Unbroken: “Somehow, in searching for the most photogenic, dramatically harrowing and heroic scenes from Zamperini’s life, the movie ‘Unbroken’ gives short shrift to the most interesting parts.” — Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
Annie: “Leapin’ lizards! The evergreen Broadway musical ‘Annie’ strays far from its Depression-era roots with truly dismaying results in this crass, charmless, tineared and lead-footed update.” — Lou Lumenick, New York Post
Night at the Museum: “Let the dust finally settle on these museum pieces.” — Peter Howell, Toronto Star
Exodus: God and Men: “Now obviously the Voice of God is a tough role for any performer, let alone one who has not yet hit puberty. But where Scott detected innocence and purity, I confess I saw mostly an irritable petulance. (Moses: “Where have you been?” God/boy: “Watching you fail.”) This is the first portrayal of God I’ve ever encountered who looked like he could use a good spanking.” — Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
Horrible Bosses 2: “The new, decidedly inferior sequel has its share of chuckles, but it’s got none of that edge or anger. In fact, I’m not even sure why it’s called Horrible Bosses 2. It’s not really about bosses or office politics. Its only allegiance seems to be to the law of the sequel: It puts the same characters into a vaguely familiar situation, with diminishing, tepid returns. They should have just called it 2.” — Bilge Ebiri, vulture.com
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles doesn’t so much provide brainless enjoyment as it pummels the viewer into submission. ‘Shell-shocked’ is a reasonable description of the experience.” — James Berardinelli, ReelViews
The Expendables 3: “You need ‘The Expendables 3’ like you need a kick in the crotch, and while this running-on-fumes sequel may not be quite as painful a thing to experience, it will waste considerably more of your time.” — Justin Chang, Variety
Let’s Be Cops: “It’s just. awful. for most of its run time, content to squirm and squeal instead of explode with absurdities.” — Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com
Into The Storm: “Don’t get me wrong, I’m as willing to check my brain at the door and sumbit to an idiotic late-summer spectacle as the next person. But this funnel-cloud fiasco tries to suck up everything in its path, and just winds up sucking.” — Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
Planes: Fire and Rescue: “This Disney cartoon is running on empty.” — Geoffrey Macnab, Independent
Rage: “If you are going to make a B-grade exploitation piece you need to go for excess and insanity. Tokarev commits the ultimate movie sin: it makes a Nicolas Cage revenge thriller simply boring.” — Richard Haridy, Quickflix
A Long Way Down: “Four characters meet while planning to commit suicide and decide to annoy one another instead in this tacky Nick Hornby adaptation.” — Peter Debruge, Variety
Transformers: Age of Extinction: “Preferable to syphilis.” — Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
Tammy: “Here, the jokes hit with the accuracy of bullets in a Michael Bay movie.” — Dann Gire, Daily Herald (IL)
Deliver Us from Evil: “A pretty routine and occasionally silly demonic-possession flick, which distinguishes itself by making us wait so long for the exorcism that heads may be spinning in the audience as well.” — Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
Earth to Echo: “It does not reveal too much to say that road leads to something otherworldly, and that the something otherworldly is kind of cute. But considering the whole story rests on it, it’s also not all that much to phone home about.” — Carla Meyer, Sacramento Bee
Think Like a Man Too: “You want eye-rolling moments? This movie will detach your corneas.” — Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com
Blended: “Most of ‘Blended’ has the look and pacing of a three-camera sitcom filmed by a bunch of eighth graders and conceived by their less bright classmates.” — A.O. Scott, New York Times
The Love Punch: “A romantic comedy as painfully unfunny as a sock in the jaw.” — Claudia Puig, USA Today
The Angriest Man in Brooklyn: “Every scene between two people comes off like drunkenly shot video of a play rehearsal gone horribly wrong.” — Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
The Amazing Spider-Man: “Despite the efforts of Electro, the franchise is running shockingly low on juice.” — Anthony Lane, New Yorker
The Other Woman: “This film, on the other hand, seems so desperate for laughs that you can practically see the flop sweat appear on its performers as they flail from one obnoxiously, uncomfortable scene to the next.” — Jeff Vice, Cinephiled
Heaven Is for Real: “The earnest performances aren’t enough to elevate the vanilla narrative from a faith-based film that will only preach to the choir.” — David Blaustein, ABC News Radio
Another monologue from Laughing Wild by Christopher Durang:
I used to be a very negative person. But then I took this personality workshop that totally turned my life around. Now when something bad or negative happens, I can see the positive. Now when I have a really bad day, or when someone I thought was a really good friend betrays me, or maybe when I’ve been hit by one of those damn people riding bicycles the opposite way on a one-way street, so, of course, one hadn’t looked in that direction and there they are bearing down on you, about to kill or maim you—anyway, I look at any of these things and I say to myself: this glass is not half full, it’s half empty.
No—I said it backwards, force of habit. This glass is not half empty, it is half full.
Of course, if they hit you with the stupid bicycle your glass won’t be half full or half empty, it will be shattered to pieces, and you’ll be dead or in the hospital.
But really I’m trying to be positive, that’s what I’m doing with my life these days. I was tired of not being joyful and happy, I was sick of my personality, and I had to change it.
