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Blue Beetle is a critical hit: here's what the reviews are saying

The latest DCEU movie is one of its best reviewed in years...

Blue Beetle is a critical hit: here's what the reviews are saying
Marc Chacksfield
17 August 2023

After the box-office disaster that was The Flash, DC will have wondered if superhero fatigue has well and truly kicked in. We have to wait to see what Blue Beetle's ticket sales will be like to see if this is really the case but if the reviews are anything to go by then DC has itself a supersized hit.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, Blue Beetle is currently certified Fresh, with an 83% score. You have to go back to 2021 to get a score like this, with Suicide Squad garnering a 90% rating. If the score stays like this, then it will be the fourth best rated superhero movie of the DCEU, behind Wonder Woman, Shazam! and the aforementioned Suicide Squad.

Blue Beetle is an important movie for DC. It's the first to feature a Latino superhero - played by Cobra Kai's Xolo Maridueña - and it's the last of the old guard, before James Gunn comes in and reboots the universe.

Interestingly, Gunn has been nothing but praiseworthy about Blue Beetle and has confirmed - before the reviews were in - that the character will indeed be part of his universe.

Looks like he's made the right choice keeping the character, with most reviewers choosing to give it three or four stars. Here is what the critics are saying...

Blue Beetle is a critical hit! Here's what the reviews are saying
Image Credit: DC / Warner Bros

Roger Ebert's three-star review notes: “Blue Beetle might not break the mold, but it does break expectations."

IGN's review reads: "Under Ángel Manuel Soto’s direction, Blue Beetle is a superhero movie that sets itself apart within the bloated genre through the deeply connected bonds of Jaime and the Reyes family."

Deadline says Blue Beetle "has more heart and humor than most in this well-worn genre."

GamesRadar reveals that Blue Beetle has "sent a breath of fresh air and exuberance through the DC corridors."

Movie Web writes: "The DC Universe gets a much-needed Latino infusion with a superhero origin story based on the importance of family. Blue Beetle breaks the comic book adaptation mold by giving a young Mexican protagonist the blockbuster popcorn cinema treatment."

Empire is upbeat in its review, explaining: "Blue Beetle owes a lot to the sheer wit and warmth of its supporting cast, which will earn it far more approval than its so-so CG antics and origin-story familiarity."

The Guardian is a fan, too, calling Blue Beetle "a small beam of blue light in an otherwise dark time for superheroes."

The NME likes how it doubles down on Latino culture, noting: "at its best Blue Beetle is a rambunctious family comedy that makes the most of its Latino roots."

Not everyone is a fan, with the NYT explaining: "This unremarkable story, along with cheap-looking visual effects and Soto’s colorless direction, is a prime example of somnambulist filmmaking that lulls the audience into a mindless stupor."

And the BBC reckons: "For every mention of revolutionary direct action, there is a scene with a stereotypical trope, so I'm not convinced that the film takes a major step forward in terms of representation."

DC will be hoping that the wave of positive reviews for its latest superhero movie will be able to dominate the big screen. But with the cultural phenomenon that is Barbenheimer still riding high, it may need more than superhero strength for that to work.