The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
Yet again a crew sniffs after a mysterious ping and sticks their nose in a deadly larva pod. Are our astronauts learning? God no. And if the audience expected a different plot, we're not learning, either.
This desire for procreation and preservation of the self - human, alien or artificial - is what motivates every being in the Alien universe, and in Covenant, Scott sets up a thrilling thunderdome in which we can watch this bloody battle unfold.
Yet director Ridley Scott -- who birthed the original nearly 40 years ago as well as that last film -- plunges back into the latter's mythology, with equally uninspired and perhaps more blatantly derivative results.
It's not the greatest show on earth, no, but it's a bloody, scary, energetic two hours at the movies -- proof positive that when the words Alien and Ridley Scott appear in the same sentence, it's cause for excitement.
A shamelessly high-minded, Byron-and-Shelley-quoting existential inquiry into the origin of three species and the nature of belief that goes slumming in genre territory just enough to get itself greenlit.
Alien: Covenant takes place prior to the events of the original Alien (1979), but since it was filmed in the mid-2010s, it's an impressive technical achievement, with amazing CGI special effects plunging us deep into outer space and deep into the future.
The good news is that David is back, in a way that doubles down... on his potential and gives Mr. Fassbender lots to do. And the bad news? This new Alien prequel is mostly a gore fest, which may be great news for gluttons of the genre.
It's a maddeningly uneven picture, with an action climax staged and executed with the air of a contractual agreement. But as with "Prometheus," the most elegantly wrought sequences make up for the monster stuff plainly less interesting to Scott.
It's covering old ground - the shocking originality of the first Alien is a one-time thing. No worries. I'd rank Ridley Scott's Alien: Covenant with the best of the series, right after the initial one-two punch. Fans are going to freak out.
Grandiose, exhilarating, vertiginously cynical and symphonically perverse, and around a million miles from the crowd-pleasing Alien retread Twentieth Century Fox have presumably been begging [Ridley Scott] to make.
You are, frankly, astonished that in the nearly four decades since Ridley Scott's first Alien burst spectacularly out of John Hurt's chest, this aggressive face pack of a creature... is still flourishing cinematically.
In attempting to play off nostalgia - Alien's stomach-churning suspense, the electrifying action of Aliens, and the religious gravitas of Prometheus - Scott takes on more than one film could handle, and misses all three.
Covenant unfolds as a hybrid of the ponderous philosophy in Prometheus and the run-and-gun survival tactics of the first two Alien movies, landing on plenty of satisfying beats but struggling to balance the dissonant approaches.
It's clear that Scott is no longer inspired by long-headed, scaly-tailed beasties; the characters who fascinate him are the philosophical replicants who were in his second science-fiction classic, Blade Runner.
Alien: Covenant seethes with self-importance yet is never boring or portentous. It can't come close to matching the greatness of the first two films in the series, but at least Scott seems to understand that these movies thrive on ambition.