AQUAMAN Reviews Are In And While They're Definitely Mixed, Most Are (Thankfully) Positive!

It's been a tough couple of years for Warner Bros.' DC Extended Universe but how does Aquaman fare? Well, the reviews have surfaced and it's fair to say that while they're mixed, most semed to like it...

The first social media reactions for Aquaman pointed to the latest DC Comics movie being nothing short of a masterpiece but as is so often the case, it turns out that the excitement of getting to see the movie early may have gotten the best of some critics. 

That's because the full reviews have landed today (just one day before it's released in most international locations) and they're definitely mixed. Now, there's no denying that most lean to the positive side of the spectrum but even those are mostly of the 3* variety with a handful of outlets pushing the score to 3.5*/4*. What we don't see are any gushing 5* verdicts! 

That's not necessarily the end of the world, though, as Aquaman is already breaking records in China and the current Rotten Tomatoes score is 79% which really isn't that bad (on Metacritics, it has 53/100). These numbers will keep changing for now, though.

All of the reviews compiled below - and we have a lot of them - are spoiler-free, so to take a look, all you guys have to do is click on the "View List" button for the full article!

It’s a wobbly balancing act – a few spinning plates come crashing down – but it’s also an insanely fun moviegoing experience that revels in absurd decadence like few comic book adaptations can brag (things just…happen). Aquaman confirms James Wan’s adoration of cinematic vitality and free-spirited vision unknowing of boundaries. I’ll take death by Auntie Sue’s Triple German Chocolate Fudge Ripple Cake – baked with twenty cups of sugar and immeasurable love – over pre-packaged grocery store desserts any day. [3.5/5]

SOURCE: We Got This Covered

There is scarcely a scene in Aquaman that couldn't have benefited from the fun sense of wit and surprise that Momoa delivers more or less on his own. Kidman supplies short-lived warmth and gravitas as Aquaman's mum, while Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has a side role as a vengeance-minded fighter. Technically, the film is everything its fan base wants and expects, and the underwater setting imparts a sometimes enchanted feel that at least distinguishes it from most other superhero epics. Rupert Gregson-Williams efficient score seems to almost never let up.

SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter

It’s weird though. Despite all the things Aquaman has going for it, there’s no denying the acting in the film is merely adequate. That the dialogue isn’t exactly smart. Some of the characters don’t change all that much. And yes, the film could have been better if those things were all up to the level we know the people involved are capable of achieving. And yet, Aquaman is made with such spirit, with such lofty goals when it comes to world-building, somehow those things get pushed aside, the 12-year-old inside you comes out, and you eat it all up like a kid in a candy store. This is grandiose, big-budget entertainment at its most self-aware, and even when it swings and misses, it’s still a sight to behold.


The glee that director James Wan clearly has playing in the world of Aquaman is infectious. He’s made a movie for both types of 10-year-olds: literal kids and those who are 10 at heart. Aquaman is one hell of a popcorn movie – a fun time and a big bet for the DC movie universe that pays off in creating an exciting new realm for future
installments to hopefully explore further. Wan’s geeky epic is chock-full of ridiculous elements and, on paper, it really shouldn’t work as well as it does, but it’s all so inherently weird and brazenly bonkers that the siren call of this giddy, otherworldly romp is hard to resist. [7.5/10]


Ultimately, Aquaman is a superhero origin story that separates itself from the rest of the Worlds of DC movies as much as possible - but not in a way that disparages the work of the directors who came before Wan. Instead, Aquaman stands on its own feet in a way that reflects Arthur's own journey of coming into his own as a superhero, separate from the other heroes of the land. Further, while the unique personality of Momoa's Arthur and Wan's directing may not win over every viewer, Aquaman is a wild adventure through stunning undersea worlds that's sure to delight fans of this character and his DC Comics legacy. It may not be the movie that completely turns the tide in the public perception of this DC franchise, but Aquaman is a solid standalone effort with plenty of potential for even greater success in a sequel. [3.5/5]

