What Critics Are Saying About Jared Leto's Latest

Vampire film 'Morbius' is like the 'work of a cinematic Dr. Frankenstein'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2022 12:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Blood of various kinds plays a big role in Morbius, but many critics say the latest addition to Sony's Spider-Man Universe is definitely on the anemic side. Jared Leto stars as the title character, a "living vampire" whose efforts to cure his rare blood disease with bioscience leave him with superhuman powers and a thirst for human blood. With critics split on director Daniel Espinoza's horror-movie approach to a superhero film, Morbius currently has a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. What the critics say:

  • Matt Singer, ScreenCrush: "Are we sure it isn’t some kind of elaborate April Fools’ Day prank? At the very least, it feels like one." The movie has a trim 104-minute running time, but Smith says heavy editing makes it seem like the "work of a cinematic Dr. Frankenstein; sutured together from bits and pieces of different storylines and characters that don’t fit, and then zapped into unholy, disjointed life."

  • Todd Gilchrist, AV Club: Leto "delivers an adequately creepy and conflicted take on the eponymous scientist opposite a scenery-chewing Matt Smith as his surrogate brother and sometime adversary." The result, Gilchrist says, is a "bland, competent, and safe superhero adventure that seems destined to be forgotten before its end credits finish rolling."
  • Manohla Dargis, New York Times: "Like Leto’s performance, Espinoza’s directing settles into a moody middle ground that’s neither too jokey nor overly self-serious, one reason that the movie may appeal more to civilians than to comic-book fundamentalists." While the movie's "virtues are minor," Dargis writes, it's an entertaining and "ghoulish, suitably downbeat tale of madness, hubris, suffering and weird science set in a world that offers little solace."
  • Mark Kennedy, the AP: Morbius is "a forgettable, often laughable, entry in Sony’s attempt to fill its own Spider-Man-adjacent cinematic universe, a poorly edited, derivative time suck—pun intended." He adds: "There are clues that he has a future fighting Spider-Man but maybe the best thing for our vampire anti-hero is just to ignore him or swat at him like a wayward bat."
(Read more movie review stories.)

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