Critics Gush Over ‘Birds of Prey’: ‘If Only All Comic Book Movies Felt This Fun’

Reviews hail the “gonzo” spirit of Cathy Yan’s DC film and Margot Robbie’s unmissable performance as Harley Quinn

Birds of Prey
Warner Bros.

Early reviews for Warner Bros/DC’s “Birds of Prey” are in, and critics are hailing it as “fun,” “gonzo” and “incredibly feisty.” Oh, and Margot Robbie’s pretty amazing too.

With 52 reviews logged so far, the film has a 91% Rotten Tomatoes score, which if it were to hold would make it the third DC Extended Universe film alongside “Wonder Woman” and “Shazam!” to earn a score above 90%. While some criticisms were made about the plot’s problems with balancing the character arcs of multiple characters, praise was given to director Cathy Yan and her team for making a colorful and wild adventure that shines a spotlight on some of the DC heroines that might not be as well known to the masses as Wonder Woman.

And of course, there’s Robbie’s performance as Harley Quinn, breaking out on her own and making sure the world knows her as more than just Joker’s sidekick. TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde wrote that “Robbie once again gives Harley a bravura physicality…and she pinballs delightfully between the character’s extremes of boop-oop-a-doop sex kitten and experienced, clinical psychiatrist.”

“Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)” is in theaters this Friday. Read more of what the critics are saying below.

Kristen Lopez, FanSided

” Cathy Yan doesn’t give us a clarion so much as a call to arms on the electric guitar. ‘Birds of Prey’ is a colorful and rollicking story that puts women front and center seeking autonomy, not just from their comic book origins but the fandom seeking the same old thing.”

Hannah Woodhead, Little White Lies

“Rather than the paint-by-numbers girl power of ‘Captain Marvel’ and ‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Birds of Prey’ presents flawed, multi-faceted women as more than an afterthought in male-driven narratives. Quinn’s incessant narration distracts a little from the story, but otherwise this is a welcome tonic to the grimdark macho worlds of ‘Batman v Superman’ and ‘Justice League.’ If only all comic book movies felt this fun.”

Susana Polo, Polygon

“Each character’s storyline is given a slightly different genre and tone, as well, one of a number of tactics the production employs to mimic Harley’s manic internal life. Huntress stalks around ‘Birds of Prey’ like it’s a ‘Kill Bill’-esque revenge epic, while Renee Montoya is in a hard-boiled cop flick. The main heroine ensemble actors all breathe a wonderful amount of life into little-known characters overdue for mainstream attention.”

Helen O’Hara, Time Out

“Yan steps up to the plate without a trace of the nerves you might expect of a first-time big-budget director. The film’s costumes and design are flamboyantly conceived and the action scenes impress. It takes a long time to get all these heroines to the same place, and some of the violence feels gratuitous and upsetting, but ‘Birds of Prey’ isn’t interested in hitting all the usual superhero movie beats. It works because we haven’t seen this story a thousand times before, and because it leaves behind the grim-dark posturing of ‘Suicide Squad’. It’s nice to see a joker who doesn’t take herself too seriously.”

Kate Erbland, IndieWire

“the film’s conclusion — offering both sewn-up satisfaction and the inevitable open door for other franchise adventures — is marred by a weirdo break in logic that could have been fixed with some swapped pages or more coherent editing. It’s a strange place to leave a film that unites its disparate parts with a gutsy, entertaining climax, but the violent finale ultimately gives way to a head-scratching finish. Perhaps audiences will still be so high on the film’s final action sequence, a delightfully unhinged battle that takes place at a dilapidated carnival so perfect for Harley’s funhouse brand that they won’t notice how shakily it all wraps up.”