Atomic Blonde Just Screened, Here's What Critics Are Saying

Charize Theron in Atomic Blonde smoking a cigarette

Between both Logan and John Wick: Chapter 2, movie-goers have seen a surprising amount of brilliant, R-rated action on the big screen this year, but it seems that we have another title to look out for. This is because director David Leitch's Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theron made its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival tonight, and the reaction so far has definitely been overwhelmingly positive.

The new original action movie, which co-stars Sofia Boutella, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Toby Jones and more, played at the Paramount Theater in Austin, TX this evening with a few hundred people in attendance - including a handful of critics. Social media was buzzing once the credits started to roll, as many were willing to immediately jump on the Atomic Blonde hype train. Erik Davis of Fandango praised the film all around, from the director's stylistic choices to the narrative that keeps folks guessing:

For Grae Drake of Rotten Tomatoes, the awesomeness of Atomic Blonde apparently took a step beyond the English language, as she required two new made up words in order to fully describe the feel of the new action movie:

Like a few other critics, Eric Kohn from IndieWire specifically cited a particular action sequence in Atomic Blonde, specifically one that appears to be put together all in one take. Apparently it's quite the big screen marvel, and is going to drop the jaws of folks when the movie arrives in theaters:

The social media reaction to Atomic Blonde was nearly universal, but it should be noted that there are a few dissenting opinions floating around as well. One of these reactions comes from Eric Vespe from Ain't It Cool News. In his Tweet, he notes that he did overall enjoy the film, but also feels that it's a film that ultimately suffers from trying just a bit too hard:

Based on the comic series The Coldest City and adapted by Kurt Johnstad (300) and made by the same team as the John Wick movies, Atomic Blonde is set during the height of the Cold War and centers on Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron), an undercover MI6 agent. Following the death of a colleague, she is assigned a mission in Berlin, where it is her job to help extract other spies who have gone missing. The red band trailer for the movie arrived online only a few days ago, and it rocked the internet's socks off.

Following all of these positive reactions, the best news of all is that Atomic Blonde already has distribution, and will soon be in a theater near you. Focus Features is set up to have the action feature in theaters on July 28th - so stay tuned for more news and updates about the project as they come in.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.