Barbie First Reactions: Witty, Impeccably Designed, Overblown Fun

Critics on social media say Gerta Gerwig's take on the iconic doll blends camp and social commentary and benefits from a scene-stealing Ryan Gosling.

by | July 10, 2023 | Comments


The movie of the summer may have finally arrived, as the buzz on Barbie is exceptional. The first critics’ reactions have made their way online following the Sunday night premiere of the movie, which stars Margot Robbie as the titular doll and Ryan Gosling as Ken. Co-written and directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Greta Gerwig with fellow Academy Award nominee Noah Baumbach, Barbie is being particularly praised for its fish-out-of-water comedy, its vibrant visuals, and its star-studded cast.

Here’s what critics are saying about Barbie:

Does Barbie live up to the hype?

“Greta Gerwig somehow exceeded my expectations. She tackles the positives and negatives of Barbie so beautifully.” – Jamie Jirak,

Barbie isn’t the home run I was hoping for, or that I think it needs to be given the topics it’s tackling, but it’s still a well made, bold film with a VERY strong voice and vision, one that often made me think, HOW does this movie exist? And that right there is almost always a quality in a film that will win me over.” – Perri Nemiroff, Collider

“It teeters between the camp Barbie movie we expected and a sometimes too on-the-nose social commentary of society that takes away from important subplots and character development… Overall I left wanting a bit more from the film.” – Sharronda Williams, Pay or Wait

Barbie is currently my favorite film of the year.” – Jamie Jirak,

Margot Robbie in Barbie (2023)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

How are the performances?

“I was living for the dance numbers led by Simu Liu!” – Carla Renata, The Curvy Film Critic

“Ryan Gosling is a scene stealer delivering most of the laughs while Margot Robbie’s heartfelt performance will tug at your heartstrings.” – Sharronda Williams, Pay or Wait

“Give Ryan Gosling an Oscar nomination, I’m dead serious!” – Jamie Jirak,

What about the script?

“As for the story, that’s where I’m a bit more mixed. I think the film serves Margot Robbie’s Barbie and her journey especially well, but there are other characters experiencing important arcs that needed more screen time to really dig into and explore to the fullest.” – Perri Nemiroff, Collider

“While I enjoyed most of the film the screenplay feels bloated at times.” – Sharronda Williams, Pay or Wait

Ana Cruz Kayne, Sharon Rooney, Alexandra Shipp, Margot Robbie, Hari Nef, and Emma Mackey in Barbie (2023)

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

Anything else impressive about it?

“The craftsmanship is incredible. In particular, the costume and production design includes next-level work that heavily contributes to creating the feeling that these truly are Barbies, their dream houses, and their worlds come to life.” – Perri Nemiroff, Collider

“The production and costume design is stunning.” – Sharronda Williams, Pay or Wait

“Greta Gerwig left me all in my feelings as did the production design, costumes, hair and makeup!” – Carla Renata, The Curvy Film Critic

Is it fun?

Barbie is witty, heartfelt, and downright fun at times.” – Sharronda Williams, Pay or Wait

“It’s overblown fun with a feminist twist.” – Carla Renata, The Curvy Film Critic

Barbie opens in theaters everywhere on July 21, 2023.

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