Birds of Prey reviews: What critics are saying about the Harley Quinn movie

Birds of Prey reviews
(Image credit: Claudette Barius)

The Birds of Prey reviews are in, but does the all-female superhero movie fly high with movie critics or is it struggling to get off the ground?

The movie (full title: Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) stars Margot Robbie, who is reprising her role from 2016's Suicide Squad. 

Birds of Prey finds Harley Quinn teaming up with Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Black Canary and Rosie Perez as Renee Montoya. New squad, who dis?

Birds of Prey currently has a score of 87% on Rotten Tomatoes. Check out a sample of Birds of Prey reviews.

The New York Times' Birds of Prey review

A.O. Scott lauds the action scenes and the performances (particularly from Margot Robbie and Rosie Perez) but finds the jokes forced, the fun hollow and the feminist message muddled. 

Key quote: "When Harley and her crew, outnumbered and outgunned, take on legions of muscular bad guys, Birds of Prey finds a rhythm and a logic, a sense of gravity and self-assurance, that is otherwise lacking." (full review)

tl;dr: Looks great, less filling

Entertainment Weekly's Birds of Prey review

The action setpieces are great, Leah Greenblatt writes, but the violence gets to be somewhat mind-numbing. Greenblatt has kind words for the entire cast but calls out Margot Robbie for carrying the film.

Key quote: "... the catharsis of Prey’s twisted sisterhood doesn’t just read as pandemonium for its own sake; it’s actually pretty damn sweet." (full review)

tl;dr: Fights are cool but the feels are cooler

AV Club's Birds of Prey review

Katie Rife wasn't a fan of Zack Snyder's grim DCEU movies, so appreciates the flash and fun. Rife also likes the humor and gags, though the upbeat approach to violence undercuts the fight scenes.

Key quote: "[The movie] is more successful as a madcap comedy chasing Harley Quinn through the streets of Gotham than it is as a comic book adventure." (full review)

tl;dr: A fun, but bumpy roller coaster

Variety's Birds of Prey review

Margot Robbie and Mary Elizabeth Winstead are singled out by Owen Gleiberman, who generally enjoys the direction of the DCEU in Birds of Prey. But while Gleiberman gives props for the film's DGAF attitude, it also turns out to be a bit empty.

Key quote: "As a movie, it’s thin, lively, loud, brash, diverting, and forgettable." (full review)

tl;dr: A wannabe Deadpool but not as clever's Birds of Prey review

Christy Lemire raves about Robbie's standout performance, as well as the feminist themes of the film. The action sequences get praise, but Lemire acknowledges that middle section of the movie drags and the musical cues are a bit on-the-nose.

Key quote: "From its lively and vibrant animated opening, Yan’s film is a complete blast, filled with zippy energy and irresistible girl power." (full review)

tl;dr: Girls rule, villains drool

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.