Critics Consensus

Critical Consensus: Sweeney Todd, Walk Hard, and Charlie Wilson All Certified Fresh!

Also: National Treasure doesn't break the bank, P.S. is P.U.

by | December 20, 2007 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got unruly history buffs (National Treasure:
Book of Secrets
, starring
Nicolas Cage), fake rockers (Walk Hard: The
Dewey Cox Story
, starring
John C. Reilly), rogue senators (Charlie
Wilson’s War
, starring
Tom Hanks,
Julia Roberts, and
Philip Seymour
), bon mots from beyond the grave (P.S. I Love You,
starring Hilary Swank and
Gerard Butler), and demon barbers (Tim
, starring
Johnny Depp). What do the critics have to say?

posited that there was a secret code hidden within the design of
U.S. legal tender. And the movie garnered enough legal tender so that a
Book of Secrets
could be made. For the second installment,
adventurer Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) is again on the trail of secrets from the
past, as new evidence has implicated his great grandfather in the
assassination of Abraham Lincoln; thus begins a globetrotting trek loaded with
mystery and intrigue. Ridiculous? You’d better believe it, pundits say,
although they also note that Secrets occasionally has enough giddy momentum to make
viewers overlook its absurdities. At 53 percent on the Tomatometer, this Book
might be worth cracking open for series fans. It’s certainly a cut above its
predecessor’s 41 percent.

“So Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton AND Lincoln?”

Wilson’s War
delves into one of the stranger stories of the Cold War era.
Based on a true story, War shows how a free-wheeling congressman (Tom Hanks), a wealthy socialite (Julia Roberts), and Gust Avrakotos (Philip Seymour
), a CIA agent who didn’t play by the rules, joined forces in
an attempt to liberate Afghanistan after it was invaded by the Soviets (and,
in doing so, laid the groundwork for the Taliban to take over the country
later). Critics say director
Mike Nichols has made War both a smart
look at realpolitik and a screwball comedy, with plenty of help from Hanks and
Hoffman. At 79 percent on the Tomatometer, this War is good for quite a

“I have a vision: The Afghan people enjoying freedom,
choice, and Lipps Inc."

has been a golden year for
Judd Apatow:
Knocked Up
(90 percent), which
he directed and wrote, and
(87 percent), which he produced,
are two of the best-reviewed and most commercially successful comedies of 2007. With
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, pundits say he’s scored a
hat trick. A satire on musical biopics, Walk Hard tells the inspiring
story of a Southern boy (John C. Reilly) and his up-and-down career in the
music biz — which includes lots of groupies, rehab, and meetings with such
luminaries as Elvis, the Beatles, and the Ghostface Killah. Critics say Walk
works because Apatow and director
Jake Kasdan maintain a nimble
balance between homage and parody, celebrating the rock film’s conventions
while deftly (and smuttily) satirizing them. And they say the film is loaded
with good performances, most notably from Reilly, who may graduate from
character roles with his work here. At 78 percent on the Tomatometer, Cox
rocks. (Check out
week’s Total Recall
, in which RT explores other music-related comedies.)

Happy holidays from Dewey Cox and RT!

In the
case of romantic movies, one is generally not compelled to head to the theater
in search of realism but escapism. Still, internal logic is usually required,
something critics say
P.S. I Love You
Hilary Swank
stars as a woman whose husband (Gerard Butler) succumbs to a brain tumor.
Before his death, however, he wrote her a series of letters that will act as
her guide to a better life — and possibly, a brand new love. Critics say P.S.
contains more sap than a Canadian forest, and the lack of chemistry between Swank
and Butler undermines the film’s notions of a sweeping, timeless romance. At
14 percent on the Tomatometer, critics are saying P.S. I Love You
should be returned to sender.

