‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Wins Early Raves, From ‘Improvement’ to a ‘Knockout’

The Snyder Cut premieres March 18 on HBO MAX

The reviews for “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” are in, and the consensus about round two of DC’s epic superhero team-up is — mostly — that it’s an improvement of the 2017 theatrical release of the film.

“We’re never going to get the von Stroheim cut of “Greed” or the Welles cut of “The Magnificent Ambersons,” but thanks to Snyder’s let’s-call-it-enthusiastic fan base and AT&T/Warner Media’s desperation to get more subscribers to HBO Max, the filmmaker has been given the time and money to reshoot, recut and reconceive the film that he had to abandon because of a family tragedy,” wrote TheWrap’s Alonso Dulrade in his review of the film.

“The new version is an improvement in some concrete ways. Its plot and tone are more coherent, with occasional puzzling exceptions. Its FX are substantially improved, though still sometimes fakey, and in general the photography looks better — though viewers may resent the frame’s nearly square aspect ratio, which was designed with IMAX, not widescreen TVs, in mind,” wrote John Defore in his review for the Hollywood Reporter.

The new movie — and make no mistake, it really is a new movie — is more than a vindication of Snyder’s original vision. It’s a grand, nimble, and immersive entertainment, a team-of-heroes origin story that, at heart, is classically conventional, yet it’s now told with such an intoxicating childlike sincerity and ominous fairy-tale wonder that it takes you back to what comic books, at their best, have always sought to do: make you feel like you’re seeing gods at play on Earth,” wrote Owen Gleiberman his his review for Variety.

“One measurable improvement is the significant elaboration of new villain Steppenwolf over the far paler version that appeared under Whedon’s supervision; the Snyder rendition is splendidly decked out in brilliant slivers of silver and given all the screen time he needs to emerge as a formidable adversary,” wrote Todd McCarthy in his review for Deadline.

“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” will premiere on HBO Max on March 18. With 88 reviews in at press time on Rotten Tomatoes, the film’s score is currently 74% on the tomatometer.

Here are some more reviews.

Mike Ryan, Uproxx.com

It’s a vast improvement from the prior version – and, honestly, the fact there now has been more solo movies for these characters kind of retroactively helps this movie; like, we understand Aquaman’s deal now – but, in the end, it’s just a movie about trying to find magic boxes. It’s just a really long, more coherent version of that story.

Eric Kohn, Indiewire.com

“Zack Snyder’s Justice League” is a product designed to celebrate its very existence. When the Justice Leaguers conclude that one of the mother boxes can resurrect the Man of Steel, it comes from the realization that the technology “turns smoke back into a house.” That’s essentially what Snyder has done here. This particular refurbished house may not be everyone’s favorite place to dwell, but the whole concept of the Snyder Cut is built for an era defined by customization: Enter at your own risk, or don’t bother.

Jenna Andersen, Comicbook.com

What immediately stands out in Zack Snyder’s Justice League — against the theatrical cut, as well as the broader landscape of superhero movies — is how comprehensive it feels. In terms of scope, the film covers swaths of the DC universe with a bombastic abandon, from larger-than-life cosmic struggles to mythical kingdoms of Earth to savvy street-level heroes and villains. Never once does that journey feel bloated or unrewarding, as it strengthens the story at hand, while also showcasing the awe-inspiring and genuinely cool elements that have made the DC universe endure for nearly a century.

Nathaniel Brailford, Heroichollywood.com

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is amazing. The film is a perfect finale to the trilogy that kicked off with 2013’s Man of Steel. Every wrong that was done by Joss Whedon was made right with the director’s cut, which boasts a massive four-hour runtime. The film is so good that it makes you wonder why studio executives deemed it “unwatchable” and replaced Snyder with Whedon.

Richard Lawson, Vanityfair.com

Watching Snyder’s intermittently rewarding epic–if nothing else a spectacle of completed vision–stirred up surprising emotions. Not about what happens to the people (and aliens) in the film, but about what happened to its maker, and to the course of human events while Justice League 2.0 wrestled its way into being.

Amon Warmann, Empire.com

More than just being superior to its 2017 counterpart, Zack Snyder’s Justice League is an entertaining if overlong superhero flick in its own right. If this is the last DC film Snyder directs, it’s a satisfactory exit.

Dewey Singleton, Awardswatch.com

While there’s going to be much debate both leading up to and after the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, no one can deny the chasm in quality between Snyder and Whedon’s vision. This version of DC’s mightiest heroes honors their origins and the artists who created these characters years ago. A film for the fans brought on by fans.