“Immaculately crafted”: Critics are falling head over heels for ‘Barbie’ in initial reviews

Written and directed by Greta Gerwig, the film focuses on the trials of the doll facing an existential crisis in her perfect world.

With just days to go until Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie arrives in cinemas, the full reviews are in – and critics have largely declared the movie a smash hit. Margot Robbie stars as one of many Barbie dolls, while Ryan Gosling – who has been declared a “scene-stealer” in many reviews – is the leading Ken.

With scripts penned by director Gerwig and her partner, Noah Baumbuch, there are supposedly plenty of laughs… with an existential crisis, social commentary and digs at Mattel thrown in along the way. Following last week’s glowing post-premiere social media posts, it’s no surprise to see Barbie labelled “painfully funny”, “immaculately crafted”, and “ambitious”, but critics have made some unexpected observations too.

The Independent‘s Clarisse Loughrey gave it five stars and said:Barbie is one of the most inventive, immaculately crafted and surprising mainstream films in recent memory – a testament to what can be achieved within even the deepest bowels of capitalism.

“While it’s impossible for any studio film to be truly subversive, especially when consumer culture has caught on to the idea that self-awareness is good for business, Barbie gets away with far more than you’d think was possible.”

The Telegraph‘s Robbie Collin gave it four stars and thought it was “deeply bizarre, conceptually slippery and often roar-out-loud hilarious”.

He added: “It’s an unexpected pleasure to report that Greta Gerwig’s film – while still fundamentally being a summer comedy adventure about the Barbie toy line – is far from the blunt-force cash grab many of us feared.”

The Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw gave the film three stars, saying it is “a good-natured but self-conscious movie” that is “occasionally very funny, but sometimes also somehow demure and inhibited, as if the urge to be funny can only be mean and satirical”.

And Empire‘s Beth Webb gave it four stars, saying: “Robbie – who has been dialling it up to 11 since Harley Quinn – is hilarious, but the most consistent scene-stealer is Mr. Blond Fragility.”

As we all prepare for the biggest cinematic weekend in recent memory with the release of Barbie and Oppenheimer, it’s still unclear which film will take home the plaudits, but judging by these initial reviews, Gerwig’s flick won’t be going down without a fight.

WriterChris Saunders
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