Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Rango Is Wacky, Witty Fun

Plus, The Adjustment Bureau features great chemistry, but Take Me Home Tonight and Beastly miss the mark.

by | March 3, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a leapin’ lizard (Rango, with voice work from Johnny Depp and Abigail Breslin); a fateful romance (The Adjustment Bureau, starring Matt Damon and Emily Blunt); a night to remember (Take Me Home Tonight, starring Topher Grace and Anna Faris); and some ugly love (Beastly, starring Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens). What do the critics have to say?

Rango

88%

In an animation landscape dominated creatively and commercially by Pixar, it’s rare that a CGI feature brings much originality to the table. However, critics say that’s the case with Rango, which they say is a manic, wildly inventive, very funny homage/parody of spaghetti Westerns. Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp) is a pet chameleon who finds himself in a town without pity, populated by various desert animals who act like supporting players in an old oater. With delusions of grandeur, Rango installs himself as the town’s sheriff, and hilarity ensues. The pundits say Rango is probably a little to earthy for little kids, but older children and adults will delight in the movie’s irrepressible energy and irreverent pop-cultural references.

The Adjustment Bureau

71%

The works of Philip K. Dick have been adapted to the screen many times (Blade Runner and Total Recall are probably the best-known examples), and it seems that Dick’s paranoid, thought-provoking worldview never goes out of style. The latest Dick adaptation is The Adjustment Bureau, which critics say is a sleek, romantic romance that benefits greatly from the chemistry between Matt Damon and Emily Blunt. Damon plays a politician who encounters Blunt, the woman of his dreams. However, a shadowy organization is conspiring to keep them apart – but why? The pundits say The Adjustment Bureau doesn’t always make sense, and the ending is a letdown, but Damon and Blunt sizzle, and the film moves along at a brisk, confident pace.

Take Me Home Tonight

28%

The 1980s are all the rage these days, what with the recent revival of several action classics from the decade, so it isn’t surprising to see the John Hughes-esque young adult comedy Take Me Home Tonight hitting theaters. Unfortunately, critics say that despite sporting a certain sweetness, the film fails either to be original or sufficiently funny. Topher Grace stars as a recent MIT grad who, much to the chagrin of his family, takes up employment at a local video store. When his high school crush strolls in and invites him to the summer party to end all parties, he embarks on the wildest night of his life. Critics say Take Me Home Tonight is too derivative of the movies it presumes to emulate, and though its affection for nostalgia is charming, it teeters too perilously between homage and parody with unimpressive comic results. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down the biggest box office hits of 1988, as well as Grace’s Five Favorite Films.)

Beastly

21%

Hollywood is in the habit of updating fairy tales to modern times, so it was probably only a matter of time until we got an emo-era Beauty and the Beast. However, critics find that the Twilight-aping Beastly misses the depth of the original tale by a wide margin; this update is a little too sappy — and poorly scripted — to get much freshness out of its beauty’s-only-skin-deep moral. Alex Pettyfer stars as a vain, cruel bully who gets his comeuppance after a girl he’s tormented casts a spell on him and turns his face to a mess of scars. Will this self-centered jerk learn to treat others better? The pundits say Beastly features groan-worthy dialogue and soapy melodramatics, and the result is a dumbed-down, middling adaptation.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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