Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Monsters vs. Aliens Is A Blast

Plus, The Haunting in Connecticut houses too many cliches, and guess 12 Rounds' Tomatometer!

by | March 26, 2009 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a war of the worlds (Monsters Vs. Aliens, with voice work by Reese Witherspoon and Seth Rogen), a demonic abode (The Haunting in Connecticut, starring Virginia Madsen and Martin Donovan), and a royal rumble (12 Rounds, starring John Cena). What do the critics have to say?


Monsters vs. Aliens

Monsters vs. Aliens pays loving homage to B-grade 1950s monster movies, utilizing state-of-the- art 3-D CG animation and a crack voice cast. And critics say it’s rousing, wry, and technically impressive. When Susan Murphy (voiced by Reese Witherspoon) is hit by a meteor on the way to her wedding, it causes her to grow nearly 50 feet tall; she’s ostracized by society, but it turns out that she and her fellow monsters may be the only ones that can save earth from an alien invasion. The pundits say Monsters vs. Aliens is often more whiz-bang than emotionally resonant, and many of the gags will probably soar over the wee ones’ heads. However, those may be small prices to pay for a film of such remarkable visual invention and good humor. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we rank every DreamWorks animated film by Tomatometer, and be sure to take our our DreamWorks Cartoon Challenge.)


The Haunting in Connecticut

The Haunting in Connecticut is allegedly based on a true story. However, most critics feel this New England-set supernatural thriller has more in common with other haunted house flicks like The Amityville Horror than real-life supernatural occurrences. Virginia Madsen and Martin Donovan star as a couple who move to the Nutmeg State only to find the nice old Victorian they’ve just purchased was once a funeral home, and it’s haunted by a demonic presence that only avails itself to the couple’s teenage son. Bedeviling ensues, along with creaking floorboards and (presumably) bad caulking. The pundits say The Haunting in Connecticut has some effectively spooky atmospherics, but ultimately it’s mechanical and cliched.


12 Rounds

It appears the folks behind 12 Rounds were afraid their film would receive a critical beatdown, since it wasn’t screened prior to release. Renny Harlin directs WWE superstar John Cena, who plays a cop in the midst of a cat-and-mouse game with a terrorist who has kidnapped his girlfriend. Kids, take a break from your study of Thuganomics and guess that Tomatometer!

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Ramin Bahrani‘s Goodbye Solo, about the strange relationship between a Senegalese cab driver and a gruff old southerner, is at 100 percent.
  • Shall We Kiss?, a Woody Allen-esque French romantic comedy about the implications of a single kiss on a multitude of characters, is at 80 percent.
  • Guest of Cindy Sherman, a documentary about the failed relationship between the art star and her public access cable host beau, is at 70 percent.
  • Fred Durst‘s The Education of Charlie Banks, starring Jesse Eisenberg in a tale of coming of age in 1970s New York, is at 50 percent.
  • The Czech import The Country Teacher, about a closeted science teacher and his relationship with a local family, is at 40 percent.
  • American Swing, a documentary on the 1970s heyday of the notorious sex club Plato’s Retreat, is at 33 percent.
  • Spinning into Butter, a drama about racial tensions at an elite Vermont college starring Sarah Jessica Parker, is at 27 percent.

Tag Cloud

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