Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Lucky One Can't Catch a Break

Plus, Think Like a Man is elevated by a great cast, and Chimpanzee offers breathtaking footage.

by | April 20, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a picture-perfect romance (The Lucky One, starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling), relationship advice (Think Like a Man, starring Michael Ealy and Meagan Good), and a curious little monkey (Disneynature’s Chimpanzee, narrated by Tim Allen). What do the critics have to say?

The Lucky One


At this point, we know what we’re getting from a film based on a Nicholas Sparks novel: syrupy romance and melodramatic plot twists. Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that, and critics say The Lucky One has moments of escapism, but it’s ultimately hampered by an overabundance of schmaltzy clichés. Zac Efron stars as a Marine serving in Iraq who finds a photo of an unknown woman in the desert, which he carries with him until the end of his tour of duty and seems to bring him good luck. Upon returning to the States, he treks across the country to find her, and passion ensues. The pundits say The Lucky One is occasionally swoony, but it’s also seriously contrived and formulaic — in other words, it’s pretty similar to other Sparks adaptations.

Think Like a Man


Sometimes an excellent cast can elevate even the most shopworn material. Case in point: Think Like a Man, which critics say would be a pretty mediocre romantic comedy if not for the combined efforts of its players. Based upon Steve Harvey’s self-help tome Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, the film follows four guys (including Michael Ealy and Kevin Hart) whose love interests have treated them differently after reading the book. As a result, the guys decide to scour its contents for advice on how to turn the tables on the ladies (whose ranks include Meagan Good, Regina Hall, and Taraji P. Henson). The pundits say the script is pretty generic, but the actors give it their all, and the result is a pretty funny take on modern romance.



Since 2009, Disneynature has celebrated Earth Day with a feature length nature documentary. This year’s selection is Chimpanzee, and critics say it’s a remarkably intimate look at our primate friends – though it’s sometimes over reliant on heavy-handed narration. Chimpanzee is the story of Oscar, a young chimp growing up within an extended family; when things take a dark turn for the little ape, he gets support from an unexpected source. The pundits say Chimpanzee often anthropomorphizes its subjects, but the footage is so amazing — and the chimps are so cute — that you and your family probably won’t mind too much. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down some of cinema’s most memorable chimp movies.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Day He Arrives, a dramedy about a washed-up filmmaker wandering around Seoul and meeting up with old friends, is at 100 percent.
  • Marley, a documentary on the life and music of reggae’s greatest star, is at 96 percent.
  • Oki’s Movie, about a woman who documents climbing a mountain twice — each time with a different boyfriend — is at 86 percent.
  • Inside Hana’s Suitcase, a doc about the search for information regarding a mysterious suitcase delivered to the Tokyo Holocaust Museum, is at 73 percent.
  • Downtown Express, a drama about a Russian classical violinist whose life changes when he meets an attractive singer-songwriter, is at 71 percent.
  • The Eye of the Storm, starring Charlotte Rampling and Geoffrey Rush in a drama about the children of a dying woman dealing with her negative influence, is at 68 percent.
  • To the Arctic, a doc that follows a family of polar bears through a changing environment, is at 67 percent.
  • The French import Goodbye First Love, a drama about a young woman still profoundly affected by a teenage romance, is at 65 percent.
  • Fightville, a doc about the world of minor league mixed martial arts, is at 50 percent.
  • The Moth Diaries, a horror film about a grieving young woman who suspects one of her classmates is a vampire, is at 20 percent.
  • Darling Companion, starring Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline in a dramedy about an aging couple who rekindle the spark in their relationship while caring for a rescued dog, is at 10 percent (check out director Lawrence Kasdan’s Five Favorite Films here).

Tag Cloud

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