Thor: Ragnarok Reviews Suggest We've Reached Peak MCU

Is it the funniest Marvel movie yet? How's the action? Where does Cate Blanchett's Hela rank in the Marvel villain pantheon?

by | October 19, 2017 | Comments

(Photo by Marvel Entertainment)

No longer limited by the confines of social media postings, critics are unleashing their full reviews of Thor: Ragnarok today and the buzz continues to be very strong. Could this be the best-reviewed entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet? Is it at least the funniest? The current champion of the former category is still the first installment, 2008’s Iron Man, with its 94% Tomatometer score.

Within a couple hours of the review embargo being lifted, though, Ragnarok sits at a very impressive 97%! Of course, things could change by the time the movie’s released on November 3 and more reactions have been published. For now, here’s a breakdown of the first wave of praise and criticism of the latest MCU blockbuster:

Is this the best Marvel movie yet?

It just might – might! – be the greatest Marvel movie.
David Jenkins, Little White Lies

It’s not even a question that Thor: Ragnarok is the best of the Thor movies and it’s certainly up there as far as the best in the MCU.
Mike Ryan, Uproxx

Is this the funniest Marvel movie yet?

Unquestionably [the] funniest big-screen Marvel adventure…it’s a triumph.
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

Marvel’s funniest superhero movie…Thor: Ragnarok never goes too long before landing another fresh punchline.
Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Funnier than all other Marvel movies to date and has a specific tone that might throw off some fans.
Kyle Anderson, Nerdist

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed this hard during another Marvel movie and there are a lot of funny moments in other Marvel movies.
Mike Ryan, Uproxx

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

Is Cate Blanchett the best MCU villain so far?

She adds a delicious sense of scene-chewing malevolence to the mix. Hela is an incredibly powerful villain, capable of separating Thor from his hammer — but she also takes obvious, compelling delight in being as evil as she can at any given moment…given Ragnarok’s overall tone, it plays as a celebration, as if Hela is intentionally trying to one-up every villain in the universe.
Bryan Bishop, The Verge

Blanchett walks away with the movie; verbally, she plays like Dame Diana Rigg channeling both Joan Crawford and Eve Arden, and her physical slink (in one of Marvel Comics’ most wonderfully baroque costumes) calls to mind the sexy evil robot from Metropolis.
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

Blanchett faces her own gladiatorial battle: with the curse of the squandered Marvel villains. She wins by dint of blazing charisma but she is underused, reduced to oozing malignantly around Asgard and spearing victims.
Kevin Harley, Total Film

She’s underutilized for the duration of the movie; Waititi falls short of giving this first-rate actress anything substantial to do with the role. It’s no secret that Marvel has a long-running villain problem, and rather than solving it, Waititi finds another tangent.
Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Surely, there have to be other ways to play female evil than just “threat-threat-punchline,” “threat-threat-punchline.”
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

If there’s a weak link in the line-up it’s Blanchett’s Hela. While undeniably striking as Alice Cooper’s stroppy sister, she’s one-note.
James Dyer, Empire

How awesome is Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie?

[She’s] a warrior, serving up an impressive side of emotion with her meaty action scenes. Her hard drinking and scrapper lifestyle make her more relatable and fun than, may the sisterhood forgive me, the goody two-shoes Wonder Woman.
Rachel Weber, Total Film

[She’s] the film’s key scene-stealer.
Eric Eisenberg, Cinema Blend

It’s clear in every scene she’s in that she’s the biggest badass in the room, even standing next to the massive Hemsworth, and the digital behemoth that is Hulk.
Kyle Anderson, Nerdist

The stand-out supporting player isn’t any of the fellas, but Tessa Thompson as a Valkyrie…the Marvel universe needs to see more of her. She’s a star.
– Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

Who else steals the movie?

Goldblum is actually the best thing about the movie, since he openly mocks the film’s underlying silliness.
Peter Debruge, Variety

Urban looks like he’s having a blast, and he really makes one of Marvel’s most over-the-top character designs work for him.
– Matt Singer, ScreenCrush

Doing some of the best ‘hand acting’ since Jurassic Park, Goldblum is mesmeric in every single scene he’s in and when he’s not on screen, you will find yourself wishing he were.
– Linda Marric, HeyUGuys

You’d happily watch a feature length spin-off focusing on every single side player. We’ll be first in line for the Korg movie.
– David Jenkins, Little White Lies

How Is Chris Hemsworth as Thor this time around?

