First Wave Of GODZILLA Reviews Come Stomping In

First wave of reviews for Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures Godzilla come flooding in. Hit the jump to see what some of the top film critics think of Gareth Edwards new film.

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SLASHFILM: "Massive Monster Mayhem With a Real Human Point of View"
"Godzilla is one third better than you expect it to be, one third what you expected it to be and a third completely underwhelming. Thankfully, Edwards arranges those uneven pieces in a way that, while the first two don’t always work so well, the ending makes up for it and then some. You’ll be hard pressed to walk out of Godzilla not raving about the ending, instead of nitpicking the beginning." - Germain Lussier


THE PLAYLIST: "At Times Godzilla Feels Like a Cut Above Most Mindless Summer Fare"
"Godzilla begins as a character-based movie that quickly shifts to a plot-based one, with a far less compelling lead character represent human courage in the face of titanic calamity. But ultimately, this blockbusters undoing is that the movies promises something different, at least at first. "Godzilla" asks you care about its characters, achieves that aspiration, earns your trust, and then not only pivots towards a far less interesting character, but abandons most of its absorbing emotional legwork for a fairly rote and straightforward rock ‘em, sock ‘em monster movie." - Rodrigo Perez


THE WRAP: "Feels Like a Retread of World War Z"
"To be fair, yes, this version is a marked improvement over the disastrous 1998 “Godzilla” from director Roland Emmerich. But that's like saying the recent “Robocop” remake is better than food poisoning. Is it too much to ask that a “Godzilla” movie feature more Godzilla than, say, “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” features Hamlet? Sixty years after debuting on the big screen, Godzilla is still a global superstar; if Americans are going to build big-budget movies around him, they could at least give this legend more screen time." - Alonso Duralde


DEN OF GEEK: "Most Creative & Striking Summer Blockbuster We’ve Seen In Years"
"This new Godzilla lacks the sense of despair present in Ishiro Honda’s 1954 original. But in its place is something relatively fresh in films such as this: an absence of cynicism. There’s an underlying theme in here about parents protecting children, and of people simply trying to do the right thing in the face of disaster. In Edwards’ reading of Godzilla, there isn’t necessarily any such thing as good or evil. There’s merely humanity and nature, with the former standing awe-struck in the destructive presence of the latter. Most importantly, Godzilla himself emerges just as he should: a bellowing, powerful force; a true king of the monsters." - Ryan Lambie


VARIETY: "Banal Characters Leave Scarcely Enough Screen Time for Godzilla"
"Someone should tell Warner Bros. that when they’ve got a presence as big as Godzilla, they don’t need movie stars, because frankly, who remembers the characters in a rampaging-kaiju movie anyway? Still, just to be safe, the studio has stuffed Gareth Edwards’ deafening, effects-driven reboot with an Oscar winner (Juliette Binoche), three Oscar nominees (Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins and David Strathairn), an Emmy winner (Bryan Cranston) and an Olsen sister, leaving scarcely enough screen time for the monster itself." - Peter Debruge


HITFIX: "Beautiful and Badass, Godzilla Puts the Awe Back in Awesome"
"There are some missteps along the way. I think the film has a disconcertingly narrow view at times, and oddly, Alexandre Desplat's score seems to me to be heavy-handed and obvious in a way that really doesn't seem like him. Seamus McGarvey's photography is striking, and Edwards leans heavily on him to help create a sense of atmosphere. This Godzilla lives up to the first half of its name, and there is a great deal of character to it in every moment we see it onscreen. There are some images during that final stretch of the film that any fan of Godzilla will be amazed by, images that feel like they were pulled out of the collective dreams of all of us who have been fans of the big guy over the past 60 years. This could easily be ground zero for a whole new series of films, but if it remains a stand-alone single movie, Edwards told an entire story, and for the first time in as long as I can remember, it feels like Godzilla actually matters." - Drew McWeeny


HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: "On a Second Try, Hollywood Does the Behemoth Justice. Almost."
"As a shrewd judge of creature-related suspense and mayhem, Edwards well knows not to reveal too much monster too early; certainly the original Godzilla was seen sparingly in the 1954 film until late-on. But you want to see more of him than you do; after all, he's the title character, the calling card, the main attraction, and you'd like to get a sense of his abilities in a couple of teasers that could have been judiciously placed along the way. A bit thicker around the neck and bigger chested than the Japanese original (but nothing like the silly lizard-like revamp in the Emmerich film), this is one impressive kaiju, but it would have been good to see him in action for more than what feels like about two rounds. If and when this Godzilla returns for further installments, it would be imperative to see more of him." - Todd McCarthy


