The new satirical action comedy Bullet Train certainly took a long time to get here. Based on the novel by Kōtarō Isaka, which was published in Japan with the title Maria Beetle, the movie from director David Leitch went into production back in October 2020. That means there’s been a lot of excitement building for this blockbuster, with Bullet Train boasting an A-list cast that includes Brad Pitt, Zazie Beetz, Brian Tyree Henry, Sandra Bullock, Lady Gaga and more. With the release finally upon us, let’s take a look at what critics are saying about the film.
When CinemaCon audiences got an extended look at Bullet Train, they were wowed by the action sequences, and — as we saw from the exchange between Brian Tyree-Henry and Brad Pitt in the trailer — this movie promises to bring the laughs as well. Let’s get into the reviews, starting with CinemaBlend’s review of Bullet Train. Eric Eisenberg rates the movie 3.5 stars out of 5, saying that Brad Pitt exhibits a palpable joy in his role as the assassin Ladybug. The story gets a little chaotic, the review says, but it comes together as a fun puzzle:
Peter Debruge of Variety says the movie is a fun-enough ride, if not particularly deep, as it tries really hard to capture Quentin Tarantino vibes. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry are likable as Tangerine and Lemon, respectively, and the fight scenes can be appreciated for the choreography:
Paul Bradshaw of NME rates it an average 3 out of 5 stars, saying that Brad Pitt powers this action flick, while the other assassins aboard struggle to keep up. It’s a fun ride, but not as fun as it thinks it is, this critic says:
Mentions of the movie going “off the rails” are to be expected in reviews for a movie about a train. However, Deadline’s Pete Hammond argues Bullet Train was never on the rails to begin with, saying the movie is so wild it’s basically a live-action animation:
David Ehrlich of IndieWire grades the movie a C, agreeing with other critics that while the movie itself isn’t great, Brad Pitt’s joy is radiant enough to convince viewers they’re having fun too. From the review:
If this movie feels like something you must experience this summer, you can check it out in theaters beginning Friday, August 5. In the meantime, check out what else we know about Bullet Train, as well as other upcoming projects from Brad PItt. You can also start planning your next trip to the theater by checking out our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to see what else is coming soon.
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Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.