The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
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The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
For reasons arising from the way the X-Men film franchise has developed, this is the first Marvel movie set in the period when the characters were created, and thus able to embrace the Rat Pack cool that was part of their original charm.
All of this earlier part of the film, in which the young mutants discover each other and learn to control their powers, is engaging and amusing, smartly filmed and scripted. The second half, however, outstays its welcome.
Director Matthew Vaughn's franchise reboot or prequel or whatever it is has some artificial flavors but also some natural advantages in James McAvoy as the learned telepath Professor X and Michael Fassbender as his tormented friend Magneto.
Both silliness and sap increase as the film rolls along, but the big action scenes are handled well, and it never becomes ridiculous enough to undercut the cool, shaken-not-stirred vibe of its first half.
I suppose it's foolish to expect verisimilitude in a comic book movie -- especially one as entertaining as this proves to be. Besides, they'll have other chances to get it right, now that X-Men: First Class has regained its mojo.