In early 2018, Black Panther arrived in cinemas to become the eighteenth entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Set in the fictional land of Wakanda and directed by Ryan Coogler, the movie starred Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger and Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia.

In this post I’m taking a look back at the critical response to Black Panther, to provide a flavour of what the critics thought about the film. Did they predict big things for the film, or did they think it would be a flop?

Below is a collection of review snippets, which were originally published around the time of the movie’s release. These review snippets should tell you everything you need to know about the critical response to Black Panther.

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Black Panther review round-up

Image: ©Marvel Studios/Disney

Here is what the critics said about Black Panther back in 2018:

  • Jimi Famurewa of Empire awarded Black Panther four stars (out of five) and said: “Like (Thor: Ragnarok director) Taika Waititi before him, Ryan Coogler gives the Marvel template a bold auteurist twist with an African extravaganza that packs a muscular intensity and challenges as much as it exhilarates.”
  • Peter Sciretta of Slashfilm, said: “Black Panther looks, feels and sounds unlike any Marvel film to date. A visual feast. Wakanda is amazingly realised, the antagonist actually has an arc with emotional motivations. Marvel’s most political movie. So good. #BlackPanther”
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  • Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post, called Black Panther “exhilarating, groundbreaking and more than worth the wait”, adding “Black Panther is great fun to watch and shot through with delicate threads of lighthearted humour.”
  • Frank Pallotta of CNN, said: “Black Panther is one of Marvel’s most ambitious works and includes, in Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger, a top tier villain for Marvel or otherwise. He owns every scene he’s in and the film is everything it’s been billed as. Long may it reign.”
Image: ©Marvel Studios/Disney
  • Erik Davis of Fandango, said: “#BlackPanther is exceptional – the James Bond of the MCU. You’ve seen nothing like this in a superhero movie – it’s bold, beautiful & intense, but there’s a depth & spiritualness that is unlike anything Marvel has ever done. It’s 100% African & it is dope af.”
  • Steven Weintraub of Collider, said: “#marvel does it again with ‘Black Panther’. Very impressed with the story and filmmaking. @michaelb4jordan absolutely kills it as the villain and is the best one since Loki. Also @DanaiGurira kicks so much ass and I loved every second of it. Going to make serious $.”
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  • Matthew Norman of the Evening Standard, awarded Black Panther five stars and said: “If it isn’t indisputably the best of Marvel’s 18 offerings, it is certainly a contender.” He added: “The movie’s only real flaw is that it lags a bit in the middle. But after a 52-year wait, I think it can be forgiven for being the regulation 20 minutes too long.”
  • And finally, Olly Richards of NME hailed Black Panther as “the best Marvel movie yet.” He added: “This is a vitally important film and an absolute, watch-it-again-immediately blast.”

So there you go – eight review snippets, all lifted from 2018, and all extremely positive about Black Panther. It’s not surprising that the movie went on to be a huge commercial success for Marvel Studios.

If you have still not watched Black Panther, then heed the words of the critics and watch it. Add it to your weekend viewing list.

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Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to take the time to read this post about Black Panther. For more Marvel-related posts, check out one of the recommended reads below.

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