Ocean's 8 Early Reviews: Bold, Fun, Funny, and Elevated By Its Killer All-Female Cast

Early reviews for Ocean's 8 call it a solid spinoff powered by a talented cast and an MVP turn by Anne Hathaway.

by | June 6, 2018 | Comments

(Photo by Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros.)

When fans defend remakes, Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven — a remake of the 1960 Rat Pack caper — is frequently cited as a worthy example. And the sequels aren’t too bad, either (Ocean’s Twelve, at 54% on the Tomatometer, is just misunderstood). Altogether, the trilogy has an average Tomatometer score of 68.7%, which is great for a franchise. This week, we get a spinoff of Soderbergh’s trilogy, with female superstars like Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock taking top billing alongside the likes of Rihanna and up-and-comer Awkwafina. And so far the the reception is enthusiastic. Ocean’s 8 may not necessarily be the movie people use to defend spinoffs from hereon out, but if early reviews are anything to go by – we count 33 reviews so far — the movie is set to connect in the right way with fans of the franchise this weekend, and may inspire an Ocean’s 9. Oh, and Anne Hathaway totally steals the show.

Here’s a breakdown of the first reviews of Ocean’s 8:

How does it compare to the other Ocean’s movies?

Ocean’s 8 is the most satisfying installment in the franchise.
William Bibbiani, IGN Movies

A lot of the film mirrors Soderbergh’s 2001 remake.
Josh Spiegel, Slashfilm

Ocean’s 8 is in many ways a mirror image of its predecessor, but it’s most delightful when it follows its own path toward girly transcendence.
Inkoo Kang, Slate

Ocean’s 8 is an entertaining continuation of the Ocean’s franchise that adopts the characteristics of its predecessors, but offers plenty of freshness by introducing a new cast, location and heist.
Molly Freeman, ScreenRant

While this new spinoff doesn’t quite match Soderbergh’s original, this is fizzy, gossamer-weight fun that trumps Ocean’s 12 and even Ocean’s 13 at their own con game.
Kimber Myers, The Playlist

The film never accelerates to the breakneck speed at which Soderbergh’s films moved.
Kevin Fallon, Daily Beast

Should Soderbergh have directed the movie?

Director Gary Ross was the wrong guy for a wholesale franchise reinvention.
David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

[Ross] never conjures that Soderbergh sensation of taking this juggling act into the realm of gravity-defying virtuosity.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

[Ross] lacks the whizz-bang invention and verve of master filmmaker Steven Soderbergh.
Tom Augustine, New Zealand Herald

[Ross] ably apes Soderbergh’s stylish shooting, editing and approach to musical cues, but it sometimes feels like the cubic zirconium version of the real thing.
– Kimber Myers, The Playlist

At some point between the first and second hours, though, you may find yourself wishing that Mr. Soderbergh — a producer here — had also directed Ocean’s 8.
– Manohla Dargis, New York Times

We’re loving the gender-swap, right?

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

Here’s a gender-flipped sequel that not only works just fine, but renders the whole ‘novelty’ of the concept a borderline irrelevance.
– Owen Gleiberman, Variety

The beauty of Ocean’s 8 is how it manages to transcend its status as ‘the female Ocean’s 11,’ delivering a bold, funny and joyous crime caper that gives its predecessor a run for its money.
– Anne Cohen, Refinery29

It just wants to show you how fun it’d be to round up a girl gang and steal some jewels. In its own way, that’s kind of empowering, too.
– Angie Han, Mashable

Is it fun?

Watching these actresses hanging out together is inherently fun.
Alex Abad-Santos, Vox

Ocean’s 8 is fun…That said, I do wish Ocean’s 8 were a little more than fun.
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

[The heist is not] nearly as fun as watching the characters prepare for it.
Kate Erbland, IndieWire

It isn’t much fun. That’s all you want from a certain kind of heist picture, isn’t it? Fun?
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

The set-up drags a little, as does the film’s denouement, but when the action starts, it’s thrilling.
Tom Augustine, New Zealand Herald

Is it funny?

Everyone in the ensemble manages to carve out a moment or two of deft comedy, whether it’s minimalist banter or broad slapstick.
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

Despite the comic skills of the cast, there’s a noticeable lack of wit, a glaring hole in place of the back-and-forth banter from its predecessor.
Benjamin Lee, Guardian

Mindy Kaling got some of the best laughs.
Delia Harrington, Den of Geek

Both [Bonham-Carter and Hathaway] are funny, and Hathaway is transcendent, suggesting deep unhappiness and a welcome cunning beneath her movie star’s vacuousness. It’s a superb comic performance.
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

Who is the MVP of the cast?

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

The MVP winds up being Anne Hathaway.
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

The real MVP is Anne Hathaway.
– Sara Stewart, New York Post

Hathaway is getting a lot of buzz for stealing the movie – and she earns it in a role that is clearly a ball to play.
– Kimber Myers, The Playlist

Hathaway’s Daphne that steals the show, bringing a surprising amount of comedy and emotional depth to Ocean’s 8.
– Molly Freeman, ScreenRant

A downright magical performance by Anne Hathaway rescues the film from its sleepiness.
– Kevin Fallon, Daily Beast

The funniest standout by virtue of her homegirl insouciance and wiry physicality is Awkwafina.
– David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

Special praise is reserved for Bonham Carter, who delivers a charming dollop of her trademark clownishness, and Awkwafina, a rapper, comedian and actress who injects a refreshing dash of street culture to a cast and story line that leans heavily on haute couture.
– Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

Which cast member deserved better?

Since there are fewer members in this Ocean’s crew, it’s almost a sin that the film strands Kaling.
– Josh Spiegel, Slashfilm

Most disappointing are the flimsy and rarely funny roles given to Mindy Kaling as the crew’s jeweler, and Helena Bonham Carter.
– John Hazelton, Screen International

Blanchett is particularly underserved, her actions mostly perfunctory.
– Benjamin Lee, Guardian

What does it get right?

[It is] universally appealing in its adventure-driven plot, but very distinctly female in its approach to it. In other words, it’s a movie about women that should and can appeal to everyone.
– Anne Cohen, Refinery29

The most revolutionary detail of all is the focus on female pleasure, in luxury and beauty, as well as in their skills and their camaraderie.
– Inkoo Kang, Slate

Even as it plays by the rules, it nevertheless manages to score a political point or two. Eight of them, actually.
– Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

It’s savvy enough to recognize that politics and pulchritude make excellent bedfellows.
– Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

Do we want more of this ensemble?

Ocean’s 8, at its most endearing, is a slick, glamorous romp that makes you yearn for three more hours with its impossibly charismatic crew.
Alex Abad-Santos, Vox

It’s good enough to suggest the promise of future installments with a little bit more spunk and willingness to veer somewhat away from the male-driven trilogy.
Josh Spiegel, Slashfilm

We hope for an Ocean’s 9, if only so we can get to know a bit more about Lou.
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

Ocean’s 8 opens everywhere on Friday, June 8. Read all the reviews for it here.

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