Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: The Pirates! Band of Misfits Is Certified Fresh

Plus, The Five-Year Engagement is overlong but sweet, Safe is predictable but exciting, and The Raven is spooky but dull.

by | April 27, 2012 | Comments


This week at the movies, we’ve got silly seafarers (The Pirates! Band of Misfits, with voice work from Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson); longtime companions (The Five-Year Engagement, starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt); mafia targets (Safe, starring Jason Statham and Catherine Chan); and a literary gumshoe (The Raven, starring John Cusack and Alice Eve). What do the critics have to say?

The Pirates! Band of Misfits


Aardman Animations, the folks behind Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit films, make animated features the old-fashioned way: using stop-motion claymation. And critics say they’ve got another winner with The Pirates! Band of Misfits, a bright, breezy, gleefully eccentric nautical adventure/comedy. A pirate captain named Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) is on a quest to win the prestigious Pirate of the Year Award; along the way, buckles are swashed, planks are walked, and ships are plundered (ineffectively, but still). The pundits say the Certified Fresh Pirates! Band of Misfits stands as another triumph for Aardman — it’s filled with witty sight gags and inventive visual touches, and it’s likely to amuse both children and their parents.

The Five-Year Engagement


With their patented mix of heart and raunch, Judd Apatow‘s productions — including, but not limited to, Superbad and Bridesmaids — have scored big with audiences and reviewers. Critics say The Five-Year Engagement doesn’t quite measure up to those standards, but despite some slack pacing, it’s still a pretty warm and honest look at modern love. Jason Segel and Emily Blunt star as Tom and Violet, whose matrimonial happiness is perpetually delayed by everything from bad luck to professional complications. The pundits say The Five-Year Engagement is way too long, and not every gag is a winner, but it’s redeemed by some big laughs and the sweet, believable chemistry between its leads. (Check out our countdown of the best-reviewed wedding movies here.)



Jason Statham is equally adept at roundhouse kicks and existential brooding. And while not every Statham vehicle is created equal, critics say Safe is better than most; though it’s formulaic to the bone, the film is gritty and exciting thanks in large part to its star’s charisma and acrobatics. Statham stars as Luke Wright, an ultimate fighter who botches a fixed fight, drawing the ire of the mafia. However, when he rescues and protects a 12-year-old girl with valuable information in her head, the two are pursued by both mobsters and corrupt government officials. The pundits say Safe is really predictable, but it’s an efficient, tough yarn that should satisfy adrenaline junkies. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we run down memorable movies with matching titles.)

The Raven


The Raven is an odd (if intriguing) bird: it’s a period thriller in which Edgar Allen Poe helps to track a serial killer inspired by the author’s most macabre works. But, to paraphraseth the titular poem, critics say the result has made them weak and weary, as it vainly tries to borrow from fantastic terrors we’ve seen before. After a series of brutal slayings, a young detective calls upon Poe (John Cusack) to help ensure that the writer’s most homicidal fan will kill nevermore. The pundits say The Raven has a spooky gothic look, but it’s mostly a gloomy procedural that offers few thrills — or insights into Poe’s life and works. (Check out Cusack’s Five Favorite Films here.).)

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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