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:


“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


“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


“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


“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


“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,

“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


“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

2016 Discovery Channel scene in color CW Seed 71st Emmy Awards Disney 2021 Elton John 93rd Oscars marvel comics quibi new zealand IFC SundanceTV reboot YouTube Premium Sneak Peek Quiz GLAAD 99% Comedy Central Black History Month Netflix Christmas movies scorecard documentaries Sci-Fi RT History comic books festival feel good Drama CNN Cannes free movies Rom-Com wonder woman black CBS All Access rotten movies we love dreamworks Set visit Adult Swim HBO Max 73rd Emmy Awards Apple TV Plus Hallmark Christmas movies universal monsters live event Pirates obituary Valentine's Day TIFF Food Network international jurassic park psychological thriller adaptation History tv talk Travel Channel MTV FOX Musical Comedy Marvel Studios BET Anna Paquin Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt reviews Fantasy latino Trophy Talk docuseries LGBT award winner ABC Family BBC America stoner VH1 IFC Films space historical drama james bond comiccon DC Comics ABC Signature Mary Tyler Moore nbcuniversal Endgame Apple Netflix Neflix Biopics comic Captain marvel gangster what to watch pirates of the caribbean Tokyo Olympics child's play biopic TBS films telelvision adventure ABC fast and furious Peacock Tomatazos olympics OneApp PBS comics Holidays game show Dark Horse Comics theme song emmy awards Schedule RT21 NBA technology Arrowverse Showtime Wes Anderson Exclusive Video Hear Us Out dexter Nickelodeon Columbia Pictures crime thriller rt labs critics edition Horror Shondaland suspense cartoon CBS CMT know your critic zombie Rock game of thrones Superheroes stand-up comedy series Ghostbusters name the review young adult Walt Disney Pictures golden globe awards PlayStation rt archives Amazon Broadway Trivia NYCC Lifetime Paramount Network crossover cults dramedy golden globes deadpool screenings Tumblr spider-verse elevated horror Emmy Nominations Avengers satire comic book movie 1990s Trailer TV One The Purge Sundance Now renewed TV shows concert action-comedy A&E franchise streaming debate video on demand Film halloween Writers Guild of America Infographic Warner Bros. boxoffice TLC Best and Worst japanese political drama Countdown fresh Action Awards Tour scary movies die hard television crime WGN Fox News Pixar razzies Character Guide Binge Guide Black Mirror cars FX on Hulu politics screen actors guild Chernobyl asian-american The Walking Dead SDCC Ellie Kemper DirecTV ITV Lifetime Christmas movies Martial Arts hispanic travel italian canceled joker 90s LGBTQ El Rey trophy Universal Pictures spy thriller PaleyFest Disney streaming service parents GIFs natural history Kids & Family Photos Turner christmas movies australia Legendary Red Carpet Rocky Lionsgate foreign kaiju 2020 Mary poppins Creative Arts Emmys docudrama facebook Cosplay Hallmark Musicals VOD book high school Super Bowl teaser Spike french revenge singing competition zero dark thirty crime drama indiana jones Calendar robots spanish language rotten Spectrum Originals classics a nightmare on elm street anime 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Song of Ice and Fire Premiere Dates Grammys transformers cooking BBC One psycho USA Network 72 Emmy Awards dc BAFTA American Society of Cinematographers documentary superman kong Logo Comic Book Mary Poppins Returns WarnerMedia comic book movies heist movie south america spanish comedies IMDb TV trailers YouTube Red Freeform hollywood toronto TCM 2017 Election Crackle critic resources discovery Interview Classic Film adenture The Academy 2018 dark stop motion sports Teen football blockbuster Funimation dceu based on movie movie police drama Video Games Hulu Polls and Games godzilla strong female leads nfl DC Universe spain 24 frames disaster biography Reality MCU Cartoon Network book adaptation Bravo jamie lee curtis 007 venice Reality Competition superhero new star wars movies Pet Sematary Comics on TV Podcast popular Family New York Comic Con Nat Geo zombies casting new york 21st Century Fox genre streaming movies Disney+ Disney Plus Sony Pictures Holiday target YA critics Universal TNT breaking bad TCA Winter 2020 E3 mission: impossible sequel war President Oscars 20th Century Fox prank social media The Walt Disney Company National Geographic TV renewals royal family talk show FX lord of the rings best sequels Ovation Turner Classic Movies mutant USA Paramount Plus mcc Fall TV dogs Pacific Islander Image Comics criterion TCA diversity romance sitcom news Mystery Mindy Kaling Shudder 2019 The CW TV Land TV GoT Esquire Sundance TV leaderboard cancelled movies E! 45 posters Disney Channel supernatural worst Year in Review Spring TV Music vampires FXX Emmys black comedy Sundance miniseries Summer ratings Heroines Mudbound spinoff thriller Women's History Month Alien MSNBC The Arrangement Rocketman Acorn TV 2015 Watching Series canceled TV shows aliens hispanic heritage month live action justice league Animation king kong Instagram Live cancelled TV series Film Festival all-time vs. directors chucky NBC mob animated VICE Superheroe Pride Month video doctor who independent Winter TV monster movies richard e. Grant The Witch art house serial killer spider-man Lucasfilm Tubi First Reviews AMC Plus Nominations romantic comedy Baby Yoda DC streaming service ViacomCBS Toys werewolf OWN harry potter TV movies A24 blaxploitation Certified Fresh marvel cinematic universe Awards Marathons Winners anthology binge legend Vudu unscripted Christmas X-Men Fargo saw See It Skip It Brie Larson SXSW blockbusters ghosts nature Star Trek toy story First Look Opinion ID Amazon Prime Amazon Studios Marvel Television hidden camera rom-coms cinemax Syfy Starz TCA 2017 Country Tarantino rt labs boxing ESPN YouTube Thanksgiving period drama Chilling Adventures of Sabrina hist Pop TV Box Office slashers Crunchyroll women BBC Television Critics Association sag awards HBO Go worst movies festivals HBO sopranos versus japan witnail Amazon Prime Video medical drama Stephen King Star Wars Britbox remakes true crime basketball aapi BET Awards cops kids Western composers Masterpiece Apple TV+ scary DGA Academy Awards Disney Plus finale laika mockumentary Comic-Con@Home 2021 halloween tv cats AMC children's TV San Diego Comic-Con Paramount Television Academy green book 4/20 indie cancelled television Fox Searchlight king arthur APB slasher TCA Awards twilight dragons Pop batman TruTV cancelled TV shows Epix science fiction archives Marvel Extras