New movies this week: Death on the Nile, Marry Me, Blacklight
After a barren January that saw only a handful of noteworthy new releases in movie theaters, February promises to deliver a wide variety of films. This weekend offers three diverse movies to suit anyone’s mood: A classic Agatha Christie whodunit set in Egypt, a romantic comedy about a mismatched couple, and yet another Liam Neeson action picture.
It can be hard to figure out what you should spend your hard-earned dollars on, so Digital Trends will round up movie reviews from leading print and online publications to give you a comprehensive critical consensus of the films that are opening each weekend.
Death on the Nile
Most positive review: “While serviceable as a murder mystery, and surprisingly plain as a story of opulence, the film ultimately succeeds when Branagh turns the camera away from the digital settings and occasionally fake supporting performances, and points it at himself.” — Siddhant Adlakha, IGN
Average review: “Two years after the release of Orient Express, Knives Out reinvented the all-star murder mystery in a fun and refreshing fashion, and Branagh’s latest just seems stale in comparison, with no new life in this Death.” — Brian Truitt, USA Today
Most negative review: “…It is hard to believe that the man who directed Belfast, a mildly affecting glimpse into the director’s childhood of growing up during The Troubles in Ireland, directed Death on the Nile. But it is very easy to believe that the man who directed Artemis Fowl directed this absolute misfire.” — Josh Spiegel, Slash Film
Consensus: While it has its moments, this new take on Death on the Nile ultimately fails to entertain like its much superior predecessor, Murder on the Orient Express.
Most positive review: “[Marry Me] one of the most solid romantic comedy offerings in years — not just reminiscent of rom-coms of yore but actually in conversation with certain gems of the genre.” — Sydney Urbanek, Paste Magazine
Average review: “…Marry Me never lands on a consistent tone: It’s too nice to be a show-business satire and too family-friendly to be sexy, even if Jennifer Lopez has never been more radiantly gorgeous or Owen Wilson more scruffily appealing.” — Dana Stevens, Slate
Most negative review: “It’s a mercenary amalgam of product placements and clumsy attempts at melding Instagram aesthetics with old-fashioned ideas, all wrapped up in the synthetic sentimentality of a Hallmark movie.” — Diego Semerene, Slant Magazine
Consensus: Marry Me doesn’t reinvent the romantic comedy genre, but it entertains largely because of its magnetic leading stars, Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez.
Most positive review: “[…]If you approach it with sufficiently lowered expectations, and have fond memories of the ’70s paranoid dramas that obviously inspired director and co-writer Mark Williams, this might be your house-brand jam.” — Joe Leydon, Variety
Average review: “There’s less action here than you may expect, often opting for a slightly more subdued quality, which may be commendable if any of the drama or action were at all stimulating.” — Trace Sauveur, The Austin Chronicle
Most negative review: “Take it from an expert in Liam ‘Action Daddy’ Neeson thrillers: You will walk away from the actor’s new movie Blacklight with many, many, many questions. The first one being: Can I please have my money and 107 minutes back? No, probably not.” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail
Consensus: Blacklight will disappoint even the most die-hard Liam Neeson fans, as it fails to deliver even the basic thrills of a formulaic action movie.