Photocall 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' in Berlin

Critics Call 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' A 'Trippy Ride'

Home / Entertainment / Critics Call 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' A 'Trippy Ride'

By Kristin Myers on May 8, 2022 at 12:30 PM EDT

Marvel’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” finally hit theaters on Friday, May 6.

The film is directed by Sam Raimi and features a cast of Benedict Cumberbatch, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Rachel McAdams, among others. The official synopsis for the film reads, “Dr. Stephen Strange casts a forbidden spell that opens a portal to the multiverse. However, a threat emerges that may be too big for his team to handle.”

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Critics Weigh In On ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Instagram / marvel

As of Friday afternoon, the film had a 77% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an audience score of 89%. Reviews seemed to be polarizing, with some critics loving the film and others saying it presents a “big storytelling problem” for Marvel.

Anna Govert of Culturess wrote, “It’s scary, it’s brutal, it’s mind-bending, and it’s incredible to look at. Even with the lackluster storytelling, I already have a genuine need to see this in a theater again, due to just how immersive and compelling the visuals are.”

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Steven Prokopy of Third Coast Review wrote, “My frustration levels were growing even in the scenes that worked, because so much surrounding those moments didn't match them in tone or quality. I'm still mostly on board with this film, but it was a much closer call than it should have been.” Prokopy gave the film 2.5 out of 4 stars.

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Jim Judy of Screen It! wrote, “While not the best Marvel offering (it meanders at times and could have used some tightening), I liked the changeup and new addition as well as fresh coats of paint applied to the usual trappings.” Judy gave the film a 6.5 out of 10.

Jonathan W. Hickman of The Newnan Times-Herald wrote, “This story collage is uneven and sometimes forced, as it delivers fan service in the film’s baggy middle section. But when Raimi is permitted to revisit elements from his storied film history, the movie finds its footing.” Hickman gave the film a 7 out of 10.

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Miles Surrey of The Ringer wrote, “Multiverse of Madness was the best possible outcome of a talented filmmaker injecting his wacky sensibilities into the franchise, and the emergence of a powerful villain nearly a decade in the making.”

Critics Call The Film ‘More Exhausting Than Engaging’

Benedict Cumberbatch At Photocall For 'Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness' in Berlin

Nicholas Bell of wrote, “There are certainly worse examples than this direct sequel to Scott Derrickson’s 2016 Doctor Strange, but it’s merely another special effects extravaganza about superhuman forgetting how to administer the human portion of the formula.” Bell gave the film 2 out of 5 stars.

Erik Childress of Movie Madness Podcast wrote, “While undeniably manic, the film often feels like a whiteboard full of notes and themes that the writer forgot to connect lines through. This could represent a big storytelling problem for Marvel going forward cinematically.” Childress gave the film 2 out of 4 stars.

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Peter Rainer of Christian Science Monitor wrote, “Despite his sorcerer bona fides and voluminous cape, Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange isn’t strange enough, and trying to parse the convolutions of the Marvel multiverse is more exhausting than engaging.” Rainer gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars.

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Dulcie Pearce of U.K.’s The Sun wrote, “A disjointed and unconvincing turn from Cumberbatch buckles under the weight of its chaotic storyline, making you mad in the multiverse.” Pearce gave the film 2 out of 5 stars.

Tania Lamb of Lola Lambchops wrote, “There is some beauty in the carnage of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but ultimately they did Wanda dirty. It's a trippy ride, like being in the freaky funhouse except when you find your way out, you realize it wasn’t that fun.” Lamb gave the film 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Although critics definitely seem divided on whether a film is worth a watch, it’s a must-see for Marvel fans who want to see the latest development of the franchise. For casual viewers, it might not be worth the “trippy ride.”

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