X-Men: First Class 2011

Critics score:
87 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Tom Long, Detroit News: With all the blue-haired, flying, screaming, mind-melding hi-jinks this film has to offer, you'd think it would be able to squeeze in a few novel bursts of fun. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: These days at the movies, one tends to give a lot of thanks for small favors. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Mr. Vaughn doesn't bring conviction to the story's identity politics (say it loud, I'm mutant and I'm proud), but he gives Mr. Fassbender and Mr. McAvoy room to bring the brotherly love. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: New decade; same ol' same ol'. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: The climax is the biggest letdown, a giant hash of crosscutting and unremarkable (in an era in which we've seen everything) CGI. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Preaching mutant pride with endearing fervor, "X-Men: First Class" proves to be a mutant in its own right -- a zestfully radical departure from the latter spawn of a sputtering franchise. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Though "First Class" has its share of well-honed action sequences, it shines in the same way the previous films did: through fine casting and carefully crafted characters. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: First Class largely does what it sets out to do, by turning out another crowd-pleasing comic-book film designed to bring in new fans while gratifying the old ones. Read more

Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic: "X-Men: First Class" isn't anywhere close to being a genre classic like "Spider-Man 2" or "The Dark Knight," but it is good enough to rejuvenate a franchise stuck on idle. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Entertaining enough for a Saturday night, and much more satisfying than the last X-Men' offshoot, the woeful Wolverine. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: The notion of a period-piece comic book movie, which could fancifully reshuffle historical episodes, has great potential, but neither the cast nor the filmmakers aim for the sort of period detail that would have made the premise interesting. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: The film features Michael Fassbender in a pivotal role. That's enough to lift it above the mechanics of the routine. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: Uneven, occasionally silly -- true, but it's still an improvement over 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. Read more

Tom Charity, CNN.com: In most respects it's a solid effort that maintains the integrity of this rather earnest series. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Erik/Magneto, as played by Michael Fassbender, is, well, magnetic. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: The X-Men franchise always had a lot on its mind compared to most of its superhero brethren. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: The finest comic-book flick since 2008's The Dark Knight. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: McAvoy and Fassbender are a casting triumph. These two have, yes, real star magnetism, both individually and together: They're both cool and intense, suave and unaffected, playful and dead serious about their grand comic-book work. Read more

Eric D. Snider, Film.com: It uses the themes of the previous movies to build an intelligent, fast-paced, and highly entertaining prequel. Read more

David Germain, Associated Press: The result is one of the best Marvel adaptations, packed with action, humor, retro 1960s style that's both campy and sexy and a revisionist history lesson that puts the X-Men at the center of the Cuban missile crisis. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: Audacious, confident and fueled by youthful energy, this is a surefire summer winner for a wide global audience. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: Undone by a frustrating mire of multiple plots, overreaching special effects, leaden ancillary players and world-ending military standoffs that have all the tension of a water balloon fight. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: X-Men: First Class is an uncommonly polished and sophisticated superhero movie in which the characters are so strong you sometimes forget you're watching a story about telepaths and men who can bend steel with their minds. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: The first such film since 2008's The Dark Knight that has something on its mind other than lavish effects and high decibels. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: Looks and feels like a very cheesy Cold War-era B movie... Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: "X-Men: First Class"? More like coach, actually. Read more

Scott Tobias, NPR: With X-Men: First Class getting the heavy lifting out of the way, the sequels will presumably cut loose -- but it won't be easy for them to have this much fun doing it. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: It's big, bright, savvy, and so expansive you'll undoubtedly leave feeling you got your money's worth. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: A large and talented cast manages to make more than a dozen characters pop, but still this is the Michael Fassbender show. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: There's just so much you can do with lines like "You're not alone, Eric, you're not alone" and "the president's about to make his address!" before you get sucked into the vortex. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: It's a strangely talky motion picture that tries to advance several philosophical themes; these would have been more interesting if we weren't already aware of how they will play out in the "future" X-Men trilogy. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com: This blazing "pre-boot" breathes new life into the sagging franchise Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The scene where the mutants stand on a beach and mentally duel by causing both American and Soviet missiles to shuttle back and forth in the sky is ... hilarious, I was going to say, but no, I should consider this scene more devoutly. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: A potent reminder of what jazzed us about Bryan Singer's first two X-Men and the Marvel comics that spawned them. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com: While the whole film is professionally executed and goes down smoothly enough, the underlying stupidity of its subject matter can't help but show through in the end. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: [Some] ludicrous but endearing moments of bro-bonding are all that sets this otherwise stock-issue superhero movie apart from its mass-produced brethren. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: A richly layered, intelligently worked-out prequel, it melds a dozen back stories, globe-hopping thrills and historic political confrontations, yet it never packs too many sardines into the tin. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Even without making the honor roll, "X-Men: First Class" has earned a pass for future semesters. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: We all love a good creation myth. That's partly why X-Men: First Class is such fanboy fun. Read more

Leah Rozen, TheWrap: As X-Men films go, this one gets the job done and is certainly better than Last Stand or Wolverine. But there are still just too darn many X-Men. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Too bad that First Class torpedoes its lofty intentions with flights of idiocy so wrongheaded as to be almost endearing. Read more

David Jenkins, Time Out: While the context of Matthew Vaughn's slick 'X-Men' origin story feels like it's been filched from the notepad of a GCSE History student, there's no shortage of breathtaking spectacle elsewhere. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: It turns out even cash cows can moo intelligently. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Revives the flagging franchise with this globe-trotting iteration, infusing it with new life and dazzling visual effects. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: It's remarkable how many things "First Class" gets right, whether it's the decision to have characters speak different languages as the film's frequent globe-trotting dictates, or the casting of Fassbender and McAvoy. Read more

Karina Longworth, Village Voice: Lacking a single memorable joke or striking image, First Class is as perfunctory and passionless as would-be franchise resurrections get. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: "First Class" happily delivers on the escapism and rich narrative texture the best of its predecessors have promised. Read more