The relatively laidback angle on all the murderous spree-ing gives Chris Hemsworth a chance to find the comic groove beneath the title character’s beefcake godliness. He does it expertly, and the self-mocking humor is all the more welcome given Thor’s essential blandness.
Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter

This is top to bottom Hemsworth’s movie, and in his fifth time playing Thor, is at his very peak.
– Kyle Anderson, Nerdist

This time, he’s in on the joke, his overconfidence leading the way as if he’s absorbed some degree of Iron Man’s charisma and filtered it through his own theatricality.
Eric Kohn, IndieWire

(Photo by Marvel Studios)

How about Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner/Hulk?

Hulk, as performed by Mark Ruffalo with a great vocal Lou Ferrigno impersonation, is the most comic-book Hulk of any Marvel movie to date.
Luke Y. Thompson, Wizard

Ruffalo delights equally as Bruce Banner: an inspired straight man in too-tight trousers.
James Dyer, Empire

How is the action?

[Ragnarok] feels a little light on action, even with the centerpiece Hulk versus Thor sequence.
Matt Singer, ScreenCrush

Marvel has delivered something that isn’t an action movie leavened with humour, but a full-bore comedy using blockbuster spectacle as a backdrop for gags.
James Dyer, Empire

Waititi’s handling of action is just fine, perhaps better than that of the Russo brothers, who fatally succumbed to the temptations of stutter-vision.
Luke Y. Thompson, Wizard

Are there any other problems?

The disjointed first act rushes its emotional beats.
Kelli Weston, The Skinny

Ragnarok’s story is an aimless mess.
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

It does have its drawbacks, particularly when it comes to the more serious drama the narrative offers.
Eric Eisenberg, Cinema Blend

When the film shifts gears into traditional Marvel mode, it prompts a twinge of regret, because no fight sequence can live up to the eccentricity that runs through the rest of the film.
Bryan Bishop, The Verge

Thor: Ragnarok opens in theaters on Friday, November 3.