Half full, not half empty. I had to say to myself: you do not have cancer—at least not today. You are not blind. You are not one of the starving children in India or China or in Africa. Look at the sunset, look at the sunrise, why don’t you enjoy them, for God’s sake? And now I do. Except if it’s cloudy, of course, and you can’t see the sun. Or if it’s cold. Or if it’s too hot.
I probably need to take a few more personality workshops to complete the process. It’s still not quite within my grasp, this being positive business.
But I’m making great strides my friends don’t recognize me.
And it’s hard for me to be positive because I’m very sensitive to the vibrations of people around me, or maybe I’m just paranoid.
Divergent: “Barely diverting” — Bruce Diones, The New Yorker
Sabotage: “This is the type of movie best enjoyed as a late-night indulgence on cable. Really late at night, when your eyes are still partially open, but your brain has called it quits.” — David Hiltbrand, philly.com
Need for Speed: “Need for Speed is so busy and loud that, if not watched vigilantly, it could be mistaken for something fun. But it is a shambling lemon.” — Dan Schindel, filmschoolrejects.com
Non-Stop: “The problem is that Non-Stop tries to be something it’s not. It has one too many scenes that border on ludicrous, and the big reveal barely makes sense.” — Dave McGinn, Globe and Mail
God’s Not Dead: “God may not be dead, but I’d be willing to wager this movie at least gave him a faint wave of nausea.” — Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress
Grown Ups 2: “Adam Sandler scrapes the bottom of the barrel” and then he pukes into it with Grown Ups 2, a lazily cribbed-together swamp of pointless and unfunny sketches that makes 2010;s Grown Ups look like Citizen Kane.” — Linda Barnard, Toronto Star
Pawn Shop Chronicles: “By the time it winds to a conclusion, the film seems to have tired itself out, like a toddler who screeches nonsensically for hours, then falls asleep in a fetal ball in the corner.” — Nathan Rabin, The Disolve
The Lone Ranger: “Somewhere, around the hour-and-a-half mark, The Lone Ranger makes the fateful decision not to end. Worse, the movie keeps not-ending for another full hour.” — Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
White House Down: “It follows the Emmerich template: a spectacle-tinged, compelling setup; a dumb, disappointing midsection; and a cheese-topped denouement that veers so close to self-parody that one is tempted to call it funny.” — James Berardinelli, ReelViews
Man of Steel: “For all its ambition, Man Of Steel fails to soar, instead crash landing in a humourless, melodramatic mess of explosions.” — Matt Neal, The Standard
Now You See Me: “Audiences go to magic shows to get fooled, but that doesn’t mean they want to leave feeling cheated.” — Keith Phipps, The Dissolve
The Great Gatsby: “Why didn’t the maestro didn’t just go the whole hog and rename it ‘Jazz Hands: A Love Story’? A bottle of your best champagne says he thought about it.” — Ed Whitfield, The Ooh Tray
After Earth: “The only value in watching it is to see an expensive disaster slowly unfold.” — Peter Howell, Toronto Star
Now You See Me: “It takes a certain dark magic to make the talent of a top cast disappear right before your eyes. Now You See Me does just that.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Magazine
The Hangover Part III: “If only what happened in Vegas had stayed in Vegas.” — Tom Charity, CNN.com
Oblivion: “Was Cruise trying to beat out fellow Scientologist John Travolta for the honor of starring in the dumbest sci-fi epic ever?” — David Edelstein, Vulture
Wrath of the Titans: “Even the most skilled actors in the cast mainly look like they’re struggling to stay awake.” — Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Three Stooges: “For the Farrellys, The Three Stooges is a labor of love. For non-believers, it’s merely a labor.” — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Lockout: “I suspect many people will be on board, as I was, with Lockout for about 5 minutes. Fortunately, anyone can go to YouTube and see them without seeing what comes next: 85 minutes of shoddy plotting, direction and full-on boredom.” — Erik Childress, eFilmCritic.com
John Carter: “The reported $250 million price tag for John Carter gives one pause. I suppose one could argue that masterpieces have no price. Then again, John Carter is no masterpiece.” — Peter Rainer, CS Monitor
Underworld Awakening: “If you came for RealD 3-D throat ripping and gunshots to the head, you might leave somewhat satisfied. More likely, you’ll just want Ibuprofen and a refund.” — Teddy Durgin, screenit.com
One for the Money: “We’re meant to laugh at the fact that cute little Stephanie bumbles her way to getting one informant killed and another savagely beaten and thrown from a moving vehicle. Oh Stephanie, you’re a riot!” — Jeff Otto, cinemaobsession.com
Red Tails: “One can get away with a lot of cornball speeches a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away but it doesn’t work nearly as well a short time ago on planet Earth.” — James Berardinelli, reelviews
Man on a Ledge: “After an hour of this malarkey, you’re tempted to ask if there’s room for one more on that ledge.” — Steve Persall, St. Petersburg Times
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close could be more accurately described as Extremely Mawkish and Incredibly Irritating.” — Ethan Alter, Television Without Pity
Contraband: “‘Contraband’ aims to be dumb fun but gets only the first half right.” — Kyle Smith, New York Post