Even often cold-hearted film critics appear taken with Disney's theatricaledition of High School Musical . "The third chapter of thephenomenally popular franchise crystallizes a moment in movie-musicalhistory that is probably as evanescent as it is triumphant," writes StephenHolden. He credits the film's success not only to "the shrewd mixing andmatching of proven formulas," but also to the performances of the two stars,Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. "Mr. Efron's athletic grace is Astaire-likein its casual authority. Ms. Hudgens's blissful smiles melt the screen," heremarks. John Anderson in his review for Newsday offers almostgrudging admiration. The movie, he says, "is eminently watchable,occasionally very funny, and sweet enough to give you diabetes." Forget theplot, advises Cllaudia Puig in USA Today . "What grabs and keeps ourattention are the pretty faces, infectious songs and eye-popping dancemoves." Likewise, Tasha Robinson comments in the Chicago Tribune thatthe movie "is frustratingly shallow, but what it lacks in narrativeambition, it makes up for in dazzling choreography." Bottom line, accordingto Catherine Dawson March in the Toronto Globe & Mail "Disneyraised the stakes by turning its hit TV-movie franchise into a feature film- and the bet has paid off." On the other hand, Kyle Smith in the NewYork Post makes no attempt to hide his scorn for the movie, writing that"the jokes are awful, the intrigue minimal ... [and] the musical numbers ...are at the level of a Mentos commercial."


Pride & Glory took a long time coming to the screen. The scriptwas written in 1999, and took years before it went before the camera. It wasdelayed further even after it was completed, when another movie with asimilar plot, We Own the Night , was booked into theaters two yearsago. Now that it has been released, critics are suggesting that the longstruggle to get it to the screen wasn't worth the time or expense. "It's nowonder" that the film was delayed so long, writes Claudia Puig in USAToday who calls it "blood soaked and uninvolving." Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times says it's "the kind of film where you feel likeyou know the words and ought to be singing along. It follows the well-wornpathways of countless police dramas before it." How well-worn? Kyle Smith inthe New York Post has the details "When the writers went to theDialfrom whatever they found in the Dumpster out back. Can one movie reallycontain all of these lines? Not just 'I'm doing what I have to do' and 'It'sjust like ridin' a bicycle - you never forget ridin' a bicycle,' but also'I'm right in the middle of something I don't know how to get out of. Mostof the rest of the lines are so bad that the script desperately tries tosave them with a word that isn't 'freak' but begins and ends the same way.So we get lines much like, 'Laugh, you freakin' scumbag!' and 'What thefreak is going on here?'" Nevertheless, Glenn Whipp in the Los AngelesDaily News comments, " Pride and Glory might take some flak foradhering to the tried-and-true formulas of cop family dramas, but as longaand rage, it's pretty good for what it is."