The Batman took a long time to take shape, but fans are finally starting to get the full picture of director Matt Reeves’ take on the character.

At 2021’s DC FanDome event, fans of the oft-rebooted movie hero got a nice glimpse of what to expect from the film thanks to a new trailer. In it, the Riddler (Paul Dano) is taken into custody by the Gotham City Police. But that seems to have little effect on his bigger plan, which involves the Batman (Robert Pattinson), Selina Kyle (Zoe Kravitz), and local mobster Oswald Cobblepot (Colin Farrell). Its mix of Batman ’89 theatrics and Batman Begins realism may yet prove to be the right mix for this next iteration of the Caped Crusader.”

At 2020’s DC FanDome, Reeves revealed the movie will take place in year two of Batman’s crime-fighting career — an assertion backed up in the trailer by the reveal of a Batsignal — a period in which he is adjusting to his new life and Gotham is adjusting to him. An HBO Max series tentatively titled Gotham P.D. will focus on Batman’s year one, and follow corrupt cops in the city’s police department.

Let’s take a look at more of what we know about the movie from earlier reveals as well as the history of how the project came together.

[Updated on October 16, 2021]


How The Batman Became Untangled from the DCEU

Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Plans for the film began in 2014, when Warner Bros. had a massive, Marvel-style DC film universe in mind. An important pillar of that concept was Ben Affleck behind the cowl of the Dark Knight and in the director’s chair for a film called The Batman. It was to tie in to the character as he played it in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League and would follow the events of both films. Affleck teased the arrival of the DC Comics villain Deathstroke to his tale by posting a costume test with actor Joe Manganiello under the mask. The actor was later set to play the character in the film and made a brief appearance in the Justice League stinger scene. Some reports suggest the film would have taken place inside Arkham Asylum.

But then things began to unravel. Despite commercial success, Batman v Superman was perceived as a creative misfire even as cameras began to roll on Justice League – leading to a rethink of the film’s plot. Warner Bros. asked Affleck to re-write his script for The Batman as the shape of the film universe changed alongside Justice League. In January of 2017, he had stepped down as director with Matt Reeves soon taking over. He also eventually handed script duties over to Reeves and Mattson Tomlin, leaving many to wonder if Affleck would even star in the picture.

Almost a full year of speculation followed until Affleck, then dealing with a number of personal problems, set the record straight in January of 2019, announcing his complete departure from the project. And with that, the original vision for The Batman gave way to Reeves’ new take.


The New Players: Robert Pattinson, Paul Dano, Zoe Kravitz, and More

Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

(Photo by Dee Cercone/Everett Collection)

Even before Affleck’s departure was confirmed, many began to speculate about the seventh person to wear the cowl in a theatrically released, live-action film. Rumors began to circle around The Lighthouse star Robert Pattinson, who emerged as the favorite and eventually took the role in May of 2019.

Over the course of the following months, a cast list began to emerge, including Zoe Kravitz as Selina Kyle (a.k.a. Catwoman), Jeffrey Wright as Jim Gordon, and Paul Dano as the Riddler, whose civilian identity in the film, “Edward Nashton,” is a one of his known aliases in the pages of DC comics. Over the Fall of 2019, Colin Farrell signed on as Oswald Cobblepot and Andy Serkis also stepped up to take over as Alfred Pennyworth from Jeremy Irons, who had played the character for Affleck’s Batman. Other cast members include John Turturro as Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard as District Attorney Gil Colson, Con O’Neill as Chief Macheknize Bock, Alex Ferns as police commissioner Peter Savage, and Jayme Lawson as Bella Reál. Teen Wolf’s Max Carver and Charlie Carver also joined the cast, leading some to suggest they may play Batman rogues Tweedledum and Tweedledee.

Behind the camera, Reeves’ crew includes director of photography Greig Fraser, editors William Hoy and Tyler Nelson, production designer James Chinlund and costume designer Jacqueline Durran. Reeves is producing the film alongside Dylan Clark while Simon Emanuel, Walter Hamada, Chantal Nong, and Michael Uslan serve as executive producers. Michael Giacchino is set to score the film.

At DC FanDome 2020, Reeves teased that, just as Batman is still finding himself in the movie, so too are the “rogues gallery” of villains we meet. As seen in the trailer, when we first encounter Selina Kyle, she’s not Catwoman; ditto Farrell’s Oswald Cobblepot, who’s destined to be crime kingpin, the Penguin.

From that list of cast and crew, a sense of The Batman began to emerge… as did a potential source of its story.


The Long Halloween: A Serial Killer Stalks Batman and Gotham

DC Comics

(Photo by DC Comics)

Though Reeves referred to the plot as an “original story” from the moment he began answering questions about the film, the number of villains and supporting characters in the cast left many to wonder if it might be taking inspiration from Batman: The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale.

Set after the events of the seminal Batman: Year One storyline, it sees Batman attempting to learn the identity of a serial killer known as Holiday. It also accomplishes a few other things, like chronicling the year mobsters lost control of Gotham City to the costumed supervillains. The 13-issue miniseries was followed up by Batman: Dark Victory and Catwoman: When in Rome, which saw Loeb and Sale return to some of The Long Halloween’s ideas, including the continuing deterioration of Gotham’s organized crime families.

But the key to The Long Halloween was its expansive cast and Batman encountering a mystery he could not easily crack.

Early on, Reeves said he wanted to emphasize Batman as the world’s greatest detective – an element of the character generally downplayed in the more action-oriented Batman and Dark Knight film cycles – while also playing up the noirish elements inherent in the concept. Reeves said at DC FanDome 2020 that noirs like Chinatown have been a big inspiration for his approach to the material. Additionally, the costume test video of Pattinson in the batsuit and the Batmobile pictures clearly illustrate Batman during an early part of of his career, making the case for The Long Halloween as a primary source stronger.

Warner Bros.

(Photo by Warner Bros.)

It would not be the first time, though, the book was called upon as a source of inspiration or, indeed, the first time a Batman film used one of the better-known Batman stories in its development. The Dark Knight used one or two elements from the story while also grabbing from The Killing Joke. The Dark Knight Rises also pulled from the “No Man’s Land” story. But this should not suggest The Batman is a straight adaptation of The Long Halloween, as someone key to that story is missing from the film: Harvey Dent.

The Long Halloween is also a Two-Face origin story that sees him promoted to Gotham City DA near the start of the story and, well, somewhere else by its conclusion. In lieu of Harvey, Sarsgaard plays Gil Colson, an original character for the film. Curiously, before Sarsgaard’s role was confirmed, some suggested he might be playing Harvey Dent, while yet others noted the character’s name bares a resemblance to that of a corrupt Gotham Police officer who helped Two-Face in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series. For the moment, we’re inclined to believe Sarsgaard is, in fact, playing a wholly new character with no ties to Gotham’s most famous lawyer.

This suspicion also extends to Lawson’s Bella Reál, another new character said to be running for mayor in the film. As with DA Colson, we’re willing to accept this as the truth until presented with evidence that she is really Barbara Gordon or Poison Ivy.

Making these obscure ties less likely, though, is the trailer released during the 2021 edition of DC FanDome. Based on the story hooks teased in the newer preview, the mystery plaguing the Batman is engineered solely by the Riddler, making him the key villain in a Batman film for the first time since 1995’s Batman Forever., in which he was portrayed by Jim Carrey. Granted, he shared his murderous plot in that film with Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones). Nevertheless, it seems more likely The Batman will take thematic ideas from The Long Halloween and leave most of its plot within its pages.


The Look Of The Batman

@mattreevesLA

(Photo by @mattreevesLA)

As with Joker, Warner Bros. made the choice to debut The Batman’s key costume in a short video before any paparazzi had a chance to shoots pictures of it on location. Seen through darkness and red light, the suit seems to employ a more bare-bones, off-the-shelf aesthetic. The body armor continues Batman ‘89’s basic design choice, but a cowl made of fabric sets it apart from all other cinematic Batmen. Some have also speculated the bat symbol is made of the gun Joe Chill used to kill the Waynes. It’s all pretty interesting even if the video makes it look a little too much like Daredevil’s costume. Subsequent set pics also offered a better look at the cowl, which may be inspired by Silver Age comic book artists like Dick Sprang and Carmine Infantino.

At DC FanDome 2020, Reeves said that the fact this is only year two of Batman’s career heavily influenced the design of the costume: Wayne built it himself, he’s making adjustments, you can see the gashes from his scuffles on the suit.

In March of 2020, Reeves unveiled the first look at the Batmobile. Eschewing the more outlandish design conventions established in Batman ’89, this car is, in fact, a muscle car with some obvious modifications. Long-time readers of Batman comics may even recognize the broad strokes of the design as the one Batman used through most of the 1980s and into the 1990s. The new Batmobile design continues the notion that Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne merely modified existing gear instead of inventing Bat-gadgets from whole cloth and, if nothing else, is an interesting departure from the previous Batman film cycles, particularly the tankish Tumbler and Justice League Batmobile.

Ahead of the DC FanDome event in 2020, Reeves revealed even more in a Twitter post debuting the film’s logo and FanDome-specific artwork:


Its Place In The DC Film Universe

Niko Tavernise/© 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. TM & © DC Comics

(Photo by Niko Tavernise/© 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. TM & © DC Comics)

Despite all the tell-tale markings of a reboot, The Batman’s place in the loose continuity of Warner Bros’s DC film slate is still up for debate. During the early phases of development, Reeves suggested it could take place out of continuity like Joker, but quickly backpedaled to say it will have some ties and maybe even a cameo or two. At the same time, recasting Jim Gordon, who was played by J.K. Simmons in Justice League, with Wright also suggests the film is in a world all its own. But then again, the DC Universe is a place where world-changing events create convenient retcons. Pattinson could simply replace Affleck’s Batman in the new DC film reality where Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) co-exists with Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) and the Suicide Squad of 2021. Is all depends on whether or not Reeves would be interested in utilizing any of those ideas or, indeed, if Pattinson would want to bring his Batman to play with the other DC film heroes.

The film will be released at the beginning of a full roster for the DC film universe, which includes The Flash, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and Black Adam. We wouldn’t put it past Warner Bros. to try to connect them all to The Batman, but we won’t be disappointed if they remain separate. In the meantime, though, the principal cast is expected to return for at least two sequels to The Batman.


The Batman is currently scheduled for release on March 4, 2022.

Thumbnail image by Warner Bros. Pictures

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Saturday’s DC FanDome promises fresh looks at some of the biggest DC titles in film and television. New trailers include Doctor Who season 13 and The Shrink Next Door, which stars Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell. Learn how to make the Squid Game candy — you know, just in case you’re planning your own party. All that and more of the week’s biggest TV and streaming news.


TOP STORY

DC FanDome TV Highlights: Peacemaker, DMZHarley Quinn, Titans, Sweet Tooth, Doom Patrol, Batwoman, Stargirl, Supergirl and More

Watch DC FanDome now in the video above.

DC FanDome returns on Saturday, October 15, at 10 a.m. PT with news, video teasers, and first-look images at upcoming DC Comics and filmed entertainment. Films on the docket include the biggest titles to come, including The Batman, Black Adam, The Flash, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Shazam: Fury of the Gods, and DC League of Super-Pets.


John Cena as Peacemaker

(Photo by © & TM WBEI & DC)

On the TV front, the one-day streaming event features DC heroes and —whatever we’re deciding to call Peacemaker. The Suicide Squad spin-off, created by the movie’s director, James Gunn, and featuring John Cena reprising his movie role, premieres on HBO Max in January, and will be one of the main spotlights of the fan event, with a new teaser trailer scheduled for release. Fingers crossed that includes a preview of the series’ opening credits, which, no spoiling, but is an opener you will never fast forward through.