“Where do you want to dine tonight? That new Indian
place…or IN HELL!?"

what you’re looking for this holiday season is a heavy dose of the macabre,
you’re in luck. Critics say
Sweeney Todd:
The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tim Burton‘s adaptation of
Stephen Sondheim’s musical of the same name, is tasty as one of Mrs. Lovett’s
meat pies. Sweeny tells the gruesome tale of Mr. Todd (Johnny Depp),
who vows revenge on the world after being unjustly sent to prison; with the
help of his landlady (played by
Helena Bonham Carter), he uses his barber shop
as a place for murder, and she uses the bodies he accumulates to make her
pies. The pundits say Sweeny Todd is a demented wonder, full of
stunning visuals, a mordant sense of humor, well-staged musical numbers, and
dedicated performances. At 85 percent on the Tomatometer, Sweeny Todd
cuts deep. And it’s the best-reviewed Tim burton film since
Ed Wood

“This’ll cost you an arm and a leg, but at least you get a
complimentary pie."

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The District!, an
    animated Hungarian import about gang conflicts, is at 86 percent on the

  • Steep, a doc about the perils of big mountain skiing, is
    at 56 percent.

  • Flakes, a comedy about an all-cereal café starring
    the always lovely
    Zooey Deschanel, is at 11 percent.

    Christopher Lloyd after eating some "vintage" Nintendo

Julia Roberts Movies:
78% — Charlotte’s Web (2006)
63% — The Ant Bully (2006)
68% — Closer (2004)
55% — Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
34% — Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

Johnny Depp Movies:
45% — Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)
91% — Deep Sea (IMAX) (2006)
54% —
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
32% — The Libertine (2005)
83% — Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005)

