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X-Men: First Class Reviews

Page 1 of 951
John M

Super Reviewer

June 4, 2011
I was expecting a solid movie. Matthew Vaughn is easily one of my favorite directors. The cast is loaded from top to bottom with a good group of actors even if you have not heard of many of them. After two hours of solid fun I was ready for more. If any movie deserves sequels its this one. Keep Vaughn and Singer on board and the cast and you will have money. Easily in the top two of all the X-Men films. I am not an X-Men fanboy. I could care less about the five hundred zillion reboots retcons and who knows what else that happens in comics. Sorry. I do like the characters though and they did a wonderful job of bringing this group to the screen.
KJ P

Super Reviewer

May 28, 2011
Here it is, the triumph of salvation, the revival of the dead franchise, and the start to a new level in superhero films. X-Men: First Class takes us back to the roots of the beginning of the friendship of Charles and Eric, who are the creators of the school for gifted youngsters. As they gather a team to take down the evil villain who is in control of starting a nuclear war. This film truly shows the bonds of friendship and how fast someone can be betrayed. By the end of the film, everything fits and you are ready to watch the franchise in order again. I have no complaints, and this film just may be the best in the series. With amazing storytelling, a brilliant cast of characters & actors, cool effects, great performances, and a beginning to a franchise that needed to be made in order to let people know that there is no more playing around. X-Men may have faded into the shadows over time, but now it is back with a vengeance and there is no time for fun and games. X-Men is back and better than ever. This film is truly brilliant! Not only as a superhero film, but also as a film that knows what it is going for, and what audience it is trying to attract. I severely recommend you see this film as fast as you possibly can! Do not wait for DVD, you have no idea what you are missing! This film is fantastic!
Eugene B

Super Reviewer

September 16, 2013
Matthew Vaughn writes and directs a superb origin film of the uncanny Marvel mutant-militia. X-Men: First Class is classy, filled with action, style and moving performances from a young ensemble (McAvoy, Fassbender, Lawrence) The film is possibly one of the best, if not, the best of edition of the X-Men saga. 4.5/5
Edward B

Super Reviewer

May 12, 2014
Matthew Vaughn's prequel puts the series back on track. With a younger, all new cast and Kevin Bacon giving the performance of his career, X-Men First Class is the best X-Men film yet. Set in the early 1960s, the story uses the looming Cold War to examine the tensions between humans and mutants. It juggles multiple characters evenly and gives every character an identity and a motive. Not to mention the action scenes kick ass. Here's hoping the next X-Men film is equally as strong.
Al S

Super Reviewer

January 19, 2011
Without a doubt, this is one of the greatest superhero films ever made. It's stylish, thrilling, eye-popping and expertly crafted. A triumph. Director, Matthew Vaughn breathes a new life back into the heart and soul of the X-Men franchise with a fresh and brilliant new take on the beginning. The all-star cast is wonderful, the characters are rich and uniquely drawn and the performances are superb. A stunning, explosive and mind-blowing action-packed extravaganza. A wickedly entertaining and spectacular movie adventure. It's awesome, fearless and totally epic. A powerful and extraordinary movie. It's packed with heart-pounding action sequences, amazing special effects and a great story. A frequently funny, smart, charismatic and just flat-out terrific. Two hours of adrenaline-charged entertainment. Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are absolutely magnificent, they have outstanding chemistry, showing great depth and dedication to their characters, just adding more to love about their performances. Rose Byrne is wonderful. Jennifer Lawrence is sensational. Kevin Bacon and January Jones are terrific.
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

