Critical Thinking: Orson, Ninja, Dogs, Road

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Me and Orson Welles
Rotten Tomatoes: 79% (6.9/10)
Metacritic: 69/100
Films with Comparable Scores: “Duplicity,” “Inglorious Basterds,” “Revolutionary Road”

Analysis: Though advertised on Zac Efron’s good looks, his target audience are the ones likely to be least interested in this more conventional than usual effort from Richard Linklater. Some reviews cite it as a little bland and corny, but many call it one of the best films about the theater in a long time, and co-star Christian McKay’s performance as a young Welles is drawing universal raves.

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Ninja Assassin
Rotten Tomatoes: 28% (4.4/10)
Metacritic: 34/100
Films with Comparable Scores: “The Fourth Kind,” “Law Abiding Citizen,” “Year One”

Analysis: The action film starring Korean pop star Rain has been cited as generally dull, reviews focusing mostly on the gore and dark visuals which causes confusion over what action we can see. Tedious, disjointed and repetitive are also common terms popping up.

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Old Dogs
Rotten Tomatoes: 7% (2.5/10)
Metacritic: 21/100
Films with Comparable Scores: “A Sound of Thunder,” “All About Steve,” “Pluto Nash”

Analysis: Amongst the worst reviewed films of the year and arguably what would’ve been the most panned studio release of the season if it weren’t for the much reviled Sandra Bullock comedy “All About Steve”. Nothing but the short runtime of the John Travolta and Robin Williams comedy seems to have scored any good notices whatsoever.

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The Road
Rotten Tomatoes: 70% (6.6/10)
Metacritic: 63/100
Films with Comparable Scores: “Changeling,” “Cheri,” “A Perfect Getaway”

Analysis: Not an Oscar contender by any means as some were hoping, reviews were generally good but muted for the Cormac McCarthy adaptation. While the visuals and faithfulness were lauded, the most common complaint is a general sense of flatness and boredom as little happens in the film and the book’s emotional resonance doesn’t seem to have been conveyed.