For whatever reason (box office, looks, lack of imagination about women), industry sages keep putting Ms. Witherspoon in romances, which is like putting a shark in a tank with a bobbing basket of kittens. She can be a fine actress and a brilliant comic, but she’s too calculating and self-contained a presence for most romances, particularly those comedies that try to squeeze laughs from female submission or humiliation. Ms. Witherspoon doesn’t register as the yielding type. (She’s good in battle, as in “Walk the Line” and especially “Election.”) One reason she works in the “Legally Blonde” films is that she’s playing a Barbie with a brain, and it helps that her most memorable co-star was a Chihuahua. She, not some Ken, carried the pooch and movies both.
—From the New York Times review of “This Means War,” by Manohla Dargis. Read the entire review here.