Table of Contents
Zendaya starred alongside John David Washington in “Malcolm and Marie.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 57%
Summary: On the night of a big movie premiere, filmmaker Malcolm (John David Washington) and his girlfriend Marie (Zendaya) have explosive arguments about art, identity, and the future of their relationship.
Most critics felt like Zendaya and Washington shined in their titular roles, but many also agreed the limited scope of the script held it back from being an outstanding drama.
“It feels rushed — often betraying its own quarantine roots as the first draft of a concept in desperate need of some revision and finesse,” wrote Matthew Lucas for From the Front Row.
Jennifer Garner played a mom planning a big adventure for her kids in “Yes Day.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 52%
Summary: Allison (Jennifer Garner) and Carlos Torres (Édgar Ramírez) bite off more than they can chew when they plan a day for their three kids that involves saying “yes” to everything.
“Yes Day” split critics, with some embracing its silliness and others writing it off as simply exhausting.
“I thought I had wandered into a packed Chuck E. Cheese where all the doors were then locked and someone threw away the key,” Pete Hammond wrote for Deadline.
In “Silk Road,” Nick Robinson starred as Ross Ulbricht.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 52%
Summary: Inspired by a true story, “Silk Road” follows Ross Ulbricht (Nick Robinson) as his drug ventures on the dark web attract the attention of the FBI.
Despite having a thrilling story, “Silk Road” earned mixed reception from critics, who were left wanting more.
“Sadly, while the film gives us the broad strokes of Ulrich’s story, it lacks the granular detail that could have turned this into a ‘Miami Vice’-style spin on ‘The Social Network,'” Alistair Harkness wrote for The Scotsman.
Jason Sudeikis played a convict on parole in the drama “South of Heaven.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 43%
Summary: After spending over a decade in jail for armed robbery, Jimmy (Jason Sudeikis) is given parole so he can take care of his terminally ill wife (Evangeline Lilly).
A majority of critics felt that “South of Heaven” had an incredible cast but suffered from a lack of proper pacing and believability.
“Sudeikis’ success in ‘Ted Lasso’ ensures he won’t have to accept grimly derivative thrillers like this one ever again,” Elizabeth Weitzman wrote for The Wrap.
Amanda Seyfried chased ghosts in “Things Heard and Seen.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 39%
Summary: Catherine (Amanda Seyfried) suspects that dark secrets lurk in her house after she and her husband, George (James Norton), relocate to a small town.
By pointing to elements of infidelity, abuse, career obsession, and the supernatural, “Things Heard and Seen” was trying to juggle too much at once, according to critics.
Film critic Jim Schembri called it a “truly half-baked affair that wastes an obviously talented cast” in his review.
In “Here Are the Young Men,” Anya-Taylor Joy acted alongside a young ensemble cast.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 38%
Summary: Dublin teenagers Matthew Connolly (Dean-Charles Chapman), Rez (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), and Joseph Kearney (Finn Cole) leave high school for a life of debauchery and chasing girls — until a traumatic event changes their trajectory.
Although they were drawn in by the talented young cast, critics were disappointed by the film’s aimless direction and confounding plot points.
“While it boasts spirit and style, ‘Here Are the Young Men’ is not equal to the sum of its parts,” wrote film critic Nasu Nguyen for Battle Royale With Cheese.
Chris Rock played a detective in the horror spin-off “Spiral.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 37%
Summary: In the latest “Saw” sequel, detective Zeke Banks (Chris Rock) tries to stop a sadistic vigilante from killing off fellow police officers.
After returning to the franchise time and again, critics said “Spiral” proved the horror series has become a shell of its former self.
Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, and Dwayne Johnson starred in the action-comedy “Red Notice.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 36%
Summary: Special agent John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) hopes to clear his name and take down the world’s greatest art thief (Gal Gadot), with the help of the world’s second-greatest art thief (Ryan Reynolds).
Most critics agreed that “Red Notice” was fun at times but failed to measure up to anything more than a trio of good-looking actors spouting surface-level lines.
“You can have The Rock, Wonder Woman, and Deadpool, but it doesn’t mean much if they don’t have clever things to say and meaningful things to do,” James Berardinelli wrote for ReelViews.
Ben Platt reprised his Broadway role in “Dear Evan Hansen.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 30%
Summary: In “Dear Evan Hansen,” an anxious high schooler named Evan (Ben Platt) will do anything it takes to fit in. But things spiral out of his control when a letter he wrote for a writing exercise gets to a couple grieving the loss of their son.
Although the Broadway musical it’s based on won multiple awards, critics didn’t think the adaptation was up to par.
Don Aucoin wrote for Th Boston Globe, “We’re more conscious of how facile its story is because the musical numbers — the ballad-heavy score is by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul — don’t land the way they did onstage, their wistfulness now registering as listless.”
In “Naked Singularity,” John Boyega played a lawyer slowly losing his mind.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 29%
Summary: Defense lawyer Casi (John Boyega) starts to question reality after he becomes disillusioned by the criminal-justice system.
