SHAZAM! Reviews Are In - Here's What Critics Are Saying About The Latest DC Comics Movie

SHAZAM! Reviews Are In - Here's What Critics Are Saying About The Latest DC Comics Movie

SHAZAM! Reviews Are In - Here's What Critics Are Saying About The Latest DC Comics Movie

The first reviews for Shazam! have arrived but is this another fan-pleasing effort like Aquaman or another big DCEU disappointment? Find a roundup of verdicts for the movie after the jump...

The reviews for Shazam! are in and it appears as if the decision to take the DC Extended Universe down a slightly more Marvel-lous route has definitely paid off for Warner Bros. Based on this first wave of reviews, the DC Comics adaptation from director David F. Sandberg is better received than even Aquaman, a fan-pleasing effort which made over $1 billion worldwide.

There are, of course, some complaints (the Seven Deadly Sins don't sound like a highlight) but it's hard to find a bad review so far and some are even saying that Shazam! is better than Wonder Woman. That's high praise indeed and bodes well for the movie's chances of success.

Don't worry, there aren't any spoilers in the review roundup below and we've selected them from a variety of sources, including magazines, entertainment websites, the trades, newspapers, and even YouTubers. Overall, the consensus is excellent and it seems as if the DCEU is now on the right track and these entertaining standalone movies will soon become the norm. 

To check out these reviews, all you guys have to do is hit the "View List" button down below. 



The film also benefits from the terrific performances by both the adult and younger performers. Levi is a delight in the central role, hilariously conveying the goofy adolescent within the strapping body of his musclebound superhero. Angel and Grazer work together beautifully as the teenage boys bonding over their joy at discovering Shazam's powers, and Strong uses his fierce intensity and taut physicality to make his villain suitably fearsome even while providing subtle comic flourishes along the way.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter

Supes and Bats will never die, but in Shazam, a character who’s been around for seven decades and is only now breaking through into the mainstream, youngsters have a new family-friendly hero to call their own.
 
SOURCE: USA Today

There are so many moments that unfold in this film that will have you smiling from ear-to-ear at how perfect and clever they are, wether they're addressing familiar tropes, embracing the world and situation they're living in or simply turning the genre out a bit, the film is hardly a stale recreation of everything you've seen before and that's a beautiful thing. It also benefits from some genuinely rousing and heroic moments, some of which I simply can't spoil here (even if Funko already did). No matter how you slice it and despite any flaws in pacing or style, SHAZAM! is an absolute gem and a damn fun time at the movies. [9/10]

SOURCE: JoBlo
 


Thanks to a script filled with razor-sharp quips, a fully committed performance from Levi, and an unapologetic embrace its own goofiness, Shazam is an absolute blast. This is the kind of DC Comics film that Warner Bros. should have been making all along, and they've truly knocked it out of the park here -- Shazam is far and away the most fun I've had in a movie theater this year, and I can't wait to see more of this character in the future. 

SOURCE: Spoiler TV

There are a few hiccups along the way but Shazam is undoubtedly another win for DC. It never quite reaches the bombastic heights of Aquaman or sheer gravitas of Wonder Woman but it’s got heart enough for all three, a good balance of humor and action, and near infinite potential for the future. I have no idea how this innocent, lovable boy ends up fitting into a larger DC universe but it’s going to be really exciting to find out. He’s a star.

SOURCE: io9
 
The filmmakers have added a twist by combining superhero action with the dramedy of Big - and some meta humor in a similar, if PG-13 vein as Deadpool - to craft an entirely enjoyable experience in Shazam!, even if at times it feels more like a hodgepodge of other movies. Still, fans of DC and superhero movies will no doubt want to check out Shazam! for its action and heart, and a delightfully fun time at the theater. [3.5/5]

SOURCE: Screen Rant

Shazam! is basically two movies in one. One with Levi and his wiseass foster brother (a fresh Jack Dylan Grazer), the other with Strong and all his snarling, computer-generated gobbledygook. And they both have the other in a headlock, wrestling for the soul of the story. I loved one, yawned through the other. It’s hard to be original when you want to be all things to every fanboy and girl, so the movie can’t help but feel like a bit of a compromise, a draw. What it should have done, had it not been so afraid of stepping outside of the parameters of the genre, is to have Strong’s Sivana take two steps back and push Levi two steps forward. It is called Shazam!, after all. Why not let the guy and his glowing lightning bolt shine? [B]

SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly
 

The hardest power to depict onscreen is the wisdom of Solomon, but Shazam! makes clever decisions, mixing middle school snark with disarming sweetness. And — yes — it delivers the requisite lightning-strike punch-’em-ups with considerable force. [4/5]

SOURCE: Empire Online

If the “Wonder Woman” and “Aquaman” movies represented DC Comics’ first big-screen steps away from the austere color palette of the Zach Snyder movies, “Shazam!” takes us deeply into primary colors in a single bound. There’s still a touch of urban decay and kitchen-table warmth on display — this is by no means Warren Beatty’s “Dick Tracy” or a candy-colored Cartoon Network production — but this new DC entry has a lovely lightness, both in the visuals and in its tone.

SOURCE: The Wrap
 


Ultimately, Shazam! is probably a little too mature for actual children and too childish for adults, but it’s serviceable enough to warrant a sequel that explores the good, clear ideas introduced in this one. Let’s hope people who are the right age, or at least mindset, make that one. 

