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‘West Side Story’ First Reactions Range From Lavish Praise for Rachel Zegler to Lavish Praise for Steven Spielberg

Seems like everyone who saw the film loved it

The first screenings of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” have happened, and with them come the very first reactions. And to cut to the chase, people are in love with the latest take on the Broadway musical written by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and the late Stephen Sondheim.

People who saw the film were particularly taken with star Rachel Zegler, who plays Maria, Ariana DeBose, who plays Anita, and the good director himself who, at least according to this crowd, has delivered one of the best films of his career.

Critic Erik Davis called “West Side Story” a “Triumph,” singled out the cinematography for praise and also said Zegler and Debose “CRUSH IT.”

Meanwhile, Buzzfeed writer Nora Dominick called the film “beautifully crafted” and said “I can’t wait to see Rachel Zegler and Ariana DeBose’s careers explode after this.”

Critic Orlando Enelcine called Zegler “a freaking movie star,” and added that the film is a big step forward in the portrayal of Puerto Ricans onscreen, correcting “a lot of what the original got wrong.”

However, there was at least one rumbling that co-star Ansel Elgort, who plays Tony, might not have quite been on their level. Podcaster Dave Gonzales said he’s “a black hole at the center,” though he also added “it’s a very good take on ‘West Side Story.'”

Aside from that quibble, the response was overwhelmingly positive. See those reactions and more below: