Jenna Ortega New Crime Drama Destroyed by Critics, Career Derailed?

in Movies

Jenna Ortega glowering with Toby Wallace in the background

Credit: Paramount+

Jenna Ortega has seen her career rise astronomically with the success of Wednesday and the Scream movies, but her latest release might grind things to a halt.

Jenna Ortega in Wednesday
Credit: Netflix

While only 21 years old, Jenna Ortega has been professionally acting since she was a young child, beginning in national commercials for McDonald’s and making small appearances in Iron Man 3 (2013) and Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013). Her first breakout role was the Disney Channel sitcom Stuck in the Middle, which made her something of a favorite for the House of Mouse, leading to voice roles in the animated TV shows Elena and the Secret of Avalor and Elena of Avalor.

Then, Jenna Ortega made a huge impact as Tara Carpenter, one of the leads of the legacy sequel Scream (2022), which revitalized the long-dormant horror franchise. She quickly solidified her image as a burgeoning killer queen and swiftly followed with roles in X (2022) and American Carnage (2022).

Jenna Ortega on the phone in Scream
Credit: Paramount

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However, it was her role as Wednesday Addams in the Netflix Addams Family spinoff series Wednesday, produced by Tim Burton and seemingly replacing Johnny Depp as his actor of choice, that truly made her a modern pop culture icon, with the show immediately becoming a blockbuster hit and her self-choreographed dance moves becoming a global meme.

Since the first season of Wednesday concluded, Jenna Ortega reprised her role in Scream VI and appeared on Saturday Night Live, but the WGA and ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes have prevented the Netflix series from continuing production and threatening the momentum of her career.

Jenna Ortega shielding her eyes in Finestkind
Credit: Paramount+

Thus, it might not be the best time for Finestkind, her latest movie, to be receiving savagely bad reviews from critics.

Finestkind stars Jenna Ortega as a mysterious young woman named Mabel who forms a partnership with a pair of desperate brothers who owe money to Boston gangsters. The film co-stars Toby Wallace, Ben Foster, and Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones. It was also written and directed by Brian Helgeland, who won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for the gritty crime drama L.A. Confidential (1997).

With that kind of pedigree and star power, one would hope that Finestkind could be a dramatic leap forward from horror movies and Disney sitcoms for Jenna Ortega, but it turns out that critics are roundly dismissing it. The movie currently holds a dismal 20% on Rotten Tomatoes after premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Related: ‘Stranger Things’ Star Taking Over Jenna Ortega’s ‘Wednesday’

Critics are describing the new Jenna Ortega movie as a “boatload of clichés” and “one of those frustrating dramas wherein it feels like different cast members are making different movies.” Indiewire bluntly called it a “messy ball of nonsensical threads and worse performances.”

If Jenna Ortega were able to counteract this negative press with a new smash season of Wednesday, it would be one thing, but it seems that new episodes won’t be coming any time soon. She can’t even dress up as her own character for Halloween, which doesn’t leave her a whole lot of options. We’ll just have to see how this performance impacts her career for now.

Jenna Ortega as Wednesday Addams in Wednesday with trees in the background
Credit: Netflix

Related: Jenna Ortega Reportedly “Excited to Replace Rachel Zegler” in Disney’s ‘Snow White’

Finestkind will stream on Paramount+ on December 15.

Will Jenna Ortega be able to come back from these terrible reviews? Give us your thoughts in the comments below!

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