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New movies this weekend: Moonfall fails but Jackass delivers

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: An escapist end-of-the-world blockbuster, the latest installment in the Jackass franchise, and one of 2021’s most critically acclaimed films that’s finally being released in arthouses nationwide.

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.

Moonfall

Most positive review: “Last time I checked, a sum total of zero people were actually worried about the moon smashing into the earth someday — not with the coronavirus, inflation and Wordle to distract us — which means a just-silly-enough movie like Moonfall serves up a rare comfort: A monster crisis that could be identified and averted in the span of two hours.” — Peter Debruge, Variety

Average review: “Emmerich has always laced his disaster films with a leavening silliness, inviting the audience to treat the end of the world as a rollicking roller coaster ride. But after watching Moonfall, viewers may feel a little like Earth: Bludgeoned and worse for the wear, reeling from the onslaught that just occurred.” — Tim Grierson, Screen International

Most negative review:  “Devoid of engaging se tpieces, believable characters, or even the slightest hint of self-awareness, Moonfall is only sustained by the mystery of what’s really going on with (and inside) the moon, though the fact that virtually every single one of K.C.’s crackpot theories turns out to be true has a way of sapping the suspense.” — David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Here’s what Digital Trends thought of it: “Anyone looking for a satisfying escapist adventure filled with eye candy and explosions that doesn’t ask you to think too hard will likely leave Moonfall feeling rewarded with just that sort of experience.” — Rick Marshall, Digital Trends

Consensus: Moonfall should appeal to moviegoers who favor spectacle over common sense, but even then, its guilty pleasures seem to be overshadowed by its unoriginal plot and thin characters.

Jackass Forever

Most positive review: “This deep into the franchise, most of you have probably already decided how funny you find scatological and pain-based humor. But even Jackass newbies would probably admit that these people seem to be having the time of their lives.” — Hau Chu, The Washington Post

Average review: “In Jackass Forever, the fourth big-screen entry in the now two-decades-old series of pranks, stunts, and fails, Knoxville and director Jeff Tremaine invite a new generation of jackasses to take the biggest hits. It’s the group’s most joyous installment to date, even if the series itself is starting to show some wear and tear.” — Matt Schimkowitz, The A.V. Club

Most negative review:Jackass Forever has laughs and thrills and will goose your nostalgia, but it’s like a modern-day Rolling Stones gig – the hits are replayed but satisfaction is elusive.” — Jamie Graham, Total Film

Consensus: The fourth time’s the charm for Jackass Forever as fans new and old will enjoy the puerile humor and queasy stunts that made the franchise a pop culture phenomenon 20 years ago.

The Worst Person in the World

Most positive review: “There’s a playfulness to [Joachim] Trier’s filmmaking — the storybook chapters and wry voice-overs, a bravura segment in which love literally puts the entire universe on pause — that lends the movie a kind of dizzying effervescence. But a steady melancholy runs through it as well, chemtrails of old wounds and lost causes, and a pivot toward real heartbreak in the second half resonates in a way that stories like this rarely even attempt to reach for.” — Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

Average review:The Worst Person in the World strikes many familiar chords about life, love, and loss, but proves that much insight and pleasure can still be gained by simply rearranging them a bit.” — Pat Brown, Slant Magazine

Most negative review: “A sharp and entrancing pivot back to the restless films he once made about beautiful young people suffering from the vertigo of time moving through them (Reprise and Oslo, August 31 being the first two parts of the loose thematic trilogy that led us here), Trier’s latest film embraces the idea that originality might be a touch overrated.” — David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Consensus: The rare film to receive universal accolades, The Worst Person in the World is an original and entertaining romantic comedy for the cerebral set.

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