‘Don’t Look Up’: First Reactions Praise the ‘Hilarious’ Satire, DiCaprio’s Performance and Ariana Grande’s Oscar Chances

Adam McKay’s Netflix film is an allegory for climate change


The first reactions to writer/director Adam McKay’s Netflix film “Don’t Look Up” have arrived following industry screenings this week, and the overall outlook appears to be positive – with some declaring the film a major Oscar contender.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Rob Morgan lead the cast of “Don’t Look Up” as a trio of scientists who are trying to warn the world of impending doom in the form of an asteroid barreling toward Earth. But they’re met with resistance and indifference as they struggle to save the world.

The film is a thinly veiled allegory for climate change as dreamed up by McKay, who cut his teeth in comedy at “SNL” and crafted comedies like “Anchorman” and “Step Brothers” before winning an Oscar for his more dramatic 2015 film “The Big Short.” McKay – who makes no secret of his progressive politics – last directed the 2018 Dick Cheney biopic “Vice,” and while that film scored a Best Picture nomination, it was greeted with a more divisive response than “The Big Short.”

But it sounds like “Don’t Look Up” could return McKay and others to the awards race. Ariana Grande, of all people, could be its best bet as she wrote and performed an original song for the film, and there’s also high praise for DiCaprio’s performance.

Many critics who got an early look at “Don’t Look Up” praised the film’s humor and satire, comparing it favorably to Stanley Kubrick’s classic “Dr. Strangelove.” Others had a more muted response, calling the film inconsistent and meandering — although even those who weren’t as won over still said it was incredibly funny.

Check out a roundup of some of the first reactions below. “Don’t Look Up” opens in select theaters on Dec. 10 before streaming on Netflix globally on Dec. 24. The cast also includes Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothee Chalamet, Scott Mescudi, Mark Rylance, Chris Evans, Cate Blanchett, Matthew Perry, Ron Perlman and Tyler Perry.