Actress Sandra Bullock says the MeToo movement changed the atmosphere on set of “Bird Box,” her first-ever horror movie. (Dec. 4)
Pretty mixed, falling to the negative side, for director Susanne Bier’s effort that has a 65% positive critical score on the review site RottenTomatoes.com.
Here are the best critical comments for the film, which also stars Sarah Paulson and John Malkovich.
The New York Times‘ Aisha Harris called the movie “riveting. sometimes.”
“Too often ‘Bird Box’ walks right up to the edge of pure suspense and disappoints,” Harris wrote. “The squelching of promise is not my worst (cinematic) fear, per se. But it’s still disappointing.”
New York Magazine/Vulture‘s Emily Yoshida lost the plot on the drama.
“Perhaps ‘Bird Box’ will work for someone less burnt out on the contemporary glut of post-apocalyptic survival narratives,” Yoshida wrote. “But I care as much about the people who ran around in its fiction now as I did before I watched them for two hours, which is to say, not at all.”
Variety‘s Peter Debruge says the filmmakers “have served up an inexplicably bland ensemble that even a talented cast can’t render interesting.”
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Todd McCarthy called the film “a wannabe shocker with a clever premise that doesn’t really get down and dirty” and is “not all that it might have been.” He deemed the project “deep-dish popular material that feels shortchanged in terms of suspense, scares and thrills.”
Vanity Fair‘s Richard Lawson called Bullock “brilliant” in the “bad B-movie.” He then backed into a recommendation of sorts: “All that said, given that it’s on Netflix and won’t cost subscribers any more than they’ve already paid for the service, I can’t really say that ‘Bird Box’ isn’t worth a look.”
In another review that damns “Bird Box” with faint praise, Los Angeles Times‘ critic Justin Chang wrote:
“The scares keep getting more and more desperate, cranking up the volume with gale-force winds and eerie voices, en route to an ending that’s silly verging on offensive…You’ve seen this all many times before, which doesn’t mean you’ll mind seeing it again.”
The Guardian‘s Amy Nicholson went there with the pun, calling it “a bird-brained mess.”
” (The movie’s) pieces feel forcibly screwed together, a movie marionetted by strings of data code,” wrote Nicholson. “There’s good scenes and smart ideas, but overall, the movie mostly clomps.”
At a New York screening of her new film “Bird Box,” Sandra Bullock has an idea for how to solve the Oscars’ host problem: pull random actors out of the audience and make them read what’s on the teleprompter. (Dec. 18)
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