Home Entertainment Movies out today: 21 September 2018

Movies out today: 21 September 2018

3 min read

I’m pretty sure this three-day holiday weekend has crept up on a lot of people. Between the braaing planned for the days ahead, there are four new movies to catch at South African cinemas as of today.

Johnny English Strikes Again

Age Restriction: 10 – 12 PG

The new adventure begins when a cyberattack reveals the identities of all active undercover agents in Britain, leaving Johnny English as the secret service’s last hope. Called out of retirement, English dives headfirst into action with the mission to find the mastermind hacker. As a man with few skills and analogue methods, Johnny English must overcome the challenges of modern technology to make this mission a success.

Rowan Atkinson hauls his James Bond spoof out of retirement for the bumbling spy’s third adventure (after a gap of 7 years). This slapstick comedy is destined to top the South African box office regardless of critics’ opinions, which is great because, with a month until US release, there’s a shortage of reviews. This said, word is that Johnny English 3 is a family-friendly throwback but also tired.

Rotten Tomatoes: 33% (Rotten)
Metacritic: No score yet


Age Restriction: 16 L V D

Raised on the streets of New York, young John Gotti found his way into the Gambino crime family, eventually having the boss removed and becoming head of the powerful family. His wife asked only one thing from John: to never expose their children to his profession. But he broke the vow, and John Jr. took his place as his father’s Capo.

The marketing team for Gotti tried to play the “Critics don’t know what the public wants” card when this gangster biopic was slated by reviewers (Check out the RT score below). There were also accusations of tampered user scores, which at one point sat at 80%. Either way, it’s no fault of Travolta but this whole project is a mess.

Rotten Tomatoes: 0% (Rotten)
Metacritic: 24 (Generally Unfavourable Reviews)

Leave No Trace

Age Restriction: 13

A father and daughter live a perfect but mysterious existence in Forest Park, a beautiful nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, rarely making contact with the world. But when a small mistake tips them off to authorities, they are sent on an increasingly erratic journey in search of a place to call their own.

On the opposite end of the review spectrum to Gotti is this indie family drama which is still sitting on 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s apparently brilliantly acted and powerful – one of those movie experiences that stays with you. Perhaps too quiet and understated for blockbuster fans though.

Rotten Tomatoes: 100% (Fresh)
Metacritic: 88 (Universal Acclaim)

The Children Act

Age Restriction: 13 L P

In the midst of a marital crisis, a High Court judge must decide if she should order a life-saving blood transfusion for a teen with cancer despite his family’s refusal to accept medical treatment for religious reasons.

Fans of prestige British cinema should definitely add The Children Act to their must-watch list. This is an all-round pedigreed production from its cast to its behind-the-scenes team. This performance-driven drama is elegant and designed for mature-minded cinemagoers. It feels a little light on story and emotion though, and is kept afloat by star Emma Thompson.

Rotten Tomatoes: 69% (Fresh)
Metacritic: 62 (Generally Favourable Reviews)

For more information about the age restrictions, click here.

Last Updated: September 21, 2018


  1. Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

    September 21, 2018 at 13:32

    Rotten Tomatoes is a blight on media. Stop referring to it as if it’s some holy grail of criticism.


    • Pariah

      September 21, 2018 at 14:21

      Rotten Tomatoes isn’t the problem. It’s the people – the consumers. Even watching that video, it just highlighted to me that Rotten Tomatoes is just a platform, one which the users themselves interpret in a way they choose. “People whip out their phones and Google reviews before seeing the movie”. Now there is the problem. It’s the culture of wanting to know everything about the movie before actually experiencing it for yourself.

      My attitude is that I never read reviews until AFTER I’ve seen the movie. Usually, the same goes for games. I’ve loved many movies that have received an average of 50-60% scores, and hated many that have scored in the 90’s. Reviews are subjective, and they should be treated as such. Yet consumers do not. They treat reviews as absolutes. They treat them as the ultimate in objective scores. Which, again, they are not.

      I remember a few years ago, I think it was NAG? They removed the scores from their reviews. Because, quite frankly, the score doesn’t give you the full picture. It doesn’t tell you if YOU will enjoy the content. It just says overall what the reviewer felt it deserved. Limiting yourself to reviews and scores is just limiting your potential content enjoyment, and Rotten Tomatoes is only one small part of the bigger problem. Review scores are the real villain here. Back to the video – the biggest problem he had wasn’t that the scores were bad, it’s that people assumed what the scores meant and took that at face value, just like he did. The assumption is the problem, not the website.


      • Magoo

        September 21, 2018 at 14:26

        What is your stance on micro-transactions and loot boxes? Pretty sure it contradicts what you wrote here. Not saying that RT is the “death of cinema”, that’s hilarious. xD But whether or not it’s detrimental is perhaps a conversation worth having.


        • Pariah

          September 21, 2018 at 14:40

          So I think the issue with loot boxes is completely different. Rotten Tomatoes, and reviews in general, are not the same as thinly veiled gambling. I have no problem with microtransactions though – as long as you know what you are getting and how much you’re paying for it. And they’re not pay to win.


      • GooseZA

        September 21, 2018 at 14:28

        Completely agree on the problem of people checking reviews before going to see films.
        That said, % fresh score is always misinterpreted. 90% fresh does NOT mean 9/10 or 90/100 for the movie, it just means that 90% of critics enjoyed the film. If you look under the score you will see the average score out of 10. Unfortunately this is hidden on mobile so many people miss it.


      • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

        September 21, 2018 at 14:31

        Agree with you 100%. Thank you for that perspective.


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