SOURCE: Screen Rant

Bad habits aside, though, Aquaman mostly achieves what many thought unachieveable – turning AC into a credible big-screen hero in his own right, finally unshackled from team-ups and extended universes. It may not be the jewel in the DCEU crown, but it might just give the faltering franchise its sea legs. [3/5]

SOURCE: Den Of Geek

There was never a question that at this stage in Hollywood’s comic-book economy that every superhero would eventually get his or her own standalone blockbuster. Even Aquaman. But Wan, a director who’s proven himself to be a can’t-miss ace regardless of genre (from the horror formulas of The Conjuring and Insidious to the big-budget tentpole mayhem of Furious 7) seems to finally be out of his depth. He’s conjured an intriguing world, but populated that world with dramatic cotton candy and silly characters, including a hero who’s unsure if he wants to make us laugh or feel — and winds up doing neither. Pass the Dramamine. [C-]

SOURCE: Entertainment Weekly

At the end of the day (or, anytime of the day, really) I think I admire Aquaman more than I like it. It’s certainly ambitious. Remember earlier when I used the cliché about this movie “swinging for the fences.” I do think Wan and company pulled off what they wanted to accomplish. But it’s basically a “swing for the fence” where the ball donks off someone’s head and then goes over the fence, leaving us all standing here not knowing quite what to make of what we just saw. Should I cheer? Should I laugh? Is everyone okay? Aquaman is one strange movie, but certainly a fun one.

SOURCE: Uproxx

With the addition of Aquaman, Warner Bros and DC now have a proven track record that they can make superhero movies that audiences want.  Future projects like Wonder Woman 1984, Shazam!, and Birds of Prey can be looked forward to with anticipation.  It will interesting to see what Warner Bros rolls out in the next few years.

SOURCE: That Hashtag Show

This is an Aquaman film that needs lots more Aquaman and vastly less bombast. It’s visually wild and recklessly inventive, but the cast deserve better than to be cast adrift in a tempest of CGI. [3/5]

SOURCE: Empire Online

Wan manages to marry Arthurian fantasy and swashbuckling adventure with camp in Aquaman, a film that feels a little like a miracle in Warner Bros.’ catalogue of superhero movies. Left to its own devices and mostly unconnected from the films that came before it, Aquaman is one of the weirdest, oddball blockbuster superhero movies ever. [8/10]

SOURCE: Slash Film

This might have worked as a preview. To give you a taster of worlds to come. But with so many opportunities missed, even to have shown what one of the soldiers was going through, constantly used as cannon fodder for the CGI, this is less like Game Of Thrones and more like Green Lantern. You thought they’d have learnt… Obviously, your mileage may vary. I don’t actively want my two hours back and am glad I saw the film. But by wanting to be so many things to so many people, I think it has lost what it could have been somewhere in the middle.

SOURCE: Bleeding Cool


Warner Bros. has weathered some stormy seas in recent attempts to adapt DC’s iconic characters to the silver screen. Wonder Woman was a ray of hope last year and Aquaman is an emphatic statement that DC Films and Warner Bros. are back and here to stay. Director James Wan has given the studio its best, most complete DC movie of the current era. Time will tell, but Aquaman may one day be in the conversation with the classics of decades past.

SOURCE: Batman-News

And then, of course, there are Kidman, as Aquaman’s Atlantean mother, and Dafoe, as his loyal (if secret) trainer and supporter. There they are, splashing along with the rest of them. When they were first cast I thought, oh, how sad, what a waste. But they clearly knew something I didn’t. Aquaman isn’t a masterpiece, but it has an idea at its heart—or, better yet, a feeling. Wan has taken a seemingly impossible task and imbued it with clarity and personality. Which, for now, will have to be close enough stand-ins for true purpose.

