In less than two weeks, fans will finally see Doctor Strange spell its way into cinemas when it premieres on November 4. The anticipated film will follow Captain America: Civil War to become the most recent release from Marvel Studios, and audiences have wondered how the cult comic would fare as a live-action adaptation.
Now, those fans are having that question answered. Reviews of the film are now trickling onto the Internet, and critics are agreeing that Doctor Strange is one of Marvel’s most innovative, delightfully weird films to date. And, yes, you should definitely plan on seeing it.
Here at ComicBook.com, we’ve rounded up a slew of reviews for Doctor Strange that will help you decide whether the trippy flick is up your enchanted alley.
ComicBook.com: “The new Marvel movie directed by Scott Derrickson is very much a solo adventure - perhaps not since the very first few Marvel Studios films has there been a more stand-alone, single hero story without overlap to the broader cinematic tapestry - and it is for sure about demons and dimensions and reality-bending mumbo jumbo, but it is so much fun, so dazzling and inventive, and exciting, that it proves Dr Strange is worthy of his own film franchise. I can’t wait for more.”
Polygon: “Visually, Doctor Strange is a staggering feat of both imagination and technology, with dizzying, multi-dimensional mind-trips and action sequences that quite literally defy gravity. (It was cool in Inception, and it’s even cooler here). Tonally, Doctor Strange is familiar Marvel fare, seamlessly merging humor and pathos. Some might say it’s become too familiar — the brilliant, arrogant Stephen Strange can be difficult to distinguish from the brilliant, arrogant Tony Stark, after all — but Derrickson and fellow screenwriters Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill capitalize on the familiarity intrinsic to superhero origin stories in order to push the MCU further into surrealist mysticism than ever before.”
USA Today: “With apologies to Jim Morrison: When you’re Strange, everyone remembers your name. A kaleidoscope of weirdness and innovative visual effects successfully introduce the newest Marvel superhero in director/co-writer Scott Derrickson’s brilliantly bizarre Doctor Strange…in theaters nationwide Nov. 4). Benedict Cumberbatch plays Stephen Strange with enchanting spirit and a clever wit, giving comic-book movies another goateed icon who can hang alongside Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark.”
The Hollywood Reporter: “A '60s cult figure stuck on the periphery of the Marvel Comics universe for 50 years finally spins into orbit to command the world's attention in Doctor Strange, an engaging, smartly cast and sporadically eye-popping addition to the studio's bulging portfolio. Determined, among other things, to top Christopher Nolan at his own game when it comes to folding, bending and upending famous cityscapes to eye-popping effect, this action movie ostensibly rooted in the mind-expanding tenets of Eastern mysticism is different enough to establish a solid niche alongside the blockbuster combine's established money machines.”
IGN: “14 movies into the MCU -- and with many other comic book movies constantly opening these days -- Doctor Strange’s basic origin story structure is a bit overly familiar, including a lot of the strengths (the charismatic lead; the exciting and fun moments where he discovers new abilities) and weaknesses (a villain that feels underwritten) we’ve come to expect. But the other realms and accompanying visuals it brings into the MCU are fascinating and thrilling, with a lot of potential for the future. Now that his origin story is out of the way, I look forward to seeing what’s next for the good Doctor.”
Collider: “The only way for the comic book movie to survive and thrive is by pushing the boundaries of what audiences can expect from a “comic book movie.” Which is absolutely what director Scott Derrickson has done with his take on Doctor Strange. Loaded with amazing visuals that absolutely should be seen in IMAX 3D, the film is a fantastic journey into the concept of alternate realities and parallel dimensions and opens the door for the MCU to journey into new and fantastic places. Trust me, if you’re a Doctor Strange fan, you’re going to be unbelievably happy when you leave the theater. And if you’re a fan of composer Michael Giacchino, get ready to buy the soundtrack because he’s done some great work on Doctor Strange.”
The Wrap: “Doctor Strange, the latest movie in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe, casts a few impressive spells of its own, not the least of which is the redemption of the visual-effects extravaganza. In a year where bloated, empty spectacles have induced a crushing level of CG fatigue — Now Showing: “Alice Through the Warcraft Suicide Apocalypse Justice” — this funny, freaky adventure reminds us of how effective VFX can be when they’ve got some imagination behind them.”
Variety: “Yes, this new project [Doctor Strange] shares the same look, feel, and fancy corporate sheen as the rest of Marvel’s rapidly expanding Avengers portfolio, but it also boasts an underlying originality and freshness missing from the increasingly cookie-cutter comic-book realm of late. From this second-tier side character, the studio has created a thrilling existential dilemma in which its flawed hero’s personal search for purpose dovetails beautifully with forays into the occult New Age realm of magic and sorcery where Doctor Strange ultimately finds his calling.”
IndieWire: “Giving a whole new meaning to the idea of Doctors Without Borders, “Doctor Strange” is a superhero movie that often feels as though it’s been shot through a kaleidoscope — it’s hollow, hypnotic, and every twist of the tube reflects a beautiful new dimension of infinite possibilities. Unapologetically folding the likes of “The Matrix” and “Inception” into the fabric of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Sinister” director Scott Derrickson reaches into the mirror dimension (whatever the hell that is) and retrieves the year’s most (only?) visually dazzling blockbuster.”
From Marvel comes DOCTOR STRANGE, the story of world-famous neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange whose life changes forever after a horrific car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he is forced to look for healing, and hope, in an unlikely place – a mysterious enclave known as Kamar-Taj. He quickly learns that this is not just a center for healing but also the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying our reality. Before long Strange – armed with newly acquired magical powers – is forced to choose whether to return to his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence. Join Strange on his dangerous, mystifying, and totally mind-bending journey.
The cast features Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Into Darkness, The Imitation Game), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man), Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) and Tilda Swinton (The Grand Budapest Hotel).
Marvel's Doctor Strange will open in theaters on November 4, 2016.