Every so often audiences get a week full of new releases that seemingly has something for everybody - and it would seem that this is one of those weeks. It's perhaps not time to go into full-on excitement mode, but there is definitely some interesting material hitting the big screen on Friday. It's time to get ready for Fifty Shades Freed, The 15:17 to Paris, and Peter Rabbit.
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.
It feels like it was only yesterday that the Fifty Shades franchises was only just emerging, but now it's coming to an end with Fifty Shades Freed. While the franchise may have its fans, however, there aren't a lot of them among the professional critic set. The books never got much love from reviews either, but currently the high point in the big screen franchise is still the first film, Fifty Shades of Grey (25%), as the first sequel, Fifty Shades Darker, only managed to earn a 10%.
Fifty Shades Freed will be the capstone story about Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey as they navigate the spicy world of BDSM and ultimately determine the fate of their romantic entanglement. James Foley is back in the director's chair despite things not exactly going to well the last time around. I expect the movie's Rotten Tomatoes score to match its immediate predecessor.
A little over three years ago, an attempted attack on a train in Amsterdam was stopped by a group of three American friends as they traveled through Europe. The 15:17 To Paris tells the story of that incident, but also the background of these three friends and how they found themselves in that spot and ready to respond the attack. Spencer Stone, Anthony Adler, and Alek Skarlatos all play themselves in this movie, which wasn't the original plan for director Clint Eastwood, but he decided to try and find a special level of authenticity with the feature. This movie tells the story of their lives and friendship and how they found themselves on that fateful train.
Eastwood's recent forays into the retelling of true stories has gone well with Sully (86%) and American Sniper (72%). I suspect that The 15:17 To Paris will end up falling within the same range, which is to say generally positive. It checks a lot of emotional and historical boxes, and I bet critics appreciate it.
Animated movies are typically only as good as the studio, and it's worth mentioning that Sony Animation Pictures has had its share of stinkers. In recent years the studio has put out movies like The Star (44%), The Emoji Movie (9%), Smurfs: The Lost Village (38%) and Hotel Transylvania 2 (55%), which isn't exactly the prettiest streak. None of them shined with critics, and it doesn't seem like Peter Rabbit will either. It looks a bit too cookie cutter to have any real bite to it, and it doesn't look like it has anything special that critics are going to really latch on to and appreciate.
While there is surely a lot of love out there for Peter Rabbit as a character, I'm not sure this film has enough real stakes to work properly, and likely won't cross-appeal enough to adults. The early sentiment is "meh" with the Tomatometer at 50% with ten reviews posted. I can't imagine it climbs much at all during the course of the week.
There was only one movie on the docket last week and I missed pretty bad with the prediction. For a "historical" thriller, Winchester (Predicted: 39% Actual: 9%) was historically bad. It's rare to finish in the single digits on the Tomatometer and often calls into question the critics who actually gave it largely positive scores. Unlike most bottom-feeding movies, this one had critics wanting it to be good and still hating it. It makes me feel like there was actually a good movie in there somewhere (or at least not a terrible one) but they missed the mark. And so did I with my score.