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DARK PHOENIX – what did the critics think?



Dark Phoenix (20th Century Fox)

Dark Phoenix is now in cinemas across the UK and hits North America tomorrow. In the early hours of yesterday morning the review embargo lifted and we finally got an idea of what the critics thought.

At the time of writing the movie holds a score of 22% on Rotten Tomatoes, the lowest of any movie in the X-Men franchise. The critics consensus, according to the site, reads:

Dark Phoenix ends an era of the X-Men franchise by taking a second stab at adapting a classic comics arc — with deeply disappointing results.

Here’s some snippets from the top reviews:

Rolling Stone

Sophie Turner shows enormous potential as super-mutant Jean Grey, but this botch job doesn’t just suck big time, it’s the worst movie ever in the X-Men series. [1/5]

The Times (UK)

It’s B-movie bad. Innately hilarious. If only someone had told the film-makers. [2/5]

Time Out

It’s not nearly as good as ‘Logan’ or ‘X2’, but it’s a whole lot better than the eyeball-poking affliction that was ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’. [3/5]

The Daily Telegraph (UK)

Under any circumstances this would have been X-Hausting. But with this cast, it’s been X-Cruciating to behold. [1/5]

Vanity Fair

The movie is so eager to get itself over with that its title anti-heroine even seems an afterthought.

Den of Geek

Though Dark Phoenix isn’t an unmitigated disaster, as a conclusion to a much loved franchise it’s less a bird from the flames and more a damp squib. [2/5]

Total Film

Despite mostly sparky cast-work, the Phoenix never quite rises as hoped in Kinberg’s affectionate but often perfunctory X-Men send-off. [2/5]

Dark Phoenix is not the conclusion fans of the X-Men franchise might have been hoping for and it doesn’t make much of an effort to be. [3/5]


While it’s far from stellar, it’s also far from failure, making it both a letdown and a bullet dodged, depending on where you’re standing.

In Dark Phoenix, the X-Men face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she returns home, this force not only makes her infinitely more powerful, but far more unstable. Wrestling with this entity inside her, Jean unleashes her powers in ways she can neither comprehend nor contain. With Jean spiraling our of control, and hurting the ones she loves most, she begins to unravel the very fabric that holds the X-Men together. Now, with this family falling apart, they must find a way to unite – not only to save Jean’s soul, but to save our very planet from aliens who wish to weaponize this force and rule the galaxy.

Dark Phoenix is being directed by Simon Kinberg. James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender are confirmed to return to the roles of Charles Xavier, Mystique and Magneto respectively. Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Nicholas Hoult, Alexandra Shipp and Kodi Smit-McPhee will also return.

The film is due for release on June 7, 2019 in North America. In the UK the movie drops on June 5.

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