Ready Player One is now officially Certified Fresh on review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. The film, which is the newest work from legendary director Steven Spielberg, is the latest in a long line of genre pictures to open in March, and it's also the best-received. The likes of A Wrinkle In Time, Tomb Raider, and Pacific Rim Uprising all generated mixed responses. For Spielberg, this is incredibly the 22nd time in his illustrious career one of his directorial efforts has earned the Certified Fresh stamp of approval, illustrating that he still has what it takes to deliver a quality movie after all these years.
It looked like Ready Player One was destined for this after its surprise premiere at the SXSW festival. The first reactions out of the screening were mostly positive, with attendees praising the film as an old school Spielberg escapist popcorn flick. Of course, bite-sized social media reviews aren't always a harbinger of what the full-written reviews will be, but in this case that's exactly what happened.
Tonight, Rotten Tomatoes updated their Ready Player One page to give the sci-fi film the Certified Fresh ranking. As of this writing, 93 reviews have been collected and the Tomatometer stands at a robust 84 percent. The critics consensus reads, "Ready Player One is a sweetly nostalgic thrill ride that neatly encapsulates Spielberg's strengths while adding another solidly engrossing adventure to his filmography."
This development is great news for cinephiles, as the buzz surrounding Ready Player One was quite negative in the months leading up to its debut. A combination of an uninspired marketing campaign that leaned too heavily on pop culture references and biting critiques of the source material caused many to doubt the film's potential quality. However, Spielberg showed why he is still the master by transcending the book's flaws and making something that is entertainingly heartfelt. In the eyes of many, the Ready Player One film is a marked improvement over Ernest Cline's novel - which is a trick Spielberg has pulled off before in his career (see: Jaws, Jurassic Park). The director wasn't shy about admitting there are several key differences between the book and movie, which was apparently for the best. It will be interesting to see how this word-of-mouth impacts Ready Player One's box office this weekend.
Three months after releasing Best Picture nominee (and Certified Fresh) The Post, Spielberg is showing he still has plenty of gas left in the tank with a throwback adventure film that harkens back to his classics. This bodes well for his next project, Indiana Jones 5. If anything, Ready Player One was a litmus test to see if Spielberg could helm a rousing crowd-pleaser, and by all accounts, that's exactly what happened. As he gears up for his (presumably) final archeological quest with Dr. Henry Jones, Jr., it's encouraging that he hasn't lost the Spielberg magic.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes
- Ready Player One (2018) release date: Mar 29, 2018