News

First Ready Player One Reactions: Classic Steven Spielberg, Dorky, and Fun

Critics give Spielberg's latest a standing ovation and plenty of Twitter love

by | March 12, 2018 | Comments

(Photo by Jaap Buttendijk / © 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.)

Fans in Austin received a special treat this weekend, when Ready Player One was revealed to have a South By Southwest Film Festival premiere on Sunday night. Director Steven Spielberg was on hand to introduce what he clarified to be “not a film…a movie,” and was joined on stage before and after the screening by cast members and Ready Player One author and co-screenwriter, Ernest Cline. The audience ate the “movie” up in enthusiastic SXSW fashion — and stuck with it even when the sound cut out and the film had to be restarted, twice, as the climax was unfolding. When the credits rolled, the crowd gave Spielberg a mighty standing ovation.

As the night unfolded, the critics in attendance weighed in with their first thoughts on Twitter (some early full reviews have started to drop, too, so keep an eye on the Tomatometer). Most of the buzz matched that ovation, but not all was so positive. Here are the initial reactions via social media:


IT’S A WHOLE LOT OF DORKY FUN…

“Well everyone relax, Ready Player One will indeed be the biggest thing in the world.” – Emily Yoshida, New York Magazine/Vulture

Ready Player One is full of giant, dorky heart. I both want to hug it and give it a noogie.” – Meredith Border, Fangoria

Ready Player One is a whole lot of fun. Those who are stuck in pre-release hate mode better prepare to be disappointed.” – Scott Weinberg, Nerdist

…EVEN FOR THE DOUBTERS

“I am completely shocked but I really enjoyed Ready Player One. The pop culture references are often overwhelming but if you focus on the story and filmmaking, it’s a completely solid adventure film. I pity the blogger who tries to do a ‘Complete Easter Egg’ list.” – Robert Saucedo, Birth.Movies.Death.

Ready Player One is really fun. (?) I think it’s fun. Is it OK to say it’s fun? It’s fun.” – Sean Fennessey, The Ringer

“Went into Ready Player One skeptical as hell. Came out largely as a joyous convert. I have a handful of issues with the structure and characters, but it improves on the book in important ways, the action is riveting, and I really bought the humor.” – Tasha Robinson, The Verge

IT’S CLASSIC STEVEN SPIELBERG

“So, yeah, Ready Player One is the most fun I’ve had watching a Steven Spielberg film since Catch Me If You Can.” – Jordan Ruimy, The Film Stage

“Classic Steven Spielberg. It’s got the references, the ferocious effects and the great ‘80s soundtrack, sure, but also the charm, the heart, the humor and a fantastic Alan Silvestri score. I loved it…We haven’t seen this Spielberg in a long time — it’s just pure entertainment, and it’s hard not to watch it with a dorky smile on your face the whole time. – Erik Davis, Fandango

“Mark Rylance can shine in literally anything. That I will say.” – Joanna Robinson, Vanity Fair

IT’S TECHNICALLY AMAZING

“TOTALLY engrossed in every second of Ready Player One. It is one of the most technically brilliant things I have EVER seen. Spielberg is one of the few directors who could orchestrate this kind of visual symphony that SO many people will enjoy. Pretty amazing.” – Grae Drake, Rotten Tomatoes

Ready Player One feels like Spielberg watched a ton of Luc Besson movies and decided to outdo them. In terms of pure spectacle, it’s the most astonishing thing he’s done. Never underestimate Steve.” – Eric Kohn, IndieWire

YES, THERE ARE MORE POP-CULTURE REFERENCES THAN YOU CAN THROW A RUBIK’S CUBE AT

“So so so much movie. Sometimes too much but what I kept thinking over and over again was ‘my kids are gonna LOVE THIS.’ It is joyous and thrilling for the people who it’s designed to joy and thrill.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

“The pop culture references are a LOT of fun, geeky glee to see everything together on the big screen. I just wanted more of the real world and more character backstory. I definitely recommend reading the book first!” – Alicia Malone, Fandango

BUT NOT EVERYONE’S HOPPING ABOARD THE DELOREAN

“I’m not sure this film will appeal to non-gamers. Also, it does a poor job of world building. In addition, the bad narration (a narrative crutch) in intro doesn’t work. Might’ve been in better hands with an indie director who focused on human story and class disparity, which is better explored in the book. But there are a ton of references. Overall feels dated.” – Chris Gore, Film Threat

“A cacophonous eye-sore…This is no love letter to pop culture. It’s a crass play to nostalgia; it offers nothing new or exciting…I’m genuinely angry that Spielberg is so careless with his own legacy, slapping in references to Jurassic Park with all the care of a monkey slinging feces.“ – Kristy Puchko, Pajiba

Ready Player One was…meh. Some great moments but nothing special.” – Jonathan Barkan, Dread Central


Check out the trailer for Ready Player One below and check in with Rotten Tomatoes as reviews officially start rolling in. The film opens everywhere on March 29.

