First Ready Player One Reactions: Classic Steven Spielberg, Dorky, and Fun

Critics give Spielberg's latest a standing ovation and plenty of Twitter love

by | March 12, 2018 | Comments

(Photo by Jaap Buttendijk / © 2018 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.)

Fans in Austin received a special treat this weekend, when Ready Player One was revealed to have a South By Southwest Film Festival premiere on Sunday night. Director Steven Spielberg was on hand to introduce what he clarified to be “not a film…a movie,” and was joined on stage before and after the screening by cast members and Ready Player One author and co-screenwriter, Ernest Cline. The audience ate the “movie” up in enthusiastic SXSW fashion — and stuck with it even when the sound cut out and the film had to be restarted, twice, as the climax was unfolding. When the credits rolled, the crowd gave Spielberg a mighty standing ovation.

As the night unfolded, the critics in attendance weighed in with their first thoughts on Twitter (some early full reviews have started to drop, too, so keep an eye on the Tomatometer). Most of the buzz matched that ovation, but not all was so positive. Here are the initial reactions via social media:


“Well everyone relax, Ready Player One will indeed be the biggest thing in the world.” – Emily Yoshida, New York Magazine/Vulture

Ready Player One is full of giant, dorky heart. I both want to hug it and give it a noogie.” – Meredith Border, Fangoria

Ready Player One is a whole lot of fun. Those who are stuck in pre-release hate mode better prepare to be disappointed.” – Scott Weinberg, Nerdist


“I am completely shocked but I really enjoyed Ready Player One. The pop culture references are often overwhelming but if you focus on the story and filmmaking, it’s a completely solid adventure film. I pity the blogger who tries to do a ‘Complete Easter Egg’ list.” – Robert Saucedo, Birth.Movies.Death.

Ready Player One is really fun. (?) I think it’s fun. Is it OK to say it’s fun? It’s fun.” – Sean Fennessey, The Ringer

“Went into Ready Player One skeptical as hell. Came out largely as a joyous convert. I have a handful of issues with the structure and characters, but it improves on the book in important ways, the action is riveting, and I really bought the humor.” – Tasha Robinson, The Verge


“So, yeah, Ready Player One is the most fun I’ve had watching a Steven Spielberg film since Catch Me If You Can.” – Jordan Ruimy, The Film Stage

“Classic Steven Spielberg. It’s got the references, the ferocious effects and the great ‘80s soundtrack, sure, but also the charm, the heart, the humor and a fantastic Alan Silvestri score. I loved it…We haven’t seen this Spielberg in a long time — it’s just pure entertainment, and it’s hard not to watch it with a dorky smile on your face the whole time. – Erik Davis, Fandango

“Mark Rylance can shine in literally anything. That I will say.” – Joanna Robinson, Vanity Fair


“TOTALLY engrossed in every second of Ready Player One. It is one of the most technically brilliant things I have EVER seen. Spielberg is one of the few directors who could orchestrate this kind of visual symphony that SO many people will enjoy. Pretty amazing.” – Grae Drake, Rotten Tomatoes

Ready Player One feels like Spielberg watched a ton of Luc Besson movies and decided to outdo them. In terms of pure spectacle, it’s the most astonishing thing he’s done. Never underestimate Steve.” – Eric Kohn, IndieWire


“So so so much movie. Sometimes too much but what I kept thinking over and over again was ‘my kids are gonna LOVE THIS.’ It is joyous and thrilling for the people who it’s designed to joy and thrill.” – Brian Tallerico,

“The pop culture references are a LOT of fun, geeky glee to see everything together on the big screen. I just wanted more of the real world and more character backstory. I definitely recommend reading the book first!” – Alicia Malone, Fandango


“I’m not sure this film will appeal to non-gamers. Also, it does a poor job of world building. In addition, the bad narration (a narrative crutch) in intro doesn’t work. Might’ve been in better hands with an indie director who focused on human story and class disparity, which is better explored in the book. But there are a ton of references. Overall feels dated.” – Chris Gore, Film Threat

