Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is Certified Fresh

Plus, American Hustle, Saving Mr. Banks, Inside Llewyn Davis, the Selfish Giant, The Past, and Her are all Certified Fresh as well.

by | December 20, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a group of classy newsmen (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd); a prehistoric family (Walking With Dinosaurs, with voice performances by John Leguizamo and Justin Long); Feds and con-artists (American Hustle, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper); an uneasy artistic partnership (Saving Mr. Banks, starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks); and a struggling folksinger (Inside Llewyn Davis, starring Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan). What do the critics have to say?



Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

75%

Both a goofy workplace comedy and a sly media satire, Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy earned a dedicated cult following, though the call for a sequel escalated slowly. Well, the wait is over, and critics say Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is pretty funny stuff; though it’s uneven and less quotable than its predecessor, it’s just as sublimely silly, and the talented cast riffs with energetic abandon. It’s the 1980s, and Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) and his old Channel 4 pals have been hired by a new 24-hour news network. Eschewing hard news, they focus on the sensational and the absurd — and garner big ratings in the process. The pundits say that 60 percent of the time, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues works every time; note every joke works, but a good many do, resulting in an anarchic comedy with a thing or two to say about our contemporary media landscape. (Check out this week’s Total Recall for a roundown of memorable movie journalists, and watch our video interviews with the stars of Anchorman 2.)



Walking With Dinosaurs

23%

When you’ve made a movie featuring painstakingly, naturalistically rendered CG dinosaurs, what more do you need? How about wiseacre dialogue and slapstick gags? Critics say that’s exactly the trouble with Walking With Dinosaurs, in which majestic visuals are seriously undermined by pedestrian storytelling. Based on a well-regarded BBC series, Dinosaurs is the tale of a young Pachyrhinosaurus (voiced by Justin Long) who squabbles with his siblings, encounters predators, and falls in love. The pundits say the filmmakers seem to have worried that a quasi-nature documentary approach might have turned off the youngsters, but the narrative is so poorly executed that the end result isn’t all t hat entertaining, much less educational.



American Hustle

92%

Plenty of filmmakers have paid homage to GoodFellas over the years. Critics say that with American Hustle, director David O. Russell has done them all one better: he’s crafted a deliriously entertaining crime picture with enough rich performances and stylistic razzle dazzle to actually earn comparisons to Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. Bradley Cooper stars as Richie, an FBI agent who busts Irving (Christian Bale) and Sydney (Amy Adams) for low-level grifting and subsequently enlists them, along with Irving’s unpredictable wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), into a sting operation designed to ensnare corrupt New Jersey politicians. The pundits say the Certified Fresh American Hustle is filled with fascinating characters, witty dialogue, toe-tapping 1970s tunes, and a giddy momentum that’s deeply infectious. (Check out our video interviews with Cooper, Adams, Bale, and Jeremy Renner.)



Saving Mr. Banks

79%

As the old saying goes, never let the facts get in the way of a good story. The critics say that even though Saving Mr. Banks deviates significantly from the historical record, it still manages to be a heartwarming showbiz tale with outstanding performances from Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks. Mary Poppis author P.L. Travers (Thompson) reluctantly agrees to meet with Walt Disney (Hanks), who desperately wants to adapt her book for the screen. Travers is deeply skeptical of Disney’s plans, and he has to pull out all the stops to persuade her to collaborate on the film. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Saving Mr. Banks is funny, poignant, and perfectly acted, even if the sharp edges of the real-life story have been sanded off.



Inside Llewyn Davis

92%

The Coen brothers have made plenty of movies about embattled outsiders, and critics say Inside Llewyn Davis is one of the best of the bunch, a bittersweet, lushly photographed chronicle of a down-and-out folksinger that’s heartfelt and darkly comic in equal measure. Haunted by the death of his singing partner, Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is in the midst of a personal and professional slump; he has little money, no permanent address, a shortage of gigs, and a knack for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Inside Llewyn Davis is an absorbing portrait of a struggling artist, stuffed with loving details that will delight music buffs. (Watch our video interviews with Isaac and co-star Carey Mulligan here.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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