Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II is Certified Fresh

Plus, Winnie the Pooh is also Certified Fresh.

by | July 14, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the conclusion to one of the most popular cinematic franchises ever (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson), and we revisit Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie the Pooh, starring Jim Cummings and Craig Ferguson). What do the critics have to say?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

96%

How do you conclude one of cinema’s most beloved franchises? With a bang. Critics say Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II is the perfect send-off to a series that’s enchanted millions: it’s viscerally thrilling, visually majestic, and poignantly acted — especially so because we’ve watched Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint grow up on the big screen. The stage has been set for a final showdown between Harry and the evil Lord Voldemort, whose nefarious ambitions include the destruction of Hogwarts and conquest over the rest of us Muggles, too. Can Harry, Hermione, and Ron save the day? As with every preceding chapter in the Harry Potter saga, Deathly Hallows: Part II is Certified Fresh, and the pundits say director David Yates pulled out all the stops to make this a satisfying, emotionally resonant conclusion, filled with excellent performances from familiar faces, superior special effects, and just the right amount of melancholy — after all, it’s tough to say goodbye to the magical world of Hogwarts. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down all of the Harry Potter movies in chronological order.)

Winnie the Pooh

90%

If you’re looking for a sweet, gentle animated film that entertains without resorting to manic bursts of activity and pop culture references, you’re in luck. Critics say Winnie the Pooh brings A.A. Milne’s classic characters into a new era with a light, whimsical touch that recalls the glory days of Disney’s hand-drawn animated features. The plot is simple: Winnie the Pooh is hungry, and goes looking for some honey. Along the way, he must help his pal Eeyore, who’s lost his tail. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Winnie the Pooh is brisk, loveable stuff that has the easy charm of a storybook, and its crisp visuals are both enchanting and pleasingly old-school.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Errol Morris‘s Tabloid, a documentary about a beauty queen whose wild misadventures captivated the British press in the late 1970s, is Certified Fresh at 88 percent.

  • Life, Above All, a drama about a 12-year-old South African girl who’s struggling to do all she can for her troubled family, is at 84 percent.

  • Daylight, a thriller about a couple and a hitchhiker who play a psychological game of cat-and-mouse, is at 80 percent.

  • Phase 7, a sci-fi thriller about a couple holed up in a Buenos Aires apartment building as a deadly epidemic sweeps the city, is at 80 percent.

  • The Tree, starring Charlotte Gainsbourg in a drama about an eight-year-old who believes her deceased father’s spirit lives on in a fig tree near her house, is at 75 percent.

  • Lucky, starring Colin Hanks and Ari Graynor in a comedy about a lottery winner with a dark secret, is at 33 percent.

  • Snow Flower And The Secret Fan, a drama that explores the close relationships between two sets of friends in 19th Century and modern China, is at 29 percent.

  • Salvation Boulevard, starring Pierce Brosnan and Jennifer Connelly in a comedy about an evangelical minister who gets caught up in some sinful behavior, is at seven percent.

  • The Undefeated, a documentary that chronicles Sarah Palin’s political rise, is at zero percent.

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