June 1, 2011
A young post graduate with the power to read minds joins with a holocaust victim with powers of magnetism to found a CIA sponsored training program for newly empowered mutants in the 1960s. X-Men: First Class is really what the first film SHOULD have been. Instead of the clumsy and constant exposition of the original, it expands on the best scene of the film featuring the first manifestation of Magneto's powers and shows the origins of his relationship with Xavier and how their ideologies and methods diverged. Not only that, but it does it with wit and style and the 60s setting gives it an epic quality that plays out on a world stage in history as well as some very cool old school Bond imagery provided by SFX legend John Dykstra. The only real weakness lies in its being the victim of the franchise's own continuity. The story was crying out for the original team but because most of the central characters have already been "used up", the supporting cast include non-characters like Darwin, and quite how Angel made the cut I'll never know (this fact is thrown into sharp relief by a brilliant cameo by Hugh Jackman). This is also true of the villains; Shaw and Emma Frost are not fully explored but still interesting but Azazel (who?) and erm...the other one, are completely anonymous and I can't remember either of them uttering a word. Still, this film is all about the double act of McAvoy and Fassbender and their interplay is brilliant., setting up a potentially fantastic new direction for the series. Not quite the measure of X2, but a worthy runner up.
Phil H

Super Reviewer

June 8, 2011
The problem with this film is its too soon since the trilogy and isn't needed, the whole film felt poor in every aspect especially the dreadful effects throughout the film. Bad use of greenscreen and CGI made action sequences look very average, the characters looked plain silly, The Beast makeup was just terrible compared to 'Last Stand', Azazel looked like a bad halloween job and Mystique just looked poor...very poor indeed. Her transformation effects were terrible! not a patch on the trilogy.

Its not all bad I admit as the first 30min of the film is pretty solid stuff with good character building mainly with 'Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto', we also get a nice recruitment sequence to boot, always a winning move that, nice to see the different characters brought together into a team ready for action. The same build up for the baddies is also good with plot building surrounding Shaw and Frost just a shame we don't get anything for their henchmen eg. Azazel.

I think the film designers did well to make the film look dated back to the 60's with sets, designs, wardrobe and dressings, the X-Men outfits are pretty decent too much like the black numbers from the trilogy, but of course the main casting is probably the best thing in the film. Bacon, Fassbender and McAvoy all add a much needed element of class to the film which is sorely lacking from the younger cast who are all pretty dire to say the least. In short the three main guys save the film with straight stoic performances which are believeable and they do look kinda similar to the earlier films.

I still had issues with the film as it concluded, the constant 'side swapping' that happens here and there with the characters, why does Magneto suddenly decide to go against Xavier at the end? why does Mystique go with Magneto when she loves Beast? why did Angel go with Shaw? why at the end does almost everyone just go off with Magneto dumping Xavier? also should Shaw and Darwin get killed? I read differently about their comic book incarnations, and how come Magneto can fly all of a sudden at the end? guess I'm not fanboy enough huh.

In the end this just felt strained, some things looked good whilst other things were pretty bad. But remember this is an honest review from a guy in the middle, I'm not gonna say its a great film simply because everyone else says it is and its the new X-Men film. If its poor I will say so and this was deeply average.
Sam B

Super Reviewer

June 5, 2011
It's got its fair share of clunky elements (flying squirrel man?), but X-Men: First Class is a sleek, stylish movie that can be best described as a Tarantino-esque take on the superhero genre.
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

April 10, 2011
Witness the beginning.

Saw it again!! Xmen: First Class is simply fantastic. Strong emotion and explosive action. The acting is top notch. Delivery from every actor is at it's best, more so from Mystique, Beast, Xavier and Magneto. The story is more character based than action, however the action sequences are still superb. Hugh Jackman part was cool, yes he does show up for 10 seconds. Highly recommended film for everyone.

At a German concentration camp in occupied Poland during 1944, young Erik Lensherr is separated from his parents by Nazi guards. The child's desperate mind remarkably bends a metal gate until a guard knocks Lensherr unconscious (the same footage that's in the first X-Men movie). Scientist Sebastian Shaw, who has observed this through a window, calls Lensherr up to see him. Placing a metal coin on a desk, he orders Lensherr to use his magnetism power to move it. When Lensherr cannot, despite his best efforts, Shaw shoots and kills Lensher's mother in front of him. In his rage, Lensherr's out-of-control magnetic power kills the two guards and destroys two rooms, to Shaw's delight.

