Argylle reviews: is Apple film most expensive ‘worst movie’ as critics slam Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa spy flick

Reviews for Henry Cavill and Dua Lipa spy thriller Argylle are scathing of big-budget Apple movie
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Upcoming Apple TV spy caper Argylle, from Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn, could struggle to make back its budget at the box office following an outpouring of negative reviews.

The film, which stars Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa, and Bryce Dallas Howard, among many star cameos, follows a reclusive author who writes espionage novels, but finds that the real world is beginning to mirror the book she is working on.

Apple has had a tough time at the box office recently, with even critically acclaimed films like 2024 Best Picture nominee Killers of the Flower Moon, struggling to perform. With Argylle presenting another big budget production for the streamer, poor reviews is the last thing the movie needs.  

Apple movie Argylle has been hit by overwhelmingly negative reviewsApple movie Argylle has been hit by overwhelmingly negative reviews
Apple movie Argylle has been hit by overwhelmingly negative reviews

What was the budget for Aryglle?

Argylle has an estimated budget of $200 million, which puts it among Apple TV’s joint most expensive films alongside recent releases Killers of the Flower Moon, and Napoleon, both of which underperformed at the box office.

To put the cost of Argylle in perspective, it has a budget double that of Oppenheimer, which was one of the cinematic events of last year and made just shy of $1 billion at the box office.

Although Argylle will become part of Apple TV’s film catalogue eventually, to break even at the box office, when marketing and other costs are accounted for, it would need to make around $500 million worldwide, but given the recent reviews, this may not happen.

Empire was generally positive but criticised Argylle's 'overstuffed cameos'Empire was generally positive but criticised Argylle's 'overstuffed cameos'
Empire was generally positive but criticised Argylle's 'overstuffed cameos'

What do the Argylle reviews say?

The majority of reviews for Argylle ahead of its release in cinemas tomorrow are extremely critical. The Guardian went in with both studs calling Matthew Vaughn’s latest effort: “thin, flimsy, lumbered with a dull meta-narrative and dodgy acting”. 

Empire provides the most positive review, praising the film’s ‘touching’ moments, and adding that it “has the goods” where it counts. But even then Empire only gave three stars, and bemoaned the “overstuffed cast” and “slightly airless CG compositions”.

Back to the bad reviews though, and there’s plenty of them - The Telegraph called the movie a “woeful espionage caper” with “some of the stupidest action scenes you’ll ever see”, whilst the BBC called it “shoddy and derivative”, adding that the worst part is the rumours of a sequel. Rolling Stone got straight to the point, writing: “The film blows.”

To cap off the calamity, Katie Walsh, writing for the Tribune News Service, claimed Argylle was “one of the most expensive worst movies ever made”. It’s hard to find a greater criticism than that.

Napoleon, which didn’t get warm reviews but wasn’t completely rubbished by the critics, barely managed to make back its budget, so Argylle will certainly face an uphill battle at the box office. 

When is Argylle in cinemas?

If all that hasn’t put you off, and you still want to see Aryglle in the cinemas, the film will be released in the UK on Friday February 2. It is scheduled to be released on Apple TV+ later this year.

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