Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Transformers: Dark of the Moon is Less Than Meets the Eye

Plus, Larry Crowne and Monte Carlo succumb to predictability.

by | June 30, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got robots in disguise (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, starring Shia LaBeouf and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), a recession romance (Larry Crowne, starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts), and a royal mix-up (Monte Carlo, starring Selena Gomez and Leighton Meester). What do the critics have to say?

Transformers: Dark of the Moon


Three films into the franchise, we pretty much know what we’re getting with a Transformers movie: tons of hyperkinetic robot action, with little in the way of character development or coherent plotting. So it is with Transformers: Dark of the Moon; critics say this latest installment is a marked improvement over Revenge of the Fallen, but it’s still an exercise in sensory overload that favors special effects over storytelling. This time out, the Autobots and Decepticons are both gunning for the remains of Sentinel Prime, which were discovered on the moon and contain important secrets; as usual, the Autobots’ buddy Sam (Shia LaBeouf) finds himself in the line of fire. The pundits say Transformers: Dark of the Moon has admittedly impressive special effects and a few solid action sequences, but the whole thing becomes numbing after a while – it’s just spectacle, with few (if any) compelling characters, a manufactured product that impresses with sheer bombast but stretches its thin plot way past the breaking point.

Larry Crowne


Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts are two of the biggest movie stars we have, so it’s fair to assume that any film with both of them is going to be pretty good, right? Well, not necessarily. Critics say despite the stars’ relaxed, easy chemistry, Larry Crowne is surprisingly bland and conventional. Hanks stars as a middle-aged Navy vet who loses his job and decides to enroll in community college. There he becomes a motor scooter enthusiast and starts a relationship with one of the school’s professors. Hanks and Roberts were terrific together in Charlie Wilson’s War (and Hanks won high praise for his previous directorial outing, That Thing You Do!), but the pundits say Larry Crowne is remarkably generic and inauthentic, a pleasant trifle that brings smiles from time to time but never hums with dramatic urgency or l’amour fou. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Hanks’s best-reviewed movies.)

Monte Carlo


There’s nothing wrong with movies about wish fulfillment — heck, that’s one of the main things that draws us to the theater. But you have to do more than just surround your protagonists with riches, and critics say Monte Carlo misses plenty of opportunities to explore beyond its premise, though it’s got its charms, thanks to some decent performances and overall good spirits. Selena Gomez and Leighton Meester star as vacationers who get mistaken for royalty, and soon, their dull European vacation becomes a luxurious, whirlwind tour of the continent. But what will happen when our heroines get found out? The pundits say Monte Carlo is decent tween fare, but it’s silly, predictable stuff that never pushes the boundaries of its formula.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Crime After Crime, a documentary about a woman’s long legal battle after a murder sentence many felt was unjust, is at 100 percent.
  • Delhi Belly, a Bollywood comedy about three average dudes who find themselves in the crosshairs of a crime boss, is at 80 percent.
  • Terri, starring John C. Reilly in a comedy about a teen misfit who befriends his school’s vice principal, is at 73 percent.
  • The Romanian import Aurora, a murder mystery that painstakingly examines a killer’s psyche, is at 71 percent.
  • The Perfect Host, starring David Hyde Pierce in a psychological thriller about a wanted bank robber who crashes a dinner party, is at 41 percent.
  • Love Etc., a doc about five New York couples and the complexities of their romantic relationships, is at 38 percent.

Tag Cloud

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