After so much anticipation, critics’ reviews are beginning to appear all over the internet for WBD’s The Flash. With DC Studios head, James Gunn, declaring it as “one of the greatest superhero films of all time,” as of this writing, the critics have declared the film 73% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes based on 64 reviews. Here’s what critics are saying about The Flash:
Kate Erbland from indieWire said, “Andy Muschietti’s film has lots to offer, and frequently shows flashes (apologies) of brilliance that set it a cut above most of its existing DC Universe brethren.”
Charlotte O’Sullivan from London Evening Standard agreed, “You know what, this is one of the best superhero movies of the 21st century so far. Just sit back and enjoy the flashes of greatness.”
David Fear from Rolling Stone also agreed, “The Flash is, by far, the best movie to come out of this modern, post-Nolan Warners/DC collaboration, and builds on the promise that Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman first put forth. That is: You can make a superhero film with these particular superheroes that’s dark but not needlessly abyss-black; you can make something that matches the epic scope of worlds-collide comic crossovers while still making sure that your characters matter; you can balance serial storytelling and the burdens of confusing canons with something that stands on its own two fleet feet; and you can channel the thrill of both comics and blockbusters without giving either short shrift.”
Not all of the “fresh” reviews are that favorable, in fact, they seem to be somewhat mediocre:
Matthew Jackson from AV Club said, “Whether or not this was all worth the long development saga and the troubles with its star will, of course, be for individual fans to decide, but there is undeniable entertainment value in The Flash. It’s sometimes buried under layers and layers of storytelling knots that the film never fully untangles, but the fun is there, and when the film is really working, that turns out to be enough.”
Brian Truitt from USA Today also seemed conflicted, the multiverse-hopping time-travel adventure has a lot in common with Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame and the recent Spider-Verse movies. The Flash unfolds a Back to the Future-style quest where Ezra Miller’s title speedster has to make things right and a bunch of familiar faces return in the process. Michael Keaton back in a Batman cape and cowl, the debut of Sasha Calle’s Supergirl and a top-flight sense of humor make Flash worth the hype, though trying to do so much also leads to a head-scratching kitchen-sink climax.”
David Rooney from Hollywood Reporter had this to say, “If The Flash ultimately proves uneven, its wobbly climactic showdown far less interesting than the more character-driven buildup, the story’s core of a young man struggling to reconcile with the loss of his mother carries it through. Miller effectively layers that vein of melancholy beneath both the smart-aleck brashness of 18-year-old Barry and the rueful introspection of his older self.”
Matt Singer from ScreenCrush said, “Michael Keaton’s Batman return saves this movie.”
With all of the positive reviews, some critics really seemed to hate it:
Kevin Maher from Times (UK) called The Flash “A morally specious movie that’s mostly about reflogging the cultural canon of an entertainment conglomerate.”
Trace Sauveur from Austin Chronicle said, “It’s a pitiful disservice to itself, turning a relatively fun, if rocky, movie into nothing but another product designed as a carousel where you can point at things and people you recognize.”
Christian Holub from Entertainment Weekly said, “The Flash ends on a purposefully open note (and a pretty good joke), so that if the film succeeds at the box office, Miller’s Barry can run again another day. If it doesn’t, the precedent is set for a full continuity reset. Whatever DC movies await us in the future, let’s hope they avoid multiverses. It’s well-trod territory at this point, even for a speedster.”
Alonso Duralde from The Film Verdict had this to say, “The first and last 10 minutes demonstrate the winning superhero saga this might have been, but the middle two hours are devoted to sloppy, shameless fan service.”
Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian said, “Despite some diverting touches, Miller’s smirking, gurning, mugging doppelganger performance is a trial and in any case gets lost in the inevitable third-act CGI battle apocalypse.”
Owen Gleiberman from Variety agreed, “In The Flash, the multiverse of possibilities that opens up by toying with the past becomes an excuse to throw everything but the Batcave sink at the audience.”
William Bibbiani from TheWrap didn’t seem to enjoy it and said, “A movie that spends all its time racing from one poorly-thought out story element to another, from one only modestly satisfying nostalgia shout-out to another, and with only questionable results. How fitting, yet how disappointing: The Flash has the runs.”
Justin Clark from Slant Magazine had this to say, “Nothing Batman or Supergirl do in The Flash to save the world is more effective than what Barry Allen does to save it with a hug and a can of tomatoes.”
Warner Bros. Pictures presents The Flash, directed by Andy Muschietti. Ezra Miller reprises their role as Barry Allen in the DC Super Hero’s first-ever standalone feature film.
Worlds collide in The Flash when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no Super Heroes to turn to.
That is unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian… albeit not the one he’s looking for. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. But will making the ultimate sacrifice be enough to reset the universe?
The Flash ensemble also includes rising star Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verdú, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue and Michael Keaton.
The Flash is produced by Barbara Muschietti and Michael Disco. The screenplay is by Christina Hodson, with a screen story by John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein and Joby Harold, based on characters from DC. The executive producers are Toby Emmerich, Walter Hamada, Galen Vaisman and Marianne Jenkins.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Double Dream/a Disco Factory production of an Andy Muschietti film, The Flash, which will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures is officially set to race into theaters in North America on June 16, 2023 and internationally beginning 14 June 2023.
Will you be seeing it?