Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Beowulf is Certified Fresh; Magorium Short on Magic; Cholera is Under the Weather

Plus, Southland Tales Heads South; De Palma's Latest Gets Mixed Reviews

by | November 15, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got epic poems come to life (Beowulf,
starring Ray Winstone and
Angelina Jolie), a magical toy shop (Mr. Magorium’s Wonder
Emporium
, starring
Dustin Hoffman and
Natalie Portman), and romance in the
midst of infectious disease (Love in the Time of Cholera, starring
Javier Bardem). What do the critics have to say?

First, the bad news: critics say
Beowulf
will inspire English teachers
and literary scholars to tear out their hair. The good news? The scribes also
say it’s a flick that fans of bombastic action and phantasmagoria will want give
their right arms for. If you didn’t read the epic poem in school, get thee to a
library; suffice to say the story involves a dude named Beowulf (Ray Winstone)
tangling with mead hall-crashing beast Grendel (Crispin Glover) and
his vengeful, seductive mom (Angelina Jolie, much more attractive than her fictional
progeny would indicate). The pundits say Beowulf‘s amazing visuals are
the biggest draw here, as director
Robert Zemeckis uses dazzling CGI to bring
the classic tale to vivid life. (They also note it’s not for the kiddies,
despite its PG-13 rating.) At 79 percent, Beowulf is Certified Fresh, and
it’s well above Zemeckis’ previous animation/live-action hybrid,
The Polar
Express
(57 percent). (And
check out
our Total Recall feature on Beowulf and animation.)



Grendel waiting until somebody invents Jergens.

Everyone can use a dose of magic and whimsy from time to time, right? But
frippery requires a light touch, something critics say
Mr. Magorium’s Wonder
Emporium
lacks. Emporium stars
Dustin Hoffman in the title role as
the proprietor of a magic toy store, a place where baubles can come to life,
fueled by imagination;
Natalie Portman plays his protégé. The pundits say the
big problem with Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium is that it ODs on
zaniness in an effort to make up for a bland storyline. At 24 percent on the
Tomatometer, business isn’t all that brisk at this Emporium.




“Does Mr. Magorium sell cornballers?”

Nobel Prize-winner
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
is widely acknowledged to be one of the world’s great men of letters.
Javier Bardem, hot from his performance in
No
Country for Old Men
, stars in the adaptation of one of Marquez’ most
celebrated works,
Love in the Time of Cholera
. Unfortunately, critics say
it’s more like Love in the Time of Narcolepsy. Bardem stars as a man who
is so enraptured by a woman he waits 50 years for her, despite her shifting
affections. The pundits say Love misses the spirit and passion of
Marquez’ magical realist tale by miles, with fine actors in miscast roles and a
too-literal approach, bogging down material that has a sense of sweep and
romanticism on the page. At 17 percent on the Tomatometer, Cholera is
under critical quarantine.



Chaplin, post-‘stache.

Also opening this week in limited release: the documentary
I for India
,
the story of an expat corresponding to his family, is at 100 percent;
What
Would Jesus Buy?
, a doc that explores the commercialization of Christmas, is
at 94 percent; Gregg Araki‘s
Smiley Face, a stoner comedy starring
Anna
Faris
, is at 67 percent;
Redacted
,
Brian De Palma‘s mixed-media look at the horrors of the Iraq war, is at 52 percent (read
our interview with De Palma
here); the Icelandic import
Eleven Men Out
,
about a soccer star who comes out of the closet, is at 50 percent;
Noah Baumbach‘s
Margot at the Wedding, starring Nicole Kidman in a tale of
familial strife, is at 47 percent (check out our take from Toronto
here); and
Southland
Tales
, a wildly ambitious sci-fi/political satire starring
Dwayne "The
Rock" Johnson
and
Seann
William Scott
, is at 42 percent (see our interview
with director Richard Kelly
here).



"Boy, these Dean Martin celebrity roasts are hilarious!"

Recent Angelina Jolie Movies:
————————————-
77% — A Mighty Heart (2007)
55% — The Good Shepard (2006)
59% — Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
16% — Alexander (2004)
34% — Shark Tale (2004)

Recent Natalie Portman Movies:
—————————————
84% — Paris, Je T’Aime (2007)
29% — Goya’s Ghosts (2007)
24% — Free Zone (2006)
72% — V for Vendetta (2006)
80% — Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Tag Cloud

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