Eternals Review round-up: Why is the critical opinion so divided?

The general opinion on MCU's Eternals is that it's not a bad movie, but it's not great either, which is what's most disappointing.


Marvel's latest superhero film, Eternals, was always going to fight an uphill battle. Between gender-swapped superheroes to introducing an entirely new set of characters in a decades-old franchise, critics and audiences alike were bound to have mixed thoughts about Eternals. Perhaps, it shouldn't come as a surprise then, that this is exactly what has happened.

Eternals is far from the best film that the MCU has produced, but is it the worst? Some critics seem to think so.

Ahead of Eternals' premiere date on November 5, 2021, critics have had a chance to watch the film and publish their thoughts, and their opinions are pretty divided, as you'll soon learn.

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What do critics think of Eternals?

It will be interesting to see if the critical opinion on Eternals will have an effect on ticket sales.

Eternals featured an ensemble cast that includes Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao along with Gemma Chan, Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Kit Harington, Lia McHugh, Lauren Ridloff, Richard madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Brian Tyree Henry, Ma Dong-seok, and Barry Keoghan, all playing important roles in the film.

The reason for such an expansive cast of characters is the movie's premise itself - it stars a group of ten new superheroes who've been on earth for over 7,000 years. Throughout this time, the ten have chosen to stay out of human affairs. However, for some reason, which will be explored in the film, they have now decided to step out of the shadows.

At the moment, the film holds a 72% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Here is what different critics are saying about Eternals.

The Guardian

"One of the strengths of the MCU to date is how it has taken time to define each character individually and laid out the grand narratives over successive movies, building a sense of momentum. Here, it’s all thrown at us at once. It’s like coming into Avengers: Endgame cold without having seen any of the preceding instalments. Most mortals will simply find it too much. Bigger isn’t always better." - Steve Rose

ComicBook.com

"Eternals will likely be one of the more divisive films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The strong characters and visuals will be enough for some fans to consider it one of the best of the franchise while others will find its messy plot and extended runtime a hard pill to swallow. No matter how you feel about Eternals, there's no denying Phase Four is off to an exciting start." - Jamie Jirak

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CNN

"Granted, the beauty of Marvel's interlocking universe is that by playing the long game the pieces build upon each other, so that appraisal might change as the next phase comes fully into shape. Eternals certainly doesn't lack for ambition, but for now, Marvel -- emboldened by its success -- has reached for the stars without quite getting there." - Brian Lowry

Forbes

"More than any previous MCU movie, Eternals feels like "just a superhero movie" and a "we're running out of characters" movie." - Scott Mendelson

Flick Fan Nation

"This film is massive on every level, both with its story and scale. At times, the narrative can come across as a bit messy, but its heart always shines through. Zhao has crafted something so different from the rest of the MCU." - Austin Burke

Variety

"Eternals is a fluid and sometimes bedazzling entertainment I’d place on the next tier, because it never transcends its conventionality and makes you go "Damn!" Maybe next time, Zhao can raise the stakes on the heroic vibes by mixing in a drop of nomad reality." - Owen Gleiberman

Conclusion

True, the MCU could have used more build-up for Eternals. After all, this is a film that introduces ten superpowered beings and several other key figures. It's perfectly understandable why critics are saying that Eternals feels a little rushed and incoherent. But, at the same time, it's not a bad movie either, most agree that it's right in the middle of MCU movies as far as quality goes.

With that said, Eternals will be out in theaters on November 4 or 5, depending on where you live, so it shouldn't take you too long to find out for yourself just where it ranks among MCU movies.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.