After an intriguing tease in a post-credits sequence of Avengers: Infinity War, Captain Marvel has finally arrived. One of the most powerful characters in Marvel continuity is one of only two MCU films serving as a bridge between Infinity War and the conclusion against the murderous Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. As a result, fans have high expectations of Carol Danvers, both as a trump card to tip the scales in the heroes’ favor, and as the first female-led superhero film in the Marvel universe.
The results are mixed. Reviews agree that Captain Marvel is a fun and enjoyable movie, but it has less of a clear identity than some other movies in the MCU. Our own Captain Marvel review from Michael Rougeau suggests that the issue is timing, and how the film’s placement between the two halves of the biggest Avengers story yet does it a disservice.
“Captain Marvel feels like a forced cul-de-sac we have to drive impatiently around to get where we really want to go,” he wrote. “To be clear: Captain Marvel is not a bad movie. It’s just being released at the wrong time.”
Check out more from GameSpot’s review, along with a sampling of other reviews, below. For even more on Captain Marvel, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
GameSpot — No Score
“Captain Marvel hits all the right notes, but it feels like it was released at the wrong time. There’s too much anticipation and dread right now to fully enjoy this heroic cul-de-sac. It doesn’t quite set up the twists you might want it to, and its many expansions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe feel like fodder for future movies, not the impending Endgame itself. Carol Danvers would have been better served with an explosive entrance in Endgame, then her own standalone to kick off the MCU’s next phase. Right now this movie is an obligatory addendum to the Avengers story, when it deserved to be an essential opening chapter.” — Michael Rougeau [Full review]
Chicago Sun-Times — 3.5/5
“Amidst all the scenes with intergalactic warships and fireball-flinging, co-directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck wisely find plenty of room to take the foot off the accelerator and cede center stage to Larson, Jackson and the rest of the greatly talented cast. It’s a real treat to see Carol Danvers find her footing and her wings, so to speak, while at the same time Nick Fury is taking the first steps toward becoming Nick Fury.” — Richard Roeper [Full review]
Den of Geek — 3.5/5
“Captain Marvel continues to prove just how good the MCU is at expanding its universe in new ways that still feel integral to the larger world. Experiencing the film’s final moments is not unlike the experience of watching the final moments of Rogue One, so cleverly does the film weave its way into existing canon, informing what has already happened in the franchise (and what will eventually happen in the world of the MCU) in emotionally-resonant ways. After Captain Marvel, the MCU feels more complete.” — Kayti Burt [Full review]
The Guardian — 3/5
“I wanted a clearer, more central story for Captain Marvel’s emergence on to the stage, and in subsequent films – if she isn’t simply to get lost in the ensemble mix – there should more of Larson’s own wit and style and, indeed, plausible mastery of martial arts. In any case, Captain Marvel is an entertaining new part of the saga.” — Peter Bradshaw [Full review]
We Got This Covered — 3/5
“Captain Marvel is a recorded mixtape of familiar MCU beats that sets Carol Danvers up for success, but as a period standalone, struggles to be anything we haven’t yet seen from superhero cinema.” — Matt Donato [Full review]
Collider — B-
“Taken on its own merits, Captain Marvel comes up short as a superhero origin story. By trying to find a fresh approach, the screenplay deprives its lead character of an arc and some of her humanity. The film itself lacks the energy and vision of Black Panther or even Captain America: The First Avenger. But when it comes to making you root for its superhero and eager to see her in more Marvel movies, Captain Marvel passes with flying colors.” — Matt Goldberg [Full review]
New York Post — 1.5/5
“What’s said to be Marvel’s most powerful superhero ever is served Melatonin by Larson. There is precious little texture or detail, ups and downs, or emotions of any kind in her performance. The character, even when kicking ass, is a total bore. The film’s best moments are provided by Jackson and a hilarious cat.” — Johnny Oleksinski [Full review]
Variety — No Score
“It’s a prequel that casts its gaze way forward. Yet in its sturdy and standard-issue way, it invests Carol Danvers with a heroic majesty and heft that moves her, as a presence, right to the forefront of the series.” — Owen Gleiberman [Full review]