The Flash movie: review roundup - critics praise 2023 DC Ezra Miller superhero film as fans threaten boycott

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Critics give their verdict on Ezra Miller DC movie The Flash at early CinemaCon screening ahead of wide release this year

Warner Bros. presented the first full screening of the completed and oft-delayed DC Studios' The Flash movie. The event was held at CinemaCon 2023 on Tuesday 25 April and critics have shared their views online ahead of a cinematic release later this year.

The film follows Barry Allen, and his speedy superhero alter ego The Flash who uses his powers to change the past to save his family. In doing so, he inadvertently creates a world without superheroes and now must try to save the future too.

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Ezra Miller played Barry Allen/ The Flash in the DC superhero crossover Justice League and returns to the role in upcoming movie The Flash, despite calls for them to be fired over court appearances and multiple arrests.

It appears that despite the production issues which have plagued The Flash for the last five years, and the personal drama involving the film’s star, DC has managed to pull it out of the bag, as critics heaped praise on the studio's latest feature.

Ezra Miller as Barry Allen in The FlashEzra Miller as Barry Allen in The Flash
Ezra Miller as Barry Allen in The Flash | Warner Bros

What have critics said about The Flash movie?

Warner Bros. hosted test screenings of the film during earlier development on the project, and these were met with mixed reviews from critics. However, with the recent screening held at CinemaCon, the response has been much warmer. 

Brandon Davis, writing for ComicBook.com, said: “Damn, The Flash is good! It’s super inventive both visually and in concept. The dynamic of two Barry Allen’s is crazy well done. Emotions hit me intensely hard, solid surprises, and it got me wanting to watch again and really eager to see how they follow it. Well done.”

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Collider's Perri Nemiroff said: “It’s a successful mix of heartfelt coming-of-age components, stellar action (really loved the style of Flash’s powers & the creativity in those scenes), and a whole bunch of BIG laughs. The comedic timing and delivery are on point.”

In very high praise for the movie The Wrap's Umberto Gonzalez called The Flash "the greatest DC movie of the last 30 years [outside of Cristopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy]”. 

As The Dark Knight is generally considered to be one of if not the greatest superhero film of all time, Warner Bros. will likely be happy to hear that The Flash comes a close second in the DC universe.

Some fans have pledged to boycott the flash over Miller's involvementSome fans have pledged to boycott the flash over Miller's involvement
Some fans have pledged to boycott the flash over Miller's involvement | Warner Bros

Will The Flash movie be a flop?

The upcoming DC movie was made on a monster budget of $200 million - matching those of Wonder Woman 1984 and last year’s The Batman. However, due to the controversy surrounding Miller’s involvement in the film, The Flash might not go down well among fans.

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Miller was last year charged $500 for trespassing, and last year was arrested twice in Hawaii. They were reportedly the subject of 10 police calls over a three week period whilst in Hawaii. The actor later spoke about their mental health issues and apologised for their behaviour.

As a result of these police incidents, some DC fans pledged to boycott the movie - although this seems to be a very small minority of the franchise’s fanbase.

A similar ‘boycott’ of new Harry Potter video game Hogwarts Legacy, over author JK Rowling’s statements on the trans community, did not have a significant impact on the success of the game, which has made $1 billion within six weeks of its release.

The latest DC release, Shazam! Fury of the Gods was a flop, grossing less than $200 million off a $125 million budget, so it remains to be seen if The Flash can turn things around for DC.

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When is The Flash in cinemas?

The Flash was delayed several times, firstly as Warner Bros. hunted for new directors back in 2017. Then the pandemic caused further pushbacks, with more down the line due to the backlog that was created.

But now the film is almost ready for public consumption and a (hopefully) finally cinematic release date has been set. The Flash is expected to land in cinemas on 16 June in the UK.

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