Annie Screen 7 articles

Annie

2014

Annie Poster
  • Wallis may have been a natural within the magical realism of Beasts of the Southern Wild, but a stage brat she is not, and in a vehicle like this, no amount of cutting around it will disguise the fact. And as each bastardized, pop-lite show tune lands with an Auto-Tuned thud, one starts to suspect the reason every other cast member seems locked in a contest to see which of them can squelch their inherent talent is some bizarrely valiant attempt to draw negative attention away from her. Maybe?

  • Did I really just watch Foxx and Wallis do an entire musical number set inside a moving helicopter? I did, and I’ve never felt more embarrassed for two actors, mostly because Foxx seems embarrassed for himself.

  • Will Gluck's film goes to desperate lengths to justify this modern retelling of the monster stage hit (and late-period John Huston head-scratcher), and while there's actually much truth to the notion that business elites strive to give themselves all the good breaks from the comfort of a public seat, the film is a honking mess which values the quick fix over the long game.

  • It’s amazing how bland Annie is – even bearing in mind it’s a ‘family film’, even bearing in mind that it was designed as a Christmas release in the US. It’s like a theme park where there aren’t any rides, or at least no exciting rides – just a carousel and a couple of go-karts – and your kids can drink Pepsi and eat candy all day. The kids will probably enjoy it, but you still have to wonder: is this what $65 million gets you these days?

  • Though Gluck’s musical numbers lack high style, they capture the spice of urban sights, uptown and downtown alike, and offer a droll paean to the power of social media. The vigorous display of good feelings and comforting resolutions has an unusually effervescent sincerity, even if the rags-to-riches wish-fulfillment leaps over all the hard knocks. As the frustrated foster mother, Cameron Diaz tears into the song “Little Girls” with memorable abandon.

  • There's a surprising amount of bite: the filmmakers openly acknowledge the similarities between the Great Depression and the present, and the populist message, however overstated, always registers as sincere. The cast—which features Cameron Diaz and Rose Byrne—has good fun with the material, though not everyone sings well. Will Gluck (Friends With Benefits) directed, striking a buoyant tone that feels closer to classic Hollywood musicals than contemporary kiddie fare.

  • The new "Annie" is getting kicked up and down Critic's Row like an unwanted orphan, but if you see it with a big audience you'll experience an emotion entirely different from the one being described in many reviews: unabashed cheer.