Around this same time, in Westchester County, New York, mansion, a young Charles Xavier meets a young, shape-shifting girl named Raven, disguised as his mother, who is looking through the fridge for food. Xavier accuses his "mother" of being an imposter, and asks what it has done with his real mother, as she would not make him a sandwich or hot chocolate, at which point, Mystique shifts back to her normal, blue-skinned form. Overjoyed to meet someone else "different" like him, he says she can come live with his family.

In Switzerland in the movie's present-day of 1962, Lensherr forces a banker (by ripping out one of the metal fillings in his mouth) to trace a bar of Nazi gold to Shaw's address in Argentina. In a tavern there patronized by former German soldiers, Lensherr kills three men as he learns that Shaw has a yacht in Florida. Meanwhile, in England, Oxford University graduate Xavier is publishing his thesis on mutation; his foster sister Raven, a waitress, lives with him. Simultaneously in Las Vegas, Nevada, CIA agent Moira MacTaggart follows U.S. Army Colonel Hendry into the Hellfire Club, where she sees Shaw, Emma Frost, and Azazel. After Shaw threatens Henry, Azazel disappears with the officer; moments later he is in the War Room, advocating that U.S. install nuclear missiles in Turkey.

Shaw meets with Colonel Hendry on his yacht, and refuses to give Hendry his money, at which point Hendry pulls out a grenade and threatens to pull the pin, but Shaw takes the grenade and pulls the pin himself, and absorbs the blast (at which point we now learn that Shaw is a mutant, and absorbs energy, which also keeps him young), then taps Hendry, expelling the grenade's energy into the Colonel, blowing him up.

MacTaggart seeks Xaviers advice on mutation, and takes Xavier and Raven to the CIA to convince the chief that Shaw is a threat. After convincing them that mutants exist they are to be taken to a covert facility, but first Xavier tracks down Shaw. Lensherr attacks Shaw, and when Shaw escapes in his submarine Lensherr tries to stop him, but Xavier stops him so that he does not drown. Lensherr joins Xavier and Raven at the CIA facility, where they meet Hank McCoy, another mutant that Xavier accidentally outs. McCoy and Xavier use a prototype Cerebro to locate mutants and recruit several of them to train to stop Shaw. Upon the recruiting process, we also see Xavier and Lensherr walk up to Hugh Jackman in a bar and introduce themselves. Jackman tells them to go to hell, and they walk off.

Shaw plans to meet with a Russian general, but sends Frost instead, who is then captured by Xavier and Lensherr. The facility is attacked by Azazel, Riptide and Shaw, with all the guards being killed. Shaw recruits Angel and kills Darwin by forcing him to ingest a massive amount of energy. When Lensherr and Xavier return they begin to train the mutants, though Raven is conflicted about hiding her natural form.

President Kennedy institutes a blockade. Shaw travels with the Russian fleet to ensure that the missiles get to Cuba. Xavier, MacTaggart and Lensherr fly to the blockade to stop the fleets from engaging. Shaw uses a nuclear core to charge himself up and a helmet to block Xaviers telepathy. While Azazel kills the crew of the Russian missile ship, Xavier uses his powers to make a Russian ship destroy the missile ship before it crosses the line.

Lensherr pulls Shaws submarine from the water, but an attack forces the jet and submarine to crash. Lensherr finds Shaw and removes his helmet and Xavier takes control of Shaw. Lensherr puts on the helmet, then kills him by slowly forcing the coin that Shaw taunted him with through his brain.

The two fleets fire their missiles at the mutants, but Lensherr, now fully in control of his abilities, holds the missiles in the air, then turns them on the fleet. In the ensuing fight Xavier manages to distract Lensherr, but when MacTaggart fires at Lensherr he deflects the bullets, with one paralyzing Xavier.

Lensherr takes Raven, Angel Salvadore, Riptide and Azazel and leaves. Xavier, now confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, and the mutants return to the mansion, where he will open a school. He wipes MacTaggart's memory, and Lensherr breaks Frost out of the CIA headquarters, and in his new uniform he tells Frost to call him Magneto.
Nikhil N.
Nikhil N.

