Scores updated May 9 at 2:15p
|Iron Man 2||WIDE||PG-13||Action||57||20,19,1||7.3|
|Mother and Child||LIMITED||R||Drama||65||11,5,1||n/a|
|Compare to last weekend's highest-grossing films:|
|A Nightmare on Elm Street||4/30||R||Horror||35||2,13,10||5.8|
|How to Train Your Dragon||3/26||PG||Animation/Family||74||29,4,0||9.2|
Babies, children, mothers, and men
There's something for the whole family at cineplexes this weekend, at least if you read the titles of this week's new releases. While the new Iron Man sequel may seem like the only movie playing this weekend (tepid reviews won't scare anyone away, we're sure), those looking for more adult fare can seek out the ensemble adoption drama Mother and Child. And for moviegoers who wish to skew younger, there is a documentary about babies. Called Babies. Gee, you'd never know it's Mother's Day this weekend.
Here are the details on this week's major new releases:
Iron Man 2 57
|Iron Man 2 (2010)||57|
|The Losers (2010)||43|
|X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)||43|
In this apparently inferior sequel to the 2008 hit Marvel Comics adaptation Iron Man 79, a now-famous Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is under pressure from the government to share the secrets of his suit, and faces a new nemesis: a Russian inventor with his own powerful armor. Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, and Mickey Rourke also star.
What the critics like: The best part of the movie can be summed up in two words and an abbreviation: Robert Downey Jr. Critics are once again loving his "quirky" performance (Roger Ebert), and even those reviewers who aren't huge fans of the film still have praise for the actor (and, to a slightly lesser degree, the rest of the cast). Some critics feel that Iron Man 2 is a satisfying and entertaining sequel.
What they don't like: It's confusing, incoherent, too busy, and overstuffed with characters and plot. Many critics feel that the movie is far less fun than the first Iron Man, with the screenplay largely to blame. A few critics go so far as to call the film "bland" (Time Out New York) or "inessential," (Empire) while The Globe and Mail basically labels it soulless. Note that many of the most negative reviewers -- including The Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt -- actually liked the first film, so it's not just a case of the critics not being fans of the genre.
It sounds more like a screensaver than a movie, but at least the title is accurate: Babies features footage of the first year in the life of four different infants, in different parts of the world (San Francisco, Tokyo, Mongolia, and Namibia). That's it.
What the critics like: The film's combination of intimacy and wide scope impressed many critics. It's nicely photographed. The babies are cute.
What they don't like: While no critic hates Babies, few of them love it, either. The lack of any type of narrative or story or explanation or purpose didn't help matters; the movie really is just footage of babies and nothing more. Several critics have labeled the film "baby porn," with all of the intellectual depth that implies.
Director Rodrigo Garcia's drama tells three different (but overlapping) stories of adoption, focusing on a trio of women: one who gave her daughter up 35 years ago after becoming pregnant at 14, another who herself was adopted, and a would-be mom eager to adopt a baby. The cast includes Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson.
What the critics like: The stellar acting is definitely the highlight for most critics. Some reviewers find the drama involving and emotional.
What they don't like: The story has some weak spots, and the structure feels contrived or gimmicky at times. The Wall Street Journal compares the film to a TV movie (and a slow one at that), while Time Out New York finds it a bit sappy.
Next week in Metacritic
Opening wide next Friday, May 14th, are Ridley Scott's take on Robin Hood (starring Russell Crowe), the Queen Latifah comedy Just Wright, and the romance Letters to Juliet.