Critics Consensus

Artemis Fowl, Da 5 Bloods, and The King of Staten Island Hit Digital Release This Week

As people continue to self-quarantine at home, we run down the most notable films hitting VOD and streaming services.

by | June 12, 2020 | Comments

As more and more people are compelled to practice social distancing and encouraged to stay home, as movie theaters temporarily shutter their doors, and as studios continue to pull their scheduled 2020 films off the release calendar, we’ve decided to reformat the Critics Consensus column to focus on titles that are newly available on the home entertainment market. With that in mind, our list of digital and streming new releases this week includes a fantasy adventure adaptation on Disney+, Spike Lee’s latest joint on Netflix, and a Judd Apatow dramedy on VOD. See below for details.


Artemis Fowl (2020) 8%

On paper, Artemis Fowl sounds like the kind of film best suited for the big screen: It’s a special effects-driven fantasy spectacle based on a series of popular young adult novels populated by magical creatures, and it was helmed by a big-name director (Kenneth Branagh). And the big screen is exactly where it was headed before the coronavirus pandemic changed everything, so it was probably a bad sign when Disney decided not to reschedule its theatrical debut and delivered it straight to streaming instead. That brings us to this week, as Disney+ subscribers are now able to watch Artemis Fowl from the comfort of their couches, and critics who have seen it say that was probably a smart move by the Mouse House. Newcomer Ferdia Shaw stars as the precocious titular 12-year-old, the genius son of a criminal mastermind (Colin Farrell) who has been abducted and imprisoned by a gang of fairies for his past crimes. With the help of his servant, a dwarf informant, and a fairy police officer he has himself kidnapped, Artemis sets out to rescue his father and take hold of his destiny. This is yet another attempt to capture the Y.A.-based fantasy audience that made the Harry Potter franchise such a hit, but critics say Artemis Fowl is a poor imitation of its source material that completely misses what made it interesting in the first place and chooses the most bland route possible en route to a destination that never arrives. In other words, it feels like a half-hearted attempt to jump-start a franchise, and its lack of soul proves to be its undoing. But hey, if you want to see Dame Judi Dench as an Irish fairy, you’ve come to the right place.

Available now on: Disney+


Da 5 Bloods (2020) 92%

The ongoing protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death echo the concerns African-Americans have been struggling with for decades, if not centuries, and if there’s one modern director who has spent significant screentime examining those concerns from different angles, it’s Spike Lee. With that in mind, it’s exceedingly fitting that this week sees the release of his latest film, Da 5 Bloods, an action-drama that couches a heist adventure within an earnest exploration of the Black experience in America. The film stars Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. as four aging Vietnam veterans who return to the country both to retrieve the remains of their fallen squad leader (Chadwick Boseman) and to reclaim a stash of hidden gold for themselves. Their journey takes unexpected turns, of course, and the old friends are forced to reckon not only with their collective past, but also with the kinds of men America and the war has made them. Critics say Da 5 Bloods is a remarkably timely effort that makes some interesting choices and drives home the perpetual urgency of its message, but it also takes a few unexpected turns along the way. On top of all that, most agree that Lindo delivers a standout performance here, inspiring some of the first awards-season chatter of the year.

Available now on: Netflix


The King of Staten Island (2020) 75%

Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson is known for often candidly referencing his own personal struggles and relationship troubles in his comedy, so it’s not surprising that he mined his own life experiences to co-write The King of Staten Island with director Judd Apatow. At the same time, Apatow himself is no stranger to stories of arrested development, which makes him a great fit here. The story revolves around a 24-year-old layabout named Scott (Davidson) whose father — like Davidson’s — was a firefighter who died in the line of duty during the 9/11 attacks. Suffering from the trauma of that memory, Scott still lives at home with his mother and spends most of his time getting high with his stoner buddies, but when mom starts dating another firefighter, he’s suddenly forced to reckon with his past and maybe, finally, move on. Critics say The King of Staten Island is a fairly effective vehicle for Davidson, who showcases a lot of heart and emotion in a role that, for obvious reasons, comes quite naturally to him. Some feel that Apatow’s more indulgent tendencies — like the film’s bloated running time — only serve to undermine the story’s dramatic impact, but overall, it’s still generates a lot of laughs and features a stellar supporting cast that includes Marisa Tomei, Bill Burr, Steven Buscemi, Bel Powley, among others.

Available now on: FandangoNOWVuduAmazonGoogle PlayiTunes


Thumbnail image by Disney+

Tag Cloud

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