Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Snow White and the Huntsman Isn't the Fairest of Them All

Plus, For Greater Glory is a less-than-epic historical drama.

by | May 31, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a high-octane fairy tale (Snow White and the Huntsman, starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron) and the story of a band of freedom fighters (For Greater Glory, starring Andy Garcia and Eva Longoria). What do the critics have to say?

Snow White and the Huntsman

49%

There’s a good reason fairy tales keep getting adapted to the big screen: stories with heroes, villains, fantastical elements, and lessons on human nature will never go out of style. Still, critics say Snow White and the Huntsman is something of a mixed bag: it’s visually resplendent and full of evocative atmospherics, but it fails to bring its characters or familiar story to stirring new life. You probably know the basics of the plot, but here goes: a wicked queen (Charlize Theron) becomes enraged when an articulate looking-glass tells her that she’s not the most fetching gal in town – that would be Snow White (Kristen Stewart). So the queen sends a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to slay her rival, but he and Ms. White ultimately join forces to lead a charge against the throne. The pundits say Snow White is beautiful to look at, and Theron is terrifically malevolent, but too often the film doesn’t quite know how to pull off its tricky balance of fantasy epic and revisionist folktale. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down memorable fairy tale movies.)

For Greater Glory

20%

For Greater Glory is loosely based upon a fascinating chapter of Mexican history, and it sports a top-notch cast that includes Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, and Peter O’Toole. Unfortunately, critics say the film’s heavy-handed script and slow pacing ensure it falls far short of the epic grandeur to which it aspires. Andy Garcia stars as Enrique Gorostieta Velarde, an atheist former general who helps to train a ragtag group of rebels opposed to the Mexican government’s anti-Catholic policies for a conflict that would come to be known as the Cristero War. The pundits say For Greater Glory deserves credit for tackling weighty themes, but it’s undone by a screenplay that’s both oversimplified and confusing.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Found Memories, a Brazilian drama about an elderly woman living in a remote village who bonds with a young visitor, is at 100 percent.

  • Pink Ribbons, Inc., a documentary that questions the effectiveness of campaigns to raise awareness of insidious diseases, is at 100 percent.

  • The Loved Ones, an Australian slasher film about a young woman who enacts revenge on a guy who rejects her, is at 97 percent.

  • 5 Broken Cameras, a doc about the West Bank territorial dispute as seen through the eyes of a Palestinian farmer, is at 90 percent.

  • Chely Wright: Wish Me Away, a doc about several years in the life of the out-and-proud country star, is at 86 percent.

  • The Oscar-nominated A Cat in Paris, a the animated tale of a domestic feline that moonlights as a burglar, is at 81 percent.

  • Cellmates, starring Tom Sizemore and Hector Jimenez in a comedy about two very mismatched guys forced to share a prison cell, is at 57 percent.

  • U.N. Me, a gonzo doc that asks whether the United Nations is living up to its purpoted mission, is at 50 percent.

  • High School, starring Adrien Brody and Matt Bush in a comedy about a clean-cut kid who faces severe consequences after taking his first hit of pot, is at 33 percent.

  • Battlefield America, about a businessman who mentors a group of kids training for an underground dance competition, is at 20 percent.

  • Piranha 3DD, the sequel to 2010’s Certified Fresh Piranha 3-D featuring yet another attack from bloodthirsty fishes, is at 14 percent.

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