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Welcome the 'Best Comic Book Movie Made to Date'

Animated 'Spider-Man' is gorgeous and funny, say critics
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2018 12:53 PM CST

(Newser) – Your favorite web-whipping superhero is back in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the Sony Pictures animated release introducing a new boy behind the mask, other "Spider-People," and an overall theme of inclusivity into the mix. It seems to have gone over well, considering it has a 98% rating from critics, and a 94% rating from audiences, on Rotten Tomatoes. Four opinions on the film, not to be confused with the live-action Spider-Man movie series:

  • Chris Klimek calls it a "graphically dazzling, generously imaginative, nakedly optimistic, mercilessly funny and inclusive-without-being-all-pious-about-it animated odyssey" at NPR. "The animators have achieved an almost hypnotic effect" with "a stylized, kinetic visual language unlike any animated or live-action film that came before," he notes, also complimenting voice actors Mahershala Ali and Lily Tomlin.
  • "I thought Black Panther would be the superhero movie that best embodied contemporary concerns about representation in the genre that dominates blockbusters these days. I was wrong," Joe Gross writes at the Austin American-Statesman, calling Spider-Verse "the canniest, hippest and simply the best comic book movie made to date." Visually dazzling, it "recalls the work of comics artists" while "superhero tropes are explored, exploited or exploded from moment to gorgeously kinetic moment."

  • Though Peter Parker makes an appearance, "hilariously voiced by Jake Johnson," it's multiracial Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) who teaches us that anyone can be Spider-Man, Peter Travers writes at Rolling Stone. Thanks to graphics inspired by street art, an emotion-evoking cameo from Stan Lee, and "plentiful" teaching moments, this "thrill-a-minute whirlwind" is "not only the coolest Spider-Man epic ever, it's one of the best movies of the year," he concludes.
  • "What's most impressive is its confidence in radical experimentation with a long-beloved pop-culture character," writes Barbara VanDenburgh at Arizona Republic, complimenting moviemakers on a film that "breathes youthful life into a tired franchise." "The pitch-perfect voice casting is complemented by equally expressive animation that pops," she adds.
(Read more movie review stories.)

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