Review Roundup: What Did the Critics Think of THE NEW MUTANTS? Read the Reviews!

'The New Mutants' is an original horror thriller set in an isolated hospital where a group of young mutants is being held for psychiatric monitoring.

By: Aug. 29, 2020
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Review Roundup: What Did the Critics Think of THE NEW MUTANTS? Read the Reviews!

"The New Mutants" is an original horror thriller set in an isolated hospital where a group of young mutants is being held for psychiatric monitoring. When strange occurrences begin to take place, both their new mutant abilities and their friendships will be tested as they battle to try and make it out alive.

Directed by Josh Boone ("The Fault in our Stars") and written by Josh Boone & Knate Lee, "The New Mutants" stars: Maisie Williams ("Game of Thrones"); Anya Taylor-Joy ("Glass"); Charlie Heaton ("Stranger Things"); Alice Braga ("Predators"); Blu Hunt ("The Originals"); and Henry Zaga ("13 Reasons Why").

Let's see what the critics are saying...

Michael Nordine, The Wrap: At its best, the story that arises from this setup is visually inventive and much darker than we're used to seeing in Marvel/X-Men films. One of the mutants was brought here after killing 18 people, and Dani's ability to conjure literal monsters leads to a climactic battle that's genuinely awesome. But while it's never actively bad, "The New Mutants" rarely imbues any of its happenings with any real heft. Like the remote hospital that serves as its setting, the film as a whole feels too closed off from the rest of its fictional universe to matter much.

Jason Gorber, SlashFilm: Despite all of the efforts to bring The New Mutants to the big screen, it's not a film that demands to be experienced on the larger canvas of a cinema. Maybe it's the music by Mark Snow (most famous for his X-Files work), or the cast members that we've seen numerous times on the small screen in shows like GAME OF THRONES and Stranger Things, but there's a sense that The New Mutants would work as top-notch television rather than a middling movie. Divorced from box-office expectations and worries about its inevitably limited theatrical run, the film's scope isn't overwhelmed, resulting in an entertaining if slight teen action/horror/drama that oftentimes works quite well.

Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post: The high-school drama is intriguing, but one-note, despite relatable performances from Williams and Hunt. Fast-forward to the final 20 minutes, and Boone's vision turns into an everything bagel. Featuring a demon bear, it's a messy action orgy that explains Danielle's mysterious powers, but fails to emotionally satisfy. Up till now, there has been no villain, nor any story arc beyond escaping this prison.

Peter Debruge, Variety: Despite all the meddling and interference the film reportedly endured, "The New Mutants" feels pretty coherent in the end. What it doesn't achieve is a memorable personality of its own. The project's so committed to being a 1980s-style teen- and horror-movie homage that it never distinguishes itself. What was intended to establish the foundation for a possible standalone trilogy plays like an elaborate pilot for a series you'd never watch, and while the production values are slick, the performances and set-pieces have the awkwardness of cable TV.

Scott Mendelson, Forbes: Lacking marquee characters and existing as a feature-length prologue, The New Mutants fails as a teen melodrama and, partially because we know none of the core cast is in any danger, as a horror movie. Whether it justifies itself as an X-Men movie is irrelevant since it is a very bad X-Men movie, the worst of the franchise.

Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter: Generic and, at its best, straining to be heartfelt, director Josh Boone's adaptation of the Marvel spinoff comic series is a Marvel movie spinoff in its own right, making vague references to the X-Men franchise but attempting to stand on its own. Unfortunately, it rarely does, even if the film's trio of young and tough female leads manages to give your typically male-dominated genre something of a feminine twist.

Amy Nicholson, New York Times: The story, by Boone and Knate Lee, was designed to be a potentially lucrative experiment. As "The Avengers" and "Star Wars" bloat with galactic mythology, "The New Mutants" tests the question: Can a slight genre film with one location and no name-brand characters pass itself off as a franchise blockbuster? The term "X-Men" is muttered a couple of times, as if Wolverine and company were fogies on the classic movies channel. These teens prefer a marathon of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Even Dr. Xavier, the patron saint of post-pubescent angst, is merely alluded to with a wheelchair and a look.


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