Captain Marvel is set to arrive in theaters in just a couple of days, which means that the embargo on all critical reviews has finally been lifted. More than a week after the initial onslaught of Captain Marvel reactions flooded social media, the official reviews have started publishing, and the fans can all see what the critics think.
Regardless of how positive or negative any reviews are, Captain Marvel has a full head of steam going into its first weekend at the box office. The most recent tracking numbers are projecting a debut of around $150 million domestically, which would easily make Captain Marvel the biggest opener of 2019.
In addition to being Marvel's first female-driven superhero movie, Captain Marvel also has the added bonus of being so closely attached to both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Everyone who is hoping to discover any new details about the final chapter of the Avengers saga will need to flock to Captain Marvel this weekend.
Even if the critical reviews won't affect the box office too much, we are still at least a little bit interested in what they have to say. So let's find out, shall we?
ComicBook.com's own Brandon Davis reviewed Captain Marvel this week, and he said the movie was a fun and exciting adventure from start to finish, even if it had one or two issues along the way.
"In welcoming a female hero to the big screen as the centerpiece of her own film, Marvel Studios has an expansive and fun hit on its hands. Captain Marvel offers up a complex, heartfelt tale which will leave audiences (especially the young girls watching) feeling inspired and satisfied. This is a brand new type of hero for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and, while it doesn't reinvent Marvel's ever-successful formula, Captain Marvel is a brand new, exciting, and fresh adventure."
Read our full Captain Marvel review here.
According to Variety's Owen Gleiberman, the film is certainly fun, but it's Brie Larson's performance that takes things to another level.
"In Captain Marvel, Brie Larson radiates an ability that too many comic-book heroes never get the chance to show: the superpower of expression. She plays a Kree warrior, known as Vers (pronounced verse), who has been trained in the familiar comic-book-movie art of kicking cosmic butt (she specializes in leaping and flying martial-arts moves). Yet what you can’t help but notice, apart from the slithery bravura of her combat skills, is the feeling she brings to the fight. When she’s up against a gang of Skrulls, with her forearms locked inside a pair of molten cylinders, she’s game as hell, but then the cylinders come off, and it sparks a righteous 'Yeah!' and a grin of triumph. Larson seems to be saying: It’s a Marvel movie! If we’re not having an otherworldly blast, what’s the point?"
Read Variety's full review here.
Susana Polo of Polygon writes that, while Captain Marvel follows the very familiar MCU formula, it still works incredibly well. The studio has a hard time making a bad movie, as we've learned by now.
"In Captain Marvel, Marvel Studios brings to bear the familiar formula of its best origin story movies: character development, good casting, quips, decent-but-rarely-groundbreaking special effects, and a soupçon of political allegory and science-fiction invention.
"This sounds like a criticism, but I mean it with sincerity: Marvel Studios rarely makes a truly bad movie, or even a mediocre one. The studio has mastered the building blocks of heroic narratives, and it’s no surprise that Kevin Feige, with directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson) stuck to the blueprints while constructing its first heroic narrative about a woman (a prospect so daunting it apparently took over 10 years for the studio to work up the courage)."
You can read Polygon's full review here.
The Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy suggests that, while Captain Marvel isn't a bad movie, it's not nearly as exciting as most of its MCU counterparts.
"Captain Marvel has two distinctions: It is the first Marvel Studios film to be built around a female superhero, and it is the least of the Marvel productions made since Kevin Feige took the reins and launched the brand into the stratosphere. The picture is not dull, exactly, just mundane, marked by unimaginative plotting, cut-rate villains, a bland visual style and a lack of elan in every department. Or put it this way: What Black Panther did for black representation in the superhero realm is not done for women in Captain Marvel. And if it came down to a one-on-one between rival franchise uber warriors Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, there is no doubt who would inspire the heavy betting."
You can read THR's full review here.
CNET's Patricia Puentes writes that the decision to set Captain Marvel back in the '90s helps create an incredibly fun, unique riff on the superhero genre.
"Let's just say Captain Marvel was worth the wait. It's two hours of pure female empowerment packaged with all the visual power you'd expect from a Marvel blockbuster. Brie Larson is fierce and effortlessly cool as a fighter-pilot-turned-space-warrior trying to discover who she really is. And it doesn't hurt that Hole, Elastica and Nirvana set the beat with some of the biggest hits of the '90s."
You can read CNET's full review here.
The Atlantic's review was written by David Sims, who says that Captain Marvel is a very routine affair made a little better by a wonderful cast.
"In recent years, it seemed like the ever-expanding Marvel cinematic universe kept finding exciting new territory to explore. As the long-running, multi-headed collection of superhero franchises rolled on, it exhibited inventive comedy in Thor: Ragnarok and Ant-Man and the Wasp, staggering scale in Avengers: Infinity War, and a genuine cultural-paradigm shift with Black Panther. With Captain Marvel, sadly, that streak is over. The 21st entry in Marvel’s galactic film empire, and the first focused on a female superhero (played by Brie Larson), is a perfectly fun time at the movies that deftly lays out the stakes of its new character for many future appearances. But more often than not, it feels a little routine."
You can read The Atlantic's full review here.
IndieWire's David Ehrlich writes that Brie Larson does a great job as Carol Danvers, but she can't save the movie from being a bland disappointment for Marvel.
"But Captain Marvel, despite expectations and appearances, is not a groundbreaking science-fiction saga from the 1990s. On the contrary, it’s the 21st installment of the 21st century’s most popular mega-franchise, and somehow the first to center on a heroine (a fact that makes the film’s arrival a sadly overdue cause for celebration, like a kid blowing out their birthday candles on the 21st try). The context behind Yon-Rogg’s axioms couldn’t be clearer, nor the message more pointed: Women are always being told that they’re too 'emotional' to lead, but Vers’ convoluted journey will lead her to see that emotions can be a superpower unto themselves, and that her vulnerability is also her greatest strength. If only Vers’ movie didn’t treat that sentiment like a self-fulfilling prophecy; if only it earned the beautiful idea that it lays out at the start."
You can read IndieWire's full review here.