IGN: "So, Does It Deliver? In a Word: Yes."
"Godzilla is a great genre film, and in all the ways that count, I loved it. To some degree, the hype-machine may have done a disservice to the project, but rather than fall apart under the weight of 350 foot expectations, Godzilla strikes a remarkably balanced tone. The film blends sequences rich with heartbreak, visceral thrills, fear, surprisingly whimsical humor, better-than-a-cage-match fights, and awe-inspiring visuals." - Roth Cornet


CRAVE ONLINE: "Tons of Fun"
"And yet the striking, ominous cinematography and absolute sincerity from the entire cast makes even the most ludicrous moments in Godzilla seem plausible, if only while you’re watching them. Godzilla impressively captures the enormous scale of the kaiju genre like few (if any) movies ever have, developing a mostly effective human drama along the way and exploiting the nuttier aspects of this franchise only as much as necessary to make this Godzilla movie actually feel like a proper entry in the long-running series." - William Bibbiani

In Summer 2014, the world’s most revered monster is reborn as Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures unleash the epic action adventure “Godzilla.” From visionary new director Gareth Edwards (“Monsters”) comes a powerful story of human courage and reconciliation in the face of titanic forces of nature, when the awe-inspiring Godzilla rises to restore balance as humanity stands defenseless.

Gareth Edwards directs “Godzilla,” which stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Kick-Ass”), Oscar® nominee Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Inception”), Elizabeth Olsen (“Martha Marcy May Marlene”), Oscar® winner Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient,” “Cosmopolis”), and Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine”), with Oscar® nominee David Strathairn (“Good Night, and Good Luck.,” “The Bourne Legacy”) and Bryan Cranston (“Argo,” TV’s “Breaking Bad”).

GODZILLA will stomp into theaters May 16, 2014.
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170 Comments
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HappyMeal - 5/11/2014, 12:10 AM
So, needs more Godzilla?
xcan - 5/11/2014, 12:12 AM
As expected. Average across the board.
xcan - 5/11/2014, 12:14 AM
And creepy Kick Ass guy is this 'generations' Taylor Kitsch. Box Office poison!
Starkasm - 5/11/2014, 12:15 AM
Damn.
SauraLilvera - 5/11/2014, 12:15 AM
So they gave it the Transformers treatment by focusing on the humans over the titular character? Lame.
Starkasm - 5/11/2014, 12:16 AM
Still looking forward to this.
Just re watched Godzilla 1998 and I don't know why I did that to myself.
HappyMeal - 5/11/2014, 12:17 AM
Had such high hopes for this one, too. Oh well, sounds like the third act is worth it at least.
Starfox - 5/11/2014, 12:17 AM
Grab your Popcorn, Sit back, and buckle up.
charlie2094 - 5/11/2014, 12:19 AM
Sounds great! All been mostly positive so far, IGN gave it a 9 and I usually agree with their reviews...

Only problem that seems to arise in most is that Godzilla himself doesn't have as much screen-time as he should
MikeHawk - 5/11/2014, 12:22 AM
Makes sense to focus on the humans and emotions. Its from their perspective and how Godzilla's arrival affects their lives. Why would i want to watch Godzilla constantly fight monsters for 2hrs? Needs to be a story!
xcan - 5/11/2014, 12:23 AM
Keep in mind that these are the early reviews. If you were one of those kid's screaming "LONG LIVE THE KING" or similar rubbish, giddy up 'cause this film ain't bringing any pain... only to the studio of course.
MikeHawk - 5/11/2014, 12:23 AM
But do not let reviews aka Opinions sway your own judgement people! :)
HappyMeal - 5/11/2014, 12:27 AM
And has atomic breath.
Darantino - 5/11/2014, 12:29 AM
Most of those reviews missed the point and did not get the movie. Edwards said from the beginning that this movie was about people and their reactions. This no Pacific Rim vor one of the Monster Bash Comedic Godzilla movies. People who cherished and loves "Monsters" will love Godzilla and thats a very gold thing!
Starfox - 5/11/2014, 12:30 AM
I never take stock in critic reviews anyway. Film is an artform, and how you define the quality of said art is all subjective. :)
pesmerga44 - 5/11/2014, 12:30 AM
@xcan

Where do you get that they are bagging on Aaron Taylor-Johnson the one reviewer that said anything about him said the character in uninteresting. That can mean the writing of the character was bad or the director did a bad job with him. Just because he may not be strong enough to make a badly written character work but it doesn't say he is the issue. Now I might be wrong and he did terrible personally I don't see it he did great in Kick Ass but you also have no idea and to say he is the new Taylor Kitsch come on man.
HappyMeal - 5/11/2014, 12:33 AM
@Starfox

Yeah, totally man.
Thing94 - 5/11/2014, 12:34 AM
Sounds like people are dissapointed. I could care less, lol.
Equivocal - 5/11/2014, 12:35 AM
I'm watching this IMAX and front row, just to "feel" like I'm in the same level as the people in the movie
Starfox - 5/11/2014, 12:35 AM
@Whiteking

LMAO!
xcan - 5/11/2014, 12:35 AM
Pes, I felt he was perfect for Kick Ass 1. Never saw the second because you could see it was shit, but for the first movie I see why he was cast. They needed a bland 'super hero' and he fits that to a tee.