On the animation front, we also can’t wait for news about season 3 of HBO Max’s Harley Quinn, with the all-star cast of voice talent that includes Kaley Cuoco as Harley, as well as Lake Bell, Tony Hale, Ron Funches, J.B. Smoove, Jason Alexander, and Alan Tudyk. When last we left the delightfully potty-mouthed and hilarious gang, Harley and Ivy rode off into the sunset after sharing their feelings for each other. But that was before the series had its season 3 renewal, so we’re guessing there could be more drama mixed in with the show’s trademark humor in the new episodes. But we need a trailer to prove it.

Among the other TV series, live-action and animated, in the line-up of the free, global, virtual Oct. 16 (beginning at 10 AM PT) fan event: Batwoman, Doom Patrol, Naomi, Legends of Tomorrow, Stargirl, Supergirl, The Flash, Sweet Tooth, Titans, and Superman & Lois for live-action previews, and Aquaman: King of Atlantis, Batman: Caped Crusader, the adorable Batwheels series for the youngest Batfans, DC Super Hero Girls, DMZ, Teen Titans Go!, and Young Justice: Phantoms for the animated series previews.


NEW TRAILERS: The Shrink Next Door: When Manipulative Dr. Paul Rudd Met Naïve Patient Will Ferrell

The Shrink Next Door is a limited series, inspired by true events and based on the podcast of the same name, about the decades-long manipulation and exploitation by psychiatrist Dr. Isaac “Ike” Herschkopf (Paul Rudd) and his longtime patient Martin “Marty” Markowitz (Will Ferrell). Dr. Ike is accompanied by his unsuspecting wife Bonnie (Casey Wilson) and though Marty may be defenseless against Dr. Ike’s enticing offerings, his hard-headed sister Phyllis (Kathryn Hahn) is not. The eight-episode series premieres Nov. 12. (Apple TV+)

More trailers and teasers released this week:
• The Beatles: Get Back is a three-part series directed by Peter Jackson featuring never-seen, restored footage from January 1969, including The Beatles’ last performance as a group, the writing and recording of iconic songs from Abbey Road and Let It Be. Premieres Nov. 25, 26, and 27. (Disney+)
Doctor Who season 13, “Doctor Who: Flux,” trailer includes a preview of returning monsters — Sontarans, Weeping Angels, Cybermen, and the Ood — as well as a range of new monsters, one of whom is named Karvanista. The new season will be
• Bruised is a drama about a mixed martial arts fighter (Halle Berry) who reclaims her power, in and out of the ring, when everyone has counted her out. The movie is also Berry’s directorial debut. Premieres Dec. 24 (Netflix)
• American Veteran is a four-part series that explores the breadth and variety of the veteran experience, from WWII until now, and features interviews with more than 40 veterans from diverse backgrounds and with diverse experiences. Premieres Oct. 26 (PBS)
• Mayor of Kingstown is a drama series about the McLusky family, power brokers in Kingstown, Michigan, where the business of the local jail system is the only thriving industry. The series stars Jeremy Renner, Kyle Chandler, Dianne Wiest, and is created by Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan and Hugh Dillon. Premieres Nov. 14. (Paramount+)



• Star Trek: Discovery season 4 finds Captain Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery facing a striking new danger, while some old school Trek aliens get a fresh take. Premieres Nov. 18. (Paramount+)
• Curb Your Enthusiasm returns for season 11. Premieres Oct. 24. (HBO)
• Narcos: Mexico season 3, the series’ final season, is set in the ’90s and examines the war that breaks out after Felix Gallardo’s arrest, and as the drug business becomes global. Premieres Nov. 5 (Netflix)
• Dickinson season 3 is the final season for the Peabody Award-winning comedy, starring Hailee Steinfeld as a rebellious young Emily Dickinson. Premieres Nov. 5. (Apple TV+)
• Colin in Black and White is a limited series created by Ava DuVernay and Colin Kaepernick that tells the football star’s coming-of-age story, including tackling the obstacles of race, class, and culture as the Black adopted child of a white family. Stars Kaepernick as narrator, Jaden Michael, Mary-Louise Parker, and Nick Offerman. Premieres Oct. 29. (Netflix)
• Home Sweet Home Alone is a remake of Home Alone, about another mischievous boy who was accidentally left home alone. Script by Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell, stars Ellie Kemper, Rob Delaney, Archie Yates, Aisling Bea, Kenan Thompson, Tim Simons, Pete Holmes, Devin Ratray, Ally Maki, and Chris Parnell. Premieres Nov. 12. (Disney+)

For all the latest TV and streaming trailers subscribe to the Rotten Tomatoes TV YouTube channel.


CASTING: Former Billions Star Damian Lewis Already Has His Next Job: A Spy Among Friends Limited Series

Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce

(Photo by Amanda Edwards (Lewis)/courtesy Spectrum Originals and BritBox UK)

Damian Lewis and Guy Pearce are teaming up to play a pair of spies who are longtime friends in a limited series adaptation of the bestselling book A Spy Among Friends, where the twist is: one of the friends betrays the other. Emmy and Golden Globe winner Lewis, who left his lead role on Showtime’s Billions at the end of that show’s recent fifth season, will also serve as an executive producer on the six-part Spectrum Originals series,  the true story of Nicholas Elliott (Lewis) and Kim Philby (Emmy winner Pearce).

Yep, it’s true: NCIS star Mark Harmon has also quit his hit drama, after 18 seasons playing Supervisory Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

The Crown Emmy nominee Emma Corrin will star in the FX limited series Retreat, playing an amateur investigator in the middle of a murder mystery at a secluded retreat. The OA creators Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij created the series, which they will write, direct, and executive produce. (Deadline)

Interview With the Vampire has cast newcomer Kalyne Coleman, who will play Grace, the sister of Louis (Jacob Anderson) in the upcoming AMC series. (Variety)

Original Head of the Class star Robin Givens has joined the cast of HBO Max’s upcoming reboot of the 1986-91 ABC comedy, where she’ll reprise her role as Darlene Merriman, who is now the mom of one of the gifted kids whose teacher wants them to study a little less, experience life a little more. (EW.com)

Hulu has cast Melanie Lynskey in the limited series Candy, about the Texas woman (Jessica Biel) who kills her friend and romantic rival with an ax. Lynskey will play Betty Gore, Candy Montgomery’s ax victim. (Lily Rabe plays Gore in Love and Death, HBO Max’s competing Candy story, in which Elizabeth Olsen plays Candy).

That ‘70s Show stars Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp have signed on to once again play Red and Kitty Forman, this time in That ‘90s Show, a Netflix sequel to the Fox sitcom, now set in Wisconsin 1995 and revolving around the daughter of original series characters Eric and Donna, who’s visiting Red and Kitty for the summer. No other cast members from That ‘70s Show, which ran from 1998-2006, have yet signed on for the spin-off, which was also created by That ‘70s Show’s Bonnie and Terry Turner.


PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: Tales of the Walking Dead Anthology Series Announced

The Walking Dead - Season 10, Episode 16

(Photo by Mark Hill/AMC)

The fourth AMC series spin-off of The Walking Dead – an anthology series called Tales of the Walking Dead – will debut in summer 2022. Each hour-long episode will focus on a new or existing TWD character, with TWD and Fear the Walking Dead writer Channing Powell serving as the spin-off’s showrunner. Tales follows FTWD, Walking Dead: World Beyond, and the upcoming Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride Daryl and Carol drama as TWD spin-offs, while Andrew Lincoln will star in a TWD spin-off movie that will finally clue us in on what happened to Rick Grimes when he flew off in that helicopter with Anne/Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh, a new member of the World Beyond Season 2 cast).

Ted Lasso Emmy winners Brett Goldstein and Bill Lawrence are teaming up with Jason Segel to write the Apple TV+ comedy Shrinking, about a grieving therapist who decides to no longer follow the rules, and starts telling his clients exactly what he thinks, training and ethics aside. As a result, their lives, and his, start to change. Segel will star in the 10-episode series, and will write and produce with Goldstein and Lawrence.

Lupin star Omar Sy has signed a multiyear deal with Netflix to create, executive produce, and star in feature films for Netflix. He will next star in the action comedy movie Tour de Force, a 2022 Netflix release.

FX has ordered the comedy series The Bear, starring Jeremy Allen White (Shameless) as a chef who moves home to Chicago to run his family’s restaurant. The series will also star Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ayo Edebiri, Lionel Boyce, Abby Elliott, Liza Colón-Zayas, and Edwin Gibson, and Matty Matheson.


Yvonne Orji

(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards/Getty Images for MTV/ViacomCBS, ©Fox Searchlight, © Columbia, © Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Amazon is planning a second installment of its year-end special Yearly Departed, with Insecure star Yvonne Orji hosting a lineup of female comedians bidding adieu to another all-too-eventful year. An exact December release date and guest list will be announced later, but topics to be covered will includeHot Vaxx Summer, Hermit Life, Ignoring the Climate Crisis, and Zoom.”

Orji will also host My Mom, Your Dad, a dating game for single parents, who are set up by their college-aged kids. The HBO Max reality series was created by The Office creator Greg Daniels and his daughter, Haley, and will find the two ‘rents moving into a house together, unaware their children are living down the street, watching them via hidden cameras, and controlling some of their interactions. Sounds … creepy?

Some new ways for you to spend your TV-related dollars: a trip to the Peppa Pig theme park that will open in Winter Haven, Florida, next February; a slew of Netflix series merch at Walmart, from The Witcher statues to Cobra Kai Johnny Lawrence posters to Queer Eye office furniture; and the books featured in the new Netflix Book Club, hosted by Orange Is the New Black star Uzo Aduba and featuring books adapted into series on the streaming service.

There will be no Golden Globes telecast on NBC in 2022, but the Hollywood Foreign Press Association does still plan to award statues for the best TV and movie performances of 2021 a source tells TheWrap.com.

HBO Max has ordered Atlas of the Heart, an unscripted series starring bestselling author and professor Dr. Brené Brown, that will “take viewers on an interactive journey through the range of emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human.” The series is named after Brown’s upcoming book, which will be released on Nov. 20.

Amazon has ordered a pilot for Once Upon a Time in Aztlan, comedian George Lopez’s first drama series. Lopez will star in and executive produce the hour-long series, about a Chicano family in the Los Angeles suburbs “as they come to terms with the falsehoods of the American dream and their ability to defy expectations,” reports Variety.

After the Oct. 17 Season 3 premiere of Succession, HBO will debut the official Succession companion podcast, with special guests like the show’s cast members, hosted by fintech journalist Kara Swisher, at HBO Max.

On Nov, 7, MSNBC will air Four Seasons Total Documentary, about the small Philadelphia landscaping company that was pulled into bumbling Rudy Giuliani’s infamous 2020 election results press conference, Variety reports the documentary is less about Giuliani, and more about “a small business in Philadelphia that was unexpectedly thrust into the national spotlight when it agreed to host a political event in the middle of the presidential election.”


How to Make the Squid Game Honeycomb Candies

Wondering how to make those honeycomb candies (known as Dalgona) that played a pivotal role in Squid Game? The video above shares the scoop. Netflix announced that the South Korean thriller has become, by the way, the streaming service’s most successful original series ever (yes, even more popular than Bridgerton), as it has been viewed by 111 million accounts since it premiered on Sept. 17.


