Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse"s First Movie Reviews Are In

The first movie reviews for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse are officially in, as critics are giving their thoughts on the highly anticipated sequel. Miles Morales is getting ready to swing back to the big screen this summer as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse will continue the hero's exploration through the greater multiverse. As Miles reunites with old allies, he will also be meeting new members of the Spider-Verse along the way.
In just a few days, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse will finally be out in theaters as Miles' animated adventure continues on the big screen. With only days left to go, critics have started sharing their thoughts on the second chapter in the Spider-Verse franchise. Check out several excerpts below:
Molly Freeman, Screen Rant,
Ultimately, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is not just a remarkable animated movie, it's an extraordinary movie full-stop. It's the kind of superhero movie that transcends the genre, appealing to audiences of all ages with its story about growing up, which just happens to be couched in a universe where the Spider-Society exists and pays homage to decades of Spider-Man's multimedia legacy. As such, Across the Spider-Verse is a must-see movie that feels destined to follow in its predecessor's footsteps of winning an Oscar. The film is so stunning and emotionally heart-wrenching that it's worth seeing multiple times, and will no doubt be just as astonishing and entertaining on every viewing.
Kate Erbland, Indiewire,
And if all of this sounds like a tremendous amount to pack into a single film, there’s the rub. In a somewhat disappointing twist, “Across the Spider-Verse” isn’t really a single film, it’s instead one-half of a planned two-film sequel. The decision to split the sequel into two films seems to have been lost on plenty of fans. Lord and Miller announced the two-part sequel, complete with “Part One” and “Part Two” title addendums, back in December 2021. By April 2022, the two films had been renamed “Across the Spider-Verse” and “Beyond the Spider-Verse,” a move that seems to have caused the bulk of the confusion. Even in this critic’s well-attended screening, the end reveal that this story is very much not over was met with cocked heads.
Ross Nonaime, Collider,
Across the Spider-Verse, however, is certainly not all style and no substance, as Lord, Miller, and Callaham have crafted a story that ups the ante on all of Miles Morales’ problems. His relationship with his family is more fractured and complicated, now that he’s accepted the responsibilities of Spider-Man, yet he’s still trying to figure out how to approach this mantle that he’s been given. He misses his friends, and feels left out in a community that existed without his knowledge. And he’s worried that the people he loves the most are going to be hurt simply because of who he is. While Into the Spider-Verse ended with Miles stating that anyone could wear the mask, Across the Spider-Verse complicates that, asking if that could be true, and even confronting in a very meta way what it even means to be a Spider-Man at its essence. Across the Spider-Verse manages to make this last question a major struggle that Miles has to explore, but the film also has a lot of fun diving into our collective knowledge of the Spider-Man canon and tossing in major Easter eggs and incredible jokes for the casual and die-hard Spider-Man fans to catch.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety,
Without giving away more, I’ll say this: “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” ends with that old-fashioned thing, a cliffhanger. (The decision was made several years ago to slice the sequel in two.) At the preview showing I attended, I heard a surge of playful testiness in the audience: We have to wait? To find out what happens? For how long? The original cliffhanger serials, the ones that inspired “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” kept you waiting one week. In this case, we have to wait closer to a year. But the impatience I heard was really about the investment the audience felt. “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” has made a pact with us, one that’s increasingly rare in the pop movie universe. It’s telling us the series is going to keep us hooked, in every frame, on the promise of surprise.
Jordan Farley, GamesRadar,
Made simultaneously with threequel Beyond the Spider-Verse, there are inevitable part one problems to reckon with – half-complete character arcs, massive dangling plot threads – so brace for a lack of resolution. And whether the story set up here will pay off in Beyond the Spider-Verse remains to be seen, though given that film is (optimistically) scheduled for release in less than a year, there’s not long to wait. For now, Into the Spider-Verse has the edge over this wilder, webbier, half-complete sequel double-bill, but swings this ambitious and accomplished don’t come along nearly often enough. If Into the Spider-Verse heralded a new era for animation, Across the Spider-Verse is evidence that the adventures of the one and only Spider-Man were far from a one-off.
Eric Francisco, Inverse,
Even when not at all expectations set by Into the Spider-Verse are met, Across the Spider-Verse nimbly weaves an intricate all-ages blockbuster with rare style and aplomb. It is both magnificent and exhausting, sometimes all at once. While a confirmed threequel will be the one to actually make what feels like an impossible landing, for now, Across the Spider-Verse swings above even the loftiest expectations that even its faults — a busybody plot, a baffling cliffhanger, and the sorely felt absence of transcendent set-pieces with masterful needle drops — aren’t enough to collapse this delicate interpretation of Spider-Man’s mythology. In a time when the multiverse is now too stale of a premise, these animated Spider-Man movies impossibly unearth the last bits of electricity left to impress.
Kristy Puchko, Mashable,
Directors Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson make it look easy, when it was anything but. Remarkably, they've maintained the clumsy but kinetic romantic chemistry between Miles and Gwen. They've expanded the world of this film series without losing a grip on what drew audiences to it to begin with. The animation is exhilarating, dynamic in its action, expressive in its gestures and colors, and chaotic without being confounding. The voice cast matches the energy of the aesthetic with performances that are playful yet poignant. Then, the story, penned by Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, and Dave Callaham, revisits themes, characters, and plot points from the first film, while avoiding feeling like a lazy retread. Instead, these recurrences probe deeper into the dilemma of being Spider-Man.
Ian Sandwell, Digital Spy,
Where Across the Spider-Verse lets itself down slightly is in its finale. Unlike Fast X and its multiple cliffhangers, the sequel does feel like a complete story even without a full resolution, but its final sequence is dragged out. It's not a Return of the King situation, yet it picks an underwhelming reveal to end on. It won't stop you wanting to see the sequel again straightaway though. Whatever issues with the finale, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is another towering achievement that will restore your faith in comic book movies.
Ben Travis, Empire Online,
​​​Make no mistake, Across The Spider-Verse is masterful. It’s pop art that doesn’t just pop — it hums, fizzes and bangs; art that doesn’t just exist for the sake of being regarded, but uses everything at its disposal to make you feel deeply. It’s a blockbuster drum solo — literally, at one point — dazzling on so many levels while never losing the beat; a paean to what’s possible when rewriting the rules. It’s as good as sequels get — challenging its own mythology, questioning the notion that “anyone can wear the mask”, and interrogating the tenets of what makes a Spider-Man. If Beyond The Spider-Verse sticks the landing, we could be in for a new all-time-great trilogy. What’s up, danger?
Brian Truitt, USA Today,
The buddy dynamic between Miles and Peter Parker (Jake Johnson) was one of the highlights of the 2018 movie, though it’s sidelined here as Peter returns in a backup role (and with a new Spider-baby in tow). This time around, heartfelt moments between Miles and Gwen as well as Miles and his mom show the youngster maturing at the same time he learns truths about the multiverse and faces an existential crisis, as “Across the Spider-Verse” builds toward a whopper of a climax. The sequel both honors and reimagines the Spider-Man mythos for a new generation of movie fans with an artistic bent, a love for its characters and a willingness to break the rules to create something special.


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