Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Fifty Shades of Grey is Too Safe to Satisfy

Plus, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Better Call Saul are Certified Fresh

by | February 12, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a risqué relationship (Fifty Shades of Grey, starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson) and slick super-spies (Kingsman: The Secret Service, starring Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson). What do the critics have to say?

Fifty Shades of Grey


If you thought Twilight needed fewer vampires and more handcuffs, Fifty Shades of Grey was written for you. E.L. James’ Twilight fan fiction-turned-erotic novel has become an international sensation in its own right and spawned a big screen adaptation that hits theaters this week. Unfortunately, critics say the film is surprisingly tame, considering its source material. Dakota Johnson plays Anastasia Steele, a timid undergrad tasked with interviewing a wealthy, good-looking entrepreneur named Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). The mutual attraction is clear, but Ana soon learns that Christian has some rather unusual bedroom habits and must decide whether or not she’ll follow his lead. The pundits say Fifty Shades of Grey works better on screen than it does on the page, but it lacks the requisite heat to register as a truly titillating treat. (Be sure to check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we look at 15 Boundary-Pushing Movies That Broke Sexual Taboos, and our gallery of 50 sexually explicit relationships on film.)

Kingsman: The Secret Service


If Austin Powers were a tad darker and a whole lot bloodier, you might end up with something like Kingsman: The Secret Service, Matthew Vaughn’s high octane sendup of gentlemanly espionage that critics say is fun and subversive, if a bit over the top. Colin Firth plays veteran super spy Harry Hart, who recruits a twentysomething troublemaker named Eggsy (Taron Egerton) into the ranks of his secret organization. When a tech mogul (Samuel L. Jackson) is suspected of utilizing his power to wreak havoc on the world, Harry and Eggsy set out to track him down and stop him. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Kingsman: The Secret Service is a cheeky, unabashedly absurd caper that gleefully plays on genre clichés, though its stylized violence may be too much for some.

What’s Hot On TV:

Better Call Saul (Certified Fresh at 100 percent) is a quirky, dark character study that manages to stand on its own without being overshadowed by the series that spawned it.

Thanks to a liberal dose of propulsive, bloody action and enough compelling character moments to reward longtime fans, critics say The Walking Dead‘s (Certified Fresh at 97 percent) fifth season continues to deliver top-notch entertainment.

Though the characters verge on stereotypes, they are aptly executed by The Slap‘s (68 percent) bright cast, allowing the show’s topical themes to shine through in a provocative, meaningful way.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • GETT: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, a drama about an Israeli woman who is put on trial for breaking religious law when she applies for divorce from her abusive husband, is at 100 percent.
  • What We Do in the Shadows, starring Jemaine Clement in a mockumentary profile of a quartet of vampire roommates living in New Zealand, is Certified Fresh at 92 percent.
  • Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, an action-horror film about a zombie outbreak in the Australian outback, is at 67 percent.
  • The Rewrite, starring Hugh Grant and Marisa Tomei in a romantic comedy about a struggling screenwriter who takes up teaching at a local university, is at 61 percent.
  • The Last 5 Years, starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan in a musical comedy chronicling the failed relationship between a novelist and a struggling actress, is at 61 percent.
  • Spike Lee‘s Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, a horror drama revolving around three people who are connected by a cursed ancient artifact that inspires bloodthirst in humans, is at 45 percent.
  • Old Fashioned, a romantic drama about an antique shop owner who falls for the free-spirited woman who rents the apartment above his shop, is at 25 percent.
  • White Rabbit, starring Nick Krause and Sam Trammel in a thriller about a troubled young man who slowly succumbs to his mental illness, is at 14 percent.

Tag Cloud

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