A silent film has critics shouting their praises in its opening weekend. The black-and-white "The Artist" was the best-reviewed new movie of the crowded Thanksgiving holiday.
French director Michel Hazanavicius' nearly wordless homage to the end of silent pictures stars Jean Dujardin as an actor who sees his career dwindle as the talkies become popular. AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle gave the movie three stars out of four, calling it "a loving, irresistibly charming ode to a long-ago movie era that not only summons the dormant conventions of silent moviemaking, but makes them dance again."
Another tribute to classic cinema, Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," was also earning strong reviews. Scorsese's first film in 3-D, the family friendly adventure stars Asa Butterfield as an orphan who secretly lives inside the walls of a 1930s Paris train station and keeps all the clocks running on time. AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire gave the film three stars, saying: "Scorsese doesn't just tinker with this newfangled technology, he embraces it fully. This is the most dazzling use of 3-D yet — more so than the vaunted 'Avatar.'"
Families could also enjoy "The Muppets," which reunites Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the gang for their first movie in over a decade. Jason Segel co-wrote the script and stars as a human who helps the Muppets get back together to restore their old theater. AP Movie Writer David Germain wrote: "From start to finish, the movie is a healthy, dizzy dose of childlike bliss, the songs campy but catchy, the humor corny but clever, the cast — both human and Muppet — one of the most lovable gangs you'll ever spend time with at the pictures." He gave it three stars out of four.
Here's a look at how these movies and others fared on the top review websites as of Friday afternoon. Each score is the percentage of positive reviews for the film:
— "The Artist": Metacritic, 87; Movie Review Intelligence, 90.9; Rotten Tomatoes, 97. Average: 91.6
— "Hugo": Metacritic, 85; Movie Review Intelligence, 81.2; Rotten Tomatoes, 97. Average: 87.7.
— "The Muppets": Metacritic, 76; Movie Review Intelligence, 78.8; Rotten Tomatoes, 97. Average: 83.9.
— "Arthur Christmas": Metacritic, 68; Movie Review Intelligence, 76.6; Rotten Tomatoes, 91. Average: 78.5.
— "A Dangerous Method": Metacritic, 74; Movie Review Intelligence, 74; Rotten Tomatoes, 80. Average: 76.
— "My Week With Marilyn": Metacritic, 66; Movie Review Intelligence, 68.1; Rotten Tomatoes, 82. Average: 72.