X-Men Films - Reception - Critical Response

Critical Response

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Yahoo! Movies
X-Men 82% (155 reviews) 64 (33 reviews) B (21 reviews)
X2 88% (222 reviews) 68 (38 reviews) B- (15 reviews)
X-Men: The Last Stand 57% (228 reviews) 58 (38 reviews) B+ (15 reviews)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine 37% (250 reviews) No consensus (1 review) C (13 reviews)
X-Men: First Class 87% (238 reviews) 65 (37 reviews) C+ (12 reviews)
Average ratings 70% 57% 64

Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe praised the X-Men films as "more than a cash-guzzling wham-bang Hollywood franchise... these three movies sport philosophy, ideas, a telethon-load of causes, and a highly elastic us-versus-them allegory." Morris praised X-Men: The Last Stand for "put the heroes of a mighty summer blockbuster in a rare mortal position. Realism at this time of year? How unorthodox!" Roger Ebert gave the films good reviews, but criticized them because "there are just plain too many mutants, and their powers are so various and ill-matched that it's hard to keep them all on the same canvas." Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle, criticized the films' themes, saying "The pretensions take the form of the central metaphor that compares mutants to people of extraordinary, groundbreaking talent. That metaphor is bogus... The vision at the heart of X-Men – of a golden Utopia in which humans live side by side with mutants – is absurd."

The first two films were highly praised due to their cerebral tone, but when director Bryan Singer left, many criticized his successor Brett Ratner. Colin Colvert of the Star Tribune felt "Bryan Singer's sensitivity to made the first two X-Men films surprisingly resonant and soulful for comic-based summer extravaganzas... Singer is adept at juggling large casts of three-dimensional characters, Ratner makes shallow, unimaginative bang-ups." James Berardinelli felt, "X-Men: The Last Stand isn't as taut or satisfying as X-Men 2, but it's better constructed and better paced than the original X-Men. The differences in quality between the three are minor, however; despite the change in directors, there seems to be a single vision." David Denby of The New Yorker praised "the liquid beauty and the poetic fantasy of Singer’s work", but called Ratner's film "a crude synthesizer of comedy and action tropes."

The X-Men films received good reviews from fans of the comic books, but there was criticism of the large cast, and the limited screentime for all of them. Richard George of IGN praised the depictions of Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, Jean Grey, Storm, William Stryker, Mystique, Beast and Nightcrawler; however, George thought many of the younger X-Men characters, such as Rogue, Iceman, Pyro, and Kitty Pryde were "adjectiveless teenager", and was disappointed by Cyclops' characterization. He observed the filmmakers were "big fans of silent henchmen", due to the small roles of the various villainous mutants; such as Lady Deathstrike. George thought that the success of X-Men "paved the way for other hits like the Spider-Man series, Fantastic Four, V for Vendetta and Singer's own adaptation of Superman." Spider-Man director Sam Raimi said he was a fan of the series, particularly Singer's films. Film historian Kim Newman also tonally compared Batman Begins to Singer's films.

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