SOURCE: BMD

Shazam! is a lot of fun and it further proves how, in the wake of the success of Wonder Woman and Aquaman, DC’s movie future is indeed bright. Zachary Levi was born to play this superpowered man-child, delivering lots of laughs alongside sarcastic but amiable co-star Jack Dylan Grazer. After an awkward and obligatory opening, the latter three quarters pack some big surprises for comics buffs and offer enough mainstream appeal to win over new fans. While Dr. Sivana ties in nicely with the themes of how adults can influence children, this villain is ultimately little more than a means to an end for the story of a boy who must learn what it takes to be a (super)man. [8.8/10]

SOURCE: IGN
 
Yet the fact that everything Shazam does, from taking bullets in the face to popping in and out of his superhero identity by barking the word “Shazam,” seems both valiant and slightly daffy is part of the film’s change-up charm. “Shazam!” suggests that if you’re taking a superhero’s powers deadly seriously, you may not be totally connecting with the spirit of the comics. The movie says: You’ve got to giggle at this stuff. That’s part of the adventure.

SOURCE: Variety

Aquaman hinted a bold, new approach to DC's movies that doesn't try to emulate the MCU's successes. Shazam! makes good on that promise, waving goodbye to the grim-faced Batfleck years, leaving us excited about what they'll do next. The future looks bright. [4/5]

SOURCE: Digital Spy
 
But even for those of us who aren’t street-smart foster kids, and who have lived lives full of love and support, there’s a very human yearning and hope that we’ll find more people like us. That humanity is what Shazam is fluent in. And if we’re lucky, Shazam assures us, we can share a little bit of that magic, our magic, with others.

SOURCE: Vox

Yet Shazam!'s greatest strength is knowing superheroes were created as a wish fulfilment fantasy for lonely adolescents, and is all the more enjoyable when putting them centre stage.

SOURCE: Mirror Online
 

Because while Shazam! might avoid many of the pitfalls that usually define DCEU offerings, there remains an insistence that more is more and since this is essentially a kids movie, dragging the plot out to a flabby 132 minutes is a staggering misjudgment. The finale, while admirably self-contained and small-scale, grinds on for far too long, a boring escalation of anti-climaxes that cumulatively dull the intended emotional impact. It’s a film in need of a tighter edit with a script in need of a sharper polish, an imperfect franchise-launcher that nonetheless represents significant progress for DC. [3/5]

SOURCE: Guardian

One of the best DC superhero origin films ever made, Shazam! is also one of the best and most fun superhero films from any company. Whatever your superhero sensibilities, you're going to love Shazam!

SOURCE: Forbes
 
There are any number of movies about the magic of family — whether it’s the ones people are given, or the ones they find for ourselves — but each time Billy yells “Shazam!,” we’re reminded of something that Thaddeus hears on one of those godforsaken elevator TVs: “Family is more than just a word.” A lot more, it turns out. [B+]

SOURCE: Indie Wire

It might even be read as a commentary on DC’s attempt at rushing into an Avengers-style crossover film with the lamentable Justice League. But while the story of an extremely overpowered champion rising to challenge a one-dimensionally sinister baddie might seem like the epitome of simplicity, Shazam! is still a modern-day tentpole blockbuster, overburdened with backstories for both hero and villain and subtexts that it can’t (or won’t) fully articulate—occasional gunk in the gears of what might otherwise be a fast-moving machine.

SOURCE: AV Club
 

Unlike many of its contemporaries, this film has a final stretch that melds humor, pacing, stakes, and real joy in a way that had me grinning like I would never stop. Yes, Shazam! is the holy grail of superhero adaptations when it pulls off an engagingly staged, thrilling, and emotional climax. But even more than that, the movie does right by my good son, Billy Batson, the big brother that every superhero-loving kid needs.

SOURCE: Polygon

In a strange way, Shazam! feels and looks like the kind of superhero movie that Steven Spielberg might have directed in his heyday, or at least produced through his Amblin banner. That makes it not only completely different from most of its own company’s own recent offerings (it’s far superior to the overstuffed, sloppy, headache-inducing Aquaman), but lets it stand apart from the movies of the competing Marvel universe as well (although Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and Billy/Shazam share some common ground). Sweet, full of heart, in love with its source material, and viewed almost entirely through the eyes of a child, Shazam! is a family superhero adventure in every sense of the word.

SOURCE: Den Of Geek
 


But, these are all minor quibbles when it comes to the bottled-lightning joyfulness of a standalone superhero movie with likeability and laughs to spare. Following the box-office smash of Aquaman, Shazam! puts the DCEU in a position of rude health, and this is probably its best film yet (sorry, Wonder Woman). In a word: magic. [4/5]

SOURCE: Total Film

The film doesn't remotely feel assembled to a franchise-building template: rather, it's jauntily at ease doing its own thing throughout, which is by turns infectiously silly and unexpectedly warm-hearted. [4/5]

SOURCE: Daily Telegraph
 
There’s also a running gag about a strip club that seemed a little retrograde for a current film. But, nitpicks aside, “Shazam!” is just a lightning bolt of unexpected joy that is certainly worth your time and money.

SOURCE: Associated Press

Fans occasionally refer to Shazam as “The Big Red Cheese” and this movie is very faithful to the spirit of that nickname. It’s warm and sentimental about blended families, and it sincerely believes in the importance of being a hero and doing the right thing. It’s got plenty of goofy kid-gets-to-play-superhero-for-real humor. And other than some friction between Levi and Asher’s performances, it all works. [8/10]

SOURCE: Screen Crush
 
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