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Disney

(Photo by Warner Bros/ Everett Collection)

DCEU Ranked: DC Movies By Tomatometer

After a long-running Superman series with Christopher Reeve in the iconic tights and cape (and one more with Brandon Routh), and compelling takes on Batman on both sides of the millennium, Warner Bros. put the reset on their DC Comics movies and created the DC Extended Universe. The first in this new constellation of comic book cinema was 2013’s Man of Steel, which took audiences back through the beefy boy from Krypton’s origins and his blossoming into the protector of mankind. The super-serious tone and dismissal of some of Superman’s key characteristics put off some, but this new take was bold enough to keep modern cynical audiences intrigued.

Inevitably, comparisons were incessant to the rival Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially as director Zack Snyder doubled down on the dourness with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In this day and age, fans on the internet expect an all-access pass on the production of their favorite properties, including leaks, rumors, and sneaky on-set photos. The publicly aired dirty laundry of the troubled Suicide Squad shoot colored audience perception of the film before it even released. It also wasn’t very good.

Wonder Woman, with its fleet touch and storytelling pizzazz, would become the first beacon of light for the DCEU, and its first Certified Fresh hit. Justice League followed that year, cramming huge characters into a truncated runtime (not to mention tonally inconsistent reshoots by Joss Whedon, and Henry Cavill’s phantom mustache), leading to rallying cries online of a fabled “Snyder Cut” of the movie.

It’d be more than a year later for the next DCEU entry: 2018’s Aquaman. Directed by James Wan, if the film wasn’t exactly drowning in critical praise, it at last was enough to keep the audiences worldwide satisfied and optimistic for the future. That paid off with Shazam!, a superhero comedy in the more classic vein, one that doesn’t bend over backwards to connect with the larger DC Universe. It worked there and with Birds of Prey, featuring. Wonder Woman 1984 didn’t quite continue the streak, but The Suicide Squad has become among the franchise’s best-reviewed. See where how they all play out as we rank all DC Extended Universe movies!

#11

Suicide Squad (2016)
26%

#11
Adjusted Score: 50695%
Critics Consensus: Suicide Squad boasts a talented cast and a little more humor than previous DCEU efforts, but they aren't enough to save the disappointing end result from a muddled plot, thinly written characters, and choppy directing.
Synopsis: Figuring they're all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret... [More]
Directed By: David Ayer

#10
Adjusted Score: 55937%
Critics Consensus: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice smothers a potentially powerful story -- and some of America's most iconic superheroes -- in a grim whirlwind of effects-driven action.
Synopsis: It's been nearly two years since Superman's (Henry Cavill) colossal battle with Zod (Michael Shannon) devastated the city of Metropolis.... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#9

Justice League (2017)
40%

#9
Adjusted Score: 69793%
Critics Consensus: Justice League leaps over a number of DC movies, but its single bound isn't enough to shed the murky aesthetic, thin characters, and chaotic action that continue to dog the franchise.
Synopsis: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#8

Man of Steel (2013)
56%

#8
Adjusted Score: 70155%
Critics Consensus: Man of Steel's exhilarating action and spectacle can't fully overcome its detours into generic blockbuster territory.
Synopsis: With the imminent destruction of Krypton, their home planet, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) and his wife seek to preserve their race... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 89249%
Critics Consensus: Wonder Woman 1984 struggles with sequel overload, but still offers enough vibrant escapism to satisfy fans of the franchise and its classic central character.
Synopsis: Diana Prince lives quietly among mortals in the vibrant, sleek 1980s -- an era of excess driven by the pursuit... [More]
Directed By: Patty Jenkins

#6

Aquaman (2018)
65%

#6
Adjusted Score: 90286%
Critics Consensus: Aquaman swims with its entertainingly ludicrous tide, offering up CGI superhero spectacle that delivers energetic action with an emphasis on good old-fashioned fun.
Synopsis: Once home to the most advanced civilization on Earth, the city of Atlantis is now an underwater kingdom ruled by... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#5
Adjusted Score: 87493%
Critics Consensus: Zack Snyder's Justice League lives up to its title with a sprawling cut that expands to fit the director's vision -- and should satisfy the fans who willed it into existence.
Synopsis: In ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE, determined to ensure Superman's (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#4
Adjusted Score: 108793%
Critics Consensus: With a fresh perspective, some new friends, and loads of fast-paced action, Birds of Prey captures the colorfully anarchic spirit of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
Synopsis: It's open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her... [More]
Directed By: Cathy Yan

#3

Shazam! (2019)
90%

#3
Adjusted Score: 115064%
Critics Consensus: An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre's real power: joyous wish fulfillment.
Synopsis: We all have a superhero inside of us -- it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.... [More]
Directed By: David F. Sandberg

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 110012%
Critics Consensus: Enlivened by writer-director James Gunn's singularly skewed vision, The Suicide Squad marks a funny, fast-paced rebound that plays to the source material's violent, anarchic strengths.
Synopsis: Welcome to hell--a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#1

Wonder Woman (2017)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 127878%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior.... [More]
Directed By: Patty Jenkins

75 Best Superhero Movies of All Time

Friends of the super variety, we’ve collected every Fresh and Certified Fresh superhero movie with at least 20 reviews to assemble our guide to the 75 best superhero movies ever, ranked by Tomatometer!

It’s been a decades-long battle towards the top in pop culture for superhero movies, and we’re featuring here all the goods, the greats, and the masterpieces made along the way. Everything from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, Avengers) to DCEU (Aquaman, Wonder Woman), animated fare (The Incredibles, Megamind) to live-action spoofs (The Toxic Avenger, Mystery Men), comedies (Deadpool) and the super serious (The Dark Knight), and then throwing in some originals made just for the big screen (The Rocketeer, Darkman, Unbreakable).

Great leaping buggaboos! This introduction is now over! Throw up the cape, slip on that cowl (but leave the whip at home, unless you’re looking for the erotic films list…), and hop into the Tomatomobile: We ride for to the 75 best superhero movies of all time!

#75
#75
Adjusted Score: 64865%
Critics Consensus: It plays like an extended episode, but The Powerpuff Girls Movie is still lots of fun.
Synopsis: Based on the hit animated television series, this feature film adaptation tells the story of how Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup... [More]
Directed By: Craig McCracken

#74

Spider-Man 3 (2007)
63%

#74
Adjusted Score: 73523%
Critics Consensus: Though there are more characters and plotlines, and the action sequences still dazzle, Spider-Man 3 nonetheless isn't quite as refined as the first two.
Synopsis: Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) seem to finally be on the right track in their complicated relationship,... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#73

Watchmen (2009)
65%

#73
Adjusted Score: 77178%
Critics Consensus: Gritty and visually striking, Watchmen is a faithful adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel, but its complex narrative structure may make it difficult for it to appeal to viewers not already familiar with the source material.
Synopsis: In an alternate 1985 America, costumed superheroes are part of everyday life. When one of his former comrades is murdered,... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#72

Aquaman (2018)
65%

#72
Adjusted Score: 90286%
Critics Consensus: Aquaman swims with its entertainingly ludicrous tide, offering up CGI superhero spectacle that delivers energetic action with an emphasis on good old-fashioned fun.
Synopsis: Once home to the most advanced civilization on Earth, the city of Atlantis is now an underwater kingdom ruled by... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#71

The Rocketeer (1991)
66%

#71
Adjusted Score: 70776%
Critics Consensus: An action-packed, if anachronistic, look back at pulp matinee serials, The Rocketeer may ring hollow with viewers expecting more than simple fun and gee-whiz special effects.
Synopsis: Cliff Secord (Bill Campbell) is a cocky stunt pilot in love with a beautiful actress, Jenny Blake (Jennifer Connelly). When... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#70
#70
Adjusted Score: 77741%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the finest film to come from the Marvel Universe, but Thor: The Dark World still offers plenty of the humor and high-stakes action that fans have come to expect.
Synopsis: In ancient times, the gods of Asgard fought and won a war against an evil race known as the Dark... [More]
Directed By: Alan Taylor

#69
Adjusted Score: 26280%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The mutant superhero (David Mattey) rises from the sludge to save a group of students held hostage in Tromaville.... [More]
Directed By: Lloyd Kaufman

#68
#68
Adjusted Score: 75644%
Critics Consensus: The Incredible Hulk may not be quite the smashing success that fans of Marvel's raging behemoth might hope for, but it offers more than enough big green action to make up for its occasionally puny narrative.
Synopsis: Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) desperately seeks a cure for the gamma radiation that contaminated his cells and turned him... [More]
Directed By: Louis Leterrier

#67
#67
Adjusted Score: 70958%
Critics Consensus: A silly and ribald superhero spoof, Toxic Avenger uninhibited humor hits more than it misses.
Synopsis: A 98-pound nerd (Mark Torgl) from New Jersey lands in a vat of toxic waste and becomes a benevolent monster... [More]
Directed By: Michael Herz, Samuel Weil

#66

Unbreakable (2000)
70%

#66
Adjusted Score: 76698%
Critics Consensus: With a weaker ending, Unbreakable is not as a good as The Sixth Sense. However, it is a quietly suspenseful film that intrigues and engages, taking the audience through unpredictable twists and turns along the way.
Synopsis: David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a devastating train wreck. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is a... [More]
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan

#65

Batman (1989)
71%

#65
Adjusted Score: 77463%
Critics Consensus: An eerie, haunting spectacle, Batman succeeds as dark entertainment, even if Jack Nicholson's Joker too often overshadows the title character.
Synopsis: Having witnessed his parents' brutal murder as a child, millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) fights crime in Gotham City... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#64

The Wolverine (2013)
71%

#64
Adjusted Score: 81579%
Critics Consensus: Although its final act succumbs to the usual cartoonish antics, The Wolverine is one superhero movie that manages to stay true to the comics while keeping casual viewers entertained.
Synopsis: Lured to a Japan he hasn't seen since World War II, century-old mutant Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) finds himself in a... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#63
Adjusted Score: 87493%
Critics Consensus: Zack Snyder's Justice League lives up to its title with a sprawling cut that expands to fit the director's vision -- and should satisfy the fans who willed it into existence.
Synopsis: In ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE, determined to ensure Superman's (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben... [More]
Directed By: Zack Snyder

#62

Iron Man 2 (2010)
72%

#62
Adjusted Score: 83871%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite the breath of fresh air that Iron Man was, but this sequel comes close with solid performances and an action-packed plot.
Synopsis: With the world now aware that he is Iron Man, billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) faces pressure from... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 85740%
Critics Consensus: A well-chosen cast and sure-handed direction allow The Amazing Spider-Man to thrill, despite revisiting many of the same plot points from 2002's Spider-Man.
Synopsis: Abandoned by his parents and raised by an aunt and uncle, teenager Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), AKA Spider-Man, is trying... [More]
Directed By: Marc Webb

#60

Megamind (2010)
72%

#60
Adjusted Score: 78748%
Critics Consensus: It regurgitates plot points from earlier animated efforts, and isn't quite as funny as it should be, but a top-shelf voice cast and strong visuals help make Megamind a pleasant, if unspectacular, diversion.
Synopsis: Though he is the most-brilliant supervillain the world has known, Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the least-successful. Thwarted time and again... [More]
Directed By: Tom McGrath

#59

Sky High (2005)
73%

#59
Adjusted Score: 77841%
Critics Consensus: This highly derivative superhero coming-of-age flick is moderately entertaining, family-friendly fluff.
Synopsis: At a school in the sky where teens learn how to be superheroes, Will Stronghold (Michael Angarano) lands in a... [More]
Directed By: Mike Mitchell

