The first reactions to Black Widow are in, and critics seem to be just as blown away by Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh‘s performances as they are by the fact that Marvel movies are finally back after the pandemic delayed the film’s release by more than a year. Granted, Marvel’s Phase 4 officially kicked off with the January premiere of WandaVision on Disney+, but Black Widow is the first full-fledged Marvel movie since 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, and people are here for it, as well as the idea of Florence Pugh’s character carrying the torch from here.
“Although there’s some excellent action, what pulled me in was the really powerful themes & character moments the film presented,” writes Jacob Fisher from Discussing Film. “Easily Scarlett’s best performance as Nat, and Florence Pugh is brilliant as Yelena.”
#BlackWidow was better than I thought it would be!
Although there’s some excellent action, what pulled me in was the really powerful themes & character moments the film presented.
Easily Scarlett’s best performance as Nat, and Florence Pugh is brilliant as Yelena. pic.twitter.com/CDjKJm4nVq
— Jacob (@JacobDFilm) June 17, 2021
“Yelena will be a new fan-favorite after #BlackWidow, too,” writes Alisha Grauso. “Florence Pugh knocked it out of the park. She and Scarlett Johansson are phenomenal together as two ‘sisters’ used and abused by a system they need to break.”
#BlackWidow shows exactly why Natasha Romanoff was the glue that held the Avengers together. Shades of John Wick fight scenes & inventive action sequences wrapped in a heartfelt & poignant story about family & how the world treats girls. Excited to see Yelena carry the torch.
— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) June 17, 2021
“Marvel movies are back! #BlackWidow is a tense, action-packed spy thriller that truly completes Natasha’s story in a visceral & emotional way,” writes Erik Davis. “Florence Pugh CRUSHES it & is an instant MCU icon.”
Marvel movies are back! #BlackWidow is a tense, action-packed spy thriller that truly completes Natasha’s story in a visceral & emotional way. Florence Pugh CRUSHES it & is an instant MCU icon. This is like the MCU's Bond movie w/ shades of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE & THELMA & LOUISE. pic.twitter.com/bauc2XVQlF
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) June 17, 2021
In case you can’t tell, Johansson and Pugh give standout performances in the spy thriller, which is a recurring theme in the Black Widow reactions. While there’s definitely an argument to be made that Marvel shouldn’t have waited this long to finally give Johnasson her own solo movie, the consensus seems to be that director Cate Shortland has not only done right by Natasha, but she’s prepped MCU fans for Pugh to be a worthy successor.
You can see more Black Widow reactions below:
BLACK WIDOW feels like a Phase 1 Marvel movie in that’s it’s the most standalone story in quite awhile. That whole “An MCU entry like you’ve never seen!” trend, yeah that’s not this. Florence Pugh rules. (Also bonus points for a great MOONRAKER reference.)
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) June 17, 2021
#BlackWidow is one of Marvel's best solo films.
Start to finish, the movie is great. Excellent surprises, emotional character moments, bad-ass action, and Scarlett Johansson finally gets to pour everything into the role.
Director Cate Shortland nailed it. Bravo. pic.twitter.com/sgEkUW63cT
— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) June 17, 2021
I got to see #BlackWidow last night, and as someone who has been waiting since 2010 to see Natasha Romanoff get her own movie, it was well worth the wait.
The actions rips, the emotion hits and the new characters joining the MCU are standouts. MORE BLACK WIDOW MOVIES PLEASE! pic.twitter.com/R0JUHThSiF
— Hector Navarro (@Hectorisfunny) June 17, 2021
#BlackWidow pays a beautiful and long overdue tribute to Natasha Romanoff. It’s also the spy thriller fans of the character have been asking for all these years. It’s funny, thrilling and very emotional. Florence Pugh is fantastic as Yelena Belova, who is definitely here to stay. pic.twitter.com/i0jimxIJG0
— Lando (@orlandoenelcine) June 17, 2021
Marvel movies are back and Phase 4 kicks off with the very entertaining and action-packed #BlackWidow. Giving us a long-overdue look at Natasha's backstory, with solid performances throughout and thrilling set pieces that demand you see this movie on the biggest screen possible. pic.twitter.com/Pr6qeBlSGQ
— Umberto Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) June 17, 2021
Black Widow smashes into theaters and Disney Plus with Premier Access on July 9.