Critics Consensus

Hail, Caesar! Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn't quite Austen or awesome enough, and The People v. OJ Simpson is Certified Fresh.

by and | February 4, 2016 | Comments

This week at the movies, we’ve got Hollywood hijinks (Hail, Caesar!, starring George Clooney and Josh Brolin), a bloodthirsty Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, starring Lily James and Sam Riley), and a crestfallen couple (The Choice, starring Teresa Palmer and Ben Walker). What do the critics have to say?


Hail, Caesar! (2016) 85%

The Coen Brothers are old pros at lovingly paying tribute to hoary movie conventions while subverting them. Critics say that while Hail, Caesar! may be less substantial than the Coens’ best work, it’s a visually striking, star-studded affair with an engagingly loopy sense of humor. The film follows a day in the life of 1950s movie studio fixer Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), who must track down a missing movie star (George Clooney) while keeping several other troubled productions afloat. The pundits say Hail, Caesar! sometimes feels like an inside joke, but the combined star wattage of Clooney, Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, and Frances McDormand offers ample compensation.


Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) 45%

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that every period piece in possession of a good reputation, must be in want of zombies. Critics have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of mismatched genres can bestow, and unfortunately, they have determined that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is tolerable, but not awesome enough to tempt them. It’s basically the classic story, with a twist: the Bennet sisters and Mr. Darcy have both matrimony and zombie-slaying on the mind. The pundits, who have prided themselves on discernment, say Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has moments of bloody wit, but it’s ultimately undone by an inconsistent tone.


The Choice (2016) 11%

Precious few of best-selling novelist Nicholas Sparks‘ big screen adaptations have earned positive reviews, but Valentine’s Day is around the corner, which means it’s the perfect time for another one. Though critics say The Choice is a bland, predictable romance, lovebirds looking for something to flicker by while they suck face in the dark probably couldn’t care less. Benjamin Walker plays Travis, a charming vet (puppies, not wars) and ladies’ man who decides his new next door neighbor Gabby, a fiery medical intern played by Teresa Palmer, might be worth settling down for. The only hitch is that Gabby’s already got a beau, and there’s a decidedly Sparksian tragedy in everyone’s future. The pundits say The Choice assaults viewers with banality, doing almost nothing to upend expectations, but its target audience will get exactly what it wants.


What’s Hot on TV

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson (2016) 97%

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story brings top-shelf writing, directing, and acting to bear on a still-topical story while shedding further light on the facts — and provoking passionate responses along the way.


 

Horace and Pete: Season 1 (2016) 96%

Horace and Pete creator Louis C.K. uses his signature blend of awkward humor — and brilliant performances from a top-notch cast — to pull off an engagingly ambitious experiment in TV tragicomedy.


Grease: Live! (2016) 92%

Grease: Live took the pressure and threw away conventionality — it belongs to yesterday. There was a chance that it could make it so far; we started believin’ we can be who we are. Grease: Live is the word.


Madoff: Season 1 (2016) 68%

Madoff boasts a knockout performance from Richard Dreyfuss, whose obvious enjoyment of the role helps make up for the miniseries’ surplus of polish and overall lack of perspective.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Rams (Hrútar) (2016) , an Icelandic comedy about two bitterly antagonistic sheep farmers, is at 100 percent.
  • The Club (El Club) (2016) , a drama about four exiled priests and a nun who are confronted by their past secrets when another priest appears and causes a stir, is at 78 percent.
  • Southbound (2016) , an indie horror anthology in which bad things happen in a Southwestern desert, is at 71 percent.
  • Tumbledown (2016) , a comedy starring Rebecca Hall and Jason Sudeikis as unlikely collaborators on a biography of a deceased musician, is at 69 percent.
  • Eisenstein In Guanajuato (2016) , Peter Greenaway‘s historical fantasy about the legendary Soviet director‘s experiences in Mexico, is at 58 percent.
  • 4th Man Out (2016) , a comedy about a garage mechanic who comes out to his dudebro pals, is at 50 percent.
  • Dad's Army (2016) , starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Bill Nighy in a comedy about a platoon of British World War II soldiers who attempt to track down a spy, is at 46 percent.
  • Misconduct (2016) , starring Al Pacino and Josh Duhamel in a drama about an attorney who finds himself caught in the middle of a power struggle between his boss and a pharmaceutical exec, is at 20 percent.
  • Regression (2016) , starring Emma Watson and Ethan Hawke in a psychological thriller about a cop investigating a young woman’s accusations of cult abuse, is at five percent.

Tag Cloud

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