a Russian village that suspects one of its citizens is collaborating with the Nazis, is at 86 percent.

  • Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story, a documentary portrait of the influential illustrator, is at 80 percent.

  • Berberian Sound Studio, a psychological thriller about a sound technician who becomes unnerved while working on a gruesome horror movie, is at 78 percent.

  • Sofia Coppola‘s The Bling Ring, starring Emma Watson and Leslie Mann in the ripped-from-the-headlines tale of a group of teens who robbed various Hollywood stars, is at 63 percent.

  • Pandora’s Promise, a doc about the potential environmental benefits of nuclear power, is at 58 percent.

  • Hatchet III, the latest installment in the slasher series about a swamp-dwelling psycho, is at 56 percent.

  • Vehicle 19, starring Paul Walker in a thriller about an ex-con who becomes a target when he takes the wrong rental car is at 33 percent.

  • The Guillotines, a period action epic about a clandestine group of assassins who employ deadly metal blades, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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