One of the most anticipated movies of 2018, Black Panther premiered Thursday night and if you know anyone on Twitter who has seen it, you probably have an idea about how good the movie apparently is. The film currently has a rating of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and the thinking among experts is that the movie could best both Captain America: Civil War ($25 million) and Avengers: Age of Ultron ($27.6 million) when it comes to how much it makes on it’s opening weekend. Early projections had Black Panther pulling in around $22 million, but now those projections have increased to over $25 million.
So we know the movie is going to make bank. And we know your friends like it. We know that the soundtrack, curated by Kendrick Lamar is amazing.
We also know Diddy is very much on board.
But what are the critics saying?
“This lush, impressively well-acted film, about an African king learning how best to marshal the superpowers with which he’s been endowed, comes draped in anticipation, not only from hardcore fans of the source material, but also from filmgoers already steeped in breathless hype. Director Ryan Coogler, working with a script he co-wrote with Joe Robert Cole, doesn’t just meet but exceeds those expectations, delivering a film that fulfills the most rote demands of superhero spectacle, yet does so with style and subtexts that feel bracingly, joyfully groundbreaking.”
From Manohla Dargis at The New York Times:
“A jolt of a movie, “Black Panther” creates wonder with great flair and feeling partly through something Hollywood rarely dreams of anymore: myth. Most big studio fantasies take you out for a joy ride only to hit the same exhausted story and franchise-expanding beats. Not this one.”
From The AV Club:
“It’s taken a decade and 18 films, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe has finally produced a superhero movie that feels like it was ripped from the pages of a comic book. Ditching the MCU’s familiar roster of heroes (they don’t get as much as a mention) along with many of the basics of the Marvel film formula, Ryan Coogler has turned Black Panther into a highly personal crowd-pleaser in the vein of his last film, the Rocky sequel Creed, but with all the idiosyncrasies and intrigues afforded by its main setting, the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda.”
From Peter Travers of Rolling Stone:
“Black Panther is an epic that doesn’t walk, talk or kick ass like any other Marvel movie – an exhilarating triumph on every level from writing, directing, acting, production design, costumes, music, special effects to you name it. For children (and adults) of color who have longed forever to see a superhero who looks like them, Marvel’s first black-superhero film is an answered prayer, a landmark adventure and a new film classic.”
From The Ringer:
“The most radical thing a Black Panther movie could have done is ask what Wakanda means—and what it owes—to the race. And that’s what Coogler’s passionate, funny, dexterous movie asks, over and over again, both to its characters and to its audience. It’s a mighty question, and it feels like it’s coming alive in almost every one of Coogler’s images: in their sense of the elements, in their dramatic and physical grandeur, in their beauty. Black Panther crouching in trees to pounce on a team of sex traffickers is an image with force; so are the images of T’Challa fighting for the throne in water so viscous and alive it seems fit to swallow him back up into the earth. Wakanda is sequestered for a reason. Its ability to resist being colonized, like its neighbors, isn’t arbitrary or accidental. How do you make a multimillion-dollar Marvel movie out of that moral complexity? There’s no need to wonder any longer. Coogler has made that movie. And it’s Marvel’s first genuine masterpiece.”
“No, “Black Panther” isn’t the greatest movie ever made. It’s probably not even the greatest superhero movie ever made. But it’s very, very good — in its best scenes, exhilarating. Just as important, it’s a breakthrough in an entirely new direction: a smart, propulsive action fantasy starring a hero of color leading a strong, unbowed nation of color. The movie doesn’t reinvent the superhero genre so much as reclaim and reenergize it — archetypes, cliches, and all — for viewers hungry to dream in their own skin. That’s why its arrival feels like a cultural inflection point and a cause for exultation in some quarters.”
Have you seen it? Let us know what you think.