Super Reviewer

June 11, 2011
Great acting. Great Effects. Great super heroes. Amazing characters. Nice theme. Great pacing. Smart script. The best X-men film ever. Worlds better than X-3. Same great story, and you know what? It gets better every time its told.
familiar s

Super Reviewer

November 9, 2011
For those who are familiar with the X-Men series, this reboot has nothing exciting to offer. There's hardly anything interesting in the execution of the storyline, and the action sequences & special effects weren't that great either. The performances were average, with a few leaving an impression of being a miscast. Quite a few actors came off as being an amateur at playing their roles. All being said, the movie has the X-Men plot to its credit, and that saves it from being a total disaster. In fact, that's the only thing that makes it worth a shot. Not first class, but just about watchable (and that's no mean feat in this mean times!!!). Hope there will be some evolution in the sequel.
Alice S

Super Reviewer

December 17, 2012
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are respectively dashing and troubling as Marvel's MLK and Malcolm X. Backstories of Charles Xavier's friendship with Mystique and Magneto's stint in the concentration camps are moving and cathartic. How Charles ends up in the wheelchair is a change from canon, but it's still devastatingly Shakespearean (Mercutio's "I was hurt under your arm"). I also dig all the joke cameos: Hugh Jackman as gruff Wolverine, refusing to join forces, and Rebecca Romijn as part of Mystique's shape-shifting ploy to get Erik in bed with her. Jennifer Lawrence is a bit annoying as angsty, young Mystique. I hope Haughty American Girl doesn't become her thing although by the looks of "Silver Linings Playbook," it may...
Sophie B

Super Reviewer

October 3, 2012
A fantastic and well thought out reboot that is not only intelligent and enjoyable but thoroughly entertaining film. The casting is perfect, as is the acting and I can't wait for the next instalment.
Daniel P

Super Reviewer

July 17, 2012
An interesting who's-who of rising-star actors - and of course, Kevin Bacon, (who else?) - come together to tell the X-Men origin story (again) in a way that's very cleverly historically located, but one that puts teenagers squarely in its sights. I liked the plotting as well as the action, and Fassbender and McAvoy are always worth watching, but in the end - and particularly, at the end - this is not the X-Men film for me, at this stage of my life. The final scene was blocked like a high school play... too bad, too, because I'd have liked it more without that sloppiness as my afterimage when the film faded to black.
Market Man
Market Man

Super Reviewer

August 4, 2012
Characters have depth, the action scenes are good, and it's great to see those who are enemies in the future come together as friends. I felt the pacing could have been better; the film feels a little rushed. But with the fast pace it still manages to develop characters. Overall, this is a worthy installment in the X-Men franchise.
Jens S

Super Reviewer

February 16, 2011
There have been prequels that did justice to their original films, and others that didn't. First Class ties the loose ends from the X-Men's past together quite nicely. Sure, you'll find inconsistencies if you are a comic expert or know your maths really well, but the creators obviously did their homework. They also combined a perfect cast that fills already well known characters with new life. Michael Fassbender is the winner of this film, delivering a powerful performance somewhere between James Bond and young Hannibal Lecter. The look of the film is reminiscent of pictures from the 60s, even though it's clearly a 2011 movie, especially when it comes to special effects. The film takes its time to set up its new characters and the situation before kicking serious ass. The showdown is particularly spectacular and the real looking in-flight battles are as fresh and original as the producers promised. It's always a good sign when you're leaving the theater, hoping to see more of these characters. Here, you really wouldn't mind a few more films filling the gaps.
maxthesax
maxthesax

Super Reviewer

May 31, 2012
I have to say that as a holder of issue #1 of the x-men, I was glad to see this prequel - especially since Wolverine was absent (he wasn't in ANY of the original comics).

