Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Super 8 is Certified Fresh

Plus, Judy Moody is kind of a bummer, and Midnight in Paris is Certified Fresh.

by | June 10, 2011 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a close encounter (Super 8, starring Kyle Chandler and Elle Fanning), a quest for fun (Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer, starring Jordana Beatty and Heather Graham), and a Gallic nostalgia trip (Midnight in Paris, starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams). What do the critics have to say?

Super 8

81%

With films like Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg altered the cinematic landscape by combining B-movie thrills with sophistication and emotional heft. Now, with Spielberg producing, J.J. Abrams tries something similar with Super 8, and critics say it’s a both an expert homage to old-school 1970s proto-blockbusters and an exciting, heartfelt thrill-ride in its own right. Super 8 is the tale of a group of youngsters who, while filming a homemade movie, witness a horrific train crash. When the citizens of their small town become unnerved by a series of unexplained disappearances, the kids begin to suspect the crash might not have been an accident — and it may have unleashed something unworldly upon their sleepy community. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Super 8 pulls off the neat trick of being both suspenseful and poignant, with strong performances and an uncanny sense of the story-driven power of Spielberg’s early classics. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Spielberg’s best productions.)

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

21%

It’s an old adage, but it’s one that bears repeating: sometimes, what works on the page falls flat on the screen. Take Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer, for example: critics say this kiddie comedy — based upon the bestselling books by Megan McDonald — is an exercise in overblown whimsy that’s so manic it never slows down long enough to charm. Judy Moody is the tale of a precocious eight-year-old (played by Jordana Beatty) forced to spend the summer with her eccentric Aunt Opal (Heather Graham) when her parents and best friends leave town. But Judy’s got a plan, in the form of a checklist of adventures that, if achieved, count for “thrill points.” The pundits say that little kids might find some laughs in Judy Moody, but their parents and older siblings probably won’t; despite the good efforts of a game cast, the movie is hyper and noisy, with a plot that’s more a series of zany vignettes than a cohesive story.

Midnight in Paris

93%

Even at this late stage of his career, Woody Allen is capable of wringing a few surprises out of his trademark formula. Critics say Midnight in Paris is a treat for Allen’s fans and romantics alike, a comedy about wish fulfillment that’s magical and touching. Owen Wilson stars as an aspiring novelist who, on a trip to Paris with his fiancée, is transported back to the city’s Jazz Age, sharing drinks with Salvador Dali, getting advice from Ernest Hemingway, and finding romance with a beautiful scenester (Marion Cotillard). But is our hero’s idealized 1920s Paris all that it’s cracked up to be? And is his fantasy incompatible with the real world? The critics say the Certified Fresh Midnight in Paris is a delight, with terrific performances from an all-star cast (particularly Wilson as Allen’s onscreen surrogate) and a dreamy sweetness that’s both funny and lovely.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • One Lucky Elephant, a documentary about a man’s attempt to move an adult circus pachyderm to a more natural environment, is at 100 percent.

  • The Trip, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in a largely improvised comedy about a pair of foodies on a jaunt across the English countryside, is at 85 percent.

  • Viva Riva!, a Congolese crime drama about a small-time hustler looking to make a big score without running afoul of the underworld, is at 83 percent.

  • Bride Flight, a drama about three Dutch women immigrating to New Zealand whose lives intersect with a fellow immigrant, is at 80 percent.

  • TrollHunter, a horror/comedy about a group of Norwegian film students who discover a terrifying mythic beast, is at 77 percent.

  • Road To Nowhere, a drama about a woman cast in a true crime film that shares many similarities with the victim she’s portraying, is at 71 percent.

  • Just Like Us, doc about a Middle Eastern tour of a group standup comedians, is at 67 percent.

  • Reversion, a meditative sci-fi drama about a woman with a mutation that doesn’t allow her to process time, is at 43 percent.

Tag Cloud

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