Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Divergent Disappoints

Plus, Muppets Most Wanted is Certified Fresh.

by | March 21, 2014 | Comments

 

This week at the movies, we’ve got individuality under attack (Divergent, starring Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet) and Kermit under lock and key (Muppets Most Wanted, starring Ricky Gervais and Tina Fey). What do the critics have to say?

Divergent

41%

Based on a series of popular young adult novels, Divergent is a sci-fi allegory about the dangers of conformity. Ironically, critics say the biggest problem with the film is that it borrows too heavily from the likes of The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, leaving its terrific cast stranded in a sea of exposition. In a dystopian future, teenagers are forced to chose one of five factions with which they’ll associate for life. However, Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley) doesn’t fit neatly into any one group, and her independent streak makes her a target when two rival tribes prepare for war. The pundits say Woodley gives a star-making performance, and her supporting cast is top-notch, but Divergent is too grim and jumbled to fully resonate. (Check out our gallery of co-star Kate Winslet in some of her most memorable roles.)

Muppets Most Wanted

80%

“Everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good,” sing Kermit and Fozzie in the opening scene of Muppets Most Wanted. The operative word here is “quite,” for the critics say that while this caper comedy lacks the breezy charm of The Muppets, it’s got enough laughs and catchy tunes to entertain in its own right. Hot off their successful reunion show, the Muppets decide to take their act on the road, but things quickly go amiss when they sign up with a fast-talking booking agent (Ricky Gervais) who’s in league with a wanted criminal mastermind — and who looks exactly like Kermit the Frog. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Muppets Most Wanted maintains the anarchic spirit of the Muppets, and if the story isn’t as strong this time out, the rapid-fire gags are reliably witty and inventive. (Check out our video interviews with the cast, as well as our rundown of the best films from the Jim Henson Company.)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Finally, props to Vicente Torres and Nat Brautigam for coming the closest to guessing The Single Moms Club‘s 17 percent Tomatometer.

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