Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Amazing Spider-Man Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Savages is uneven, pulpy fun, and Katy Perry: Part of Me is Certified Fresh.

by | July 5, 2012 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got a legendary web-slinger (The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone), a deadly cartel (Savages, starring Taylor Kitsch and Salma Hayek), and a teenage dream (the 3D concert documentary Katy Perry: Part of Me). What do the critics have to say?

The Amazing Spider-Man

72%

The Spider-Man franchise might have set a record for the quickest reboot, though critics say The Amazing Spider-Man is still entertaining, gritty, action-packed stuff — even if we’ve seen it all before. It’s the story of how Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) gets bitten by a radioactive spider, becomes a superhero, develops a relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and battles a supervillain named the Lizard. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Amazing Spider-Man covers some pretty well-trodden ground, but Garfield and Stone are excellent and the action sequences pack a wallop. (Check out 24 Frames for a pictorial rundown of Marvel characters on the big screen.)

Savages

50%

Oliver Stone may have mellowed in recent years, but critics say Savages is a return to the disreputable Stone films of old — one that’s messy, but often queasily compelling. A couple of friends (Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson) run a profitable marijuana-dealing business, but a fearsome Mexican drug cartel led by the ruthless Elana (Salma Hayek) insists on a partnership – with severe consequences if they refuse. The pundits say Savages is tonally uneven and a bit overlong, but it’s also exuberantly pulpy and features fine supporting turns from Benicio Del Toro and John Travolta. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Stone’s best-reviewed movies.)

Katy Perry: Part of Me

75%

At first glance, Katy Perry: Part of Me looks like a tricked-out infomercial, but critics say it’s a rousing and brightly-colored concert documentary that gives some insight into the star’s offstage life. The film follows Perry on her “California Dreams” world tour, capturing her eye-popping stage show as well as archival footage of her younger days and glimpses of backstage drama. The pundits say that even if the Certified Fresh Katy Perry: Part of Me doesn’t delve too deeply, it’s still a revealing portrait of a likeable pop star dealing with the rigors of life on the road.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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