We skipped RT on DVD last week because there wasn’t much to talk about; unfortunately, this week is only marginally better, with an epic action flop, a bit of a clunker from Jason Reitman, and another found footage horror movie. After that, we’ve got a handful of smaller releases, some of which are actually worth checking out. Read on for details:



The Legend of Hercules

5%

The first of two movies this year about the Greek demigod, The Legend of Hercules established a pretty low bar for Dwayne Johnson to overcome. Kellan Lutz stars as the titular hero, son of Zeus and the mortal Queen Alcmene (Roxanne McKee), who is betrayed by his stepfather, the King (Scott Adkins), and sold into slavery in Egypt. Presumed dead, Hercules secures himself a gladiator battle back in Greece, hoping to reunite with his lover (Gaia Weiss) and exact vengeance upon the King. Critics found very little to like here, calling the film a failure on almost every level, from its poor visuals and lackluster storytelling to its wooden acting and stale action sequences. Renny Harlin has directed his share of stinkers in the past, but at 3% on the Tomatometer, The Legend of Hercules is pretty bad, even by his standards.



Labor Day

35%

Beginning with his 2005 directorial debut, Thank You For Smoking, Jason Reitman was on a pretty impressive hot streak, so it was something of a shock when Labor Day elicited little more than a half-hearted sigh from critics. Based on the eponymous novel by Joyce Maynard, Labor Day stars Kate Winslet as divorced single mother Adele Wheeler, who takes her teenage son Henry (Gattlin Griffith) shopping one Labor Day weekend and runs into a mysterious injured man named Frank (Josh Brolin). Adele allows Frank to come home with them, and though he soon reveals he’s an escaped convict, he succeeds in winning them over. Winslet and Brolin are quite capable actors, of course, and they make the most of the material, but most critics found the tone so earnestly melodramatic that it rendered the film’s more calculated moments largely powerless. At 33%, this isn’t just Jason Reitman’s lowest-rated film, it’s the only Rotten film he’s directed, period.



Devil’s Due

18%

If you thought the found footage format had been pretty much exhausted by horror filmmakers, you thought wrong. In Devil’s Due, the latest of the genre, young couple Zach and Samantha McCall (Zach Gilford and Allison Miller) decide to document every step of their surprise pregnancy. Sam begins to behave erratically and Zach notices shadowy characters hanging around the house. Will things go full Rosemary’s Baby, or is it all just a harmless Candid Camera gag? Critics were quick to call out Devil’s Due on its derivative elements, taking care to note that the film draws from better predecessors but fails to do anything fresh with the ingredients. At 18% on the Tomatometer, it’s kind of a half-baked creepshow that relies on a mish-mash of familiar horror tropes.

Also available this week:

  • These Birds Walk (100%), a documentary about the fates of street children in Pakistan.
  • Certified Fresh Chilean importGloria (99%), about an aging divorcee whose budding relationship with a younger man prompts her to confront her past.
  • The Selfish Giant (97%), a Certified Fresh adaptation of the Oscar Wilde story about the relationship between two restless teenagers in northern England who steal and sell scrap metal.
  • Escape from Tomorrow (56%), about a recently unemployed man who descends into a surreal nightmare while vacationing in Disneyland with his family.
  • The Best Offer (55%), starring Geoffrey Rush and Jim Sturgess in a romantic drama about an introverted antiques dealer who comes out of his shell when he’s asked to restore the works belonging to an equally reclusive woman.
  • Gimme Shelter (22%), starring Vanessa Hudgens and James Earl Jones in a based-on-true-events story about a pregnant homeless teen who regains her footing with the support she finds at a shelter.
  • And lastly, from the Criterion Collection, Dino Risi’s 1962 road trip comedy Il sorpasso is available in a new DVD/Blu-ray combo.

This week at the movies, we’ve got a super spy (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, starring Chris Pine and Keira Knightley), some burglarizing rodents (The Nut Job, with voice performances by Will Arnett and Katherine Heigl), mismatched cops (Ride Along, starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart), and a demonic baby (Devil’s Due, starring Allison Miller and Zach Gilford). What do the critics have to say?



Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

54%

Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck have all taken their best shot; now it’s Chris Pine’s turn to play Jack Ryan, the talented CIA agent from Tom Clancy’s bestselling novels. And critics say he’s off to a good start, as Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, while hardly the most original thriller on the market, is slick, exciting, and well-acted. Inspired to serve his country after 9/11, Jack Ryan joins the Marines. After being injured in Afghanistan, Ryan is recruited in the CIA, and soon he’s on the trail of a Russian terrorist plot. The pundits say Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, is a solid meat-and-potatoes thriller, one that’s skillfully crafted and pleasantly suspenseful. (Check out this week’s total recall, in which we count down director Kenneth Branagh’s best-reviewed films.)



The Nut Job

13%

From Steamboat Willie to Ratatouille, there have been plenty of iconic animated rodents. Unfortunately, Surly the squirrel is unlikely to join that illustrious pantheon; critics say The Nut Job has some nice backgrounds but its plot is threadbare and its star is less than charming. Surly (voiced by Will Arnett) has devised a plan to rob a nut store and make off with enough food to last through the winter. Can Surly learn a valuable lesson about greed — and become a hero in the process? The pundits say The Nut Job is overly reliant on physical humor, and its characters are surprisingly sour, though there are some moments of visual invention.



Ride Along

18%

At first glance, scowling, no-nonsense Ice Cube and hustling, motormouthed Kevin Hart would seem to be an ideal comedic pairing. Unfortunately, critics say they’re underutilized in Ride Along, a thinly plotted, utterly generic cop-buddy action comedy. Hard-nosed detective James (Ice Cube) is less than pleased that his sister is dating a slacker like Ben (Hart). When Ben is accepted to the police force, he hopes to win James’ respect by joining him on the beat. The pundits say Ride Along offers up a few laughs, but mostly it coasts along on cop movie cliches. Click through this week’s 24 Frames for a gallery of movie cops.)



Devil’s Due

18%

Sooner or later, the found-footage horror subgenre was bound to get its own Rosemary’s Baby. But while critics say Devil’s Due is moderately well crafted, they also note that it’s more dependent on jump-scares than on more imaginative chills. Samantha (Allison Miller) and Zach (Zach Gilford) are preparing to welcome their first child together when Samantha’s behavior begins to take on a sinister tone; could it be that she’s been impregnated by a malevolent spirit? The pundits say Devil’s Due features decent performances, but its plot becomes increasingly absurd as it goes along.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • Big Bad Wolves, a revenge thriller about a cop who tries to extract a confession from the man he believes to be the killer of a young girl, is at 79 percent.
  • Hirokazu Koreeda‘s Like Father, Like Son, a drama about two families dealing with the discovery that their six-year-old sons were switched at birth, is at 79 percent.
  • Maidentrip, a documentary about a 14-year-old’s attempt to be the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe, is at 78 percent.
  • G.B.F., a comedy about a guy who’s got a group of popular girls battling for the right to call him their gay best friend, is at 77 percent.
  • Generation War, a drama about five German friends dealing with the moral complications of life during the Third Reich, is at 45 percent.
  • Summer in February, starring Dominic Cooper and Dan Stevens in a period drama about two close friends in love with the same woman, is at 41 percent.
  • Jamesy Boy, starring Ving Rhames and Mary-Louise Parker in a drama about a young convict who attempts to turn his life around, is at 13 percent.

Finally, props to Garner Montgomery for coming the closest to guessing The Legend of Hercules‘ five percent Tomatometer. That’s two in a row for Mr. Montgomery.

Tag Cloud

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