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The Marvels review round-up: this is what the critics are saying

Are claims of the death of Marvel a bit premature?

The Marvels review round-up: this is what the critics are saying
Andrew Williams
08 November 2023

Earlier today we reported on the first online reactions to The Marvels, the 33rd MCU movie that is based on the team-up of Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Ms Marvel (Iman Vellani) and Monica Rambeau's Photon (Teyonah Parris).

You can read these below the fold but now the actual review are out, here we round-up just what the critics are saying about The Marvels...

First, The Good

Empire gave it 4 stars, noting: "It might not have the overwhelming impact of an Endgame or even a Guardians 3, but this is the MCU back on fast, funny form."

Collider reckons: "In a universe that often feels suffocated by the amount of history, dense storytelling, and character awareness needed to enjoy these films, DaCosta figures out how to handle all of that in one of the most fun Marvel films in years."

The Hollywood Reporter is also a fan, writing: "As the three women fight to save their galaxy, Khan proves herself to be the key to the success of this dynamic trio. She helps Monica brainstorm and encourages Carol to soften up. She’s undeniably a badass and, if Disney and Marvel are smart, she’s the future of the franchise."

i09 really liked it, noting that The Marvels is "an endearing, smartly contained popcorn flick that’s about characters first over mythology building."

Now, The Not-So Good

Variety believes The Marvels is: "short enough not to overstay its welcome, though it’s still padded with too many of those fight scenes that make you think, 'If these characters have such singular and extraordinary powers, why does it always come down to two of them bashing each other?'"

While The Wrap says the the movie is "silly and makes little sense, but it’s such a fun time at the movies. And isn’t that why we go to see movies in the first place? Vellani is magical and the film captures the pure essence of why superheroes are so beloved."

Next Up, It's The Bad

Total Film were not fans, noting in its 2 star review: "Marvel’s woes won’t be solved by a disjointed mini-Avengers that doesn't make a great deal of sense.

Although it does say, "but the cats are Flerken great."

Uproxx believes: "Even though there are some fun scenes with The Marvels trio, I’d be hard-pressed to recommend this to anyone who isn’t an MCU superfan."

The Chicago Sun-Times isn't happy, reckoning: "The problem with 'The Marvels' begins and ends with a story that comes nowhere near the high-stakes gravitas of the most memorable superhero movies, due in large part to a second-tier villain who seems almost like an afterthought through much of the adventure."

While The Telegraph says "the superhero franchise sinks to a new low" and gives it just 1 lonely star.

And here were the early online reactions...

The Marvels review round-up: early reports are in

Hobbyist film reviewer Darryl Mansel has a slightly more measured take, saying The Marvels “is a delight, front to back. It’s by no means a perfect movie, and there’s a few questionable choices but overall I had a blast from beginning to end."

Collider’s Ross Bonaime is also a fan, and does actually review films all the time as part of his work. He says it’s “probably the most charmed I've been by a MCU film since No Way Home.”

The Mary Sue editor Rachel Leishman calls the film “action-packed goodness, but genuinely hilarious and exciting to watch from start to finish..

Box office estimates for The Marvels have been cut in recent weeks, from domestic takings of up to $80 million over its opening weekend to as low as just $50 million according to Deadline.

This would place it below Eternals’s $71 million opening, and at just a third of the takings of 2019’s Captain Marvel. The film’s production budget was reportedly around $220 million, after a $55 subsidy by the UK government, for a total production spend of above $270 million.

The Marvels is out on November 10, and is getting previews the day before in some territories.