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December 23, 2017

Critics did not like Will Smith's 'astoundingly bad' new movie

Some on social media disputed the harsh reviews

In October, we noted that Will Smith had a shot at redeeming himself with "Bright."

The Netflix original and urban fantasy flick, released on Friday, centers on a Los Angeles police officer (Smith) who teams up with a rookie orc cop (Joel Edgerton) to rescue a young elf from danger and stave off citywide disaster. Not only was Netflix vying for its first-ever blockbuster title, but Smith, a West Philadelphia native, was again doing what he does best: co-starring in an action movie and, of course, saving everyone.

Well, the reviews are in, and they're pretty bad.

Not quite "Collateral Beauty" bad, but still bad enough to garner a 31 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and get tagged by some critics as being the worst film of 2017.


On Rotten Tomatoes, critics said the David Ayer-directed film "tries to blend fantasy, hard-hitting cop drama and social commentary – and ends up falling painfully short of the mark on all three fronts."

The movie also received a slew of rough reviews from a number of big names. 

Here's a sampling: (h/t USA Today)


"Congratulations, Netflix! You can make a visually grotesque, dreadfully dull and hopelessly convoluted would-be franchise action movie just as well as the stereotypical Hollywood machine! If anything, Bright is a giant Christmas/Hanukkah gift from Netflix to the major studios. It shows the streaming giant falling on its face in its attempts to replicate the so-called Hollywood blockbuster."

The New York Times:

"(Ayer) strayed into empty superhero theatrics with the slapdash Suicide Squad (co-starring Mr. Smith) and again dilutes his integrity with Mr. Smith’s lightweight sitcom likability. You’ll find beatings, shootouts, car crashes, awkward analogies and a measure of buddy badinage in Bright, but true enchantment is in short supply."

Rolling Stone:

"You'll get lots of violence and colorful threats and confusing shoot-outs, but you're not going to get much meaning."

The Wrap:

"Astoundingly bad in virtually every way, Bright shares in common several of the shortcomings of Ayer’s previous film, including conspicuous evidence of desperate efforts to cobble its under-explained and yet somehow overcomplicated mythology into something coherent."


"The problem is that this richly-constructed world often comes at the expense of characters ... Will Smith is more or less on autopilot, doing what everyone pretty much expects from a Will Smith action movie these days. In fact, if the name 'Ward' wasn't directly printed on the uniform of Smith's character, we would've just assumed that we were looking at Suicide Squad's Floyd Lawton."


A movie that "boasts all the production value of an episode of Charmed, Netflix’s first mega-budget film effort starts with a potentially compelling premise that never gets off the ground."

In fairness to "Bright" and all involved with it, the reception wasn't all bad. In fact, Rotten Tomatoes' rating disparity between critics (31 percent) and audience reviews (90 percent) is about as stark as it gets.

Some also took to social media to opine on the new film and either claimed they enjoyed it or questioned critics' scathing reviews:

Of course, others agreed with those in the "astoundingly bad" camp.