After spending the last several years directing historical dramas (“The Post,” “Lincoln”) and family adventures (“The BFG,” “Tintin”), Steven Spielberg triumphantly returns to the world of science-fiction blockbusters in “Ready Player One.” The buzz online has been incredibly skeptical in the weeks leading up to the film’s March 28 release date, with many people criticizing the movie’s nostalgia-bait marketing, but it looks like Spielberg and Warner Bros. have nothing to worry about.
“Ready Player One” world premiered at SXSW on March 11 and the first reviews and reactions are incredibly positive. IndieWire’s own Eric Kohn called the film an “astonishing science-fiction spectacle” in his B+ review, and he’s hardly the only critic blown away by Spielberg’s relentless virtual-reality adventure.
The film, based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel, is set in a future where citizens escape from the real world by entering a virtual reality known as the Oasis. Just before the Oasis’ creator dies, he announces he’s hidden an easter egg inside the VR world and whoever finds it will gain access to his billion-dollar fortune. The film follows the young Wade Watts (Tyler Sheridan) as he sets out to find the egg.
“Ready Player One” opens in theaters nationwide March 28. Check out the first reviews and reactions below.
This is Spielberg’s biggest crowdpleaser in years, a CGI ride that wields the technology with an eye for payoff. It’s also his most stylized movie since “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence,” though a lot more fun, with the cavalcade of visuals leaving the impression that he watched a bunch of Luc Besson movies and decided he could outdo them all. The result is an astonishing sci-fi spectacle and a relentless nostalgia trip at once.
“Ready Player One” tells a breathless and relatively coherent story — essentially, the future of civilization is riding on the outcome of a video game — but the movie, first and foremost, is a coruscating explosion of pop-culture eye candy … It’s an accomplished and intermittently hypnotic movie. Yet you may feel like you’re occupied more than you are invested.
#ReadyPlayerOne is classic Steven Spielberg. It’s got the references, the ferocious effects and the great ‘80s soundtrack, sure, but also the charm, the heart, the humor and a fantastic Alan Silvestri score. I loved it & so did this #SXSW crowd. Be excited for it! pic.twitter.com/xwPOGwXDxd
— ErikDavis (@ErikDavis) March 12, 2018
TOTALLY engrossed in every second of @readyplayerone. It is one of the most technically brilliant things I have EVER seen. Spielberg is one of the few directors who could orchestrate this kind of visual symphony that SO many people will enjoy. Pretty amazing.🎮
— Grae Drake (@graedrake) March 12, 2018
#ReadyPlayerOne is classic Spielberg fun! What a blast, can’t wait to see it again. Rewards repeat viewings. Tons of great references, visuals and heart. So kick ass it blew the speakers!
— Robert Rodriguez (@Rodriguez) March 12, 2018
Ready Player One is a whole lot of fun. Those who are stuck in pre-release hate mode better prepare to be disappointed. #sxsw
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) March 12, 2018
READY PLAYER ONE: So so so much movie. Sometimes too much but what I kept thinking over and over again was “my kids are gonna LOVE THIS.” It is joyous and thrilling for the people who it’s designed to joy and thrill.
— Brian Tallerico (@Brian_Tallerico) March 12, 2018
So yeah, I LOVED Ready Player One. It’s perhaps the geekiest movie ever made. So so so happy right now!
— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) March 12, 2018
Well everyone relax, Ready Player One will indeed be the biggest thing in the world
— Emily Yoshida (@emilyyoshida) March 12, 2018
Went into READY PLAYER ONE skeptical as hell. Came out largely as a joyous convert. I have a handful of issues with the structure and characters, but it improves on the book in important ways, the action is riveting, and I really bought the humor. #readyplayerone
— Tasha Robinson (@TashaRobinson) March 12, 2018
What a fantastic love letter to games and pop culture from Mr. Spielberg! An awesome book is now an awesome film! Every gamer should see Ready Player One. Super fun, extremely satisfying and offers a ton of new things even for book readers! #AJsBadAssSealOfApproval
— Joe Vargas (@AngryJoeShow) March 12, 2018