Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Insurgent is a Muddled Mess

Plus, The Gunman misses the mark, and iZombie and Community are Certified Fresh.

by | March 19, 2015 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a rebellious teen (Insurgent, starring Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet) and a repentant assassin (The Gunman, starring Sean Penn and Javier Bardem). What do the critics have to say?



Shailene Woodley is well on her way to becoming one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. However, critics say there’s only so much she can do to save Insurgent, a middling middle chapter with frenetic action sequences but little narrative cohesion or character development. This time out, Tris (Woodley) and her fellow Divergents are on the run from evil overlord Jeanine Matthews (Kate Winslet), who wants to exterminate the rebels and take control of futuristic Chicago’s various factions. The pundits say Insurgent is a definite step back for the franchise, as its excessive violence and confusing story overwhelm a terrific cast. (Watch our video interview with Woodley and co-stars Theo James, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, and Octavia Spencer, and click through our gallery of young adult novels that have been adapted to film.)

The Gunman


The veteran actor-shooting-people action subgenre is all the rage these days, and The Gunman has two things to set it apart from the pack: geopolitics and Sean Penn. Unfortunately, critics say it’s pretty generic otherwise, with a predictable plot and a shortage of energy. Years after carrying out a hit in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jim Terrier (Penn) is working for a humanitarian organization when he discovers he’s the target of a shadowy organization — and that his ex has fallen into its clutches. The pundits say The Gunman benefits greatly from its scenic locations, but otherwise, this is a so-so thriller that doesn’t live up to its lofty ambitions. (Check out Penn’s best-reviewed films here.)

What’s On TV:

Despite cast and broadcast changes, Community (Certified Fresh at 91 percent) manages to remain at the top of its quirky class.

An amusing variation on the zombie trend, iZombie (Certified Fresh at 90 percent) is refreshingly different, if perhaps too youth-oriented to resonate with adult audiences.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Metalhead, a dramedy about a girl who immerses herself in heavy metal as a way of dealing with the death of her older brother, is at 100 percent.
  • Spring, starring Lou Taylor Pucci in a horror film about an American backpacker who strikes up a relationship with an Italian woman who’s harboring a shocking secret, is at 95 percent.
  • Amour Fou, a drama about writer Heinrich von Kleist and his attempt to get a society woman to join him in a suicide pact, is at 94 percent.
  • Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, starring Rinko Kikuchi in a drama about a woman who leaves behind her life in Japan to search for the buried cash in Fargo, is Certified Fresh at 89 percent.
  • Backcountry, a thriller about a couple that gets lost while hiking in the remote Canadian wilderness, is at 83 percent.
  • Jauja, starring Viggo Mortensen in a period drama about a Danish engineer who goes searching for his daughter after she runs off with a soldier, is at 78 percent.
  • She’s Lost Control, a drama about a sex surrogate whose life is thrown into disarray when she gets too close to one of her clients, is at 75 percent.
  • Zombeavers, a horror comedy about three friends vacationing at remote cabin who are menaced by the title creatures, is at 60 percent.
  • Danny Collins, starring Al Pacino and Christopher Plummer in a dramedy about a veteran rocker who decides to change his ways after discovering a long-lost letter from a music legend, is at 61 percent.
  • Tracers, starring Taylor Lautner in an action flick about a crew of thieves who use their parkour skills for a series of daring heists, is at 14 percent.
  • Growing Up and Other Lies, starring Adam Brody and Amber Tamblyn in a comedy about a group of millennials who walk across Manhattan while discussing the state of their lives, is at 14 percent.
  • David O. Russell‘s Accidental Love, starring Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal in a romantic comedy about a woman whose behavior changes when she gets a nail lodged in her skull, is at zero percent.
  • The Walking Deceased, a spoof of zombie apocalypse movies, is at zero percent.

Tag Cloud

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