Critics Weigh-In On Steven Spielberg’s READY PLAYER ONE

From filmmaker Steven Spielberg comes the Science fiction action adventure “Ready Player One,” based on Ernest Cline’s bestseller of the same name, which has become a worldwide phenomenon.

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual UTOPIA known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines-puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win-and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

Spielberg directed the film from a screenplay by Zak Penn and Ernest Cline. The film was produced by Donald De Line, Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Dan Farah; with Adam Somner, Daniel Lupi, Chris deFaria and Bruce Berman serving as executive producers.

“Ready Player One” stars Tye Sheridan (“X-Men: Apocalypse,” “Mud”), Olivia Cooke (“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” “Bates Motel”), Ben Mendelsohn (“Rogue One – A Star Wars Story,” “Bloodline”) and T.J. Miller (“Deadpool,” “Silicon Valley”), with Simon Pegg (the “Star Trek” movies, the “Mission: Impossible” movies) and Oscar winner Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies,” “Dunkirk”).

Behind the scenes, three-time Oscar winner Spielberg (“Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan”) reunited his creative team from “Bridge of Spies,” including Oscar-winning director of photography Janusz Kaminski (“Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan”), Oscar-winning production designer Adam Stockhausen (“The Grand Budapest Hotel”), Oscar-winning editor Michael Kahn (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark”) and Sarah Broshar (“The Post”), and costume designer Kasia Walicka-Maimone (“Moonrise Kingdom”). The music is by Oscar-nominated composer Alan Silvestri (the “Back to the Future” films, “Forrest Gump”

Slated for release on March 29, 2018, the film will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures. See what the critics have to say:

Owen Gleiberman, Variety: “Have no fear: In “Ready Player One,” there is plenty of vicarious fantasy combat, notably a war of the worlds that features the Iron Giant as well as the red-eyed, gleaming silver Mechagodzilla. Every time a creature like that shows up (at one point, even the monster fetus from “Alien” makes a kind of palm-buzzer cameo), it’s entrancingly cool. “Ready Player One” tells a BREATHLESS and relatively coherent story – essentially, the future of civilization is riding on the outcome of a video game – but the movie, first and foremost, is a coruscating explosion of pop-culture eye candy.”

Christopher Rosen, Entertainment Weekly: “Never, ever underestimate Steven Spielberg. That’s the biggest takeaway from Ready Player One, an immersive sci-fi spectacle about a future overrun by virtual reality gaming that the world’s most famous commercial director has transformed into a mesmerizing blockbuster steeped in callbacks to the best of them,” Indiewire critic Eric Kohn wrote in his B+ review. “It runs too long and drags a bunch in its final third, but make no mistake: This is Spielberg’s biggest crowdpleaser in years, a CGI ride that wields the technology with an eye for payoff. It’s also his most stylized movie since A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, though a lot more fun, with the cavalcade of visuals leaving the impression that he watched a bunch of Luc Besson movies and decided he could outdo them all. The result is an astonishing sci-fi spectacle and a relentless nostalgia trip at once.”

John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s a little twisted, at a time in which much of what is soul-sucking in our world was created or enabled by the internet, to cheer for humans who risk their lives to remain in a digital reality. In a film and novel full of nostalgia, perhaps the deepest throwback is to the spirit of those early home-computer adopters – many of them trained on Dungeons and Dragons world-building – who deeply believed that wondrous things could spring from the primitive programs they were learning to write. If today’s digital citizens could step back from their newsfeed troughs and think about a web they’d actually like to be caught in, maybe there’s an oasis worth fighting for somewhere out there.”

Joanna Robinson, Vanity Fair: “As is often the case these days, the reaction to Ready Player One’s first trailer was sharply divided. But now that Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s beloved sci-fi novel-set in a dystopian future ruled by elaborate virtual reality and 80s pop culture-has screened to its first public audience at the SXSW Film Festival, it’s safe to say that those who were thrilled by the trailer’s references, C.G.I.-enhanced visuals, and vintage Spielberg shots of humans (or their avatars) in the throes of wide-eyed wonder will be even bigger fans of movie itself.”

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