Black Widow is the latest Marvel Studios movie to score certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, where the Scarlett Johansson-starring spy thriller packs a punch at 84%. Ahead of its July 9 release in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access, Black Widow ranks just below 2018 blockbusters Ant-Man and the Wasp (87%) and Avengers: Infinity War (85%). The 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon and the first standalone feature to star the S.H.I.E.L.D. super-spy-turned-Avenger, Black Widow is a "triumphant theatrical return" for the studio after the 738-day wait since Spider-Man: Far From Home in 2019.
Black Widow is a decade too late but "a well-placed addition to the franchise and the perfect send-off for Scarlett Johansson and Natasha Romanoff," reads the spoiler-free review from ComicBook.com. The first film of Phase 4 of the MCU is a Bourne-style franchise entry, according to Indiewire, and a superhero movie that's as much an "espionage action-thriller" as it is a "dysfunctional family drama," according to IGN.
Set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Infinity War, the "mid-quel" introducing Red Room-trained assassin Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) is "more of a backdoor pilot for the Yelena Belova show" than a Natasha Romanoff prequel, reads a review from Collider.
Comparing Black Widow to 2019's Brie Larson starrer Captain Marvel, the first female-fronted film of the MCU, The Hollywood Reporter writes: "Directed by Cate Shortland with propulsive excitement, humor and pleasingly understated emotional interludes, this standalone proves a stellar vehicle for Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff, given first-rate support by Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz and David Harbour. Shifting away from the superhero template into high-octane espionage thriller territory, it makes a far more satisfying female-driven MCU entry than the blandly bombastic Captain Marvel."
In Marvel Studios' action-packed spy thriller "Black Widow," Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger.
Marvel's Black Widow opens in theaters and is streaming on Disney+ Premier Access, priced at $29.99, on July 9.
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