Dax Shepard's "Hit & Run" received an interesting blend of reviews. The film, which opened Wednesday and stars Shepard, his real life fiancé Kristen Bell and Bradley Cooper, seems to have been treated with kid gloves by some critics, who generally found Shepard's directorial effort to be worthy of an "A for effort."
But Rolling Stone's Peter Travers wasn't of a similar mind. "This slapstick road movie feels tossed off by people on a raunchy bender. I mean that as a good thing," his review begins. "The trouble with Hit & Run is that it can't sustain its trippy effervescence."
Elsewhere in the big screen critic-verse, Kevin Durant's turn in "Thunderstruck" got a stamp of disapproval and "The Apparition," a horror film you probably shouldn't see this weekend, sits at just about zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
TV fared a bit better, though Sunday's finale of "The Newsroom" is sure to spark some negative review one-upping among surly critics. But one show is getting panned right out the bat: GSN's "American Bible Challenge," which seems to be just about what it sounds like.
In the music world, Owl City and Yeasayer didn't especially please music writers.
Which critics were on the mark? Who should ease up? Take a look at the reviews below and let us know what you think in the comments.
It doesn't, unfortunately, work in The Apparition, an incomprehensibly garbled, derivative attempt at a horror flick from first-time writer-director Todd Lincoln.
The trouble with Hit & Run is that it can't sustain its trippy effervescence. The business of getting the plot from A to B, or maybe even to C if we're being generous, keeps getting in the way.
"Freaky Friday" and "Big" are just two of the many movies swiped from by "Thunderstruck." In fact, the highlight is a scene lifted directly from "Hoosiers." "Thunderstruck" isn't especially funny or exciting, and its muddled lesson is about as convincing as Marv Albert's luxuriant russet wig.
But the insufferably mushy, relentlessly synthesized The Midsummer Station is loaded with so many platitudes and puns (if Young isn't ''chasing rainbows,'' he's fawning over his ''constellation prize'') that it quickly descends into sugar shock. At one point, he literally croons, ''It's time for you to shine brighter than a shooting star/So shine no matter where you are.'' Who wrote these lyrics, a man or a My Little Pony?
Credit where it's due-- Yeasayer are ambitious enough to do something other than write "2080" sequels, even though they have every incentive to do just that. But unlike the erratic, occasionally captivating, and always bold Odd Blood, Fragrant World rests in a tentative middle ground.
GSN's new game show, "The American Bible Challenge," is just as dull as it sounds, like mandatory fun time at Sunday school, with three teams competing to answer arcane questions about details buried in the verses of the Old and New Testaments. (Although for most of the show, the questions aren't that arcane. Even your lapsed, heathen, former altar-boy TV critic called out every answer to the category "What do you 'Noah' 'bout the ark?")