#58

V for Vendetta (2006)
73%

#58
Adjusted Score: 84144%
Critics Consensus: Visually stunning and thought-provoking, V For Vendetta's political pronouncements may rile some, but its story and impressive set pieces will nevertheless entertain.
Synopsis: Following world war, London is a police state occupied by a fascist government, and a vigilante known only as V... [More]
Directed By: James McTeigue

#57

Defendor (2009)
74%

#57
Adjusted Score: 73045%
Critics Consensus: Defendor's reach occasionally exceeds its grasp, but this unique take on the superhero genre is held together by Woody Harrelson's solid performance.
Synopsis: An everyday guy (Woody Harrelson) believes he is a superhero and befriends a teenager while seeing a psychiatrist.... [More]
Directed By: Peter Stebbings

#56

Superman Returns (2006)
75%

#56
Adjusted Score: 85666%
Critics Consensus: Bryan Singer's reverent and visually decadent adaptation gives the Man of Steel welcome emotional complexity. The result: a satisfying stick-to-your-ribs adaptation.
Synopsis: While Lex Luthor (Kevin Spacey) plots to destroy him once and for all, the Man of Steel (Brandon Routh) returns... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#55

Kick-Ass (2010)
76%

#55
Adjusted Score: 86346%
Critics Consensus: Not for the faint of heart, Kick-Ass takes the comic adaptation genre to new levels of visual style, bloody violence, and gleeful profanity.
Synopsis: Using his love for comics as inspiration, teenager Dave Lizewski (Aaron Johnson) decides to reinvent himself as a superhero --... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#54
#54
Adjusted Score: 90760%
Critics Consensus: Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.
Synopsis: When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth),... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#53

Thor (2011)
77%

#53
Adjusted Score: 87522%
Critics Consensus: A dazzling blockbuster that tempers its sweeping scope with wit, humor, and human drama, Thor is mighty Marvel entertainment.
Synopsis: As the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), king of the Norse gods, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) will soon inherit the throne... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#52

The Mask (1994)
79%

#52
Adjusted Score: 82234%
Critics Consensus: It misses perhaps as often as it hits, but Jim Carrey's manic bombast, Cameron Diaz' blowsy appeal, and the film's overall cartoony bombast keep The Mask afloat.
Synopsis: When timid bank clerk Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) discovers a magical mask containing the spirit of the Norse god Loki,... [More]
Directed By: Charles Russell

#51

Batman (1966)
79%

#51
Adjusted Score: 81656%
Critics Consensus: Batman: The Movie elevates camp to an art form -- and has a blast doing it, every gloriously tongue-in-cheek inch of the way.
Synopsis: Kaaapowie! Holy feature film, Batman ... one based on the tongue-in-cheek, campy 1960's television series. Watch Batman (Adam West) and... [More]
Directed By: Leslie H. Martinson

#50

Iron Man 3 (2013)
79%

#50
Adjusted Score: 92708%
Critics Consensus: With the help of its charismatic lead, some impressive action sequences, and even a few surprises, Iron Man 3 is a witty, entertaining adventure and a strong addition to the Marvel canon.
Synopsis: Plagued with worry and insomnia since saving New York from destruction, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), now, is more dependent... [More]
Directed By: Shane Black

#49
Adjusted Score: 108793%
Critics Consensus: With a fresh perspective, some new friends, and loads of fast-paced action, Birds of Prey captures the colorfully anarchic spirit of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
Synopsis: It's open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her... [More]
Directed By: Cathy Yan

#48

Captain Marvel (2019)
79%

#48
Adjusted Score: 113583%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action, humor, and visual thrills, Captain Marvel introduces the MCU's latest hero with an origin story that makes effective use of the franchise's signature formula.
Synopsis: Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#47

Batman Returns (1992)
80%

#47
Adjusted Score: 86112%
Critics Consensus: Director Tim Burton's dark, brooding atmosphere, Michael Keaton's work as the tormented hero, and the flawless casting of Danny DeVito as The Penguin and Christopher Walken as, well, Christopher Walken make the sequel better than the first.
Synopsis: The monstrous Penguin (Danny DeVito), who lives in the sewers beneath Gotham, joins up with wicked shock-headed businessman Max Shreck... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#46
Adjusted Score: 89790%
Critics Consensus: With plenty of pulpy action, a pleasantly retro vibe, and a handful of fine performances, Captain America is solidly old-fashioned blockbuster entertainment.
Synopsis: It is 1941 and the world is in the throes of war. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) wants to do his... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#45

Hellboy (2004)
81%

#45
Adjusted Score: 88422%
Critics Consensus: With wit, humor and Guillermo del Toro's fantastic visuals, the entertaining Hellboy transcends the derivative nature of the genre.
Synopsis: At the end of World War II, the Nazis attempt to open a portal to a paranormal dimension in order... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#44

Black Widow (2021)
79%

#44
Adjusted Score: 104772%
Critics Consensus: Black Widow's deeper themes are drowned out in all the action, but it remains a solidly entertaining standalone adventure that's rounded out by a stellar supporting cast.
Synopsis: Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her... [More]
Directed By: Cate Shortland

#43

X-Men (2000)
82%

#43
Adjusted Score: 87742%
Critics Consensus: Faithful to the comics and filled with action, X-Men brings a crowded slate of classic Marvel characters to the screen with a talented ensemble cast and surprisingly sharp narrative focus.
Synopsis: They are children of the atom, homo superior, the next link in the chain of evolution. Each was born with... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#42

Darkman (1990)
83%

#42
Adjusted Score: 87214%
Critics Consensus: Gruesome and deliciously broad, Sam Raimi's Darkman bears the haunted soulfulness of gothic tragedy while packing the stylistic verve of onomatopoeia springing off a comic strip page.
Synopsis: When thugs employed by a crime boss lead a vicious assault on Dr. Peyton Wilder (Liam Neeson), leaving him literally... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#41

The Crow (1994)
83%

#41
Adjusted Score: 86793%
Critics Consensus: Filled with style and dark, lurid energy, The Crow is an action-packed visual feast that also has a soul in the performance of the late Brandon Lee.
Synopsis: The night before his wedding, musician Eric Draven (Brandon Lee) and his fiancée are brutally murdered by members of a... [More]
Directed By: Alex Proyas

#40

Ant-Man (2015)
83%

#40
Adjusted Score: 96020%
Critics Consensus: Led by a charming performance from Paul Rudd, Ant-Man offers Marvel thrills on an appropriately smaller scale -- albeit not as smoothly as its most successful predecessors.
Synopsis: Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) recruits the talents of... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#39
Adjusted Score: 86091%
Critics Consensus: Stylish and admirably respectful of the source material, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm succeeds where many of the live-action Batman adaptations have failed.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Eric Radomski

#38

Batman Begins (2005)
84%

#38
Adjusted Score: 95842%
Critics Consensus: Brooding and dark, but also exciting and smart, Batman Begins is a film that understands the essence of one of the definitive superheroes.
Synopsis: A young Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels to the Far East, where he's trained in the martial arts by Henri... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#37

Deadpool 2 (2018)
84%

#37
Adjusted Score: 108935%
Critics Consensus: Though it threatens to buckle under the weight of its meta gags, Deadpool 2 is a gory, gleeful lampoon of the superhero genre buoyed by Ryan Reynolds' undeniable charm.
Synopsis: Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool meets Russell, an angry teenage mutant who lives at an orphanage. When Russell becomes the target of... [More]
Directed By: David Leitch

#36

X2 (2003)
85%

#36
Adjusted Score: 92700%
Critics Consensus: Tightly scripted, solidly acted, and impressively ambitious, X2: X-Men United is bigger and better than its predecessor -- and a benchmark for comic sequels in general.
Synopsis: Stryker (Brian Cox), a villianous former Army commander, holds the key to Wolverine's (Hugh Jackman) past and the future of... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#35

Deadpool (2016)
85%

#35
Adjusted Score: 106175%
Critics Consensus: Fast, funny, and gleefully profane, the fourth-wall-busting Deadpool subverts superhero film formula with wildly entertaining -- and decidedly non-family-friendly -- results.
Synopsis: Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is a former Special Forces operative who now works as a mercenary. His world comes crashing... [More]
Directed By: Tim Miller

#34
Adjusted Score: 116046%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2's action-packed plot, dazzling visuals, and irreverent humor add up to a sequel that's almost as fun -- if not quite as thrillingly fresh -- as its predecessor.
Synopsis: Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#33
#33
Adjusted Score: 114088%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#32

Superman II (1980)
86%

#32
Adjusted Score: 90449%
Critics Consensus: The humor occasionally stumbles into slapstick territory, and the special effects are dated, but Superman II meets, if not exceeds, the standard set by its predecessor.
Synopsis: Superman (Christopher Reeve) foils the plot of terrorists by hurtling their nuclear device into outer space, but the bomb's shock... [More]
Directed By: Richard Lester

#31
Adjusted Score: 96225%
Critics Consensus: Guillermo del Toro crafts a stellar comic book sequel, boasting visuals that are as imaginative as the characters are endearing.
Synopsis: Hellboy (Ron Perlman), his pyrokinetic girlfriend, Liz (Selma Blair), and aquatic empath, Abe Sapien (Doug Jones), face their biggest battle... [More]
Directed By: Guillermo del Toro

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 96819%
Critics Consensus: With a strong script, stylish direction, and powerful performances from its well-rounded cast, X-Men: First Class is a welcome return to form for the franchise.
Synopsis: In the early 1960s, during the height of the Cold War, a mutant named Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) meets a... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#29
Adjusted Score: 95648%
Critics Consensus: With a tidy plot, clean animation, and humor that fits its source material snugly, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is entertainment that won't drive a wedge between family members.
Synopsis: George Beard and Harold Hutchins are two overly imaginative pranksters who spend hours in a treehouse creating comic books. When... [More]
Directed By: David Soren

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 105622%
Critics Consensus: A lighter, brighter superhero movie powered by the effortless charisma of Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers a much-needed MCU palate cleanser.
Synopsis: Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices as both a superhero and a father. Approached by Hope... [More]
Directed By: Peyton Reed

#27
#27
Adjusted Score: 103479%
Critics Consensus: The Dark Knight Rises is an ambitious, thoughtful, and potent action film that concludes Christopher Nolan's franchise in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: It has been eight years since Batman (Christian Bale), in collusion with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), vanished into the night.... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#26

Doctor Strange (2016)
89%

#26
Adjusted Score: 112566%
Critics Consensus: Doctor Strange artfully balances its outré source material against the blockbuster constraints of the MCU, delivering a thoroughly entertaining superhero origin story in the bargain.
Synopsis: Dr. Stephen Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When... [More]
Directed By: Scott Derrickson

#25

Spider-Man (2002)
90%

#25
Adjusted Score: 97245%
Critics Consensus: Not only does Spider-Man provide a good dose of web-swinging fun, it also has a heart, thanks to the combined charms of director Sam Raimi and star Tobey Maguire.
Synopsis: "Spider-Man" centers on student Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who, after being bitten by a genetically-altered spider, gains superhuman strength and... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 112510%
Critics Consensus: The Lego Batman Movie continues its block-buster franchise's winning streak with another round of dizzyingly funny -- and beautifully animated -- family-friendly mayhem.
Synopsis: There are big changes brewing in Gotham, but if Batman (Will Arnett) wants to save the city from the Joker's... [More]
Directed By: Chris McKay

#23
Adjusted Score: 102357%
Critics Consensus: Suspenseful and politically astute, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a superior entry in the Avengers canon and is sure to thrill Marvel diehards.
Synopsis: After the cataclysmic events in New York with his fellow Avengers, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), lives in... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#22

