Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Is Unfunny and Juvenile

Plus, McFarland USA is surprisingly effective, and The Duff is solid, if unmemorable.

by | February 19, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got time-traveling hijinks (Hot Tub Time Machine 2, starring Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson), inspirational runners (McFarland USA, starring Kevin Costner and Maria Bello), and charming teens (The Duff, starring Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell). What do the critics have to say?

Hot Tub Time Machine 2


2010’s Hot Tub Time Machine may have sported a high concept joke title, but it succeeded as a fairly effective — if silly and raunchy — comedy. How many more laughs could one hope to squeeze out of that premise, you ask? Judging from the critical response to its sequel, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, not many. This time out, the gang (sans John Cusack, who declined to return) attempts to utilize their time-traveling jacuzzi to jump back to the past and prevent a violent attack on Lou (Rob Corddry). Unfortunately, they end up skipping ten years into the future, where they find a new friend (Adam Scott) and attempt to locate the assassin. The pundits say Hot Tub Time Machine 2 squanders its talented cast on a lazy, witless script that relies too heavily on toilet humor and lacks the heart of its predecessor. (Watch our video interviews with the cast here.)

McFarland USA


“Kevin Costner Sports Drama” might as well be its own genre at this point; the versatile star has tackled football, baseball, golf, and cycling on the big screen over the course of his career. In Disney’s McFarland USA, Costner branches out even further as a high school cross country coach, and critics say the result is a surprisingly satisfying underdog story. Based on true events, the film centers on disgraced football coach Jim White (Costner), who transitions to a new high school in an impoverished California town and decides to establish a cross-country team. Initially at odds with his students, White slowly earns their trust and transforms his ragtag running crew into a team of champions. The pundits say McFarland USA treads familiar ground, to be sure, but thanks to sure-handed direction by Niki Caro and a charismatic performance from Kevin Costner, it’s an earnest, effective tale that outpaces its genre kin.



High school can be a difficult time, especially if you’re not one of the cool kids, and cinema is littered with the fractured egos of teenagers who reaped their comeuppance at the hands of enlightened freaks, geeks, and outcasts. This weekend, The Duff seeks to distinguish itself in a sea of coming-of-age teen comedies, and critics say it almost hits its mark. Mae Whitman stars as Bianca, a normal happy high school senior who learns everyone refers to her as “the DUFF” (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). Understandably mortified, Bianca enlists the help of her ex-BFF Wesley (Robbie Amell) to reinvent herself and shed her undesirable reputation, hoping to attract the attention of her crush in the process. The pundits say The DUFF is mostly charming, thanks to Mae Whitman’s charisma, and just unique enough to be worth a watch, even if it does send some mixed messages and rely on familiar themes.

What’s On TV:

Amazon’s uneven boilerplate police drama, Bosch, is sharpened by gritty atmosphere, solid acting, and some rousing, suspenseful turns.

Stars Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon make a fine Oscar and Felix, but The Odd Couple‘s flat jokes and canned laughter are pretty old hat.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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