First Black Adam reactions are here — here's what critics love and hate

DWAYNE JOHNSON as Black Adam in BLACK ADAM
(Image credit: Frank Masi)

So, with Black Adam almost finally here, after years upon years of waiting, we're finally hearing actual reactions to the quality of the movie. And, to be frank, it doesn't exactly sound like it may have been worth the wait.

Yes, after Black Adam premiered yesterday (Oct. 13), the first reactions to the film hit social media. And while some reactions praise parts of the movie, there's apparently a lot of issues with the film, too. Even on a structural level. 

Thankfully, there's no need to sound a spoiler horn, as it seems all of those who got to see Dwayne Johnson's DCEU debut as Black Adam are playing by the rules when it comes to details about the film.

Here's what everyone's saying about Black Adam, let us know in the comments below if this is going to alter your interest in seeing the movie:

Black Adam reactions: What critics like

So, let's start with the positives. Scott Menzel (opens in new tab) of We Live Entertainment, praised Black Adam "everything that I hoped it would be and more." In praise that may sound like a warning to some, he also called it "A Snyder-esque antihero spectacle," though he also noted that it offers "big action and impressive set pieces." Dwayne Johnson, he notes, was "born to play" Black Adam. He also compliments the performances Noah Centino (Atom Smasher) and Quintessa Swindell (Cyclone).

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Joseph Deckelmeier (opens in new tab) from The Illuminerdi also gave an entirely-positive reaction, tweeting that "is a game-changer!!" and that it's the DC movie "movie [he's] been waiting for & it did not disappoint."

The third all-positive tweet we saw came from Dorian Parks (opens in new tab) from Geeks of Color, who also says Black Adam "did not disappoint," before saying "The action sequences were incredible, especially the ones with the JSA. The Rock crushes it as Black Adam. The film’s end left me with high hopes for the future of the DCEU."

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Brandon Davis (opens in new tab) of Phase Zero and ComicBook.com said that Black Adam is "straight shot of adrenaline," though he couched that by saying that's only "when it moves" as he wants a Black Adam sequel with a "smoother story."

Black Adam reactions: What critics don't like

Those with negative things to say about Black Adam sometimes couched them in positives. Sean Keane (opens in new tab) of CNET did not, tweeting "Pity it’s bad - no emotional depth, zero sense of peril for the  main character and dull CGI battles."

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Alex Abad-Santos (opens in new tab) of Vox noted that while "Black Adam works in many ways — a Dwayne Johnson and Pierce Brosnan charm offensive; Aldis Hodge oozing charisma: Centineo and Swindell’s chemistry — but the script’s inconsistent internal logic lets them down in a lot of spots."

Matt Neglia (opens in new tab) of Next Best Picture tweeted that the film "struggles to find its footing at first," and that it has a "Weak villain." On the upside, he noted that "once the Justice Society enters it becomes more fun to watch," and that "Dwayne Johnson’s anti-hero presents an intriguing new dynamic to the DCEU."

Outlook: Is Black Adam going to be good?

Black Adam, it appears, is going to be a movie you need to properly calibrate your expectations on. Many of the reactions we've seen highlight how its script seems to be its most flawed part. Germain Lussier (opens in new tab) of Gizmodo and io9 notes that while Black Adam is "a worthy new piece of the DC puzzle, [it's] not the savior it promised."

He also said Black Adam's "surprising compressed timeline keeps the action exciting & pace propulsive, but also turns its many (many) themes, plots, & characters into fancy window dressing. It's messy in a watchable way."

So, if you can enjoy a messy superhero movie, and are ready for a brooding antihero, Black Adam looks like a good time for you. If you're wanting for something more streamlined? We're less certain. 

Next: The Netflix with ads details just dropped.

Henry T. Casey
Senior Editor

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.