Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Thor: The Dark World is Pretty Strong

Plus, About Time is schmaltzy but charming, and 12 Years a Slave is Certified Fresh.

by | November 8, 2013 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got the God of thunder (Thor: The Dark World, starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman) and a time-traveling romantic (About Time, starring Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams). What do the critics have to say?

Thor: The Dark World

66%

With a half-dozen movie franchises and a network TV series, the Avengers ecosystem has been a commercial juggernaught for Marvel, though one could be forgiven for wondering if the brand is a bit over-extended. Thankfully, critics say Thor: The Dark World is a rock-solid entry in Marvel’s cinematic canon, with enough muscular thrills and goofy humor to compensate for its occasionally confusing plot. This time out, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must stop an ancient race called the Dark Elves from plunging the cosmos into darkness. Things get personal when one of the elves inhabits the body of Thor’s sweetheart Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), and he’s forced to team up with his untrustworthy brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in order to save the universe. The pundits say Thor: The Dark World suffers from a bit too much exposition, but its action sequences are suitably stirring and Tom Hiddleston’s puckish performance nearly steals the show. (Watch our video interviews with Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Portman, and more, and click through our gallery of Marvel movie heroes.)

About Time

70%

Just because a romantic comedy is saccharine, schmaltzy, and predictable doesn’t mean it won’t turn audiences’ hearts to mush. Critics say that’s the case with About Time, an overly sentimental but often sweet and poignant charmer from Love Actually director Richard Curtis. Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) is a single guy who learns from his father that he has the ability to travel back in time to change his fate. However, when he utilizes his strange gift to woo Mary (Rachel McAdams), he discovers that other aspects of his life don’t quite line up the way he’d like them to. The pundits say that About Time is sometimes sappy and illogical, but Gleeson and McAdams make for an appealing onscreen couple. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down McAdams’ best-reviewed movies.)

12 Years a Slave

95%

After winning raves in limited release, 12 Years a Slave goes wide this week, and critics say it’s arguably the most powerful cinematic depiction of slavery ever captured on film. Chiwetel Ejiofor stars as Solomon Northup, a free man who’s kidnapped and sold into slavery; he quickly learns that in order to survive, he must suppress his identity and keep his head down while periodically enduring a series of painful and dehumanizing punishments. The pundits say that the Certified Fresh 12 Years a Slave is a painful but important work, thanks to Steve McQueen‘s brilliant direction and an Oscar-worthy performance from Ejiofor.

Also opening this week in limited release:

Tag Cloud

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