With today’s release of Star Trek into Darkness in the US American reviews been arriving on an almost hourly basis, ticking up the Rotten Tomatoes ranking to 87% – the highest for any 2013 wide release. See below for more details and some excerpts of some of the praise (and pans) from the top US critics. We also have a Box Office prediction update. [UPDATED: RT rating went up 1% during Thursday]
Into Darkness Opens As Best Reviewed Wide Release Of 2013
UPDATED: Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes currently rates Star Trek into Darkness as 87% fresh, based on 181 reviews. The rating has fluctuated a bit in the last few days, but 87% is the same rating the film had on May 8th when we reported the last summary (based on only 37 reviews, mostly from UK and Australia). At 88%, Into Darkness is the top ranked wide release of 2013 so far, beating out films like Iron Man 3 (78%), The Great Gatsby (49%), and Pain and Gain (47%) – currently ranked 1, 2 and 3 respectively in the US. Into Darkness is also ranking ahead of the early reviews for Fast and Furious 6 (open next weekend), which is currently tracking at 81%.
However, Into Darkness is ranking behind the 2009 Star Trek movie which had a 95% fresh rating. The story is the same with the Metacritic aggregator site, ranking Star Trek Into Darkness at 73, compared to Iron Man 3 at 62; The Great Gatsby at 55; and Pain and Gain at 43. Metacritic scored the 2009 Star Trek at 83.
So to summarize the scoring, Into Darkness is ranking very well (especially vs. its 2013 competition), but not as well as the 2009 Star Trek film.
Praise from big US reviewers
Here is what some of the top reviewers from America are saying about Star Trek Into Darkness…
”It’s a knockout. Trekkers won’t be alone in cheering.”
– Peter Travers RollingStone
"it bombarded me into happiness.”
– Scott Edelstein, CBS
”’Star Trek Into Darkness,’ directed by J. J. Abrams, is a great thundering cudgel of a movie, set to stun.”
– Anthony Lane, NewYorker
"Into Darkness is a sleek, thrilling epic that’s also a triumphantly witty popcorn morality play. It’s everything you could want in a Star Trek movie.”
– Owen Gleiberman, EW
”The summer blockbuster season has only just begun, but any of the upcoming releases will be hard-pressed to surpass the detail, excitement to sheer adventure of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness.’”
– Justin Craig Fox
"Spectacular special effects, superbly crafted action sequences, plenty of humor and terrific performances render it a cut above most summer blockbusters.”
– 3.5 stars. Claudia Puig, USAToday
"Star Trek Into Darkness’ does everything “Iron Man 3” tries to do, in the realm of global terrorism imagery reprocessed for popcorn kicks, but with a little more style, a dash more brio and invention.”
–3.5 stars.Michael Phillips, ChicagoTribune
"When ‘Darkness’ goes for the heart, it lands beautifully.”
– 4/5 stars. Greg Evans Bloomberg
”So intensely personal does it become, you may find yourself moved in unexpected ways. In this way, ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’ really does boldly go where no man has gone before.”
– 3.5 stars. Betsy Sharkey LATimes
Some reviewers were left with mixed feelings
Of course, it isn’t all praise for Into Darkness. Some of the top US critics were less impressed with JJ Abrams’ second Trek feature and had mixed feelings about the film. Here are some examples…
”’Into Darkness’ does a fine job of carrying a venerable franchise into a flashy, splashy new millennium. It’s slightly empty at its core, but that’s a complaint that only a few old-guard fans are likely to make. The needs of the many must prevail.”
– 3 stars. Rafer Guzman Newsday Newsday
”The nervy reboot of the “Star Trek” franchise by action impresario J.J. Abrams can be summed up, quite simply, as a triumph of casting.”
– 3/5 stars. Ann Hornaday Washington Post WashingtonPost
“With its emphasis on its hero’s adolescent anger, the movie turns this venerable science-fiction series — one that prided itself on addressing complex issues in a nuanced and mature fashion — into its own kids’ version: Star Trek Tiny Toons. At times, the viewer is almost prodded to mutter, ‘Grow up!’”
– Richard Corliss, Time
…and some top critics just aren’t into Into Darkness
Here are some excerpts from top reviewers who panned Into Darkness…
”It’s also an excessively derivative what-if rehash of themes and interactions that came before, most of the characters lesser copies and even caricatures of the originals. The scenario’s been hijacked and rejiggered from better “Trek” plots of decades ago, the best verbal exchanges lifted nearly verbatim from past adventures.”
– 2/5 stars. David Germain, HuffingtonPost
“’Star Trek Into Darkness’” does not quite stand by itself as a satisfying movie, but then again it doesn’t need to. It is the leg of a journey that has, remarkably, lasted for nearly half a century. I hope we never tire of Kirk, Spock and the others. I also hope that they stick around long enough to find a new civilization, since the one we have now does not fully appreciate their gifts.”
– A.O. Scott, NYT
$100M+ Domestic Weekend?
Previously TrekMovie has reported how Hollywood insiders were predicting Into Darkness to bring in $75M-$80M for its opening domestic weekend. Now that Paramount extended its release one day, Box Office Mojo reports that Paramount is upping their forecast to $100M for the opening (including Wednesday fan sneaks and Thursday screenings). Paramount has already reported $3.3M from Wednesday night’s IMAX fan sneaks and midnight showings.
Into Darkness 80% of Fandango Sales – Tops in ‘Fanticipation’
Earlier in the week we reported that Into Darkness was accounting for 71% of ticket sales at Fandango, now the ticketing service tells TrekMovie that the new Trek feature represents 80% of Thursday’s sales, with showtimes for this weekend selling out across the country.
Into Darkness also garnered a 96 out of 100 score on the company’s "Fanticipation" movie buzz indicator that measures fan sentiment around the weekend box office line-up. Into Darkness outshone Iron Man 3 and The Great Gatsby, which are still top-of-mind with moviegoers, scoring 85 and 83, respectively. Fanticipation scores are calculated based a proprietary analysis of Fandango’s advance ticket sales, website and mobile traffic, and social media engagement.