The New Mutants has had a tough road to the screen. The X-Men horror movie from filmmaker Josh Boone suffered delays, a studio merger, and a pandemic. Now it's finally heading to theaters and the review is out. That's not a typo. There's just one review out at the moment, and it's not from someone who saw the film in the U.S. That's because Disney has not provided a way for critics to watch the film — in a time when experts say seeing a movie in theaters is "just about the last thing I’d do right now" — that would be safe.
Without screening links (like most films that've released during the pandemic) or a socially distanced press screening (as Tenet did in London), the only option was to see The New Mutants in theaters. Many outlets — including The AV Club, IndieWire, the Boston Globe, and RogerEbert.com — have publicly refused to review it under these conditions. One outlet that was able to see the film and review it was The Hollywood Reporter. Its critic saw the film "in a movie theatre in central Paris on the morning the French Prime Minister announced that masks would now be mandatory in cinemas." What did he think? Let's leave it up to him:
Here's the critic's take on the long-awaited X-Men spinoff:
Jordan Mintzer says in his review that the long-awaited comic adaptation is anything but worth the wait. Instead, he called it "generic," adding it will "provide an eye-rolling case of déjà vu" for superhero fans. While its central performances can be strong — with Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Blu Hunt standing out to the extent that fans "could easily see these three young women joining Marvel Studio’s growing gamut of superheroines" — the story itself is tired, trope-filled, and angsty. As much as that latter component is central to its teen mutants, the critic says it just doesn't quite work. He also notes the film's PG-13 rating doesn't help with the scares.
While more reviews are sure to come down the line, the film's unique stubbornness to get a theatrical release rather than head to VOD goes against medical professionals' advice — something fans should keep in mind before snapping up a ticket.
The New Mutants hits U.S. theaters on Aug. 28.