‘Suicide Squad’ Reviews: Here’s What the Critics Think

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Margot Robbie stars as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. (Warner Bros. YouTube trailer)

Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad hits theaters on Friday, with preview screenings Thursday night for those who can’t wait a few more hours to finally see Harley Quinn on the big screen. The movie was written and directed by David Ayer (End of Watch, Fury) and features an ensemble headlined by Jared Leto, Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Viola Davis. Reviews were published today and will go a long way to helping the film become a breakout hit.

The studio should be happy to have Suicide Squad ready so soon after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘s muted response in March. Although that film grossed $872.6 million worldwide, it’s $250 million production budget and marketing meant that it wasn’t the hit Warner Bros. hoped for. Batman v Superman also missed the mark with critics, so Suicide Squad is a chance for the studio to gain back the trust of critics and fans.

In Suicide Squad, government official Amanda Waller (Davis) responds to the growing number of metahumans by recruiting criminals for an impossible mission. Robbie plays Harley Quinn, Smith is Deadshot and Leto plays The Joker.

We’ll be adding more reviews as they come in. Sadly for fans of the characters, it’s not looking good. As a result, the early Rotten Tomatoes rating is only 33 percent.

Redditor Who Saw it Early Loved It

A Reddit user who saw the film early hosted an AMA session and said he loved the film. “I really enjoyed it. There are some pacing issues but the actors cancel that out. Will Smith kills it and so does Margot Robbie,” Dakotarsmith2014 wrote. “I’d give it an 8/10.”

“To be honest he needs to grow on me more,” the Reddit user wrote about Leto’s performance. “He’s cool but his role isn’t huge but it is important in the film. I think once he has more screen time though he’s going to be amazing.”

The Hollywood Reporter – Todd McCarthy Says It’s Restrained by PG-13 Rating

Will Smith, Suicide Squad premiere, Suicide Squad cast, Suicide Squad, Margot Robbie

The cast of Suicide Squad. (Getty)

In his review, The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy wasn’t impressed, noting that the film can’t be as dirty as Deadpool because of the PG-13 rating. “All flash, no fun,” was his bottom line.

Part smart-ass genre sendup, part grimy noir that wants to be as dirty as Deadpool but remains constrained by its PG-13 rating, and part short-falling attempt by Warner Bros. to get a big-budget DC Comics mashup right, the film starts with promise but disengages as it loses its creative bearings. The alluring cast and great expectations roused by some deceptively fun trailers should spark major box office at the outset. But a sense of disappointment will soon enshroud Suicide Squad, as it did the recent Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Entertainment Weekly – Chris Nashawaty Gives Film a B-

Margot Robbie, Margot Robbie Red carpet, Margot Robbie Suicide Squad, Suicide Squad premiere

Margot Robbie. (Getty)

Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly praised Margot Robbie’s performance, especially since she has the character with the most interesting backstory. He also suggests that Leto’s Joker is wasted in the film.

Each has a unique skill set for mayhem, but it’s Robbie who displays the most thrilling superpower of all: turning into a movie star while having a gonzo blast swinging a baseball bat and tossing off naughty, gum-snapping one-­liners. Aside from Smith’s Deadshot, she’s also the only character with a remotely interesting backstory as the onetime shrink to Jared Leto’s mad wild card Joker who was seduced to the dark side. Don’t cry for her, she seems to love it.

Vanity Fair – Richard Lawson Calls It ‘Dull, Uninspired’ and ‘Forgettable’

Adam Beach, Suicide Squad premiere, Suicide Squad cast, Slipknot

Adam Beach. (Getty)

Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson clearly hated the film. He thought the film missed the marks and was filled with wasted possibilities.

Suicide Squad is bad. Not fun bad. Not redeemable bad. Not the kind of bad that is the unfortunate result of artists honorably striving for something ambitious and falling short. Suicide Squad is just bad. It’s ugly and boring, a toxic combination that means the film’s highly fetishized violence doesn’t even have the exciting tingle of the wicked or the taboo. (Oh, how the movie wants to be both of those things.) It’s simply a dull chore steeped in flaccid machismo, a shapeless, poorly edited trudge that adds some mildly appalling sexism and even a soupçon of racism to its abundant, hideously timed gun worship. But, perhaps worst of all, Suicide Squad is ultimately too shoddy and forgettable to even register as revolting. At least revolting would have been something.

Indiewire – David Ehrich Says It’s ‘Often Mind-Bogglingly Stupid’

Will Smith, Deadshot, Suicide Squad cast, Suicide Squad premiere

Will Smith. (Getty)

Put another one in the negative side with David Ehrich’s D- review for Indiewire. He writes that the decision to use bad guys as heroes doesn’t save the film at all. He said that the film also features the worst villain to appear in a comic book movie.

How ironic that a superhero story determined to celebrate the genre’s villains should feature the worst villain that the genre has ever seen. If “Suicide Squad” falls off a cliff the moment the uniting stops and the fighting begins, that’s partially because Enchantress — the enemy that draws our task force into Midway City — is an unmitigated disaster. Blessed with absolutely zero emotional stakes and forced to spend most of the movie gyrating against a green screen, the character is a perfect shitstorm of bad decisions. Delevingne is a talented young actress, but she’s helpless to save this part, a victim of putrid ideas poorly executed.

ScreenCrush – Matt Singer Calls it a ‘Disappointing Disaster’

Jared Leto, Jared Leto Suicide Squad, Suicide Squad cast

Jared Leto. (Getty)

In his ScreenCrush review, Matt Singer makes the film sound like another DC movie weighed down by attempts to introduce future elements of the DC Films universe.

Director David Ayer tries to liven things up with a couple of flashy DC cameos and lots of iconic rock songs on the soundtrack. But that’s just the proverbial lipstick on the dead pig that Jared Leto sent to his co-stars to prove his Method bona fides as the Joker. This opening sequence has all the excitement of a mildly contentious HR meeting, and the movie gets no better from there. Bland, boring, and sometimes borderline incoherent, Suicide Squad is a disappointing disaster.

Variety – Peter Debruge Predicts Big Money for Warner Bros.

Peter Debruge of Variety pointed out hat the story doesn’t make much sense, but the studio should still have a hit on their hands.

Despite its nonsensical story and not-nearly-impudent-enough tone, “Suicide Squad” stands to become one of the summer’s biggest hits, with a grafted-on appearance by Jared Leto as the Joker likely to double the project’s already formidable box office potential — a shrewd addition, since no one but comic-book fans will know the other characters going in. Faced with having to introduce all these new players, Ayer opens the film by attempting to compress origin stories, unique abilities and “how they were captured” vignettes for nine different characters into the film’s overloaded first act, blasting hip hop to signify how “gangsta” they are.

The Village Voice – Bilge Ebiri Calls it a ‘Peverse Delight’

One writer who enjoyed the film was The Village Voice’s Bilge Ebiri, who called the movie a “peverse delight.”

…While the film has plenty of action scenes, I can’t help but suspect that the director understands his own limitations: The best part of the third act is a random, chatty interlude in an abandoned bar, an unannounced pit stop sandwiched between two big face-offs. It makes very little narrative sense. You might even argue that it stops the action dead. But it feels like the movie’s true climax — and the sign of a filmmaker asserting himself over the anonymity of his material. I’m glad it’s there.