SOURCE: Vanity Fair

“Aquaman” is a sword-and-sorcery sci-fi archaeology horror war superhero epic without shame. But why would it have shame? James Wan dives into the strangest caverns of DC’s vast mythologies and brings it all to the big screen, challenging you to accept just how unusual superhero stories can be.

SOURCE: The Wrap
But Wilson is just, frankly, dull. He is not allowed to develop an interesting character and he suffers from the obvious comparison with Loki, Thor’s adopted brother played with relish by Tom Hiddleston as a velvety-voiced villain. But then Momoa’s good-ol’-boy characterisation of Aquaman itself only goes so far. This is a film that never quite comes up for air. [2/5]

SOURCE: Guardian

Aquaman may not be as accomplished as DC colleague Wonder Woman, but what it occasionally lacks in coherence it makes up for in ambition. This is a film that remembers blockbusters are meant to be fun, and anyone fed up with the seriousness of modern superhero movies will have a blast. [3/5]

SOURCE: Radio Times

For anyone shelling out full price for a movie ticket, this is surely the payoff they’ve been anticipating — all the more spectacular in Imax, for which nearly all the phospholuminescent ocean footage has been custom formatted. It’s an interesting inversion of the usual superhero movie formula to find a director investing most of his creative energy into the ending, rather than the origin-story stretch up front — a luxury afforded by the fact Aquaman was introduced in “Justice League” a year earlier. The way this movie ends, “that fish boy from the TV” (as he’s derisively dismissed early on) can clearly hold his own against any of his super friends.

SOURCE: Variety


The film’s finale, the undersea war that was promised, is the first time I can ever remember looking forward to a giant CGI battle, and I can’t wait until someone recuts it to the B-52s “Rock Lobster,” Fred Schneider announcing each new fighting sea creature as it zooms through the deep. Aquaman’s as formulaic, excessively thrashy, and mommy-obsessed as any other entry in the DCEU, but its visual imagination is genuinely exciting and transportive, and dare I say, fun. If you came for the Aquaman mythos, you won’t be disappointed, but if you’re just here for the creatures of the deep, you’ll be more than satisfied.

SOURCE: Vulture

I really like Jason Momoa—but Hakuna Matata Aquaman is more shtick, than character, and as such, works better in an ensemble than dolo. Really, I just think making an over-the-top Aquaman that’s silly and goofy and has bad guys dressed like the Power Rangers robot is the easy way out. "It’s Aquaman," they’ll say. "He talks to fish, this could’ve never been The Dark Knight," they’ll argue. Sure. But there was a way to not go full Saturday morning cartoon and somehow still fall short of the Saturday morning cartoon that did it 10x better and more badass (my son lost a hand!). Casting against type with Jason was the first of few truly genius inspired choices.

SOURCE: Complex

In a nutshell, Aquaman is a fun, exciting, imaginative, occasionally silly but undoubtedly epic adventure that establishes an incredibly rich new cinematic world and helps DC and Warner Bros. right their comic-book ship. [3.5/5]

SOURCE: Cinema Blend

Did I think it was coherent in any way? Certainly not, but there is no denying that this new incarnation of Aquaman will go down in history as the most fun and most anarchic yet, and believe it or not, it works on several levels and shows that DC can do lighthearted as well as epic, just don’t go in expecting it to make much sense. A rollocking aquatic mess, but in a good way. [4/5]


Again, this film is far from perfect, but at the very least it doesn't feel like its main reason for existence is to keep pace with Marvel Studios. It's still style over substance a lot of the time, but that style bears a real love for the source material, and that's what should be at the heart of every superhero film. Well, that and Jason Momoa's abs.