Tag Cloud

Christmas police drama 2019 TLC GIFs south america Star Wars AMC Plus Shudder Image Comics criterion Reality Competition dogs true crime war casting mcc BAFTA heist movie Showtime ID BBC One Fall TV Writers Guild of America Shondaland binge james bond HFPA blaxploitation Television Academy Spike crime thriller Mary poppins X-Men DirecTV animated Warner Bros. Box Office zero dark thirty dreamworks popular Thanksgiving rotten movies we love TV MSNBC Crunchyroll adventure Elton John zombie legend sequels First Look aliens Chernobyl Best and Worst screenings ITV singing competition NBC scary movies reviews Spectrum Originals Baby Yoda Rock Premiere Dates Music PaleyFest screen actors guild comic social media movie new york Marvel saw Fox Searchlight Disney+ Disney Plus nbcuniversal Drama OneApp Dark Horse Comics adaptation Classic Film boxoffice sitcom psychological thriller LGBTQ Photos TV One Freeform TruTV classics ghosts MGM cats Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Quiz TCA Awards The Witch The Purge video french young adult Television Critics Association Sony hollywood DC Comics Extras Countdown spain target Country San Diego Comic-Con MTV telelvision vampires Fargo VICE justice league Sundance travel Lifetime Christmas movies 21st Century Fox Focus Features cinemax tv talk TNT kids 94th Oscars vs. documentaries diversity dragons renewed TV shows rt archives IMDb TV feel good book adaptation critics Superheroe Watching Series name the review Geeked Week Comedy asian-american streaming Character Guide TBS DC Universe HBO Go docuseries TV movies films Hulu leaderboard Universal Pictures basketball Oscar 93rd Oscars Pirates Marvel Television monster movies Paramount Pictures broadcast Stephen King versus Tags: Comedy rom-coms ratings A&E best rotten marvel comics comedies The Arrangement Pop TV spy thriller movies cars YouTube Red streamig australia rt labs critics edition Paramount Network breaking bad MCU HBO Max prank marvel cinematic universe television mob women action-comedy CW Seed CBS Native SXSW 2022 Turner Classic Movies Awards comics The Walt Disney Company Awards Tour canceled gangster TV Land Super Bowl 71st Emmy Awards science fiction Indigenous italian golden globes NBA Trophy Talk new star wars movies boxing E3 Martial Arts transformers Year in Review kong based on movie The Academy king kong YouTube cops Nickelodeon award winner live action scene in color SDCC Superheroes comic book movies summer TV spanish hidden camera The Walking Dead godzilla joker interviews Food Network Pop LGBT American Society of Cinematographers dark remakes theme song Oscars toronto batman Adult Swim Holidays Comedy Central dramedy Film robots Comics on TV Video Games OWN IFC Anna Paquin CMT football Lionsgate Best Actor HBO sequel latino Disney news FX anime pirates of the caribbean Paramount Mindy Kaling video on demand Netflix Christmas movies king arthur hist CNN doctor who Cosplay worst dceu Amazon Prime scene in color series New York Comic Con BET miniseries reboot know your critic children's TV Mudbound cancelled television cancelled TV shows Disney Channel Ovation Pixar genre mockumentary free movies Black History Month 4/20 USA Network sag awards anthology japan AMC independent Hollywood Foreign Press Association The CW comic book movie Family Film Festival thriller Nat Geo period drama crime nfl Apple dexter Sneak Peek Comic Book Britbox South by Southwest Film Festival olympics canceled TV shows lord of the rings Neflix Legendary Red Carpet Holiday jamie lee curtis Broadway RT History high school Opinion President Western japanese royal family Wes Anderson halloween tv ABC Signature Funimation Walt Disney Pictures 45 fast and furious international Valentine's Day game show toy story ABC Family GoT 79th Golden Globes Awards National Geographic 007 TCA Winter 2020 Women's History Month space golden globe awards Lifetime critic resources Apple TV+ wonder woman Columbia Pictures Epix witnail Musical Universal harry potter spanish language Disney Plus CBS All Access Endgame SXSW Amazon Prime Video suspense deadpool trailers nature Teen crime drama Fox News Mystery finale APB BET Awards chucky Mary Poppins Returns natural history franchise NYCC Pacific Islander Biopics twilight Sundance TV Schedule Emmys History fresh 2017 superhero facebook Arrowverse DGA Rocketman TCA 2017 target scene in color RT21 USA Set visit festival stoner Marathons YouTube Premium Brie Larson art house 73rd Emmy Awards Cannes superman Pride Month 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards mutant historical drama Binge Guide slasher universal monsters stand-up comedy what to watch biography worst movies Esquire Marvel Studios Amazon obi wan Horror Logo 99% FXX Disney streaming service Trivia Avengers laika all-time Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt GLAAD revenge series El Rey Fantasy See It Skip It hispanic serial killer Winners Acorn TV Infographic TIFF Bravo Star Wars Celebration documentary Vudu die hard spider-man Masterpiece green book jurassic park Best Actress Mary Tyler Moore Calendar Instagram Live black comedy Captain marvel cults obituary Alien TCM teaser Netflix adenture Cartoon Network spinoff BBC America Rocky sports parents christmas movies Election technology WarnerMedia Emmy Nominations indiana jones 2015 Sundance Now Pet Sematary Musicals Rom-Com medical drama Nominations IFC Films spider-verse kaiju unscripted scene in color film series Discovery Channel Starz strong female leads satire Apple TV Plus Amazon Studios Paramount Plus rt labs halloween blockbusters politics FOX Hallmark Tarantino zombies DC streaming service Ghostbusters black summer preview VH1 werewolf Reality Crackle a nightmare on elm street E! richard e. Grant biopic Certified Fresh Syfy cancelled TV series debate Podcast posters Spring TV PBS book Grammys WGN TV renewals cancelled Star Trek child's play stop motion Kids & Family Toys political drama Creative Arts Emmys Lucasfilm blockbuster indie 24 frames scary 2020 game of thrones elevated horror supernatural 20th Century Fox cartoon dc First Reviews Prime Video ESPN venice Tomatazos ViacomCBS Heroines Interview Summer romance comic books foreign live event festivals Hear Us Out 2021 Travel Channel Tumblr Black Mirror SundanceTV Sci-Fi comiccon cooking YA PlayStation Hallmark Christmas movies slashers Best Director Winter TV FX on Hulu A24 Trailer discovery directors psycho TCA ABC talk show 1990s hispanic heritage month Tubi Sony Pictures scorecard Ellie Kemper 2018 archives 72 Emmy Awards crossover razzies Animation 2016 aapi Polls and Games streaming movies Tokyo Olympics 90s docudrama Peacock BBC romantic comedy concert Comic-Con@Home 2021 quibi emmy awards disaster Academy Awards Song of Ice and Fire mission: impossible Action Best Picture VOD sopranos trophy Turner new zealand composers summer TV preview Exclusive Video