Entertainment From The Editors

Black Panther: The Best Film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Yet?

If you thought Black Panther’s teasers were awesome, then fasten your seatbelts for the full works because it sure has the potential to burst an artery, or two, with a big rush of adrenaline!

The newly crowned king of the African Nation of Wakanda, T’ Challa (Chadwick Boseman), a.k.a Black Panther has a daunting task ahead of him as his dominion is challenged by long-time adversary Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) in a clash that has global ramifications.

Here are some of the critical responses this Ryan Coogler-directed film has attracted.

Rotten Tomatoes has given the film an approval rating of 97% based on 237 reviews, with an average rating of 8.3/10.

“Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU’s most absorbing stories—and introducing some of its most fully realized characters,” reads the websites critical consensus.

Image: Disney
Image: Disney

According to Metacritic’s rating, the film has scored 87 out of 100, based on 52 critics, indicating “universal acclaim.”

“For a film that touches on so many very real and very serious topics, you might expect Black Panther to be an entirely solemn affair,” writes IGN’s Jim Vejvoda. “Some parts are, but it’s also an entertaining adventure film about an action hero with awesome gadgets and a super-suit, a fun film with many laugh-out-loud moments, and a gorgeous movie with a distinctive visual style that can’t be mistaken for any other big-budget movie. It’s a testament to director/co-writer Ryan Coogler’s skill that he juggles all these elements without his film ending up tonally inconsistent.”

“Black Panther is Marvel’s boldest movie yet, and fortunately, it’s also one of its best. As a studio, Marvel has thrived by redefining the constructs of serialized cinematic storytelling, honoring the comic book characters fans love, and allowing filmmakers to put their singular stamp on the material,” says Collider’s Haleigh Foutch.

“Black Panther checks all those marks, but it’s also allowed to be more insular than the average Marvel movie; a decision that proves not just beneficial, but essential when you realize the full weight of the story it wants to tell. Because Black Panther isn’t just a crowd-pleasing superhero movie (though it is that for sure), it’s a vital moment in cinema history and a heartfelt, thoughtful exploration of the scars of colonialism and the hope for healing.”

Photo Credit: Alamy
Photo Credit: Alamy

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone writes: “It’s finally here – and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Black Panther is an epic that doesn’t walk, talk or kick ass like any other Marvel movie – an exhilarating triumph on every level from writing, directing, acting, production design, costumes, music, special effects to you name it. For children (and adults) of color who have longed forever to see a superhero who looks like them, Marvel’s first black-superhero film is an answered prayer, a landmark adventure, and a new film classic.”

“The actors are all seen to very good advantage. Boseman certainly holds his own, but there are quite a few charismatic supporting players here keen to steal every scene they can – and they do, notably the physically imposing Jordan, the radiant Nyong’o and especially Wright, who gives her every scene extra punch and humor,” says Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter.

Nerdist’s Marc Bernardin writes that “the film does deal head-on with issues of race, subjugation, and oppression in ways both heartbreaking and hilarious. The final coda is as direct an address to the xenophobia at home in our current administration as that which you’ll find in any film this year, let alone any giant Marvel movie. As a nerd and as a black man, I’ve been waiting for this movie for my entire life, whether I knew it or not. The fact that Black Panther gets so much right, but one crucial thing wrong, is both thrilling and maddening.”

Manohla Dargis of the New York Times calls it a “jolt of a movie” that “creates wonder with great flair and feeling partly through something Hollywood rarely dreams of anymore: myth. Most big studio fantasies take you out for a joy ride only to hit the same exhausted story and franchise-expanding beats. Not this one. Its axis point is the fantastical nation of Wakanda, an African Eden where verdant-green landscapes meet blue-sky science fiction.

There, spaceships with undercarriages resembling tribal masks soar over majestic waterfalls, touching down in a story that has far more going for it than branding.”

Cast and Characters

  • Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther]
  • Michael B. Jordan as N’Jadaka / Erik “Killmonger” Stevens
  • Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia
  • Danai Gurira as Okoye
  • Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross
  • Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi: Letitia Wright as Shuri
  • Winston Duke as M’Baku
  • Angela Bassett as Ramonda
  • Forest Whitaker as Zuri
  • Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue

Producer: Kevin Feige
Director: Ryan Coogler
Based on: Black Panther by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

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