LOS ANGELES (AP) - From tiny germs to muscular punches, weapons of various sizes were knocking out film critics, as both of the big nationwide releases were scoring positive reviews heading into the weekend.
"Contagion" features an all-star cast - including Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Marion Cotillard - struggling to survive a viral outbreak. AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire wrote in her three-star review: "The calm is what's so startling in 'Contagion' - the cool precision with which Steven Soderbergh depicts a deadly virus that spreads throughout the world, quickly claiming millions of victims."
"Warrior" stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton as estranged brothers who end up reconnecting, and working through years of resentment, at a mixed martial arts competition. Nick Nolte plays their recovering-alcoholic father. AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle wrote: "Though the film might seem an inconsequential fight movie complete with tough guys and tattoos, it turns genre fare into a surprisingly moving father-and-sons melodrama." He gave it two and a half stars out of four.
Also opening this week - without being shown to critics - is the comedy "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star," featuring Adam Sandler pal Nick Swardson as a nerdy grocery clerk who aspires to be a porn star. Reviews were still trickling in as critics braved matinee showings, but the early word was abysmal.
Here's a look at how these movies and others fared on the top review websites as of Friday afternoon. Each score is the percentage of positive reviews for the film:
- "Contagion": Metacritic, 69; Movie Review Intelligence, 68.3; Rotten Tomatoes, 81. Average: 72.8.
- "Warrior": Metacritic, 72; Movie Review Intelligence, 71.1; Rotten Tomatoes, 84. Average: 75.7.
- "Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star": Metacritic, 15; Movie Review Intelligence, 23.1; Rotten Tomatoes, 0. Average: 12.7.