Film Critics Collide: THE RAVEN, THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT, SAFE, THE PIRATES!

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It’s a good mix at the multiplex this weekend. You’ve got the historical murder mystery of The Raven, romantic comedy with The Five-Year Engagement, some seemingly reliable action with Jason Statham in Safe, and The Pirates! Band of Misfits as a kiddie film from animators with a long history of entertaining adults. Or maybe everyone will just watch The Hunger Games one more time. We’ll wait for the box-office results as the critics argue:

The Raven [trailer]
Starring John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans
Directed by James McTeigue
It’s 19th century Baltimore and somebody’s ripping off Edgar Allan Poe while ripping out people’s hearts. The writer himself is brought in to help solve the murders all inspired from Poe’s stories. This one is from director James McTeigue, whose V for Vendetta eventually became a big deal–but what do the critics think of this latest literary tale?

Encore! Lou Lumenick @ New York Post

Nevermore! John DeFore @ Washington Post

image bug via astudio / shutterstock

The Five-Year Engagement [trailer]
Starring Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Alison Brie
Directed by Nicholas Stoller
Just like the title says, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt endure a five-year wait to get married. Will the poor couple survive all the obstacles in their way? Probably–but since this is from the director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, maybe it’s not too predictable. The critics bicker…

Wedded Bliss: Connie Ogle @ Miami Herald

Total Miss: Rafer Guzman @ Newsday

Safe [trailer]
Starring Jason Statham, Chris Sarandon, Robert John Burke
Directed by Boaz Yakin
Think of all the films where a tough killer has ended up taking care of a little kid. In fact, think of all the films where a tough killer has ended up taking care of a little kid who’s a mathematical genius. There have been a lot. You’d think Jason Statham would be looking for something a little more adventurous, or maybe he saw something special in this. Let’s have the critics fight it out:

Action Packed: William Goss @ Film.com

Totally Slack: Kate Erbland @ Boxoffice

The Pirates! Band of Misfits [trailer]
Starring Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven
Directed by Peter Lord &  Jeff Newitt
The staff of Aardman Animation usually wow the critics with their stop-motion comedies, and The Pirates! is sure aimed at the zeitgeist. The trailer sure makes it look like fun for kiddies and grown-ups. But we’ve been fooled before, so here are some critics to rattle their sabres:

Arrr, Matey! Jennie Punter @ Globe and Mail

Arrrgh, Hatey! Loey Lockerby @ Kansas City Star

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