Put him in any type of leading role... well... you get exactly that.
KingOnslaught - 5/11/2014, 12:37 AM
damn had high hopes doesnt matter im seeing it tomorrow anyways
xcan - 5/11/2014, 12:39 AM
And I enjoy Taylor Kitsch, but again, not a leading man. I'd take Kitsch over Aaron Johnson ANYDAY though. I'm still OK with him being Gambit, but that won't happen.
HappyMeal - 5/11/2014, 12:39 AM
@Starfox

LensmanMatt92 - 5/11/2014, 12:40 AM
I knew they were gonna pull a ''twenty minutes with jerks'' on Godzilla.
Thing94 - 5/11/2014, 12:42 AM
Godzilla fatigue??? Lmao
Sumitsjc - 5/11/2014, 12:42 AM
Didn't they[critics] had Enough of him In 1998 'Godzilla'???
we needed some fresh take and this is somewhat what I wanted it to be.
HappyMeal - 5/11/2014, 12:46 AM
Difference is Jaws wasn't an established character with years of history.
SuperDude001 - 5/11/2014, 12:46 AM
I don't get the whole hate of focus on 'humans over the beast' when it comes to Godzilla, I mean he's a [frick]ing dinosaur/mutant lizard it's not like he has much character (unlike Transformers), he is simply a horror plot point. To me from these interviews it frankly seems people can't make up their minds as to whether they want a mindless Blockbuster epic or an actual artistic take on the beast, and Edwards has just tried to deliver on both ends which is pissing people off.
nailbiter111 - 5/11/2014, 12:48 AM
I read through all of those reviews and they're not that bad. Keep in perspective, this IS a Godzilla film. These are probably the most glowing reviews for a Godzilla film. All of them are in agreement that there isn't enough Godzilla in Godzilla, so that sort of blows, but then again Jaws was amazing and that didn't need a lot of screen time for the shark. Most don't care for the shift in storytelling as Cranston takes a backseat to Aaron-Taylor-Johnson-Hyphen's character. Dialogue also gets a knock, but not to the degree that Pacific Rim's did. The real good news? All of them really dug the ending.

WhiteKing - True, but for many people this will be their first Godzilla film. Just cause people know of Godzilla doesn't mean those same people have ever actually sat down and really watched a Godzilla film.
nailbiter111 - 5/11/2014, 12:50 AM
WhiteKing - And I don't count 1998 Godzilla as a real Godzilla film. Though, it isn't as bad as people say it is. Entertaining, but has a lot of flaws. Especially the babies in MSG. Ugh.
AsianVersionOfET - 5/11/2014, 12:52 AM
He either has not enough screen time or too much screen time. [frick] this shit, I'll watch it and find out for myself. I'm pumped!
HappyMeal - 5/11/2014, 12:52 AM
You're right, and the fact that's it been confirmed that Godzilla isn't the only monster and the third act is action packed, I'm still going to go see it.
Humperdink - 5/11/2014, 12:54 AM
It's going to take a large number of Seriously negative reviews to make me reconsider going in and right now these reviews are really pretty 'fair'.

That's okay. That means there's a high chance that I could enjoy this movie or walk away not feeling completely ripped off.


HappyMeal - 5/11/2014, 12:56 AM
Only problem is I was expecting more positive reviews and more Godzilla of course.

TheRealUltron - 5/11/2014, 12:57 AM
SO HYPED FOR THIS FILM! I just love Godzilla guys, I must admit...
charlie2094 - 5/11/2014, 12:58 AM
Wouldn't say any of these reviews are negative, just varying degrees of positive. Generally people seem to be reacting to it very well
AlexLaChiusa - 5/11/2014, 1:04 AM
Those reviews sound pretty good. I'm not expecting anything mind-blowing but sounds like we have a very solid blockbuster on our hands.
zerovoltage - 5/11/2014, 1:06 AM
I have a feeling i'll like the movie just fine :D as a Godzilla fan i'm used to the battle happening towards the end. i just want to see an EPIC one! which i think is covered based on the reviews.
DrDoom - 5/11/2014, 1:06 AM
This movie is going to be awesome.

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