Earlier this week, Eternals screened for junket press, who nearly all enthusiastically raved about the film on social media. Today the embargo lifted on full Eternals reviews, and the results…differ. As of publication time, the Rotten Tomatoes score held at 73%, but even that doesn’t tell the full story. Because most of the positive reviews come with reservations.
The highest profile positive review comes from David Rooney in The Hollywood Reporter, but he qualifies it with, “the depth of feeling helps counter the choppy storytelling in this new tangent in the MCU narrative.” Oliver Jones at The Observer writes, “For once in a movie like this, ocean waves and cloudscapes carry as much weight as the ultra-choreographed battles between intergalactic interlopers.”
In a less-qualified rave, Robert Abele at The Wrap notes that the film is “both a Marvel superhero epic, as massively conceived as they come, and unquestionably [director Chloe] Zhao’s version of one, as attentive to beauty and intimacy as it is to the expected fate-of-all-life concerns.” CNN’s Brian Lowry, meanwhile, thinks “the movie’s structural flaws offset its stunning visuals and strong performances.”
The altogether negative reviews seem to come from writers who aren’t generally Marvel fans to begin with. “You walk out in the depressing realization that you’ve just seen one of the more interesting movies Marvel will ever make, and hopefully the least interesting one Chloé Zhao will ever make,” says the L.A. Times‘ Justin Chang. Nicholas Barber at the BBC thinks, “it would have been reasonable to expect it to prompt slack-jawed wonder rather than the grudging appreciation of an efficient, workmanlike job. Eternals may not be the worst of Marvel’s movies, but it’s undoubtedly the most disappointing.”
Brandon Zachary at the more fan-skewing site CBR calls Eternals “among the better entries of the MCU” while still complaining that it “lands like an unwieldy entry in the superhero genre.” Jamie Jirak at Comicbook.com says “While the story of Eternals is lacking, the visuals are quite stunning thanks to the work of Zhao.”
We should note that not every outlet has seen the movie yet, including Superhero Hype. Disney scheduled further screenings for all media in the next few days, which may change the calculus. For now, however, opinions vary greatly.
Which reviews do you trust, if any? Let us know in comments!
Recommended Reading: The Eternals by Jack Kirby Vol. 1
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate advertising program also provides a means to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.