In a little over a week, Glass, the latest (final?) chapter in M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero series that began with Unbreakable in 2000 and continued with Split in 2017, hits theatres. While we wait, we have to ask: is Glass, ahem, Unbreakable?
Unfortunately, if early reviews are any indication, no.
Granted, they’re not (all) saying Glass is a return to Shyamalan’s (poor) form as demonstrated by the critically panned After Earth, The Last Airbender, or The Happening (okay, some of them actually are). it’s just not the sucker punch of awesome that Unbreakable and Split were.
In his review for Variety, Owen Gleiberman admits that although “it’s good to see Shyamalan back (to a degree) in form,” Glass “lacks the ‘Whoa!’ factor” and is “more busy than it is stirring or exciting.”
Meanwhile, over at The Hollywood Reporter, John DeFore calls Glass “a mixed bag…working too hard (and failing) to convince viewers Shyamalan has something uniquely brainy to offer in the overpopulated arena of comics-inspired stories.”
Over at GamesRadar, Matt Maytum writes in his three-out-of-five-star review: “Shyamalan concludes his secret trilogy with a film easier to admire than love. McAvoy is terrific again, but Glass doesn’t quite live up to the lofty heights of Unbreakable and Split.”
“Ultimately, Glass is a killer concept that suffers from a wobbly execution,” Rodrigo Perez writes in his C+/B- review for The Playlist. “Shyamalan nails the intimate stuff, but that third act is just bound to shatter and confound audience expectation.”
Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty said in his C+ review: “In the end, Glass is more half empty than half full.”
EW's not the only outlet to use the "Glass half-empty" joke. "M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass is half-empty and deeply unsatisfying," reads the headline for Alissa Wilkinson's Vox review.
David Ehrlich is far more cutting. He calls Glass a “boring slog” that’s “as clever in its design as it is joyless in its execution” in his C- review for IndieWire.
And Matt Singer’s ScreenCrush review delivers the most unkind cut of all so far, giving Glass a score of 3 out of 10. “When Unbreakable came out, it felt truly revolutionary. Given the visual and intellectual sophistication in the superhero movies Hollywood now churns out at a regular clip, Glass just doesn’t cut it,” Singer writes. Ouch.
Glass cuts its way into theatres January 18.