And no, before you ask, Aquaman doesn’t feel like a Marvel movie, either. I’d wager it goes to far weirder places than any MCU movie—besides maybe Thor: Ragnarok—would go. Under the Marvel umbrella, you can probably expect a satisfying origin story or outer space romp. But under DC, it turns out it’s better down where it’s wetter. Take it from me. [B+]

SOURCE: Collider


Wan clearly put sizable effort into mining a few gratifying moments from the bland rubble of “Justice League.” The cynical, hard-drinking muscleman actually seems like a compelling idea for modern times. As a protector of the Earth’s most fragile environment, he’s the ultimate fearsome rejoinder to the characterization of climate change as a puny liberal ideal. In a better world, “Aquaman” would excel at delivering an ecological message to the masses. But all the fish in the sea can’t salvage a movie that refuses to go more than surface deep. [C]

SOURCE: Indie Wire

The best point of comparison for Aquaman is Black Panther, another superhero movie about a king of a forgotten realm reclaiming his throne. But whereas Ryan Coogler’s surprisingly affecting superhero film restored weight to both the choreography and the drama of the genre, Aquaman remains adrift, so much fantasy flotsam and jetsam floating before our eyes.

SOURCE: Slant Magazine

An “Aquaman” sequel is reportedly in the works. The series already has a strong leading man and a feel for an epic. The filmmakers just need to find the heart of their ocean.

SOURCE: New York Post

There are some legitimate criticisms you can level against Aquaman. You could never say, however, that this movie doesn’t go for it. It goes for everything — maybe too much, when all is said and done. Just because you can turn wine into flying wine knives doesn’t mean you can make actual miracles happen.

SOURCE: Screen Crush

This confidence in tacky wackiness is perhaps what makes “Aquaman” ultimately a success. It’s like the toddler that wants to dress like a princess clown hobo and it’s having such a fun time playing dress up, who are you to shit on its enjoyable parade? This visually clumsy and gauche, but spectacular, movie knows what it wants to be when it grows up for better or worse. [C]

SOURCE: The Playlist

In the end, Aquaman’s greatest strength is its visual style. Even when it borders on bioluminescent whimsy, it’s so distinctly and ceaselessly its own, instead of mimicking its DC/Warner Bros. counterparts. You almost don’t mind that you’re watching comic book cheesiness or such a convoluted plot because, like Momoa’s hair, it’s just so fun to look at.


To be sure, after so many sad-faced DC superhero films, there’s a kick to Aquaman’s sheer pleasure in playing with the iconography of comic-book cinema’s larger-than-life heroes and supersized fight scenes. But in some ways, shaking up the formula only reveals how much of the formula still remains. Aquaman is over-the-top, but it can’t overcome that limitation.

SOURCE: Screen Daily

Aquaman’s echoes of Marvel hits like Black Panther and the Thor series (fantastical kingdoms; high tech twinned with ancient tradition; young rulers wrestling with responsibility) don’t do it too many favours. But compare its embrace of escapism and sense of grandeur with the posturing gloom of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or Justice League’s weedy spectacle, and it feels like a step in the right direction for the DCEU. What’s more, its hero’s former ‘joke character’ status is kept well at bay. [3/5]

SOURCE: Total Film

Even with its flaws and struggles with originality, “Aquaman” is reminiscent of the early Marvel movies in its storytelling, best when taking wild swings instead of being an earnest superhero jam. 

For all its sporadic wackiness and wonder, on balance Aquaman still comes out a bore. But they’ve given it a heroic shake. [2/5]

SOURCE: The Telegraph

Add in Rupert Gregson-Williams’ score, which swings from Tron-like electro-pop to more traditional full-orchestra arrangements, and were it not for Black Panther and Into the Spider-Verse, Aquaman would easily clinch the title for best superhero movie of the year. Its unapologetic ridiculousness is exactly why it’s so delightful, bucking so many of the rules set for the genre in the last decade. If it finds success, it’s easy to imagine Aquaman ushering in a new wave of these films. 

SOURCE: Polygon

Aquaman is a successful movie that defies the odds. A film built on the premise of a character forgotten and ridiculed for decades, it works where other comic book movies fail by embracing the character’s past and doing it with gusto. [7/10]

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