Critics Consensus

Bad Boys for Life Is Surprisingly Solid

Plus, Dolittle is bizarre and messy, and Weathering with You is Certified Fresh.

by | January 16, 2020 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a couple of good guys (Bad Boys for Life, starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence) and an adventurous doctor (Dolittle, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Michael Sheen). What are the critics saying?


Bad Boys for Life (2020) 77%

Nobody asked for another sequel to Bad Boys, the Michael Bay-directed 1995 action hit starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, but somebody got it in their head to do one anyway, and 17 years after the first sequel came out, here we are with another installment. Bad Boys for Life reunites Smith’s suave, playboy Miami detective Mike Lowery with his family-man partner, Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett, after the two have walked their own paths for some time. As they both prepare for retirement, a cartel boss with connections to their past initiates a vendetta against Mike, forcing them to work together alongside a team of younger cops to bring him down. Critics say the new film, helmed by the directorial team of Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, improves on the template set by the previous two films, pulling the best elements from them and infusing the story with more heart, and the result is a surprisingly enjoyable ride. The film is somewhat tamer than Bay’s typical macho posturing and wanton destruction, which is mostly a welcome development, and Smith and Lawrence sizzle on screen together like they haven’t spent the last decade and a half apart. At the end of the day, Bad Boys for Life even had some critics looking forward to another installment, which says a lot for a movie hardly anyone wanted in the first place.


Dolittle (2020) 14%

Writer Hugh Lofting’s Doctor Dolittle character has already been brought to the big screen twice before, most recently by Eddie Murphy, and neither of those efforts wowed the critics; this week’s Dolittle doesn’t seem likely to buck that trend. In his first post-MCU role, Robert Downey Jr. stars as the titular veterinarian with the power to communicate with animals, who is grieving the loss of his explorer wife when two children pay him a visit. One (Harry Collett) wants to become his apprentice, while the other (Carmel Laniado) is a lady in waiting to the Queen who hopes to enlist his help find an antidote to the poison the Queen has ingested. Together, the three of them embark on a journey with a gaggle of animals voiced by the likes of Emma Thompson, John Cena, Selena Gomez, Rami Malek, Octavia Spencer, Ralph Fiennes, and a litany of other A-listers, while Michael Sheen, Antonio Banderas, and Jim Broadbent make up a trio of adversaries who stand in their way. Unfortunately, all that star power doesn’t seem to have made a difference, as critics say Dolittle is a joyless, misguided, bizarrely directed adventure that largely wastes its talented cast and its special effects budget. It’s not particularly funny or clever, its tone is unfocused, and for his part, Robert Downey Jr. seems unsure of what he’s trying to accomplish with the character. All the CGI animal sidekicks may be enough to keep the youngest viewers engaged, but there may be little else to appeal to anyone older.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Weathering with You (2020)Makoto Shinkai’s latest animated film, about a teen who meets a girl who has the power to control the weather, is Certified Fresh at 95%.
  • Feedback (2020) , about a late night radio host whose live show is interrupted by a pair of armed men with a secret agenda, is at 77%.
  • The Wave (2020) , starring Justin Long in a sci-fi comedy about a man on vacation who undergoes a psychedelic journey after tripping on hallucinogens, is at 56%.
  • Disturbing the Peace (2020) , starring Guy Pearce in a thriller about a U.S. Marshal living in small-town Texas who takes on a biker gang, is at 0%.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

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