Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Weaves a Tangled Web

Plus, Ida and Belle are powerful historical dramas.

by | May 2, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got only one wide release: the hotly-anticipated The Amazing Spider-Man 2, starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, and Jamie Foxx. What do the critics have to say?

The Amazing Spider-Man 2


Superhero sequels are rarely exercises in restraint, so it comes as little surprise that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 attempts to be bigger and bolder than its predecessor. Critics say the result is something of a mixed bag — while the cast is outstanding and the special effects are top-notch, the latest installment of the Spidey saga suffers from an unfocused narrative and an overabundance of characters. This time out, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) has a lot on his mind: his relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone)is fraught with complications, and he becomes increasingly haunted when new information about the deaths of his parents comes to light. As if that wasn’t enough, our hero must protect the city from the likes of Electro (Jamie Foxx) and the Rhino (Paul Giamatti). The pundits say that Garfield and Stone share a genuine onscreen chemistry, and the big action set-pieces are visually striking, but the bloated runtime and jarring tonal shifts keep The Amazing Spider-Man 2 from scaling the heights established by previous Spider-Man flicks. (Check out our video interview with the stars; 24 Frames for a gallery of the best and worst superpowers; and this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Stone’s best-reviewed movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • For a Woman, a dramedy about a writer who delves into her family’s mysterious past, is at 100 percent.

  • Ida, a drama about a young woman on the verge of joining a convent who discovers a dark family secret, is at 95 percent.

  • Belle, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Tom Wilkinson in a period drama about a mixed-race woman raised in privilege in 1770s England, is at 79 percent.

  • The Bachelor Weekend, a comedy about a prospective groom whose bachelor party camping trip goes awry, is at 79 percent.

  • Whitewash, starring Thomas Haden Church in a thriller a man who goes on the run after committing an accidental killing, is at 71 percent.

  • NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage , a behind-the-scenes documentary about the touring production of Richard III starring Kevin Spacey, is at 67 percent.

  • Beneath The Harvest Sky, a drama about a pair of teenage friends looking for a way out of their small town, is at 57 percent.

  • Decoding Annie Parker, starring Samantha Morton and Helen Hunt in a period drama about a cancer-stricken woman who believes her condition is genetic, is at 55 percent.

  • Blood Glacier, an Austrian horror film about a group of researchers who discover a terrifying organism in the Alps, is at 50 percent.

  • Bad Johnson, a comedy about an unrepentant ladies’ man whose genitals develop a mind of their own, is at 44 percent.

  • The M Word, a comedy about a children’s show host who takes a stand against corporate downsizing, is at 43 percent.

  • Friended To Death, a comedy about a man who announces his demise of Facebook to find out what his friends really think of him, is at 25 percent.

  • Mr. Jones, a horror film about an arty couple whose investigation into the life of a reclusive sculptor reveals a terrifying secret, is at 20 percent.

  • The Protector 2, starringTony Jaa and the RZA in an martial arts film about a man who goes after a vicious criminal gang in order to rescue his prized elephant, is at nine percent.

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