Tag Cloud

indie name the review romance Marvel Studios 2020 Television Critics Association Marvel Television Shudder satire spider-man Extras reviews BBC America MTV Crackle comedies mission: impossible Universal Mary poppins war emmy awards composers aliens Esquire robots golden globes rotten movies we love unscripted indiana jones blaxploitation SDCC discovery science fiction hist Black History Month spy thriller cancelled TV series game of thrones justice league HBO Go Hulu President worst blockbuster The Arrangement cops ITV A&E laika Starz Podcast Thanksgiving Chernobyl video asian-american 71st Emmy Awards TCA Awards Tomatazos X-Men strong female leads YouTube Red Ovation sequel DGA movies comics all-time Adult Swim true crime documentaries BAFTA TruTV Epix Hallmark Christmas movies Spring TV Star Trek NBC LGBT Netflix Peacock Musical anime psychological thriller crossover mutant cartoon Hear Us Out Women's History Month First Reviews Western Action Martial Arts Trailer supernatural The Witch dc 2015 politics Kids & Family BBC MSNBC Classic Film docudrama psycho Photos Super Bowl Quiz Amazon Prime Video 2019 USA BBC One YouTube Premium Trophy Talk TV Land FOX VOD sequels The Purge Fantasy vampires police drama Disney streaming service book game show Crunchyroll Apple TV Plus cults Disney Plus Sundance Now Academy Awards foreign Apple natural history best franchise latino zero dark thirty Film Warner Bros. tv talk dceu criterion Rock Emmys Showtime Nominations Marvel Set visit The Walking Dead Shondaland cooking Pet Sematary cancelled TV shows Comics on TV RT History Nickelodeon stop motion Paramount Mary Poppins Returns cancelled television Marathons Disney Channel Box Office facebook cars PlayStation Pirates PaleyFest Writers Guild of America Character Guide Certified Fresh anthology joker Britbox GIFs VH1 Spike social media Countdown miniseries series Video Games breaking bad spain zombie nature Trivia stoner comiccon TCM TLC Lionsgate TV documentary Chilling Adventures of Sabrina dramedy Netflix Christmas movies talk show FX on Hulu festivals American Society of Cinematographers Cosplay Amazon Superheroe Amazon Studios Teen rotten richard e. Grant Captain marvel children's TV Interview teaser political drama dogs Biopics casting child's play batman Anna Paquin E3 21st Century Fox Film Festival dragons classics Endgame slashers E! MCU hollywood Food Network Reality Brie Larson versus cats CBS Oscars ratings stand-up comedy chucky USA Network Baby Yoda HBO CBS All Access sitcom transformers universal monsters National Geographic 007 spinoff AMC Hallmark crime thriller Animation VICE medical drama TV renewals Masterpiece dark Disney+ Disney Plus TCA Columbia Pictures Tubi Year in Review Valentine's Day Comedy A24 Awards Tour 2018 ghosts nbcuniversal twilight WGN 24 frames BET Television Academy 4/20 crime quibi mockumentary Election CNN films Bravo Grammys comic Nat Geo Country Creative Arts Emmys DC streaming service Logo renewed TV shows Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Syfy 45 period drama Amazon Prime Watching Series Apple TV+ Paramount Network singing competition kids Sundance TV Premiere Dates SXSW Mudbound Freeform movie IFC Films Lucasfilm 72 Emmy Awards IFC FX Turner television Holiday adaptation canceled TV shows sag awards free movies BET Awards Toys Dark Horse Comics Emmy Nominations ESPN critics The CW First Look Family Pride Month Holidays TNT finale disaster Pop TV witnail superhero Stephen King DirecTV Binge Guide Rocketman Infographic Comedy Central TCA 2017 based on movie DC Comics elevated horror reboot Mary Tyler Moore TIFF award winner doctor who Arrowverse south america NYCC Reality Competition APB Discovery Channel Musicals Tumblr revenge TBS jamie lee curtis Heroines what to watch Elton John space animated independent concert Lifetime Christmas movies Song of Ice and Fire GoT binge historical drama diversity serial killer Superheroes screenings halloween Ghostbusters Mystery crime drama Music RT21 Cartoon Network Horror Sneak Peek video on demand Best and Worst GLAAD WarnerMedia spanish language OWN Disney History Rocky DC Universe Fall TV YA christmas movies Turner Classic Movies See It Skip It Lifetime Christmas LGBTQ Tarantino Pixar Winter TV thriller Summer ABC Family Fox News toy story Sundance Comic Book Walt Disney Pictures technology TCA Winter 2020 San Diego Comic-Con green book Pop New York Comic Con Vudu Schedule a nightmare on elm street news Polls and Games Ellie Kemper PBS cinemax Red Carpet 20th Century Fox sports screen actors guild 2016 2017 SundanceTV Winners directors travel El Rey adventure Acorn TV werewolf Rom-Com cancelled Mindy Kaling theme song HBO Max Avengers scary movies parents obituary canceled Awards FXX Spectrum Originals ABC fast and furious CMT die hard harry potter Opinion YouTube Calendar Sci-Fi boxoffice CW Seed Funimation romantic comedy hispanic Cannes streaming Travel Channel Drama Sony Pictures biography Black Mirror OneApp Star Wars zombies