“A cacophonous eye-sore…This is no love letter to pop culture. It’s a crass play to nostalgia; it offers nothing new or exciting…I’m genuinely angry that Spielberg is so careless with his own legacy, slapping in references to Jurassic Park with all the care of a monkey slinging feces.“ – Kristy Puchko, Pajiba

Ready Player One was…meh. Some great moments but nothing special.” – Jonathan Barkan, Dread Central

Check out the trailer for Ready Player One below and check in with Rotten Tomatoes as reviews officially start rolling in. The film opens everywhere on March 29.

Tag Cloud

MTV television RT History adventure Mary Poppins Returns Best and Worst Comedy Central Grammys Cosplay based on movie Spectrum Originals OWN Pixar unscripted sports Martial Arts Mary Tyler Moore Super Bowl Cartoon Network USA Network Shudder Hulu Reality Winter TV docudrama Fantasy Holidays golden globes adaptation GIFs doctor who Lionsgate teaser MSNBC boxoffice TIFF natural history Valentine's Day Opinion Oscars sitcom theme song Stephen King what to watch Quiz transformers facebook Fall TV DGA X-Men Rom-Com DirecTV Lucasfilm 2015 The Arrangement Country Superheroe Universal talk show justice league Epix Ovation IFC Films YouTube Premium Marvel Star Trek Ellie Kemper sequel Sony Pictures hist Amazon Sundance Now TV Pirates finale 007 NYCC mutant Emmys BET travel Lifetime crime spy thriller medical drama diversity Fox News Apple IFC harry potter Horror PaleyFest A&E Premiere Dates Toys Women's History Month DC streaming service dragons Anna Paquin biography Interview El Rey Amazon Prime historical drama AMC Bravo zombies comiccon Video Games miniseries crime drama ESPN Disney Nickelodeon Pop Tumblr Adult Swim E! richard e. Grant National Geographic mockumentary Red Carpet Thanksgiving Netflix dceu DC Comics elevated horror spider-man award winner vampires E3 First Look dramedy 20th Century Fox ratings Winners BBC politics cats 24 frames 21st Century Fox Trailer President Comics on TV true crime Comic Book Character Guide See It Skip It CNN ABC Box Office 45 jamie lee curtis USA Watching Series Certified Fresh anthology Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TLC FOX Podcast Creative Arts Emmys Shondaland American Society of Cinematographers Brie Larson Set visit Walt Disney Pictures blaxploitation serial killer Sci-Fi Tomatazos YA Paramount dc Dark Horse Comics Spike Biopics Writers Guild of America Teen social media Mudbound crime thriller science fiction psychological thriller green book YouTube Red Countdown TCA 2017 Infographic FX Action Song of Ice and Fire CBS All Access zombie Mystery PBS romance APB Musicals police drama Rocky The CW Crackle TCA 2019 DC Universe 2017 TNT TCM VICE binge Trophy Talk SDCC Music nature Esquire Christmas Awards Tour Extras cinemax composers Starz political drama CW Seed SundanceTV NBC festivals Warner Bros. Trivia Musical Acorn TV Disney Channel thriller Star Wars Nominations VH1 TBS streaming TV Land Kids & Family Schedule Showtime Polls and Games crossover ABC Family cooking Election Sundance Paramount Network GoT Animation cults Rock Awards Reality Competition anime FXX comic 2018 zero dark thirty technology RT21 robots Drama Britbox Western Pet Sematary Nat Geo GLAAD LGBTQ Marathons CBS Masterpiece cops Summer History ITV MCU Spring TV CMT aliens BBC America TruTV Photos Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Syfy period drama Logo 2016 San Diego Comic-Con Captain marvel HBO Superheroes Ghostbusters Calendar psycho Sneak Peek witnail Black Mirror Year in Review Freeform New York Comic Con SXSW discovery Mary poppins war Columbia Pictures supernatural Mindy Kaling WGN Comedy Food Network casting singing competition