The Transformers movies have never really received a particularly warm response from critics, with 2018's Bumblebee the only instalment to be deemed "Fresh" ("Certified Fresh," to be precise) on Rotten Tomatoes.
Michael Bay's efforts are all "Rotten" according to the review aggregator, but how is Steven Caple Jr.'s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts faring now the review embargo has lifted? While undeniably mixed, these early verdicts are still skewing on the positive side. However, it's apparent this latest chapter in the long-running series is no critical darling.
ALSO READ: Does Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
Have A Post-Credits Scene? SPOILERS Follow!
As we write this, the movie has a disappointing 56% score on Rotten Tomatoes (it debuted with 70%). That's not really any better than its predecessors, with the highest-rated Bay movie being 2007's Transformers at 57%.
From there, you have Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (20%), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (35%), Transformers: Age of Extinction (18%), and Transformers: The Last Knight (16%). As for Bumblebee, that has 91%, but what sort of impact Rise of the Beasts' reviews will have on its opening weekend remains to be seen.
"Thanks to some genuine human drama between the set pieces and palpable affection for the title characters," reads the review aggregator's Critics Consensus, "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is one of the franchise's more enjoyable outings."
We'll be sharing our verdict soon, but for now, you can check out some early reviews (via SFFGazette.com) below.
[The] very end of the movie teases an interesting new direction for the series (it will probably be spoiled for you by the time this review is published), so maybe there’s hope yet that the franchise is willing to embrace new adventures. As far as Transformers movies go, Rise of the Beasts is an acceptable new start. [6/10] - JoBlo.com
A tantalizing post-credits scene sets up a storyline that might have fans willing to go along for one last ride, but "Rise of the Beasts" confirms what we already knew: not even Pete Davidson can save a franchise running on fumes. [5/10] - Slash Film
If you’re a fan of Transformers, you are going to like Rise of the Beasts. It’s got everything that makes these movies worth watching and more. If you don’t like Transformers, there are certainly weaknesses to focus on, but the film’s earnestness and passion for its characters attempts to rise above that. Along with a lot of super fun action, of course, which is always good. - Gizmodo
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts isn't a terrible movie, but there's very little about it that's particularly good, either. After a promising opening act, it turns into just another generic CGI action-fest that left me numb. - GameSpot
Rise of the Beast exhibits the usual tenets of the Transformers universe, filled with plot armor thicker than Optimus Prime’s metallic exoskeleton. The narrative crutch of invincibility seems permanently welded to our robotic heroes, which could have been reimagined in a more balanced way by the franchise’s seventh film. Sure, there are the usual thrills, but the series needs a touch of that Autobot innovation to transform and rise to new cinematic heights. - Deadline
Transformers: Rise of the Beasts proves that the Transformers franchise is accelerating in the right direction, delivering solid Autobots action and a solid voice cast behind the infamous robots in disguise. [7/10] - IGN
There’s a bombast built into the material, but let it be said that the “Transformers” movies have been transformed. They’re no longer the kind of fun you have to hate. - Variety
Every trace of personality has been scrubbed from a series that could once claim the cold consolation of being bizarre in its badness. Even the movies about the hulking, anthropomorphic heaps of space junk require some semblance of a human touch. [1/5] - The Guardian
The most tragic part of the entire debacle is the realization that Hasbro saw this movie as an opportunity to introduce grander storytelling ambitions. [D] - IndieWire