Despite its outrageous premise, Cocaine Bear can actually rescue a surprising February 2023 Rotten Tomatoes trend. As its title implies, Cocaine Bear tells the semi-true story of a bear that ate a crashed stash of narcotics in 1985. Although the movie takes many liberties with established historical fact, its anarchic take on the material has been initially well-received by critics. It’s this positive reception that can potentially reverse a somewhat disappointing February pattern.
Boasting an impressive ensemble cast, including the likes of Star Wars‘ Alden Ehrenreich, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Cocaine Bear has so far received glowing write-ups from critics. With 120 reviews registered on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing, 87 are positive, giving the movie an enviable 73% score. Inevitably, as more reviews come in, this percentage is likely to change. However, Cocaine Bear‘s strong start with critics could indicate that it has what it takes to make amends for what has otherwise been a critically disappointing February 2023.
None Of February 2023’s Theatrical Releases Have A Certified Fresh Rotten Tomatoes Score
With most of the month already gone, February 2023 has been a critical nadir. Prior to Cocaine Bear‘s release, none of the month’s major theatrical releases have yet secured a Certified Fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, indicative of the disappointing quality of February movies. While films such as 80 For Brady and Knock at the Cabin have received generally positive reviews (62% and 68% respectively), and more minor releases such as Of An Age have won critical acclaim, big box office draws like Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and Magic Mike’s Last Dance have been broadly disappointing. If Cocaine Bear can edge its score above the hallowed 75% mark, this can change.
Although many tent pole releases have fared critically poorly, February 2023 hasn’t necessarily been a letdown at the box office. Ant-Man, for instance, opened with $105 million at the box office, making it the third-best February release of all time. Nevertheless, the lack of a bona fide success story means that February has thus far been something of a letdown for movie lovers. If Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear can maintain its positive reviews, the B-movie could be in the somewhat surprising position of salvaging February from a critical perspective – something not altogether expected when the project was first announced.
Cocaine Bear’s Positive Early Reviews Can Finally Give February 2023 A Critically Acclaimed Movie
While there is a long way to go before Cocaine Bear can cement Certified Fresh status, the early reviews have been incredibly positive. Writing in the Jam Report, reviewer Doug Jamieson described the film as “A film that knows precisely what it is and gleefully serves up 95 minutes of pure unadulterated fun.” This sentiment is generally echoed by other early outriders, including several Top Critics. If enough other reviewers agree – as seems a distinct possibility – Cocaine Bear should do more than enough to become February 2023’s first critically acclaimed major release.
Securing a Certified Fresh score is more complicated than just generating 75% positive reviews. According to the Rotten Tomatoes website, at least 80 reviews have to be aggregated – including a minimum of five by so-called Top Critics. Only when all of these criteria are met can the certification be awarded. That said, there’s nothing to say that Cocaine Bear can’t upend convention and reverse February’s hitherto disappointing Rotten Tomatoes trend.
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