Big Hero 6 (2014)
90%

#22
Adjusted Score: 98648%
Critics Consensus: Agreeably entertaining and brilliantly animated, Big Hero 6 is briskly-paced, action-packed, and often touching.
Synopsis: Robotics prodigy Hiro (Ryan Potter) lives in the city of San Fransokyo. Next to his older brother, Tadashi, Hiro's closest... [More]
Directed By: Don Hall, Chris Williams

#21
Adjusted Score: 104479%
Critics Consensus: X-Men: Days of Future Past combines the best elements of the series to produce a satisfyingly fast-paced outing that ranks among the franchise's finest installments.
Synopsis: Convinced that mutants pose a threat to humanity, Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) develops the Sentinels, enormous robotic weapons that... [More]
Directed By: Bryan Singer

#20

Shazam! (2019)
90%

#20
Adjusted Score: 115064%
Critics Consensus: An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre's real power: joyous wish fulfillment.
Synopsis: We all have a superhero inside of us -- it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.... [More]
Directed By: David F. Sandberg

#19
Adjusted Score: 117288%
Critics Consensus: Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
Synopsis: Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 118539%
Critics Consensus: A breezily unpredictable blend of teen romance and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far from Home stylishly sets the stage for the next era of the MCU.
Synopsis: Peter Parker's relaxing European vacation takes an unexpected turn when Nick Fury shows up in his hotel room to recruit... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#17
Adjusted Score: 97528%
Critics Consensus: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies distills the enduring appeal of its colorful characters into a charmingly light-hearted adventure whose wacky humor fuels its infectious fun -- and belies a surprising level of intelligence.
Synopsis: It seems that all the major superheroes out there are starring in their own movies -- all but the Teen... [More]

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 110012%
Critics Consensus: Enlivened by writer-director James Gunn's singularly skewed vision, The Suicide Squad marks a funny, fast-paced rebound that plays to the source material's violent, anarchic strengths.
Synopsis: Welcome to hell--a.k.a. Belle Reve, the prison with the highest mortality rate in the US of A. Where the worst... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 106009%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 105667%
Critics Consensus: Guardians of the Galaxy is just as irreverent as fans of the frequently zany Marvel comic would expect -- as well as funny, thrilling, full of heart, and packed with visual splendor.
Synopsis: Brash space adventurer Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds himself the quarry of relentless bounty hunters after he steals an orb... [More]
Directed By: James Gunn

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 120853%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling MCU without getting bogged down in franchise-building.
Synopsis: Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#12

Spider-Man 2 (2004)
93%

#12
Adjusted Score: 103359%
Critics Consensus: Boasting an entertaining villain and deeper emotional focus, this is a nimble sequel that improves upon the original.
Synopsis: When a failed nuclear fusion experiment results in an explosion that kills his wife, Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) is... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#11

Incredibles 2 (2018)
93%

#11
Adjusted Score: 116812%
Critics Consensus: Incredibles 2 reunites Pixar's family crimefighting team for a long-awaited follow-up that may not quite live up to the original, but comes close enough to earn its name.
Synopsis: Telecommunications guru Winston Deavor enlists Elastigirl to fight crime and make the public fall in love with superheroes once again.... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#10

Logan (2017)
94%

#10
Adjusted Score: 125124%
Critics Consensus: Hugh Jackman makes the most of his final outing as Wolverine with a gritty, nuanced performance in a violent but surprisingly thoughtful superhero action film that defies genre conventions.
Synopsis: In the near future, a weary Logan (Hugh Jackman) cares for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) at a remote... [More]
Directed By: James Mangold

#9

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
93%

#9
Adjusted Score: 126216%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, funny, and above all fun, Thor: Ragnarok is a colorful cosmic adventure that sets a new standard for its franchise -- and the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Synopsis: Imprisoned on the other side of the universe, the mighty Thor finds himself in a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits... [More]
Directed By: Taika Waititi

#8

Wonder Woman (2017)
93%

#8
Adjusted Score: 127878%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior.... [More]
Directed By: Patty Jenkins

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 101245%
Critics Consensus: Superman deftly blends humor and gravitas, taking advantage of the perfectly cast Christopher Reeve to craft a loving, nostalgic tribute to an American pop culture icon.
Synopsis: Just before the destruction of the planet Krypton, scientist Jor-El (Marlon Brando) sends his infant son Kal-El on a spaceship... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#6

Iron Man (2008)
94%

#6
Adjusted Score: 104567%
Critics Consensus: Powered by Robert Downey Jr.'s vibrant charm, Iron Man turbo-charges the superhero genre with a deft intelligence and infectious sense of fun.
Synopsis: A billionaire industrialist and genius inventor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), is conducting weapons tests overseas, but terrorists kidnap him... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#5

The Dark Knight (2008)
94%

#5
Adjusted Score: 107429%
Critics Consensus: Dark, complex, and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga.
Synopsis: With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 127845%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#3

Black Panther (2018)
96%

#3
Adjusted Score: 128652%
Critics Consensus: Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU's most absorbing stories -- and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.
Synopsis: After the death of his father, T'Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

#2

The Incredibles (2004)
97%

#2
Adjusted Score: 106243%
Critics Consensus: Bringing loads of wit and tons of fun to the animated superhero genre, The Incredibles easily lives up to its name.
Synopsis: In this lauded Pixar animated film, married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#1
Adjusted Score: 121133%
Critics Consensus: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse matches bold storytelling with striking animation for a purely enjoyable adventure with heart, humor, and plenty of superhero action.
Synopsis: Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into... [More]

In one of our creepiest showdowns yet, we’re pitting two pioneering anthology series against each other: Black Mirror vs. The Twilight Zone. (And yes, we’re looking at all iterations of the Zone.) Which series performs better when it comes to the Tomatometer and Audience Score? Which gave us more iconic moments? (Both delivered big time when it came to iconic porcine moments, right?!). And which had the greatest cultural impact? Join Rotten Tomatoes Contributing Editor Mark Ellis as he travels to another dimension, and into the just-recognizable near future, to see which series takes the creepster crown in the latest edition of Vs.

As always, if you don’t agree with our choice of winner, let us have it in the comments.

Who is superhero cinema’s ultimate genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist? The wise-cracking tech head who took down Thanos? Or the reclusive, brooding, vengeful detective who looks as good in a tux as he does zipping between the buildings of Gotham? In our latest episode of Vs., Rotten Tomatoes Contributing Editor Mark Ellis is pitting the MCU’s Iron Man against DC’s Dark Knight, comparing their box office pull, Tomatometer and Audience Scores, and the quality and inventiveness of their gadgets, all to declare who is the superior super-powered scion.

As always, if you don’t agree with our choice of winner, let us have it in the comments.

The last time we polled our social media fans about the films they were most looking forward to, it was back in February, when we weren’t entirely sure how things were going to pan out after widespread stay-at-home orders went into effect. Well, here we are, halfway through 2020, and the traditional Summer Movie Season hasn’t really happened yet.

At one time, even as recently as a week or two ago, we all thought we might see the theaters spring back to life this month with the debut of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, followed quickly by Disney’s live-action adaptation of Mulan, but both of those films ultimately got pushed back, so what are we left with? A smattering of streaming-exclusive movies and VOD premieres. With that in mind, we asked our fans on social media to find out which titles on streaming and VOD they were most looking forward to seeing, so read on for the full list!


1. The Old Guard (2020) 80%

#1 pick by our Facebook, and Twitter fans; #4 pick by our Instagram fans
Premieres on Netflix on July 10

The runaway winner on two of our social media platforms (folks on the ‘Gram weren’t as impressed, apparently) was this action flick based on a comic book and starring Charlize Theron. The story revolves around a group of immortal soldiers who make up a sort of covert ops unit that has operated in the shadows for centuries, and they’re led by Theron’s “Andy.” This Netflix original movie is director Gina Prince-Bythewood’s first film since 2014’s Certified Fresh Beyond the Lights, and it’s gotten pretty decent reviews, so it’s an easy call for anyone looking for some blockbuster action.


2. Greyhound (2020) 79%

#2 pick by our Facebook and Twitter fans, #5 pick by our Instagram fans
Premieres on Apple TV+ on July 10

There was actually a three-way tie for second place this month between three vastly different movies, so let’s start with the Tom Hanks-powered World War II naval thriller. Inspired by true events, the film chronicles the efforts of a newly appointed Commander of a U.S. destroyer warship, Ernest Krause (Hanks), who leads a convoy of 37 Allied ships to safety while being pursued by a fleet of German U-boats in the early days of World War II. The film co-stars Stephen Graham, Rob Morgan, and Elisabeth Shue, among others, and it’s gotten praise for its propulsive storytelling. This was set to debut in theaters on June 12 before the coronavirus shutdowns occurred, and now it’ll debut on Apple TV+.


3. Palm Springs (2020) 95%

#3 pick by our Facebook, Instagram,  and Twitter fans
Premiering on Hulu on July 10

Next up in our three-way tie is this romantic comedy starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti that takes the idea behind Groundhog Day to absurd extremes. Samberg plays Nyles, a regular dude who is dragged to a wedding in Palm Springs, only to get caught in a time loop that forces him to relive the same day over and over again. The twist? One of the other guests at the wedding, Milioti’s Sarah, inadvertently gets caught in the loop with him, and together they try to make the most of their infinite — or is it? — time. The film is already Certified Fresh at 98%, and it set the record for the highest sale at Sundance by a very intentional 69 cents. The company who shelled out that money was Neon, who has a special relationship with Hulu, and that’s where the film will premiere on July 10.


4. Hamilton (2020) 97%

#1 pick by our Instagram fans, #4 pick by our Facebook and Twitter fans
Premiering on Disney+ on July 3

If you’ve paid any attention to pop culture over the past five years or so, you’re already well familiar with Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s wildly popular and successful stage musical based on the life of United States founding father Alexander Hamilton and delivered in a combination of soulful ballads and rap lyrics. And if you’ve heard of Hamilton, you’re likely also aware that tickets to the production are exorbitantly expensive and exceedingly difficult to score. Thankfully, the folks at Disney, who originally thought to release a feature-film version of the musical in theaters, have decided to release the thing on Disney+ instead, so now everyone can watch it with the best seats in the house, literally.


5. Psych 2: Lassie Come Home (2020) 83%

#2 pick by our Instagram fans, #5 pick by our Facebook and Twitter fans
Premiering on Peacock on July 15

Lastly, we have something of a cult favorite in Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, the second feature-length film based on the popular TV series starring James Roday as pretend psychic Shawn Spencer and Dulé Hill as his partner Gus. The new film, which will air on NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock, sees Shawn and Gus return to Santa Barbara after Lassie (Timothy Omundson) suffers a brutal attack on the job, hoping to unravel a new, twisted mystery. Longtime fans of the series should be pleased to see a lot of familiar faces and wacky antics again.


Thumnail image by Aimee Spinks/NETFLIX

With movie theaters shuttered for the time being and prospective audiences presumably self-quarantining at home, people looking for entertainment to consume have never had more time on their hands to just sit and binge a bunch of television. With that in mind, we polled our fans on social media to find out what new shows everyone was most looking forward to in the month of July, whether it was a brand new series or a popular one returning with a new season. It’s probably no surprise that three of the top five are Netflix originals, considering the sheer volume of the streaming giant’s output, but we also got an Amazon original and a series on TNT. Read on to find out the full list!


