“The Critic” is a film adaptation of Anthony Quinn’s 2015 novel “Curtain Call,” which takes place in London in the summer of 1936. Quinn’s book centers on Nina, a West End actor who witnesses a notorious serial killer murdering someone in a hotel. The only problem: she was in the company of a married man at the time, complicating her efforts to contact the authorities and prevent said killer from striking again.
According to Deadline, “The Critic” stars Ian McKellen as Jimmy Erskine, “the most feared drama critic” in London circa 1936, with Gemma Arterton co-starring as Nina, “the actress determined to win his favor.” Just like her counterpart in Quinn’s novel, however, one thing leads to another, and before she knows it, Nina is “entangled in a dangerous web of blackmail, deceit, and murder.” Elsewhere, Jimmy similarly “finds himself in the crosshairs” of his newspaper’s new owner, David Brooke (Mark Strong).
All in all, “The Critic” sounds like the kind of adult-targeted genre film that’s rarely made these days, similar to this year’s “The Outfit” and the McKellen-led 2019 thriller “The Good Liar.” (/Film’s Josh Spiegel even dubbed this the “They Don’t Make Movies Like This Anymore” sub-genre in his review of the latter title.) It’s no “2 Cats 2 Furry-ous,” but I’ll take it.