Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Reviews

November 21, 2016
In all, the movie is a cunning and peppy surprise, dulled only by the news that no less than four sequels await.
November 20, 2016
To its considerable credit, Fantastic Beasts is not the Potter retread it could easily-and very profitably-have been.
November 18, 2016
The film strains considerably under the weight of all its plot lines-it's never fun to be the movie with the origin story.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
November 18, 2016
Rowling has a voluminous imagination and Yates keeps things humming along, although, as was also true of many Potter movies, there is often too much of a good thing.
Full Review | Original Score: B
November 18, 2016
At least the monsters, when compared with their co-stars, have some personality.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
November 18, 2016
A lavish visual feast that nonetheless fails to cast any new spells over its audience.
Full Review | Original Score: C
November 17, 2016
Yates has fresh tricks up his sleeve as he preps for four more planned films. Five years after the last Potter movie, his 20-something fans can age alongside wizards and witches again. Magical.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
November 17, 2016
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them turns out to be a hyperbolic name for a pretty so-so movie -- one with entertaining passages, but which mostly feels like a big-budget prequel to the better, more cohesive film that's yet to come.
November 17, 2016
Set against all the thunderous themes are the antics of a bunch of uninspired imaginary animals - sorry, fantastic beasts - and an astonishingly winning cast that very nearly atones for everything else.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
November 17, 2016
Extravagant creatures of digital descent can't sustain a story that does little more than set the scene for a long string of sequels.
November 17, 2016
Rowling and her studio are not so much telling a story as erecting another "tentpole," the Hollywood name for a "franchise" that becomes a virus - but is nonetheless regarded as a remedy for red ink. I only wish there were a vaccine.
November 17, 2016
Fantastic Beasts offers a good intro to Potter-iffic times ahead, some of them suitably creepy (note the parental guidance rating) as the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald threatens to bring his evil doings across the Pond from Europe.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 17, 2016
The plot thickens, along with the emotional tension, which was always the best part of the Potter universe, and not the dazzling special effects.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
November 17, 2016
This is the first time that David Yates-who directed the final four movies in the Potter series-has been defeated while dueling his wizardly material.
November 17, 2016
What might have been a cynical cash grab is a delightful romp through new but equally spellbinding territory.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 17, 2016
A thoroughly satisfying, wildly entertaining and highly enjoyable ride from the very beginning to the very end.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
November 17, 2016
It's ... not hard to feel a twinge of skepticism, a nagging suspicion that this busy, proficient, uninspired movie is soliciting not our sense of wonderment so much as our brand loyalty.
November 17, 2016
Rowling proves to be a good, sharp hand with dialogue while still having a ways to go in terms of shaping a movie; that said, you can feel her enjoyment in exploring the terrain she has created.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 17, 2016
The dull special-effects gloss of a fantasy blockbuster only throws [Fogler's] charming performance into greater relief.
November 17, 2016
It is best to simply sit back at some point and enjoy the ride.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 17, 2016
Is there an irony to the fact that Yates, who has become the de facto film interpreter of Rowling's stories, has shown the most gusto in the movie where he was given the least material to work with?
Full Review | Original Score: C+
November 17, 2016
Yates ... has brought some of his old Potter crew with him and gives this new machine a steady, smooth hand.
Top Critic
November 16, 2016
Muggles, we're a long way from home.
Full Review | Original Score: C
November 16, 2016
While it falters and even bogs down at moments in the storytelling, Beasts is a dazzling spectacle overall and more often spellbinding than not.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 16, 2016
The next four movies will likely only get better from here, and that might be the most fantastic thing of all.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 16, 2016
The best parts of Fantastic Beasts are those that deal with the immediate storyline. Those that seek to extend the narrative are less interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 16, 2016
The result is an effective if not everlasting magical spell.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 16, 2016
[There's] a refreshingly light tone competing with the sinister themes, thanks especially to two exceedingly appealing supporting characters headed for a sweet confection of a romance.
November 16, 2016
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them... is best at capturing a world out of balance and an unease that's as timely as today's tweets.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 16, 2016
While the spectacle is certainly there, and with it a hint of the grandeur of those earlier films, there's something empty at this movie's heart.
November 16, 2016
There's never been a better time to escape into J.K. Rowling's world of magic. Unfortunately, the cast of characters you'll find here is a pale imitation of her Hogwarts heroes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
November 16, 2016
It feels great to revisit Rowling's creation, even in spin-off form.
November 16, 2016
"Fantastic Beasts" feels very much like its own thing, worthy of its own attention and box-office. It's an entertaining, visually stunning film that doesn't require Potter knowledge to enjoy (though it would probably help).
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 16, 2016
There are scenes, typically the most destructive ones, that could be plopped into any old "X-Men" movie. But director Yates knows his way around this stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 16, 2016
The movie feels like cramming for an examination from the coolest textbook, guided by the most engaging professor at the school.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 16, 2016
There's so much going on in Fantastic Beasts that after the first act, you almost can't be bothered to care what happens next.
November 16, 2016
Whether you're a Potterhead or not, Beasts creates a story that's both original and enchanting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 15, 2016
Even if you, like me, are a bit Pottered out and wish Rowling would devote herself instead to her marvelous Cormoran Strike detective-novel series (magic comes in many forms) - it's still a pleasure to revisit the author's world.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 15, 2016
Newt Scamander is indeed the hero who we need right now, and Rowling is the storyteller we need now more than ever.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 15, 2016
Yates and Rowling skillfully weave their bleak - and very blunt-edged - message into the fabric of the story. It might be wildly out of place in a fantasy aimed at tweens, but it's a welcome change from the usual vapid blockbuster.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 14, 2016
Harry and Hermione and Ron may have gone on to other things. But some of their most powerful magic is back. And I don't think we could have waited another minute.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
November 13, 2016
J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" spinoff is sheer magic, a grand fantasy-adventure that already feels like an old family favorite.
November 13, 2016
The "Potter" movies were so well conceived that they contain endless possibilities for more entries, and "Fantastic Beasts" takes the bait right on cue, not repeating a formula so much as enriching it with a spellbinding polish.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
November 13, 2016
Fantastic is right.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 13, 2016
Rowling, who also wrote the script, nimbly lays out her world, but that world isn't nearly as rich as the world of Hogwarts.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
November 13, 2016
I'm not sure which is more adorable, Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, or the creatures he smuggles into the US in his battered leather briefcase.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
November 12, 2016
Has all the makings of a huge family blockbuster, but all the bloated traps of those, too. It hasn't quite got the balance right, but, like the title hints, surely knows where to find the magic formula over the ensuing movies.
November 12, 2016
Likely to draw in just about everyone who followed the Potter series and to please most of them, the picture also has things to offer for fantasy-friendly moviegoers who only casually observed that phenomenon.
November 12, 2016
"Fantastic Beasts" has clearly been designed for the most devoted of Rowling's fans, and though it may prove confusing to newcomers, the faithful will appreciate the fact the film never talks down to its audience.