Directed by French filmmaker Olivier Assayas, “Non-Fiction” (or “Doubles Vies” in its original title) is a comedy starring Juliette Binoche and Guillaume Canet as a married couple who are having affairs. Canet plays literary editor Alain, who hires a young woman called Laure with whom she ends up sleeping with. At the same time, Alain’s wife Selena, an actress, is having an affair with a writer whose book Alain rejected.
Critics praised Assayas’ film and, even though they didn’t place it among his best work, they still called it a nice addition to the director’s catalogue. IndieWire’s David Ehrlich called it “a Timeless Comedy About Twitter”, Jon Frosch from Hollywood reporter said the film is “a new treasure from one of France’s most vital filmmakers”, and Glenn Kenny from RogerEbert.com lauded Vincent Macaigne and Juliette Binoche’s performances and called it “a sexy, fun film filled with a lot of zingers”.
Judging by the audiences’ reaction, things look different. Not only was the film a box-office flop, but based on the 52% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (compared to the 87% critics score), it seems like the viewers’ reactions were mixed. Many viewers labeled the film unfunny and, although they applauded the great performances from its cast, considered the film hard to watch and rather boring.
7. Gloria Bell
Directed by Sebastián Lelio (“A Fantastic Woman”), “Gloria Bell” is an English-language remake of Lelio’s 2013 romantic dramedy “Gloria” that stars Julianne Moore as a middle-aged divorced woman who is looking for love in Los Angeles’ nightclubs. When she meets Arnold (John Turturro), a father of two children who is also divorced, Gloria throws herself into a new relationship which, as expected, comes with challenges of its own.
With a certified fresh 91% Tomatometer score (7.51 average rating), this A24 film was widely acclaimed for Julianne Moore’s career-best performance, and even though most critics didn’t consider it superior to the 2013 original, they still found “Gloria Bell” a terrific film.
Audiences, however, didn’t seem too keen on Lelio’s re-adaptation of his previous film and this reflects in the rotten 44% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Some of the viewers called “Gloria Bell” boring, pointless, undeveloped, and while the consensus is that Moore’s performance is a strong point, that didn’t seem enough to keep the audiences from being disappointed by the overall result.
8. The Kid Who Would Be King
Directed by Joe Cornish (“Attack On The Block”), the film stars Ashbourne Serkis as Alex, an ordinary boy who stumbles upon the mythical Sword In The Stone, meets the legendary wizard Merlin (Patrick Stewart) and has to stop the ancient enchantress Morgana (Rebecca Fergurson) from destroying the world.
This modern reinterpretation of King Arthur’s legend was much lauded by critics, who called it charming and compared it to the classic adventure movies of the 1980s such as “The Goonies” or “The Neverending Story”.
Unfortunately, after so many mostly disappointing takes on the Arthurian legend, audiences didn’t have any interest left for “The Kid Who Would Be King”. Despite the positive reactions from critics, the movie proved to be a box-office failure that costed the 20th Century Fox studios nearly $50 million, and even among those who went to see the film in theatres the reactions weren’t all that positive. With a 6/10 grade on IMDb and a rotten 57% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, many viewers complained that the film feels outdated, clichéd, and is hard to enjoy unless you are a kid.
Jordan Peele’s follow-up to the successful “Get Out” once again mixed horror movie tropes with underlying layers of social commentary. The film stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as Adelaide and Gabe Wilson, two parents who are on holiday with their young boy and girl, and whose stay at their lake house in Santa Cruz is disrupted one night when four strange intruders who look exactly like them appear in their driveway.
Critics praised Peele’s latest film for its inventive script, the effective thrills, and the fantastic performance from Lupita Nyong’o’. However, audiences weren’t as impressed with “Us” and the reactions were mixed. With a middling 59% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (compare that to the 86% “Get Out” received), many viewers didn’t enjoy “Us” as much as critics, with some of them calling the film shallow, unoriginal, hard to believe and a huge letdown compared to Peele’s previous movie.
While we agree that “Us” didn’t live up to expectations set by “Get Out” and that critics overhyped the film, some of the audience reactions are also too harsh. “Us” is a flawed film, yet it has enough redeeming qualities to make it worth a watch and is overall much better than most horror movies that saw the light of day in 2019.
10. High Flying Bird
Steven Soderbergh’s “High Flying Bird” stars André Holland who plays a sports agent who must pull off a plan in 72 hours, pitching a controversial opportunity to his client, a rookie basketball player during the company’s lockout.
Critics lauded the film for its well-written dialogue, strong acting, clever script, and unique cinematography, with David Ehrlich from IndieWire calling it “a Promethean sports drama that hums with the verve and purpose of Soderbergh’s very best work” and The Guardian’s Guy Lodge naming it “Soderbergh’s liveliest, most big-thinking work since Magic Mike.
Then, if we are to look at the audience score, “High Flying Bird” isn’t that well regarded between most viewers. The film holds a middling 6.2 grade on IMDb, it’s 45% rotten on Rotten Tomatoes (93% fresh based on critics), and has a 5.8 user score on Metacritic. Viewers complained that the film has too much dialogue for a sports movie, lacks emotion and therefore doesn’t really have an impact.