That being said, and perforce branding me as an X-Men aficionado (at least I was when I was circa 12 years old buying all those early Marvel comics), the film was enough of a trip down memory lane for me to give a slight passing grade in spite of some odd pacing - either too frenetic or too static... and those scenes on the beach... ouch!

The CGI is rather toned down for this prequel; nothing too grandiose, as if saying that, well these are youngsters; they can't really expect to move mountains, now can they (or the Golden Gate Bridge for that matter).

The film has a nice back story to it, involving Nazi concentration camps, that introduces the big baddie, deliciously overacted by Kevin Bacon. Bacon, a "scientist" sees the young Magneto in action and almost drools over the possibilities.

Fast forward to the 60's where we get to meet James McAvoy as Xavier, who has an encounter with a young Raven (who also, just for the record, was NOT present in the early comics). McAvoy is quite good as the Oxford Xavier, coming off as sincere and engaged in the plot, whereas, whether by script or whatever, Michael Fassbender as Magneto fails to carry the gravitas required. Their eventual friendship is another of the film's failings as we realize that the two are friends only because we are told so (instead of by acts etc.).

The film weaves in CIA plots, and a nice nod to the cold war circa Bay of Pigs, even including archival footage of JFK. Yes, we stood on the brink of doomsday back in 1960, but who'd a thought it was all a mutant plot!!! Pretty rich idea, if a bit flawed in the execution.

There are also references to the well argued theory that homo sapiens supplanted the Neanderthal, forcing that earlier model of human into extinction. The film argues that the mutants will do the same to humanity... and if you think this is original, then you haven't read The Chrysalides by John Wyndham, written in 1955.

Let's move away from grand concepts and concentrate on the film, shall we? As mentioned, the two leads don't really gel, and the film does itself a disservice by having a big, I'll show you mine if you show me yours, sequence with all of the young mutant recruits. The scene is such an obvious plot contrivance, letting you see what each mutant can do - and the dialog is so achingly hokey... sigh. Anyhow, you get to see these youngsters who then get schooled by Xavier in how to harness their powers. Here the director decides to use some split screen, which is kind of cool as it echoes the comic book pages (and a further digression, if you haven't fallen asleep already... the original X-Men comic had only 4 recruits: Cyclops (a guy with laser beam eyeballs), Beast (who shows up here!), Iceman, and a male with wings called Angel. I mention this last because the film has a girl with dragon fly like wings who decides to call herself Angel (in the original at least the wings were angelic).

The CGI is pretty cool and understated - actually quite nice in showing the antics of the devilish mutant and another of Bacon's henchman who causes tornados. And of course Kevin Bacon is pretty darned cool as a guy who can eat energy. On the good guy side we have Banshee (who actually showed up several episodes into the original comic), and a couple of others who... ho hum, you could care less what happens to them, or what their skills are.

The film gets a bit bogged down towards the end where all the characters seem to stand around until called upon, or there needs to be a reaction shot. When Magneto makes his "who's with me" speech, echoing the earlier one made by Bacon, I was thinking "meet the new boss, same as the old boss"; and looking at it philosophically (never a good thing to do during a cartoon movie), one could argue that indeed, Magneto is going to go down the same "us against them" mutants vs. humans dilemma, so the entire exercise of stopping Bacon seems hollow.

There's a nice tag ending where January Jones' character (who has been... on ice for the last half of the film) makes a final appearance and Fassbender acknowledges to the world that he will become Ian McKellan (in his dreams!!!). Unnecessary, as is another bit where Xavier and a CIA operative share some light (and awful) banter that leads up to naming the "good" mutants X-Men. Wow, and here I thought they'd be called the Watchers... oops, wrong comic.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

May 16, 2011
Talk about surprised! I figured this would be one of those "riding on the coat tails of the franchise" movies full of special effects, and not much more. Well, it was much more. In the original X-Men movie, the opening scene was really moving. The fact that this film started the exact same way, and then expanded directly from that point in time, was perfect. This was very enjoyable. I loved how they tied things together to show how events in the future came to be...nice touch.
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