After a barren January that saw only a handful of noteworthy new releases in movie theaters, February promises to deliver a wide variety of films. This weekend offers three diverse movies to suit anyone’s mood: A horror-comedy starring one of modern rock’s most popular bands, a restored masterpiece, and a thriller from the director of Dead Calm.
It can be hard to figure out what you should spend your hard-earned dollars on, so Digital Trends will round up movie reviews from leading print and online publications to give you a comprehensive critical consensus of the films that are opening each weekend.
Most positive review: “Some horror films make you scream out of fear; Studio 666 instead makes you want to scream just for the thrill of it — a roller coaster ride through a tsunami of blood, while the Foo Fighters rage into the mike.” — Liz Shannon Miller, Consequence
Average review: “Unfortunately, although Studio 666 is clearly a lark for the band, the film rarely builds much comedic momentum, primarily because the group’s back-and-forth tends toward sophomoric name-calling and awkward line readings.” — Tim Grierson, Screen Daily
Most negative review: “But there is an awful lot of terrible wooden acting from everyone else, together with sub-Ghostbusters visual effects, for which the movie expects fan base forgiveness.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Consensus: Studio 666 is for die-hard Foo Fighters fans only. Even retro horror devotees who love the Evil Dead movies will be disappointed by this pale imitation.
The Desperate Hour
Most positive review: “Naomi Watts anchors every beat and every frame with a tangible despair, delivering a full-throated, full-bodied performance which the film rightly zeroes in on as its most volatile, unpredictable facet.” — Siddhant Adlakha, Observer
Average review: “Desperate Hour is well-intentioned, and there are flashes of genuine dramatic tension, thanks to Watts’ performance. Mostly, though, it feels contrived and heavy-handed, with nothing really new to say about this well-traveled subject matter.” — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
Most negative review: “In the final act, when the film abandons any connection to reality altogether, it becomes abundantly clear that Noyce and screenwriter Chris Sparling are merely using these all-too-familiar tragedies as a shameless way of generating emotional stakes to enliven the painfully generic thriller tropes that are the real, and weak, backbone of the film.” — Derek Smith, Slant Magazine
Consensus: Despite a strong performance from star Naomi Watts, The Desperate Hour can’t rise above its own mediocrity. A decent opening gives way to absurd contrivances and a final act that throws all realism and credibility out the window.
The Godfather 50th Anniversary
Most positive review: “Coppola was to follow his epic masterpiece with the equally ambitious and audacious The Godfather Part II, a sequel/prequel that is often thought of as even better. Brilliant though that second film is, I think the original will always have the edge in its simplicity, clarity, and brutal power.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Average review: “The Godfather is the most memorable, most influential, most quoted, most beloved, most discussed, most imitated, most revered, and most entertaining American movie ever made.” — Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
Most negative review: None exist.
Consensus: A half century after its debut, The Godfather still holds up as one of the best movies ever made. With a 4K image restoration, modern audiences can see the film as moviegoers did in 1972 in all of its shadowy, sepia-toned glory.
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