Critics Consensus

Disney's Aladdin One Jump Ahead of The Fresh Line, For Now

But will it stay there? Plus, Booksmart is smart and cool and Brightburn messes with the superhero trope.

by | May 23, 2019 | Comments

Can Prince Ali, mighty is he, slay at the box office? Aladdin, Disney’s live-action remake of its 1992 animated musical stars Will Smith as the sometimes-blue genie with the power to grant three wishes and Mena Massoud as the titular small-time thief-turned-imposter prince. It’s also the flashiest film opening this weekend – even if it doesn’t come with the highest reviews. That honor goes to director Olivia Wilde’s teen comedy Booksmart. Also in wide release is horror film Brightburn, which serves as a send-up of superhero films. All three movies offer reinventions of staid genres. But, which one will rule this weekend’s multiplexes? The critics have some thoughts.


Booksmart (2019) 97%

The movie trope of high school students wanting one last hurrah before graduation has been done, more often than not leaning on the male gaze (and let’s face it, often come with some sexist overtones that don’t always age well). That’s why Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is so refreshing. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein play self-confident Ivy League-bound seniors on the precipice of adulthood who don’t want some virginity-themed raunchy night out. They just want their classmates to remember them as the smart and fun ladies they – and clearly, the critics – know they are.

Brightburn (2019) 57%

Thanks to the legend of Superman, we’re taught to expect that a lot of good will happen when a child from another world crash-lands on Earth. Director David Yarovesky’s new horror film messes with this misconception, in the process earning some mixed reviews – and an R-rating, which  probably doesn’t help in regards to ticket sales. But the film does come with some interesting pedigree, as its written by Brian and Mark Gunn (a cousin and brother to Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn, who also produced) and stars Slither actor Elizabeth Banks as the mother caring for the alien boy. It’s also on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of most-anticipated horror films of the year.

Aladdin (2019) 57%

Despite the hesitation that ensued among fandoms when footage of Will Smith as a blue genie first appeared online, (How hard is it going to be to take this film seriously? Someone else is playing the part made famous by the late Robin Williams? Is nothing sacred?) most critics say that Disney’s latest live-action remake of one of its animated classics is fine — maybe not totally necessary, but passable. Given the way these new versions rank at the box office (even Dumbo, which opened in March and has a Tomatometer score of 47%, eventually grossed $112 million, despite a $170 million production budget), the Mouse House shouldn’t worry too much. If this movie isn’t to your liking, Disney has many other films on the horizon.

Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Diamantino (2019) is a sci-fi tinged drama that follows a disgraced former soccer star on the hunt for a new purpose – confronting, along the way, neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification, and abuse at the hands of his evil twin sisters. It is Certified Fresh at 87%.
  • Avengement (2019) is, as suggested by the title, a film that follows a criminal on furlough from prison who uses his time on the outside to take down those who made him a cold-blooded killer. It is Fresh with a 100% Tomatometer.
  • Echo In the Canyon (2019) is a music documentary that looks at influential artists like The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Mamas and the Papas and others who were part of the Laurel Canyon scene of the mid-’60s and contributed to what would be known as the California Sound. It is Fresh with a 100% Tomatometer.
  • Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation (2019) is another music doc set around the turbulent ’60s, and includes never-before-seen footage of the concert that would define a generation. It is Fresh with a 100% Tomatometer.
  • Funny Story (2019) is described as a tragi-comedy and follows an aging heartthrob who attempts to reconnect with his grown daughter – by hitching a ride with her friend and crashing her vacation in Big Sur. It has an 89% Tomatometer score.
  • Halston (2019) is a documentary that looks at influential 1970s fashion designer Halston. Frédéric Tcheng, who also did films about Diana Vreeland and Valentino, writes and directs. It is Fresh with an 80% Tomatometer.

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

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