X-Men: First Class Reviews

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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
August 3, 2013
The climax is the biggest letdown, a giant hash of crosscutting and unremarkable (in an era in which we've seen everything) CGI.
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Leah Rozen
TheWrap
October 7, 2011
As X-Men films go, this one gets the job done and is certainly better than Last Stand or Wolverine. But there are still just too darn many X-Men.
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David Denby
New Yorker
June 27, 2011
Looks and feels like a very cheesy Cold War-era B movie...
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Eric D. Snider
Film.com
June 3, 2011
It uses the themes of the previous movies to build an intelligent, fast-paced, and highly entertaining prequel.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
June 3, 2011
This blazing "pre-boot" breathes new life into the sagging franchise
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
June 3, 2011
New decade; same ol' same ol'.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Karina Longworth
Village Voice
June 3, 2011
Lacking a single memorable joke or striking image, First Class is as perfunctory and passionless as would-be franchise resurrections get.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 3, 2011
It's a strangely talky motion picture that tries to advance several philosophical themes; these would have been more interesting if we weren't already aware of how they will play out in the "future" X-Men trilogy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
June 3, 2011
We all love a good creation myth. That's partly why X-Men: First Class is such fanboy fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
June 3, 2011
The finest comic-book flick since 2008's The Dark Knight.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
June 3, 2011
Erik/Magneto, as played by Michael Fassbender, is, well, magnetic.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 3, 2011
Even without making the honor roll, "X-Men: First Class" has earned a pass for future semesters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
June 2, 2011
Revives the flagging franchise with this globe-trotting iteration, infusing it with new life and dazzling visual effects.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
June 2, 2011
The X-Men franchise always had a lot on its mind compared to most of its superhero brethren.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
June 2, 2011
Too bad that First Class torpedoes its lofty intentions with flights of idiocy so wrongheaded as to be almost endearing.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
June 2, 2011
"First Class" happily delivers on the escapism and rich narrative texture the best of its predecessors have promised.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
June 2, 2011
McAvoy and Fassbender are a casting triumph. These two have, yes, real star magnetism, both individually and together: They're both cool and intense, suave and unaffected, playful and dead serious about their grand comic-book work.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Dana Stevens
Slate
June 2, 2011
[Some] ludicrous but endearing moments of bro-bonding are all that sets this otherwise stock-issue superhero movie apart from its mass-produced brethren.
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Tom Charity
CNN.com
June 2, 2011
In most respects it's a solid effort that maintains the integrity of this rather earnest series.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
June 2, 2011
Preaching mutant pride with endearing fervor, "X-Men: First Class" proves to be a mutant in its own right -- a zestfully radical departure from the latter spawn of a sputtering franchise.
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
June 2, 2011
Undone by a frustrating mire of multiple plots, overreaching special effects, leaden ancillary players and world-ending military standoffs that have all the tension of a water balloon fight.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
June 2, 2011
With all the blue-haired, flying, screaming, mind-melding hi-jinks this film has to offer, you'd think it would be able to squeeze in a few novel bursts of fun.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 2, 2011
A potent reminder of what jazzed us about Bryan Singer's first two X-Men and the Marvel comics that spawned them.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
June 2, 2011
Uneven, occasionally silly -- true, but it's still an improvement over 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 2, 2011
There's just so much you can do with lines like "You're not alone, Eric, you're not alone" and "the president's about to make his address!" before you get sucked into the vortex.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 2, 2011
X-Men: First Class is an uncommonly polished and sophisticated superhero movie in which the characters are so strong you sometimes forget you're watching a story about telepaths and men who can bend steel with their minds.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 2, 2011
A richly layered, intelligently worked-out prequel, it melds a dozen back stories, globe-hopping thrills and historic political confrontations, yet it never packs too many sardines into the tin.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
June 2, 2011
The film features Michael Fassbender in a pivotal role. That's enough to lift it above the mechanics of the routine.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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June 2, 2011
With X-Men: First Class getting the heavy lifting out of the way, the sequels will presumably cut loose -- but it won't be easy for them to have this much fun doing it.
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
June 2, 2011
First Class largely does what it sets out to do, by turning out another crowd-pleasing comic-book film designed to bring in new fans while gratifying the old ones.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
June 2, 2011
Mr. Vaughn doesn't bring conviction to the story's identity politics (say it loud, I'm mutant and I'm proud), but he gives Mr. Fassbender and Mr. McAvoy room to bring the brotherly love.
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
June 2, 2011
The notion of a period-piece comic book movie, which could fancifully reshuffle historical episodes, has great potential, but neither the cast nor the filmmakers aim for the sort of period detail that would have made the premise interesting.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 2, 2011
The scene where the mutants stand on a beach and mentally duel by causing both American and Soviet missiles to shuttle back and forth in the sky is ... hilarious, I was going to say, but no, I should consider this scene more devoutly.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
June 2, 2011
The first such film since 2008's The Dark Knight that has something on its mind other than lavish effects and high decibels.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
June 2, 2011
Though "First Class" has its share of well-honed action sequences, it shines in the same way the previous films did: through fine casting and carefully crafted characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
June 2, 2011
"X-Men: First Class"? More like coach, actually.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
June 2, 2011
A large and talented cast manages to make more than a dozen characters pop, but still this is the Michael Fassbender show.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
June 2, 2011
While the whole film is professionally executed and goes down smoothly enough, the underlying stupidity of its subject matter can't help but show through in the end.
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
June 2, 2011
It's big, bright, savvy, and so expansive you'll undoubtedly leave feeling you got your money's worth.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
June 1, 2011
Entertaining enough for a Saturday night, and much more satisfying than the last X-Men' offshoot, the woeful Wolverine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Germain
Associated Press
June 1, 2011
The result is one of the best Marvel adaptations, packed with action, humor, retro 1960s style that's both campy and sexy and a revisionist history lesson that puts the X-Men at the center of the Cuban missile crisis.
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
June 1, 2011
These days at the movies, one tends to give a lot of thanks for small favors.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
June 1, 2011
"X-Men: First Class" isn't anywhere close to being a genre classic like "Spider-Man 2" or "The Dark Knight," but it is good enough to rejuvenate a franchise stuck on idle.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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David Jenkins
Time Out
June 1, 2011
While the context of Matthew Vaughn's slick 'X-Men' origin story feels like it's been filched from the notepad of a GCSE History student, there's no shortage of breathtaking spectacle elsewhere.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
June 1, 2011
It turns out even cash cows can moo intelligently.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Justin Chang
Variety
May 31, 2011
It's remarkable how many things "First Class" gets right, whether it's the decision to have characters speak different languages as the film's frequent globe-trotting dictates, or the casting of Fassbender and McAvoy.
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Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
May 30, 2011
Audacious, confident and fueled by youthful energy, this is a surefire summer winner for a wide global audience.