David Yates‘ Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them has created a huge buzz recently and is considered one of the most awaited movies of the year. It has gone from a stand-alone spinoff of the Harry Potter universe to the launch pad for a series of five movies that likely will build to a massive battle in the wizarding world. We know that they will focus on Eddie Redmayne’s character (Newt Scamander), and that they will cast a young Albus Dumbledore later. The reviews are out, and here’s what critics are saying:
1. There’s just enough romance, whimsy, creativity and eye-catching visuals to enchant in Fantastic Beasts, but its flaws ultimately come close to ruining it all. – Cinemablend
2. Unsurprisingly, “Fantastic Beasts” amplifies both the strengths and weaknesses of Rowling’s storytelling approach, which unfolds in the episodic style of vintage serials — a cliff-hanger-oriented tactic that works well in novels, where readers might otherwise be tempted to put the book down after each chapter, but feels less elegant on screen, since viewers invariably commit to taking in the entire story in one sitting. And yet, the writer has learned something from the Potter franchise, clearly going out of her way to create a foundation that can be enriched and expanded upon in future films. – Variety
3. Much of the film’s big wizarding-politics material will be appreciated mostly by those who thirst for ever more backstory in Rowling’s universe. It will doubtless be useful as the franchise progresses, though. … Whether or not the ensemble chemistry ever clicks to the extent it did for Harry, Hermione, and Ron, Rowling clearly has an endless supply of lore left to share with those invested in her world. – Hollywood Reporter
4. Visually, this film is stunning. David Yates’ growth as a director is evident, since this film is so much more fluid than his works in the Potter series. The visual effects are magical, but grounded, making together film believable and organic. The beasts are indeed fantastic. The adorable and mischievous niffler leads Newt into some of the most hilarious moments of the film. The creatures in Newt’s case are detailed and carefully created. Even though they are entirely CGI, not one looks out of place. They blend beautifully into the world that Rowling, Yates, and Heyman built. – MuggleNet
4. The first Fantastic Beasts installment easily works well as a stand-alone movie, where one can argue that the movie’s end is enough to satisfy fans. It also, however, manages the dual role of setting up a much bigger storyline. Newt and his friends have just begun the fight to bring both magical and non-magical communities together, all the while trying to protect magical creatures. It’s a big task for an awkward, slightly misanthropic fish-out-of-water like Newt, but with the help of his new friends, he takes it in stride. – SnitchSeeker
5. I enjoyed Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them quite a bit. And certainly much more than I thought I would. Working from a script by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, director David Yates (who directed the last four Harry Potter films) does a great job of telling a brand-new story, while somehow making it feel familiar. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them somehow feels both unique, yet very much set in the world of Harry Potter. – UpRoxx
6. The latest film from Harry Potter author Rowling’s wizarding world is a wonderfully enjoyable adventure featuring Eddie Redmayne as a “magizoologist” who stumbles into a dark magic adventure in New York. – The Guardian
The early reviews seem pretty positive and it seems Fantastic Beasts may live up to the hype.
David Yates‘ Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them opens in theaters on Thursday, November 17.