1. The Umbrella Academy: Season 2 (2020) 91%

#1 pick by our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter fans
Premieres on Netflix on July 31

Netflix’s adaptation of the comic book series created by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way enjoyed a successful first season, earning a Certified Fresh 75% on the Tomatometer and an even more impressive 86% Audience Score. For those who haven’t had a chance to check out the show just yet, we won’t discuss any spoilers from Season 1 here, but suffice it to say that the way it ended left enough fans anxious to find out where the show might go in Season 2 to propel it straight to the top of all of our social media polls. The only bad news is that we’ll have to wait until the tail end of the month before we get to see it.


2. Cursed: Season 1 (2020) 67%

#2 pick by our Facebook and Twitter fans
Premieres on Netflix on July 17

Another offering from Netflix, this fantasy series reimagines the classic legend of King Arthur by telling the origin story of the young woman who would eventually become the fabled Lady of the Lake. Based on the novel of the same name co-written by Frank Miller, it stars Kathering Langford (who also appeared in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why) as Nimue, who travels with a young Arthur (Devon Terrell) to seek out Merlin (Gustaf Skarsgård) and help confront the evil King Uther Pendragon. This one came in just under The Umbrella Academy in both our Facebook and Twitter polls.


3. The Alienist: Angel of Darkness: Angel of Darkness (2020) 86%

#2 pick by our Instagram fans, #3 pick by our Twitter fans, #5 pick by our Facebook fans
Premieres on TNT on July 19

Originally created as a limited series based on the novel of the same name by Caleb Carr, The Alienist surprised a lot of people by scoring a number of awards nominations and subsequently announcing that it would return for another go. The second season, dubbed Angel of Darkness, adapts the second novel in the series and sees the return of stars Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, and Dakota Fanning as their characters reunite to track down a missing infant, only to uncover a more sinister threat. A lot of people are happy they’re coming back for another investigation, and there are hopes that the third and upcoming fourth novels in the series will ensure further seasons of the dark, period thriller.


4. Hanna: Season 2 (2020) 93%

#3 pick by our Facebook fans, #4 pick by our Instagram fans, #5 pick by our Twitter fans
Premieres on Amazon Prime on July 3

The first season of Amazon’s Hanna expanded on the ideas of its source material, the Joe Wright-directed 2011 film of the same name, and delivered something entirely its own, and while the reviews weren’t over the moon, the audience response was strong. Fittingly, Season 2 looks to expand that world even further, and fans who have been waiting to find out where Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) goes next and how she will evolve will be pleased to know that, according to the critics, it’s even better than Season 1.


5. Warrior Nun: Season 1 (2020) 68%

#4 pick by our Facebook and Twitter fans
Premieres on Netflix on July 2

The third Netflix series to make it into the top five this month is another fantasy, albeit one based on modern (ancient?) religion. Loosely based on a comic book series first published in the mid-’90s, Warrior Nun centers on a young woman who is gifted with immense power and compelled to join a secret order of — you guessed it — warrior nuns who battle against supernatural evil. The series has generated interest from curious and cautiously optimistic viewers looking for another fantasy fix, and reviews indicate it’s not perfect but still worth checking out.


Thumnail image by NETFLIX

As we inch closer to the beginning of the summer movie season, we are starting to see a few more big-name properties show up on the release calendar, and March features not only a hotly anticipated sequel to a surprise horror hit, but also a new entry from Pixar and the latest live-action remake of an animated Disney classic. Beyond those titles, we also have a comic book adaptation starring Vin Diesel and a new interpretation of a Jane Austen novel just to round things out. See below for the most anticipated movies opening in March.


1. A Quiet Place Part II (2021) 91%

2,769 Want-to-See Votes
#1 pick by our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter fans
Opens March 20

Director John Krasinski had a hit on his hands with 2018’s A Quiet Place, in which he starred alongside his real-life wife Emily Blunt as a married couple with two children (after a tragic and horrifying opening scene) who live their lives in complete silence in an attempt to avoid detection by the bloodthirsty monsters who navigate by sound that have taken over the world. This month, we get the sequel, which finds Blunt’s Evelyn Abbott traveling with son Marcus (Noah Jupe), daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and her newborn infant until they come across other survivors and discover there’s more to worry about than just the monsters. This film made it to the top of all of our social media polls and racked up the second-most Want-to-See votes among all March releases.


2. Mulan (2020) 73%

3,650 Want-to-See Votes
#2 pick by our Facebook and Twitter fans, #3 pick by our Instagram fans
Opens March 27

Disney released three live-action remakes of their classic animated films in 2019 — namely DumboAladdin, and The Lion King — and while none of them exactly set critics’ hearts aflutter, the latter two especially made big splashes at the box office. With that context in mind, March brings us their latest effort, Mulan, starring Liu Yufei as the titular heroine who defies her father’s wishes and joins the Imperial Chinese Army disguised as a man to represent her family. The supporting cast includes such renowned actors as Jet Li, Donnie Yen, and Gong Li, and fans on our social media accounts were excited enough about the movie to vote it into second place on Facebook and Twitter, and third place on Instagram. It also racked up the most Want-to-See votes of any March release on RT.


3. Onward (2020) 88%

1,252 Want-to-See Votes
#2 pick by our Instagram fans, #4 pick by our Facebook and Twitter fans
Opens March 6

Part of Mulan‘s appeal is undeniably the nostalgia factor for adults who remember seeing the animated original more than 20 years ago, but Disney offshoot Pixar is also coming out with a new animated film that’s ostensibly aimed at younger audiences but plays on some mature themes. MCU stars Chris Pratt and Tom Holland voice two elf brothers who live in a suburban fantasy world populated by trash unicorns and pet dragons where technology has pushed magic into obsolescence. When the two of them receive a magical gift from their deceased father that will allow them to resurrect him for 24 hours, and it only summons his lower half, they embark on a journey to find a way to bring back the rest of him before time runs out. This one made it into the top five of all of our social polls and garnered the third-most Want-to-See votes on RT, and on top of all that, it’s already Certified Fresh.


4. Bloodshot (2020) 30%

1,099 Want-to-See Votes
#3 pick by our Facebook and Twitter fans
Opens March 13

The vast majority of superhero movies made these days belong to either the MCU or the DCEU, but the landscape is slowly changing as other players join the fray. Enter Bloodshot, a murdered soldier who is resurrected by scientists and given superhuman abilities thanks to nanotechnology. The Valiant Comics anti-hero is played by Vin Diesel here, and reports have stated that the film is intended to be the first in its own cinematic universe. We’ll have to wait and see how that goes after the film is released, but for now, moviegoers are looking forward to seeing the big-screen adaptation of the comic, as it ranked third in our Facebook and Twitter polls.


5. EMMA. (2020) 87%

1,391 Want-to-See Votes
#5 pick by our Facebook fans
Opens Wide March 6

The last film on this month’s list actually opened in limited release back on February 21, but it’s expanding wide in the first week of March, thanks to a positive reception. Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Jane Austen’s eponymous matchmaker, who discovers that maybe she’s not as good at bringing people together as she thought she was, all while her own romance bubbles up and takes her by surprise. Director Autumn de Wilde’s debut feature is already Certified Fresh, and critics say it’s a whimsical adaptation that takes some time to get going but blossoms into a delightful treat. The film made it to fifth place in our Facebook poll and earned the fourth-most Want-to-See votes on RT.


Thumnail image by Paramount Pictures

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This week at the movies, we’ve got a flock of fearsome females (Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), starring Margot Robbie and Ewan McGregor). What are the critics saying?


Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) 79%

Talk to anyone who saw 2016’s Suicide Squad, and they’re likely to tell you the best part about the movie was Margot Robbie’s performance as Joker’s best girl, Harley Quinn. Warner Bros. clearly knew this, too, considering the studio announced a Harley Quinn spinoff even before Suicide Squad was released. Four years later, audiences finally get to see Birds of Prey, and the praise for it so far has been effusive. Working from a script by Christina Hodson, director Cathy Yan jumps back and forth in time to explain how Harley and “Mistah J” broke up, how she gets pulled into the orbit of nightclub owner-cum-sadistic crime boss Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor), and how her story intertwines with the women who would form her ragtag crew (Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rosie Perez, and Ella Jay Basco). Some were reasonably concerned we might have another Suicide Squad on our hands, but critics say it’s all as flamboyant, irreverent, unhinged, action-packed, and gloriously fun as one should expect from a Harley Quinn movie. That said, it does earn its R rating, with plenty of colorful language and bone-crushing violence (thanks, in part, to John Wick director Chad Stahelski, who helped choreograph the action), so it may not be the most ideal girl-power flick for young women. But anyone hoping for a loopy carnival ride of an adventure starring one of Hollywood’s most dynamic actors will likely leave the theater satisfied.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

  • Cane River (1982) , a revival of the 1982 romance set in Louisiana about a forbidden love affair between a Creole man and a Black woman, is at 100%
  • Come to Daddy (2019) , starring Elijah Wood in a psychological horror comedy about a man who attempts to reconnect with his estranged father at a remote cabin, only to face his dark past, is Certified Fresh at 92%.
  • And Then We Danced (2019) , about a dancer vying for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble whose life is upended by the arrival of an accomplished rival, is at 86%.
  • The Lodge (2019) , starring Riley Keough in a horror film about a woman who loses her grip on reality when she becomes trapped in a remote cabin with the vindictive children of her boyfriend, is Certified Fresh at 76%.
  • Two/One (2019) , a drama about two men living on opposite sides of the world whose lives parallel each other, is at 60%.
  • Horse Girl (2020) , starring Alison Brie in Netflix’s dark sci-fi comedy about a woman struggling to differentiate between her surreal visions and reality, is at 56%.
  • Waiting for Anya (2020) , a drama about the efforts of a teenage boy and an older widow to help smuggle Jewish children to Spain during World War II, is at 56%.

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The success of Wonder Woman proved women-helmed, women-led superhero movies could be immensely successful, and now Warner Bros. and DC continue to lead in that arena with Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey, with Margot Robbie reprising her Suicide Squad role as Gotham City antihero Harley Quinn. The first reviews of the comic book movie are on the positive side, emphasizing the ensemble cast (including the villains), the action aided by John Wick director Chad Stahelski, and the general fun had by all involved, especially the audience.

Here’s what critics are saying about Birds of Prey:


Where does it rank in the DC Universe?

Rights so many of the DCEU’s wrongs, trading CGI for carefully choreographed fight scenes and breathing new life into a stagnant genre.
– Hannah Woodhead, Little White Lies

Birds of Prey looks like what you’d imagine Suicide Squad could have been under a clearer vision.
– Angie Han, Mashable

[Features] perhaps one of the most fun third acts in a DC film so far.
– James Whitbrook, io9

It’s the perfect spiritual successor to Joker in terms of the current state of the DCEU.
– Molly Freeman, ScreenRant

This is not a perfect film, nor is it the DCEU’s best. But it is immensely enjoyable.
– Kirsten Acuna, Insider


Is it just for DC fans?

No, [but] you’ll have a deeper understanding of [Harley] and DC characters like Black Mask, Zsasz, and Black Canary if you’ve watched animated DC cartoons, played popular games like Arkham City, and watched the CW’s Arrow.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider

Birds of Prey stands on its own more than most comic book movies. References to the Joker and Batman are few and far between.
Kristen Lopez, Fansided

A superhero movie that might actually be more enjoyable for viewers who haven’t read a single comic.
Susana Polo, Polygon

[It’s] a spinoff/sequel that requires no knowledge of its mediocre predecessor, Suicide Squad. Thank goodness.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, The Daily Dot


Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

What about the comparisons to Deadpool?

