X-Men 3D: Dark Phoenix

X-Men 3D: Dark Phoenix


A phoenix will rise. The X-Men will fall.

Longtime X-Men writer and producer Simon Kinberg directs his own screenplay in the final instalment of the current X-Men franchise.... More

When Jean Grey's personality is corrupted and her powers are amplified after coming into contact with a cosmic entity known as the Phoenix, the rest of the X-Men must decide if the life of the woman they cherish is worth the existence of the entire universe.Hide

Flicks Review

The X-franchise has been going for nearly twenty years now, its first two films setting the tone of superheroics for years to come before a series of mostly interchangeable instalments—some good, some bad—bring us to this almost-final gasp (we have the series-adjacent The New Mutants still to come).... More

It speaks to the state of modern movie-making that Dark Phoenix doesn’t just reboot a story we saw told four films ago in the third X-Men entry (admittedly it’s been thirteen years), but brings back the same damn writer to give it another crack. And lets him direct the damn thing. I mean, familiar IP may be the name of the game in Hollywood these days but man, give us something new.

Helmer Simon Kinberg does throw out a few interesting wrinkles to begin with—the X-Men are publicly lauded as heroes, Xavier’s morality comes into question—but those points aside it’s very much business as usual. Oh and the baddies aren’t other mutants this time, they’re invincible aliens, which has no impact on the plot but to give a sleepy looking Jessica Chastain some Terminator 2 moments.

Sophie Turner is clearly ready for her close-up, and McAvoy and Fassbender exude gravitas without breaking a sweat, but there’s a definite ‘going through the motions’ vibe to proceedings. An A-list character dies and it barely registers. The movie itself seems in a rush to get to the credits and have this all done with.

A very expensive movie that feels weirdly small, Dark Phoenix takes the action into space early on before leaving behind any sense of wonder or heroism in favour of a series of small, earth-bound brawls that are entertaining but visually confusing. It’s a bummer, a once-mighty franchise going out not with a bang, but a shrug.Hide

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The Press Reviews

  • If this is indeed the final X-Men film, the series has gone out with a whimper... Full Review

  • It's not nearly as good as 'Logan' or 'X2', but it's a whole lot better than the eyeball-poking affliction that was 'X-Men: Apocalypse'. Full Review

  • Despite mostly sparky cast-work, the Phoenix never quite rises as hoped in Kinberg's affectionate but often perfunctory X-Men send-off. Full Review

  • The movie is so eager to get itself over with that its title anti-heroine even seems an afterthought. Full Review

  • Better than Last Stand or Apocalypse but never hitting the heights of X2, Dark Phoenix thrives when its heroes are front and centre. If this is the end, it's a solid rather than spectacular goodbye. Full Review

  • Not even Turner, with her radiant screen presence and her ability to make strength and vulnerability seem indistinguishable, can ultimately save "Dark Phoenix" from its own failures of imagination. Full Review

  • The point of a phoenix, dark or otherwise, is that it rises from the flames. But these are the flames in which this franchise has finally gone down. Full Review