Movie-O-Meter: Neighbors Is a Shapeless Mess With Only a Few Inspired Bits + Our Take On Other New Releases

Capsule reviews of the weekend’s new movies. Should you see it, wait for DVD, or skit it altogether? We lay it out below. 

neighbors zac efron

There’s a quality set-up here, but “Neighbors” is a shapeless mess with only a few inspired bits.


1. Locke: A showcase for Thomas Hardy, one of Britain’s most versatile and convincing young actors, the thriller from Steven Knight concerns the titular character, a hard-working, successful family man, who endures a complete life upending in the course of a single, fateful car ride. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

2. Belle: Inspired by a true story (often a murky undertaking), Amma Asante’s drama, about the stunning, illegitimate mixed-race daughter (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) of a Royal Navy Admiral and her role in eventually abolishing slavery in England, is gripping and genuinely moving. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%

3. Fed Up: A documentary from Laurie David (An Inconvenient Truth) and hosted by Katie Couric, whose premise is blithely simple: Added sugar in processed foods sold in America is slowly poisoning this country with obesity and excessive rates of diabetes. Hard to argue with the premise, especially when the potential solution is sitting right in your kitchen — and it ain’t the microwave. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%


1. Neighbors: Sure, there’s a quality set-up here — neurotic new parents Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne do a prank battle with Zac Efron and his frat brother minions after running afoul of each other — but the film itself is a shapeless mess with only a few inspired bits. Too concerned with keeping everyone likable, it has no teeth.Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%


1. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return: An animated musical that gets brutally panned by the critics (yet, according to RT, adored by the audience — which suggests parents are letting their 5 year olds do their voting for them.) Do we really need to live in a world in which Jim Belushi is the voice of the Cowardly Lion? I say nay. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 14%

See last week’s Movie-O-Meter here