Critics said the idea of a mind-twisting, sci-fi thriller starring Boyega should’ve been a hit success. But as the film progressed, it unraveled into a nonsensical mess.
“It’s difficult to think of anything that exactly works in ‘Naked Singularity,'” Robert Daniels wrote for Polygon. “Even the villain muddles the message the movie wants to send.”
Global insomnia hit in the Gina Rodriguez-led thriller “Awake.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 27%
Summary: When a mysterious global event causes mass insomnia, Jill (Gina Rodriguez) realizes that the only hope for a cure may lie with her daughter.
“Awake” was hit with a wave of negative reviews from critics, who, ironically, said the thriller almost put them to sleep.
“It’s perhaps too easy to dismiss ‘Awake’ as a snoozer, but unfortunately it’s also completely accurate,” wrote film critic Frank Swietek.
Salma Hayek and Samuel L. Jackson played spouses in the action sequel “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 27%
Summary: Hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) and his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) reluctantly team up with Michael Bryce (Reynolds) as they set off to kill a mastermind terrorist.
“Hitman’s Wife Bodyguard” was widely reviewed as a needless sequel that relied on forced laughs and endless chaotic action.
“There’s nothing new here, only a tiresomely long adventure film that goes on for 95 minutes technically, even if it feels more like two and a half hours,” Dan Buffa wrote for KSDK News.
Amy Adams’ character feared for her life in “The Woman in the Window.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 26%
Summary: While trapped in her apartment and living with
, former child psychologist Anna Fox (Amy Adams) bears witness to a bloody turn of events through her neighbor’s window.
Although it is based on the novel by AJ Finn, critics said “The Woman in the Window” was a glaringly pale imitation of classic thrillers that came before it.
“The obvious explodes on the screen: What is the point of seeing this film when we have the original ‘Rear Window?'” Alejandro Alemán wrote for El Universal.
Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland faced a new world in “Chaos Walking.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 21%
Summary: In a dystopian future where women are virtually extinct, Todd (Tom Holland) is shocked to stumble upon a teen girl named Viola (Daisy Ridley).
Adapted from “The Knife of Never Letting Go” by Patrick Ness, “Chaos Walking” failed to capture the imagination of critics.
“For any filmmaker contemplating their own YA franchise, ‘Chaos Walking’ is an instructive anti-manual,” Barry Hertz wrote for The Globe and Mail.
Melissa McCarthy teamed up with Octavia Spencer in “Thunder Force.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 21%
Summary: Estranged childhood friends Emily (Octavia Spencer) and Lydia (Melissa McCarthy) reunite under strange circumstances when they both acquire superpowers.
Outside of a few laughs here and there, “Thunder Force” didn’t earn a lot of love from critics.
“‘Thunder Force’ squanders a couple of interesting ideas and settles for half-hearted mediocrity,” Sameen Amer wrote for The News.
Mila Kunis played a news reporter in “Breaking News in Yuba County.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 11%
Summary: A small-town reporter (Mila Kunis) stumbles upon the news story of the year after a local woman (Allison Janney) claims that her husband was kidnapped.
Despite boasting an A-list cast, critics called “Breaking News in Yuba County” a ludicrous movie with a terrible script.
Australian film critic Cain Noble-Davies called it “a broken film” and “simultaneously too silly to make any lucid statements and yet too self-serious to be any fun,” in his review.
Megan Fox acted alongside her now-boyfriend Machine Gun Kelly in “Midnight in the Switchgrass.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 8%
Summary: While investigating a case in Florida, FBI agents Lombardo (Megan Fox) and Helter (Bruce Willis) realize that their suspected culprit could be a dangerous serial killer.
“Midnight in the Switchgrass” was dismissed by critics as a tedious and poorly written thriller.
“There are zombies that have better personalities than almost all of the characters in this dull and dreary crime drama,” Carla Hay wrote for Culture Mix.
Kate Hudson starred in the musical drama “Music.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 7%
Summary: In the musical drama, Zu (Kate Hudson) is forced to step up when she unexpectedly becomes the guardian of her half-sister, Music (Maddie Ziegler).
“Music” was ripped apart by critics, who faulted it for its clumsy direction and gross mishandling of autistic representation.
“It comes off as not only incoherent, misguided and self-indulgent, but also devoid of empathy, patience or understanding of its subject matter,” Kevin Allen wrote for Nashville Scene.
Morgan Freeman and Ruby Rose opposed each other in “Vanquish.”
Rotten Tomatoes score: 5%
Summary: Victoria (Ruby Rose) is a former drug courier desperate for a clean slate. But when a retired cop (Morgan Freeman) takes her daughter hostage, he forces her to return to her old ways to carry out his will.
Critics collectively rolled their eyes at “Vanquish” for its bad acting, writing, and direction.
“A paycheck job for everyone involved,” critic Mike McGranaghan wrote. “You can tell that no one really cared too much about what they were doing.”