Critics Consensus

Critics Consensus: Tintin, Dragon Tattoo Are Certified Fresh

Plus, We Bought a Zoo and War Horse are sweet and warm, and The Darkest Hour wasn't screened.

by | December 22, 2011 | Comments

Happy Holidays! This week at the movies, we’ve got a junior adventurer (The Adventures of Tintin, starring Jamie Bell and Andy Serkis); a punk hacker (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara); an animal house (We Bought a Zoo, starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson); a trusted steed (War Horse, starring Jeremy Irvine and Emily Watson); and an alien invasion (The Darkest Hour, starring Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby). What do critics have to say?

The Adventures of Tintin


Belgian comic book hero Tintin has a lot in common with Indiana Jones, so it’s no surprise that Steven Spielberg has brought the young reporter/adventurer to the big screen. And critics say The Adventures of Tintin is an action-packed, technically resplendent escapade that’s light on plot and character development but heavy on fun. This motion-captured adaptation of Herge’s red-headed hero finds Tintin (Jamie Bell), his faithful dog Snowy, and the slovenly Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis) on a globe-trotting mission to find ancient treasure, all the while tailed by the evil Ivanovich Sakharine (Daniel Craig). The pundits say the Certified Fresh Adventures of Tintin is a beautifully crafted, gleefully escapist affair that should please the whole family.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


After being adapted in its native Swedish, Stieg Larsson’s international bestseller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo gets a Hollywood reboot courtesy of David Fincher, and critics say it’s thrilling and stylishly sleek, with a star-making performance from Rooney Mara. Daniel Craig stars as Mikael Blomkvis, a disgraced journalist who’s asked by a wealthy industrialist to investigate an unsolved murder. With the help of the brilliant but troubled computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Mara), Mikael soon finds that this cold case is full of dangerous secrets. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is riveting — it’s briskly paced and darkly atmospheric, and Mara nails Lisbeth, one of recent fiction’s most memorable characters.

We Bought a Zoo


Cameron Crowe makes movies about nice people, and critics say his latest, We Bought a Zoo, radiates good-natured charm. Based on a true story, it’s the tale of Benjamin (Matt Damon), a widower who moves his two children to a dilapidated zoological park. There, Benjamin works to restore the zoo to its former glory, and finds the cure for his soul sickness in the process. The pundits say that while We Bought a Zoo is clichéd and sappy, it’s also a lot of fun, with a warmhearted spirit that’s tough to resist. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Scarlett Johansson’s best-reviewed movies.

War Horse

Spielberg’s busy this holiday season; critics say his other new movie, War Horse, is an old-fashioned movie, with all the good and bad that comes with such a characterization; in other words, it’s heartfelt and rousing, but also sometimes sentimental and schmaltzy. Jeremy Irvine stars as Albert, who trains and bonds with a horse named Joey; when World War I breaks out, Joey is taken off to battle, and as he moves across the war zone, he touches lives on both sides of the conflict. The pundits say War Horse is sometimes corny and melodramatic, but it’s also sweet, stirring, and beautifully photographed.

The Darkest Hour


It looks like the folks behind The Darkest Hour have taken a cue from Ebenezer Scrooge — they’ve been miserly with critics’ screenings of The Darkest Hour. The movie follows a group of youngsters stranded in Moscow who must fight off an alien invasion. Kids, take time out from last minute shopping and guess the Tomatometer! (Also, check out star Emile Hirsch’s Five Favorite Films here).

Also opening this week in limited release:

And don’t forget — the Certified Fresh Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol expands into wide release this weekend.

Tag Cloud

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