Tag Cloud

hollywood Star Wars pirates of the caribbean thriller Mary poppins spy thriller NBA superman ID Food Network Television Academy Comic Book MSNBC based on movie stop motion RT History richard e. Grant summer TV preview target scene in color boxing period drama FX on Hulu BET Awards SundanceTV live event anime parents sag awards Starz italian E3 werewolf Ellie Kemper See It Skip It Fox Searchlight japan Masterpiece Dark Horse Comics critics sequel serial killer New York Comic Con asian-american VOD Reality dceu NBC Britbox Adult Swim VICE classics Brie Larson Best Director zero dark thirty Video Games travel zombie target festivals Marvel Studios Sci-Fi Pop jurassic park Focus Features franchise heist movie independent Heroines rt labs game of thrones supernatural olympics GIFs TLC Hollywood Foreign Press Association scene in color film series CNN trailers docuseries Emmy Nominations Star Wars Celebration Disney Plus HFPA Native Fantasy Wes Anderson Walt Disney Pictures rotten Best Actor hispanic heritage month series Alien Summer king arthur Travel Channel comiccon Broadway scary Tarantino sitcom streaming movies Comic-Con@Home 2021 Avengers 1990s Schedule Calendar dramedy rt labs critics edition Instagram Live dragons YA comic book movies Captain marvel 007 ViacomCBS YouTube Premium documentaries art house Lionsgate E! reboot Country PaleyFest debate adventure Cartoon Network politics Rock BBC America SXSW 2022 Netflix Christmas movies YouTube Lifetime Pixar Apple TV+ Red Carpet biography CBS ratings 71st Emmy Awards Elton John Exclusive Video black comedy ITV DC Universe criterion Stephen King best spain Endgame scary movies Musical new zealand cancelled TV shows HBO Max Photos Grammys Baby Yoda comic book movie Crunchyroll Watching Series laika Podcast dc VH1 universal monsters Cannes cooking Binge Guide Ovation football Marvel The CW suspense die hard finale nfl cults BBC One cars Tokyo Olympics The Purge remakes Music canceled GoT new york Esquire Premiere Dates tv talk ghosts sopranos composers Showtime Marvel Television Amazon Prime kids Set visit TCA dogs archives Nat Geo SDCC IFC Films joker deadpool cancelled television elevated horror doctor who Infographic crime thriller Year in Review crime drama batman 2017 spanish dark nature docudrama stoner historical drama Oscars Chernobyl Geeked Week unscripted Turner name the review Hear Us Out Spike transformers gangster concert movies disaster toy story Lucasfilm Disney Channel TV One Women's History Month Peacock TCA 2017 war hispanic psycho The Walking Dead hidden camera worst Disney french Sony Pictures Film Festival HBO Action political drama Rocketman TBS interviews Disney streaming service mcc south america Shudder Amazon Studios popular spider-verse aliens MGM anthology Film foreign a nightmare on elm street marvel cinematic universe 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards TV Mary Poppins Returns Funimation Writers Guild of America PlayStation Tubi Discovery Channel latino Pacific Islander miniseries Sony Mystery godzilla dexter Box Office Turner Classic Movies USA japanese cartoon know your critic Mary Tyler Moore cops Nominations Paramount Plus Thanksgiving mission: impossible FXX witnail IMDb TV scorecard LGBT Classic Film San Diego Comic-Con BET LGBTQ christmas movies 2018 Awards Song of Ice and Fire Oscar harry potter Acorn TV adenture spanish language mutant cats WarnerMedia king kong X-Men Polls and Games obituary award winner Sneak Peek TIFF summer preview Superheroe movie young adult festival satire Ghostbusters rom-coms documentary OWN 94th Oscars Image Comics crossover comedies Legendary toronto GLAAD Hallmark Christmas movies Musicals vs. HBO Go international Winter TV Character Guide MTV breaking bad Horror versus Rocky Holidays Reality Competition Sundance Now Interview technology psychological thriller Fall TV telelvision TCA Winter 2020 Comics on TV Certified Fresh spinoff TCM comics screenings black DC Comics NYCC critic resources First Look Creative Arts Emmys sports golden globes boxoffice all-time Black Mirror Tags: Comedy Superheroes stand-up comedy Animation Academy Awards aapi 2016 facebook screen actors guild Warner Bros. SXSW 93rd Oscars dreamworks animated 21st Century Fox Holiday Bravo TV renewals space Universal nbcuniversal monster movies Marathons worst movies renewed TV shows venice The Witch 79th Golden Globes Awards australia Super Bowl National Geographic women teaser Rom-Com basketball cancelled TV series Toys broadcast Pop TV Teen Star Trek halloween legend Disney+ Disney Plus The Arrangement Universal Pictures Winners blockbusters revenge leaderboard Pirates TNT comic books mob talk show television casting DGA 45 Indigenous Countdown CBS All Access wonder woman chucky Fargo AMC 2019 justice league Netflix scene in color CW Seed obi wan ABC Signature Family USA Network Vudu sequels halloween tv 2020 emmy awards kong true crime The Walt Disney Company Epix fresh CMT The Academy biopic child's play police drama A24 natural history video on demand romantic comedy hist canceled TV shows 2021 Hulu zombies Logo cinemax Fox News DirecTV science fiction APB Pet Sematary Mindy Kaling FOX scene in color series Best Actress Anna Paquin FX Best Picture Emmys cancelled Election ABC vampires El Rey blockbuster Awards Tour robots quibi Hallmark ABC Family Prime Video OneApp streamig indie strong female leads crime Cosplay History 24 frames 99% ESPN genre news Quiz golden globe awards Arrowverse rotten movies we love comic video directors prank feel good royal family Freeform Neflix high school 20th Century Fox Columbia Pictures Comedy WGN South by Southwest Film Festival kaiju fast and furious Lifetime Christmas movies Valentine's Day green book 90s Amazon YouTube Red book adaptation book 72 Emmy Awards Paramount Pictures spider-man jamie lee curtis Drama reviews TCA Awards Chilling Adventures of Sabrina live action rt archives superhero A&E Apple posters Tumblr action-comedy discovery DC streaming service Apple TV Plus Biopics TV Land twilight AMC Plus Mudbound marvel comics free movies Paramount social media slashers theme song First Reviews Opinion Sundance Spring TV films 4/20 Crackle Amazon Prime Video President Martial Arts RT21 lord of the rings saw Christmas trophy IFC Pride Month Trophy Talk Spectrum Originals mockumentary Nickelodeon Syfy summer TV razzies Tomatazos TruTV singing competition diversity American Society of Cinematographers BAFTA BBC blaxploitation children's TV PBS Television Critics Association Paramount Network binge indiana jones 2015 MCU 73rd Emmy Awards Western Black History Month Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Trivia Best and Worst Trailer Sundance TV TV movies Extras Comedy Central streaming adaptation james bond game show Shondaland slasher what to watch new star wars movies medical drama Kids & Family romance