Following a huge weekend at the box office for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Black Panther, we have another strong showing of flicks hitting theaters. Let's take a look at Annihilation, Game Night and Every Day. It's gonna be a Rotten Week!
Just remember, I'm not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they'll end up on the Tomatometer. Let's take a look at This Rotten Week has to offer.
Are you the kind of person who sees an Aurora Borealis-like wall of lights coming from the ground in a local park and are like, "You know what? I think I'm going to go walk into that thing and just see what happens." I can't really identify. But that's the case with this movie as a group of scientists head into the unknown to find out just what the hell is going on behind all the lights.
Based on the first novel of the Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeet, Annihilation follows The Biologist (Natalie Portman) as she and her team enter a place on the edge of reality with a mystery to solve. Frankly, it looks stunning.
There's reason to suspect this finishes high on the Tomatometer. Director Alex Garland had tremendous success in his first directorial work with the thought-provoking and immensely suspenseful Ex Machina (92%). Here he gets a bigger budget and solid source material to work with. CinemaBlend's Eric Eisenberg had this to say about the film, "It's gorgeous and mesmerizing...a remarkable vision, and has a sequence so thrilling that I was left literally dizzy. It will be on my Top 10 of 2018 without question." I think other critics follow suit.
If you've ever thought of disavowing a strong friendship because a Friday night was ruined when one of your buddies moved the robber on to late game in a round of Settlers of Catan, then this movie is probably for you. It takes the idea of spicing up your average weekend game night with friends into a "wait, is this really happening?" situation.
These kinds of comedies rarely hit with critics because the ever-escalating nature of the plot, in which the characters start in a normal place and things systematically go off the rails, struggle to sustain their momentum. While the cast looks solid and the premise is cute enough, I doubt we see anything but majority rotten scores. Directed by John Francis Daly and Jonathan M. Goldstein who also co-directed Vacation (26%), this latest looks like it will get some laughs, but I doubt there's much more praise than that.
Being a teenager these days seems hard enough. Now imagine a "life" of inhabiting a new, random teenage body every single day and having to live as them for 24 hours. It sounds like an angst-ridden hellscape, but that's the case for "A" in Every Day. Based on the novel of the same name, Every Day follows Rhiannon as she discovers that the "person" she's falling in love with is the same consciousness in a new form each day. The premise seems cool even if the flick looks like your average young adult fare.
Michael Sucsy directed The Vow (28%) and now has the reins on a film that likely appeals to its core base of tweens and few others. It looks like a step above say, a Nicholas Sparks adaptation, but below anything truly groundbreaking. It won't finish in the basement, but it likely has limited appeal.
Last week was one of my best ever, with three movies only off by a combined 6% and the ever-elusive direct hit on a prediction. The much-ballyhooed Black Panther Predicted: 99% Actual: 97%) barely moved from its early score with only nine critics giving negative marks out of close to 300 reviews. It's also crushing the box office, pulling in close to $200 million on its opening weekend, which makes it the second-biggest MCU opening ever. What a crazy win for the franchise.
Meanwhile, Early Man (Predicted: 81% Actual: 81%) was right on the nose. Sometimes looking at a studio's trend in scores helps and animated studios make for the best comps with this practice. Critics thought the film was charming and brought a solid message about perseverance but a few seemed put off by the visuals. All in all, though it was another win for Aardman Animation and a perfect prediction.
And finally, Samson (Predicted: 23% Actual: 27%) was given just about as bad of reviews as I thought it would. To be fair, barely any critics even bothered to take the time with only 11 total reviews on record. Most of the big outfits didn't make the trip with the Top Critic score not even reaching consensus (hint: We'd likely be a lot closer to 0% had they gone).