Photo: Universal Pictures, CBS Films, 20th Century FoxMovies that come out in February have a reputation for being, well, lousy. But this weekend, a couple of new films are earning strong marks from the critics. Here's a quick rundown on the reviews for "The Woman in Black," "Big Miracle," and "Chronicle."
The Woman in Black
Also known as the scary movie with Harry Potter, "The Woman in Black" stars Daniel Radcliffe as a widowed attorney who visits a town with a tragic secret. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune gives the movie three out of four stars. It "amps up the scares without turning them into something completely stupid," Phillips says. Roger Ebert also gives the movie three stars and writes that film is a success because the "haunted house is the star." Jake Coyle of the Associated Press is slightly less impressed, but does give the film credit for garnering "old-fashioned suspense."
Looking for an inspirational family film? Look no further. "Big Miracle," starring Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski, is based on the true story of a group of people who rallyed together to save a family of whales trapped in the Arctic Circle. Roger Moore of McClatchy-Tribune News Service gives the movie three stars out of four and calls it "a charming, feel-good movie that the whole family can enjoy." Nathan Rabin of The Onion's AV Club gives the film a "B," and says it is "far better and far more adult than it really has any right to be."
It may look like a just another superhero teen flick, but "Chronicle" is the real deal. Roger Ebert says, "Sometimes a movie arrives out of the blue that announces the arrival of considerable new talents." The Arizona Republic's Bill Goodykoontz gives the movie 3.5 stars out of 5, calling it, "a pleasant little surprise." Richard Corliss of TIME is a bit more on the fence. He calls the film "diverting" but "annoying."
Watch the trailers for this week's new movies: