Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is still days away from its premiere, and anticipation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe sequel is so high that the movie’s already setting records. Ticket presales outsold every 2022 movie thus far in just the first 24 hours, and the numbers continue to go up as the premiere date gets closer. While we civilians have to wait until Thursday night for our first chance to see Benedict Cumberbatch back in his leading role, critics have already screened the movie, and the reviews are in.
The movie takes place a few months after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, with Dr. Stephen Strange traveling into the multiverse to face a new adversary. Following the magical Disney+ series WandaVision, fans are excited to see more of the Scarlet Witch, as well as all the things the movie could set up in the MCU. So what did the critics think, and what about all the Marvel characters who are rumored to be in the movie? Don’t worry, we won’t spoil anything here!
Let’s start with CinemaBlend’s review of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Eric Eisenberg rates the blockbuster 3.5 stars out of 5, calling it an exciting new addition to the MCU canon, but not exceptional, as there are some frustrating flaws:
Susana Polo of Polygon says Doctor Strange 2 packs as many characters as possible around the titular doctor, but the strong supporting cast only underscores the weakness of Strange's own evolution. This review says Elizabeth Olsen gives the film's most arresting performance as Scarlet Witch:
David Ehrlich of IndieWire grades the film a B, saying director Sam Raimi may have just saved the MCU from itself by telling a story about what happens after you open Pandora's box:
Multiple critics point out that Sam Raimi has left his distinct mark on the movie, with Rosie Knight of Nerdist saying it's dripping with his signature style and tricks, and this review calls Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness the MCU's first horror. She rates the film 4 out of 5:
Alonso Duralde of The Wrap, however, argues that the characters suffer from all of the plot and magical doodads. This review says Doctor Strange 2 hits the "ooh-and-aah" marks we expect from a well-crafted Marvel adventure, but even with Sam Raimi at the helm, this entry goes heavy on the spectacle but light on the humanity:
If this sounds like a multiverse you want to be a part of, you should probably look into reserving your seat in the theater, because the premiere is just around the corner on Friday, May 6.
To stay on top of every Marvel Cinematic Universe film set to arrive in 2022 and beyond, head over to our Upcoming Marvel Movies guide, and if you’re planning to do a big MCU rewatch, our Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline is a feature you should read (and you still have a little time to work through the seven specific titles you should watch before Doctor Strange 2.) Also be sure to check out our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to see what other films are coming soon to theaters.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.
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