It’s been twenty years since Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels made audiences laugh in the original Dumb and Dumber, and eleven years since the prequel Dumb and Dumber: When Harry Met Lloyd hit theaters. Well, Bobby and Peter Farrelly have answered fans’ prayers: Carrey and Daniels are back and dumber than ever in Dumb and Dumber To. And, despite some ghastly reviews, the movie is actually taking the box office by storm with a number one spot.

This latest Dumband Dumber movie takes place twenty years after the first, when Harry (Daniels) finds out he needs a kidney. Lloyd (Carrey) decides to help his friend out and the movie follows their journey to find Harry’s long lost song. According to PluggedIn’s Bob Hoose, lewd jokes have “been the Farrelly brothers' mode for lo these many years as they've spent decades perfecting the un-art of low comedy.” But, long gone are the days of fart jokes. This latest adventure fits right in with the raunchier comedies of today, and “in this far-off sequel, everything and everyone is as frantic and rabid as the protagonist dum-dums themselves.” Hoose believes the Farrelly brothers have taken it too far this time and audiences will “leave this pic smelling of something far worse than "merely" another gaseous whoosh.” Variety’s Andrew Barker disagrees and believes the “18-years-too-late sequel . . . exhibits a certain puerile purity of purpose, and should accrue healthy profits playing to the nostalgia of the dumb and the dumb at heart.” According to Barker, “Carrey and Daniels certainly appear to be having more fun than most viewers will,” because “the vast majority of the gags in Dumb and Dumber To sputter out.” Despite this, Barker believes the film will please fans of the original “rubber-faced” Carrey and enjoy seeing Daniels out of the seriousness of The Newsroom.

Director Gina Prince-Bythewood, most famous for 2008’s The Secret Life of Bees, is back, this time telling the tale of a girl on the verge of pop stardom. In Beyond the Lights, Gugu Mbatha-Raw (who stole our hearts earlier this year in Belle) plays Noni, the talented daughter of a driven single mother (Minnie Driver) who has been pushed and pushed to change into the image that comes along with the music business. Noni doesn’t like the immodest outfits and sexual dancing and doesn’t really care about anything anymore, but knows her mother has worked far too hard for her to stop now.

PluggedIn’s Bob Hoose describes Beyond the Lights as “a colorful cliché packaged as something of a music-industry soap opera with a hip-hop/rap flourish.” Despite this, Hoose believes the film has many strengths; “the story may be familiar, but it's played well here.” Hoose gives most of the credit to the film’s star, claiming Mbatha-Raw is able to play the sexualized musician, as well as the fragile girl crying out for help. Plus, “the film does a good job of pointing out just how morally corrosive the choices people make for fame can be.” Variety’s Andrew Barker agrees: “Mbatha-Raw gives a fierce lead,” he writes, calling the film a “messy but undeniably entertaining music-biz romance.” Barker complains that Beyond the Lights is “enjoyable but frustrating,” as it continuously wins “its audience over with one scene only to lose it with the next.” Still, the film confronts a wide range of issues: “the default hyper-sexualization of female musicians, the entertainment industry’s disinterest in the mental health of its prime assets as long as the show goes on, and the way a genuine gesture of humanity can be subtly sullied the moment it becomes a media opportunity.” Overall, Barker calls the film’s protagonist a great one who is able to play a Rihanna-esque, untouchable pop star, “without losing track of the organic human beneath.”

Larisa Kline is an intern with Christianity Today Movies and a student at The King’s College in New York City.