[It’s] DC’s R-rated answer to Deadpool in terms of rampant cursing, in-universe commentary and clever pop-culture riffs.
Brian Truitt, USA Today

Comparisons are going to be made between BoP and Fox’s R-rated Deadpool, which also has a fourth-wall-breaking antihero. Any similarities are only surface level.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider

It’s going for the sparky nihilist defiance… [but] Birds of Prey could have used more of the intricate cleverness of Deadpool.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Those hoping for a Deadpool-like fusion of mayhem and wit should lower their expectations.
John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter


Does Robbie continue to shine as Harley?

Robbie reminds you why Harley is the role she was born to play.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider

The movie is a stunning showcase for Margot Robbie, who commands the screen and gives her damaged protagonist all the dimension she deserves.
Laura Prudom, IGN

Robbie’s mayhem-fueled portrait of a mobster moll run amok is precisely tuned. She captures this unapologetic, dynamic complex woman with delirious verve and vigor.
Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction

Robbie’s shining performance cuts through the murk like a neon sign in a dark alleyway.
Angie Han, Mashable


What about the rest of the ensemble?

Birds of Prey is a true ensemble in the sense that it doesn’t work because one person or one part is excellent, but because they all are.
Molly Freeman, ScreenRant

The main heroine ensemble actors all breathe a wonderful amount of life into little-known characters overdue for mainstream attention.
Susana Polo, Polygon

The actresses who come together to form Harley’s posse… have presence to spare, but you wish they’d been given more to do.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Unfortunately, the Birds of Prey are the ones who get shortchanged by the ambitious scope… you can’t help but wish [the movie] leaned a little harder into the team-up aspect of the title.
Laura Prudom, IGN


Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Does anyone stand out?

Huntress is the least developed of all the lead characters… but in her few appearances, Winstead steals the show.
Hoai-Tran Bui, Slashfilm

Fans will undoubtedly fall in love with Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Huntress.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider

Winstead’s self-serious, mafia-bred, crossbow-toting Huntress appears to be ripped out of another movie entirely.
Kate Erbland, IndieWire

The scene-stealer is Black Canary… Smollett-Bell gives her character fire and a voice, literally, that has power.
Kristen Lopez, Fansided

In her debut feature film role Ella Jay Basco is a force to be reckoned with. With impeccable comedic timing, the young actress holds her own.
Britany Murphy, Geeks of Color


What about the villains?

The film also benefits from two first-rate villains… worthy opponents to Quinn, delighting in violence for the sake of violence but crucially grounded in reality.
Hannah Woodhead, Little White Lies

In terms of DCEU films, McGregor’s Sionis and Messina’s Zsasz are my favorite villains…[with] some of the best villain moments seen in a comic book film to-date.
Britany Murphy, Geeks of Color

It’s McGregor who shines the brightest in Birds of Prey… he skillfully slips between the personas to create an effective counterpart to each of the heroes.
Molly Freeman, ScreenRant

He’s the best villain in the DCEU right now… for what it’s worth, that’s not too high of a bar.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider

Victor’s obsessive desire to please his boss and Roman’s unchecked narcissism combine to create a dynamic duo who are pure nightmare fuel.
Laura Prudom, IGN

Villains Sionis and Zsasz are left aching for a bit more oomph, or gravitas, behind their wickedness… Their unhinged nature could stand to be dialed up further.
Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction

Ewan McGregor’s Roman Sionis is likely to be divisive… He’s an extravagantly blatant example of queer-coded villainhood, to the point where it’s not really coded at all.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, The Daily Dot


Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

How is Christina Hodson’s script?

Hodson has made sure internal and external character stakes are cogent. She utilizes familiar story elements, but remixes them into a refreshed product.
Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction

Hodson’s script is packed with the kind of small actions and moments of recognition that only a film made by women would ever think to include.
Clarisse Loughrey, Independent

Hodson uses Harley’s omniscient, if unreliable, narrator to great effect in order to immerse viewers in this world and introduce the various key players.
Molly Freeman, ScreenRant

Slight at best, convoluted at worst, but Birds of Prey rips through its hardboiled neo-noir story with such gleeful abandon that you barely notice the tired Macguffin narrative.
Hoai-Tran Bui, Slashfilm

The first hour of Birds of Prey is a bit confusing… Even if you’re a big DC fan, you may find yourself struggling to understand the point of the film.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider

The movie would have been so much better had it simplified its story by half.
Alex Abad-Santos, Vox

If you think of how the narrative is being shown and just who it’s coming from, it works well… but I could see that it might not necessarily translate to the audience as a whole.
Britany Murphy, Geeks of Color


Does director Cathy Yan rise to the occasion?

Yan steps up to the plate without a trace of the nerves you might expect of a first-time big-budget director.
Helen O’Hara, Time Out

Yan may be a newcomer to the big-budget blockbuster, but she brings an assured confidence to each stylistic choice.
Hoai-Tran Bui, Slashfilm

Directing her first studio feature, Cathy Yan keeps it all hurtling along with impeccable ferocity. Her action scenes have a deftly detonating visual spaciousness.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

Birds of Prey barely holds together plot-wise… That Yan directs the movie with a pinball comic energy, in scenes of action and character interaction, makes a world of difference.
Scott Mendelson, Forbes

She has a gift for kinetic fight scenes, though there are only so many creative-kill scenarios before the death toll becomes numbing.
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

Yan’s stylish direction and keen sense of comedic timing keep things lively even when the story starts to strain under the weight of so many competing storylines.
Laura Prudom, IGN


Claudette Barius/©Warner Bros.

(Photo by Claudette Barius/©Warner Bros.)

Does she deliver on the action?

Yan’s camera [holds] on wide shots to show off the acrobatic stunts of her stars. It’s one of the best displays of fight sequences in a superhero movie to date.
Hoai-Tran Bui, Slashfilm

Boasts some of the most inventive fight sequences ever seen in a comic book movie… The smackdowns have a tangible, bone-crunching quality that sets them apart from the overly CGIed slugfests found in many other superhero movies lately.
Laura Prudom, IGN

The movie’s fight scenes are like highlight reels in themselves, mashing together visual artistry with bone-crunching savagery.
Alex Abad-Santos, Vox

Birds of Prey’s clearly shot and inventively staged action sequences feel like the first superhero movie response to John Wick’s success.
Susana Polo, Polygon

It’s not quite John Wick, but crisp camerawork and playful choreography place Birds of Prey comfortably above the muddy CG action of an Avengers: Endgame or, God forbid, a Suicide Squad.
Angie Han, Mashable


Does it do right by women in comic book movies?

Rather than the paint-by-numbers girl power of Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, Birds of Prey presents flawed, multi-faceted women as more than an afterthought in male-driven narratives.
Hannah Woodhead, Little White Lies

The film is itself a liberation from male-led and male-created superhero comic book movies.
Molly Freeman, ScreenRant

Not only does Cathy Yan’s female-fronted, feminist feature capture one woman’s resilience… it symbolically represents that we women can overcome our worst starts.
Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction

All the daily joys and hurdles of a woman’s experience are deftly woven into the larger-than-life fabric of the comic-book film… this isn’t the kind of boardroom-designed, slogan-spouting style of feminism we’re used to from Hollywood.
Clarisse Loughrey, Independent

Does the movie’s pop-feminist message need to be as consistently, cartoonishly violent as it is? Almost definitely not. But in a world gone mad, the catharsis of Prey’s twisted sisterhood doesn’t just read as pandemonium for its own sake; it’s actually pretty damn sweet.
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

If there’s one thing Hollywood should learn from the experience, it’s this: Sometimes girls just want to have fun, whether they’re in superhero movies or watching them.
Susana Polo, Polygon

The perfect Galentine’s outing.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider


Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Will audiences want more?

Birds of Prey provides a perfect setup for a host of other intriguing spinoffs in the DC cinematic universe — can we request Poison Ivy next?
Laura Prudom, IGN

You’ll be ready for a sequel with the group or more of Robbie’s take on Harley the moment the film’s over.
Kirsten Acuna, Insider

Birds of Prey left me wanting [a sequel], which is about the most anyone can hope for in a big-screen comics adaptation.
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

Show[s] us just how cool Harley Quinn and the Birds of Prey can be, so we’re left wanting to get back in line for their next movie.
Angie Han, Mashable

Nothing in Birds of Prey suggests [these characters] ever merit further attention, far out in this suburb of Gotham with Batman nowhere to be found.
John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter


Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is in theaters on February 7.

#1
Adjusted Score: 108793%
Critics Consensus: With a fresh perspective, some new friends, and loads of fast-paced action, Birds of Prey captures the colorfully anarchic spirit of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
Synopsis: It's open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her... [More]
Directed By: Cathy Yan

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For Margot Robbie, Birds of Prey (And the Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) has been a passion project five years in the making. Ahead of the movie’s release, Rotten Tomatoes correspondent Naz Perez sat down with Robbie to ask why she felt so connected to this character and why she worked so hard to bring her story to the big screen. Of course, Birds of Prey is a Harley Quinn movie, but it’s no solo outing: We also spoke with the Birds themselves – Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Rosie Perez – and co-stars Ella Jay Basco and Chris Messina about working with Robbie and creating some of the DCEU’s most epic action scenes yet. Plus, director Cathy Yan talks creating a Gotham City befitting her leading lady and working with Robbie to bring out Harley’s more vulnerable side.


Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) is in theaters February 7, 2020. 

#1
Adjusted Score: 108793%
Critics Consensus: With a fresh perspective, some new friends, and loads of fast-paced action, Birds of Prey captures the colorfully anarchic spirit of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
Synopsis: It's open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her... [More]
Directed By: Cathy Yan

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

January has come and gone, bringing us one legitimate Best Picture contender (1917), one surprise hit (who knew Bad Boys for Life would actually be good?), and a handful of duds, which is pretty much par for the course at this time of year. As we enter the month that celebrates romance, Black history, and American presidents, the movie slate doesn’t look like it’s going to set the world on fire, but there’s still a few notable titles to consider. We’ve got the latest DC Comics movie, for starters, and a Cannes Film Festival winner, a video game-based adventure, a children’s movie based on a classic novel, and a horror remake. But what did RT users and our fans on social media vote to the top of the list? See below for the most anticipated movies opening in February.


1. Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) 79%

3,681 Want-to-See Votes
#1 pick by our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter fans
Opens February 7

Margot Robbie sheds the Suicide Squad for her own marquee film — sort of — as she takes center stage as Harley Quinn in this DC Comics adaptation. Here, she and her cohort of fierce lady friends (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, and Rosie Perez) take on a Gotham City crime lord (Ewan McGregor) who’s out to get a young girl named Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco). This movie racked up the most Want-to-See votes by far and rocketed to the top of all of our social polls as the most anticipated film of the month, and early word on social media has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ll see if the film retains that heat when it opens the first week of February.


2. Sonic the Hedgehog (2020) 63%

1,650 Want-to-See Votes
#2 pick by our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter fans
Opens February 14

Remember when the first trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog premiered and the internet did a collective spit-take at the inexplicably malformed character design? Remember when the studio then backtracked and redesigned Sonic to match the original character more closely? Whether or not it was all a clever marketing ploy (all press is good press, right?) to convince nostalgic moviegoers that the people behind the film were on their side, it’s resulted in a fairly healthy anticipation for the film, which finds the blue speedster — an alien from another planet — teaming up with his newfound human bestie (James Marsden) to take on a gleefully unhinged Jim Carrey in the form of the original game’s classic nemesis, Dr. Robotnik. This one also unanimously took second place in all of our social polls and earned the second-most Want-to-See votes on RT.


3. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) 98%

1,252 Want-to-See Votes
#3 pick by our Twitter fans, #4 pick by our Facebook fans, #5 pick by our Instagram fans
Opens February 14

Sure, the top two vote-getters in February are broadly marketed Hollywood fare, but if there was any doubt that RT users are a diverse group who flock to all sorts of films, this should help alleviate some of it. Earning a spot in the top five in all of our social polls, as well as the third-most Want-to-See votes, is this French romantic drama from celebrated director Céline Sciamma that took home both the Queer Palm and the award for Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival last year. The story follows an artist who is hired to secretly paint the portrait of a reluctant bride-to-be; as the two spend more time together, a growing attraction becomes apparent and threatens to upend both their lives.


4. The Invisible Man (2020) 92%

1,009 Want-to-See Votes
#3 pick by our Facebook and Instagram fans, #4 pick by our Twitter fans
Opens February  28

H.G. Wells’ seminal science-fiction novel has been adapted or borrowed from on several occasions since its publication in 1897, most notably in 1933 as part of Universal Pictures’ stable of monster movies. Now, with the studio’s desire to update their classic horror pictures (formerly as part of a “Dark Universe”), we’re getting a new version starring Elisabeth Moss as a woman who may or may not be imagining the unseen presence of her abusive ex, a brilliant scientist who apparently committed suicide but might have actually discovered a way to turn himself invisible instead. Encouraged by a fairly effective trailer, initially skeptical moviegoers have turned the corner to cautious optimism, making the film February’s fourth-most anticipated title.


5. The Call of the Wild (2020) 62%

1,116 Want-to-See Votes
#4 pick by our Instagram fans, #5 pick by our Facebook fans
Opens February 21

Speaking of celebrated literature brought to the big screen, our last entry on the list adapts a Jack London masterpiece with the help of modern technology. While previous iterations of The Call of the Wild were content to work with live St. Bernards, this film stars a computer-animated Buck alongside Harrison Ford as John Thornton, who encounters the canine hero after he’s been dognapped from his domestic life in California and sold as a beast of labor in the Alaskan Yukon. This one made into the top five of our Facebook and Instagram polls, and it earned the fourth most Want-to-See votes of all movies this month.


Thumnail image by Warner Bros. Pictures

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DC is on a roll with another critical hit, if the first reactions to Birds of Prey on social media are any indication. The comic book movie premiered Wednesday and squashed any concern that the all-women antihero team-up could be as disappointing as Suicide Squad. Margot Robbie stood out in that DCEU entry as Harley Quinn, and now she gets to wow audiences again, this time in a better adaptation, one that will reportedly have fans begging for more.

Here’s what critics are saying about Birds of Prey in the first round-up of social reactions:


So, how is it?

Birds of Prey is f–king spectacular and a huge five stars from me.
– Millicent Thomas, Screen Queens

Birds of Prey is an absolute blast and undeniably fun live wire jolt of adrenaline. Delightfully devilish and deliriously wicked, this irreverent, rule-breaking riot delivers a contact high.
– Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction

Absolutely BLOWN AWAY!
– Kristen Lopez, FanSided

Birds of Prey is a solid breakup movie with a soundtrack that slaps…we get a rare glimpse into the rich inner life of a female supervillain (and it actually delivers on what was promised in the trailer).
– Alison Foreman, Mashable

Birds of Prey is a totally campy and brutal carnival ride; a colorful, chaotic and cheeky blast.
– Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

A rockin’ kick ass good time!
– Griffin Schiller, The Playlist

It’s a bonkers bananas crime comedy and a genuine party movie.
– Scott Mendelson, Forbes


So it’s one of the better DC movies?

I’m happy to report that it’s my favorite modern DC movie yet. Like Shazam!, it carves its own path with totally unique aesthetic, action, and tone.
Michael Rougeau, GameSpot

This looks and feels so different than any other superhero movie I’ve seen (and I feel like many will say it’s what they wish Suicide Squad had been in execution). Full credit to Cathy Yan for that, it’s clear they had a lot of fun making something so different.
Terri Schwartz, IGN

Leagues better than Suicide Squad.
Alison Foreman, Mashable

As opposed to Suicide Squad, the story, characters and themes are confidently carried through by Cathy Yan’s terrific direction.
Griffin Schiller, The Playlist


Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Is this the movie Margot Robbie’s Harley deserves?

Margot Robbie completely sells the incredibly choreographed fight sequences and their gleeful brutality.
Terri Schwartz, IGN

Robbie is excellent.
Germain Lussier, io9

It’s a terrific, vicious vehicle for Margot Robbie.
Sean O’Connell, Cinema Blend

Margot Robbie is on top-form, Harley has never been quirkier and more lovable.
Ben Rolph, Discussing Film

It’s at its best when going full Harley-vision, and Margot Robbie is clearly having a blast.
Eric Eisenberg, Cinema Blend


What about the rest of the cast?

The chemistry amongst the cast was great.
Dorian Parks, Geeks of Color

Robbie, Smollett, Winstead, Perez and Basco are perfection.
Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction

It’s truly an ensemble with every woman bringing it (Rosie and Jurnee are my faves tho).
Yolanda Machado, The Wrap

Jurnee Smollett-Bell steals the show!
Kristen Lopez, FanSided

Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Huntress is the not-so-secret MVP.
Angie Han, Mashable

Everyone is having a blast but Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Huntress like a supporting character from The Tick. It rocks.
Scott Mendelson, Forbes


Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

Is there an spinoff potential?

If Birds of Prey told me anything, it’s that we need a whole lot more Canary and Huntress! They are great but there’s a lot left on the bone!
Brandon Davis, ComicBook.com

I would love to see more Black Canary and Huntress in the future.
Dorian Parks, Geeks of Color

I loved all these ladies and am looking forward to the sequel/spin-off.
Scott Menzel, We Live Entertainment


Does it have worthy villains?

COULD NOT get enough of McGregor’s Black Mask; hysterical, eccentric, and deliciously pathetic.
Griffin Schiller, The Playlist

Ewan McGregor is so sinister and often hilarious.
Brandon Davis, ComicBook.com

Ewan McGregor is on a different frequency, but wildly entertains!
Sean O’Connell, Cinema Blend

FYC: Ewan MacGregor, Best Supporting Actor.
Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

Add Chris Messina chewing every piece of scenery in sight!!
Jason Guerrasio, Business Insider

I would like to send a lil prayer of thanks for the costume, makeup, and hair people responsible for Chris Messina’s entire situation here because wow yes thank you.
Angie Han, Mashable

The villains are delicious.
Jill Pantozzi, io9


Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

How’s the action?

Action sequences are capably choreographed, shot and assembled, showing off an invigorating stunt spectacular, spotlighting women as individuals and as a team.
Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction

It is worth seeing Birds of Prey for the kick ass action and the Funhouse Fight Scene, alone.
Sean O’Connell, Cinema Blend

The fight scenes are phenomenal.
Jill Pantozzi, io9

Has the best choreographed fight sequences I’ve seen in a superhero movie.
Rosie Knight, IGN

Some of the most inventive, bone-crunching fight sequences in the superhero genre to date.
Laura Prudom, IGN

I’m pretty sure if you took the total amount of action sequences versus total screen time, this would be one of the highest percentages of action in the modern comic book movie era? Someone do the math for me later please.
Terri Schwartz, IGN


How does it look in general?

Cathy Yan is a genius… Loved how Yan builds her masterful mayhem with visual gags and colorful aesthetics.
Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction

Cathy Yan and DP Matthew Libatique create a visually distinct and luscious film that’s badass, funny and provocative.
Kristen Lopez, FanSided

Cathy Yan created a Gotham that I can’t wait to revisit.
Yolanda Machado, The Wrap

Cathy Yan’s direction manages to feel intimate and thoughtful whilst also offering up the mile a minute madness that Harley and co. need.
Rosie Knight, IGN

Well-made, shot with beautiful colour and overall, a sleek piece of grand entertainment.
Ben Rolph, Discussing Film


Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

What other movies does it compare to?

The only fair comparison for Birds of Prey, if you want one, is Deadpool. They have a lot in common, especially their use of fourth-wall breaking and R-Ratings!
Brandon Davis, ComicBook.com

It’s DC’s Deadpool with a dash of Tarantino.
Griffin Schiller, The Playlist

Kinda plays like a Guy Ritchie gangster movie.
Scott Mendelson, Forbes

The action reminded me a lot of John Wick.
Dorian Parks, Geeks of Color


Does it earn its R rating?

It’s sooooooooooooo R rated.
Sean O’Connell, Cinema Blend

It’s VERY violent in places and there are a couple of quite dark scenes (also lots of f-bombs).
Clarisse Loughrey, Independent

Cathy Yan has created a music infused celebration of female badassery.
Scott Menzel, We Live Entertainment

FINALLY!!!! Who actually kicks ass with long ass hair flinging around? Extra cheers for Yan and Hodson for putting that in knowing this is how women would do it!!… If the DCEU doesn’t hand everything over to women now, they are clearly out of their minds.
Yolanda Machado, The Wrap


Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by Warner Bros. Pictures)

OK, so let’s hear about its problems.

Uneven tone and pacing… The girls at their best together, and they’re not together enough.
Angie Han, Mashable

Lulls a bit in the middle and is a little on the slight side…definitely errs on the side of style over substance but the little character moments make it sparkle.
Hoai-Tran Bui, Slashfilm

The pacing isn’t always fantastic (and at 1hr 40min some of it still dragged), but it’s worth a watch.
Alison Foreman, Mashable

Birds of Prey isn’t a Birds of Prey movie so much as it’s a Harley Quinn movie featuring Birds of Prey, and that creates issues story-wise and in fleshing out characters.
Eric Eisenberg, Cinema Blend

At times the style can be a bit too abrasive, pacing a bit jolty, and it does feel like it’s balancing two movies (Harley Quinn and Birds of Prey).
Griffin Schiller, The Playlist

It’s tamer than expected and the basic story can get lost in the complex setups but it works more often than not.
Germain Lussier, io9


Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) opens on February 7.

#1
Adjusted Score: 108793%
Critics Consensus: With a fresh perspective, some new friends, and loads of fast-paced action, Birds of Prey captures the colorfully anarchic spirit of Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn.
Synopsis: It's open season on Harley Quinn when her explosive breakup with the Joker puts a big fat target on her... [More]
Directed By: Cathy Yan

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Along with the numerous and various incarnations of Batman in film and television, comes an Alfred. Bruce Wayne’s loyal butler keeps both Wayne Manor and the Batcave in order and generally has Batman’s back. This summer, however, Alfred Pennyworth becomes the star of the show in upcoming Epix drama Pennyworth.

A new teaser just dropped Friday for the 10-episode, hour-long series, in which Jack Bannon plays Alfred Pennyworth in his 20s, as he returns to London after serving in the SAS. Alfred wants to start his own security business, but then young billionaire Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge) hires him to be his private bodyguard. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Gotham creators Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon created Pennyworth, which also stars Emma Corrin as Esme, Paloma Faith as Bet Sykes, Hainsley Lloyd Bennet as Bazza, Ryan Fletcher as Dave Boy, Jason Flemyng as Lord Harwood, and Polly Walker as Peggy Sykes.

In honor of Alfred getting his own series, we looked at all the movie and TV Alfreds from the classic ’60s Batman series to the films with Michael Caine and Jeremy Irons and even recent animated-movie incarnations. Heller, Cannon, and Bannon spoke with Rotten Tomatoes about Pennyworth to help us compare their vision of Alfred Pennyworth to the greats.

Pennyworth debuts on Epix this summer.


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