We all know Fifty Shades of Grey wasn’t supposed to be a cinematic masterpiece, but the critics didn’t hesitate to pound that fact home.
The flick premieres today, but of course the industry people got a sneak peek, and spoke their minds! At the time of writing this, Rotten Tomatoes has it at 28% (AKA ROTTEN), while IMDB rates it 4.3/10 stars. Oh, and it has a 47 on Metacritic as well! Ouch!
Ch-ch-check out what some of Hollywood’s biggest critics had to say:
Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s a slow build to the smutty bits, and one that’s disappointingly devoid of tension. Even so, the movie is, by definition, a stronger proposition than the book because it strips away the oodles of cringe-inducing descriptions and internal monologue that tip the text heavily toward self-parody.”
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: “Though it has its charms, including pleasing and well-matched actors Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan as the star-crossed couple, these pleasures have little to do with the bondage-themed sexual encounters that enabled E.L. James’ badly written, unapologetically graphic trilogy of novels to sell a whopping 100 million copies in 52 languages worldwide.”
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: “The movie Fifty Shades of Grey is considerably better written than the book. It is also sort of classy-looking, in a generic, TV-ad-for-bath-oil way. Dakota Johnson, who plays the virgin English-literature major Anastasia Steele, and Jamie Dornan, who plays Christian Grey, the wildly rich and sexually … particular business titan who wants Miss Steele in his playroom, are exceedingly attractive actors with enviably supple bodies well suited to nakedness. And really, under the circumstances, movable parts matter more than acting skills.”
A.O. Scott, New York Times: “It dabbles in romantic comedy and splashes around in melodrama, but the one thing it can’t be — the thing the novel so trashily and triumphantly is — is pornography.”
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: “Going in, I expected either a camp hoot or a complete, slavishly faithful Submissive of a film, playing opposite the Dominant novel. Instead, ‘Fifty Shades’ turns out to be roughly as pretty good as the first ‘Twilight’ appropriate, since James wrote ‘Fifty Shades’ as sexed-up, loinzapoppin’ fan fiction paying tribute to the ‘Twilight’ bestsellers.”
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair: “Fifty Shades of Grey is not the lame, hot-and-bothered fantasy romance many, including myself, thought it would be. It’s got wit and humor and a modest intelligence about human behavior that, say, the Twilight movies never had.”
Alynda Wheat, People: “What the film gets spot-on is the essence of E.L. James’s wildly successful stab at Twilight fan fiction: the frisson of excitement when na├â┬»ve college senior Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) embarks on an affair with wealthy CEO Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). It’s too bad the movie also imports James’s atrociously written prose and bizarre sexual politics, but then, no one buys a Fifty Shades ticket for the dialogue.”
Justin Chang, Variety: “If the problem with too many literary adaptations is a failure to capture the author’s voice, then that shortcoming turns out to be the single greatest virtue of Fifty Shades of Grey. … Director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel have brought out a welcome element of cheeky, knowing humor that gradually recedes as the action plunges into darker, kinkier territory.”
Rafer Guzm├â┬ín, Newsday: “You might be equally agog at how an R-rated film full of kinky sex and dirty talk could be so painfully dull. Fifty Shades of Grey stars a fetching Dakota Johnson as Anastasia, a college student pining for romance, and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey, the handsome billionaire with a riding crop fetish. The actors are attractive, and we see just about every naked inch of them. Despite all the waist-down action, though, the movie has no pulse. What’s more, it’s dead from the neck up.”
Scott Mendelson, Forbes: “Fifty Shades of Grey is exactly what it promises and little more. Johnson is pretty terrific while Dornan does what he can with the material he is given, and they do make a somewhat entertaining couple. The film is an explicit and unapologetic female escapist fantasy in a time when such things are few-and-far between in Hollywood.”
Claudia Puig, USA Today: “Those looking for hot, kinky sex will be disappointed. Fewer than 15 of the movie’s 125 minutes feature sex scenes. Discussion of contracts and objections over line items outweigh erotica. Even the graphic nudity grows numbing.”
Justin Craig, FoxNews.com: “Just how sexually explicit is Fifty Shades of Grey? It’s mild. Sure there’s plenty of nudity, but more salacious material is shown every day on cable. It’s not even close to late-night Cinemax. You’ll find more disturbing images in Saw or Game of Thrones├óΓé¼┬ª The mediocre plot, bland characters and tepid tone don’t do any favors. Director Sam Taylor-Johnson treats the movie as serious as a cadaver, which is truly a major disappointment. The screenplay by Kelly Marcel, based on E.L. James’ novel, is empty of message or meaning. Those faults alone make Fifty Shades a boring, pointless film.”
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