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The end of an era is finally here, folks. While last year’s Dark Phoenix wrapped up the main X-Men film series, The New Mutants marks the final entry in the then-20th Century Fox-controlled franchise. The movie arrives nearly two and a half years after it was originally supposed to hit theaters, but judging by the reviews that are now up, The New Mutants ends this chapter of the mutant property’s cinematic history with more of a fizzle than a bang.
Starting off, CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell gave The New Mutants just one and a half stars out of five in his review, describing it as a “strange misfire” that feels like it was made in the early 1990s and an overall disappointment, especially considering how popular the starring characters are to many comic book fans.
A simplistic, unimaginative, low-budget blip on the comic-book radar that neither hinders nor furthers the superhero conversation.
Forbes’ Scott Mendelsohn sits comfortable on the negative side of The New Mutants critical spectrum, giving it a measly 2/10 score and calling it the “worst” of the X-Men franchise. That’s right, he holds even X-Men Origins: Wolverine in higher esteem than The New Mutants,” a.k.a. “a terrible feature-length prequel for a sequel that absolutely no one will ever want to see.”
All due credit for an inclusive cast and a front-and-center same-sex romance, and with a note that Boone’s The Fault in Our Stars was one of the best movies of 2014, The New Mutants is like watching a lousy TV pilot for a show that you know didn’t get picked up.
Michael Nordine from The Wrap also wasn’t enamored with The New Mutants, noting how the movie “rarely imbues any of its happenings with any real heft,” resulting in what unfolds feeling too closed off from the rest of this universe “to matter much.”
It’s the kind of movie many fans will surely want to like — the idea of an X-Men-adjacent story with a horror slant is, at the very least, a slight deviation from the superhero norm — and while it lives up to that modest promise it certainly doesn’t go above and beyond.
Jason Gorber from Slashfilm had a more mixed response to The New Mutants, giving it a 6.5 out of 10 score. In his mind, while The New Mutants rings “a sense of reality and sensitivity to issues like abuse, mental health, self-doubt” and other issues, as well as plays around effectively with horror tropes, the overall product feels like it would have worked better as “top-notch television” rather than a “middling movie.”
In a world where normal seems very abnormal indeed, to experience something middling feels surprisingly refreshing, and while its road to the screen has been fraught, the end result is a decent, entertaining film that is worth seeking out when time and circumstances allow.
Finally, Variety’s Peter Debruge described The New Mutants as not being “half bad,” but also not half good either, as the movie tries too hard to capture the feel of a 1980s-style teen horror movie to truly stand as a unique product. He also mentioned that the production values were slick, but the performances and set-pieces had “the awkwardness of cable TV.”
Despite all the meddling and interference the film reportedly endured, The New Mutants feels pretty coherent in the end. What it doesn’t achieve is a memorable personality of its own.
These are just some of The New Mutants reviews that are circulating online, so feel free to look around and read what others thought of the movie. As noted earlier, Josh Boone directed The New Mutants and co-wrote the script with Knate Lee, and the main cast includes Maisie Williams as Rhane Sinclair, Anya Taylor-Joy as Illyana Rasputin, Charlie Heaton as Sam Guthrie, Henry Zaga as Roberto da Costa, Blu Hunt as Dani Moonstar and Alica Braga as Cecilia Reyes.
You can judge The New Mutants for yourself now in theaters, and look through our 2020 release schedule to learn what other movies are supposed to come out later this year.