Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Identical Won't Leave You All Shook Up

Plus, No No: A Dockumentary is a fascinating portrait of a trailblazing ballplayer, and Wetlands is wild and transgressive.

by | September 5, 2014 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got just one wide release: The Identical, starring Blake Rayne, Ashley Judd, and Ray Liotta in the fictional story of an Elvis-esque rocker and his twin brother. What do the critics have to say?

The Identical


It’s a heartbreaking — and undeniably intriguing — bit of trivia that every Elvis Presley fan knows: the King had an identical twin brother who was stillborn. What would have happened had Jesse Presley survived? Unfortunately, critics say The Identical takes this premise and squanders it on a schmaltzy, unintentionally funny plot sprinkled with bland tunes and uneven performances. Blake Rayne plays a dual role as brothers separated by birth. One grows up to become a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, and the other is expected to join the ministry — though he finds the lure of music hard to resist. The pundits say The Identical is well-meaning but surprisingly ham-fisted; it’s a movie about a rock star that’s short on edge or memorable music.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • No No: A Dockumentary, a portrait of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis and the no-hitter he threw while on acid, is at 100 percent.
  • Wetlands, a transgressive dramedy about a teenager who acts out while dealing with her parents’ divorce, is at 94 percent.
  • Last Days in Vietnam, a documentary about the evacuation of South Vietnamese collaborators from Saigon, is at 92 percent.
  • Memphis, a drama about a few days in the life of a troubled soul singer, is at 75 percent.
  • God Help the Girl, starring Emily Browning in a coming-of-age comedy directed by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, is at 71 percent.
  • Thunder and the House of Magic, an animated adventure about a cat who moves into a magician’s house, is at 68 percent.
  • Kelly & Cal, starring Juliette Lewis in a drama about an alienated suburban mom who befirends a teen from the neighborhood, is at 64 percent.
  • Trailer Park Boys: Don’t Legalize It, featuring the Canadian goofballs in a mockumentary about keeping marijuana illegal so as not to hurt their thriving business, is at 57 percent.
  • Frontera, starring Ed Harris and Michael Peña in a drama about a murder investigation along the Mexico-Arizona border, is at 55 percent.
  • The Longest Week, starring Jason Bateman and Olivia Wilde in a comedy about a writer who moves in with his best friend and falls in love with his girlfriend, is at 22 percent.
  • Innocence, a dark drama about a troubled girl at a sinister boarding school, is at zero percent.

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