Bird Box 2 Reviews: Critics Share First Reactions to Netflix Sequel

By Klein Felt Posted:
Bird Box

Critics have shared their first reviews of Netflix's Bird Box 2, and things are not looking good. 

Following up on one of the biggest hits to ever grace the platform, Bird Box: Barcelona centers the post-apocalyptic action on a whole new cast of characters, as they seek to survive in a world where they cannot use their eyes to navigate. 

Sandra Bullock's 2018 original did not fare well when it came to critical reception, currently sitting at 64% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, it dominated the platform during its release month, drawing in over 45 million accounts taking it in in its first week alone. 

Now, the streamer hopes to capture some of that magic again, with its entirely Spanish spin-off. 

Bird Box 2 Reviews Are In

Bird Box Barcelona

The first critic reactions to Bird Box: Barcelona are in, with the film earning a score of 57% on Rotten Tomatoes

Reviews for Netflix's latest horror sequel have been less than glowing, with most reviews sitting somewhere between four and six out of ten. 

Most of the reviews call out the film as a completely unneeded sequel, that - for the most part - misses on what made the first film resonate with so many people. 

Kate Erbland from IndieWire says Bird Box: Barcelona "has strayed so far from what made the first film interesting," as if "someone pulled a blindfold over our collective cinematic memory:"

"'Bird Box Barcelona' has strayed so far from what made the first film interesting, scary, and yes, timely that it remains but a distant memory, as if someone pulled a blindfold over our collective cinematic memory."

SlashFIlm's Matthew Shaffer called the film a "transparent [ploy] for sequelization" that does not work:

"Cinema has always been as much commerce as content, but these transparent ploys for sequelization and world-building scan as transparent for even a casual viewer. Nothing takes flight here."

According to Jeff Nelson from Guy at the Movies, the movie misses one of the best parts of its predecessor, the "plucky central performance" from Sandra Bullock:

"'Bird Box Barcelona' lacks Bullock’s plucky central performance and much of the tension that came with it."

That is not to say every review is 100% negative, some early reactions say there is some fun to be had with Bird Box 2. 

While offering his fair share of critiques, The Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney mentioned that the movie is "technically accomplished, well-acted, atmospherically unsettling, and certainly watchable."

And Ian Sandwell from Digital Spy even went as far as to say the sequel is "a better movie overall than Bird Box:"

"While it's hard to imagine that 'Bird Box Barcelona' can repeat the viewing stats of the first movie, especially without an A-list movie star in the lead, it's a better movie overall than 'Bird Box.'"

Is Bird Box 2 Worth Watching?

It is early going for Bird Box 2 reviews (with only seven on Rotten Tomatoes at the time of writing), but it is not looking - at least critically - like the sequel will be worth watching for subscribers. 

However, the original 2018 film hit a similar mark when it came to critics' scores, and it went on to become the biggest Netflix film of all time and currently still sits as the third most-watched Netflix original movie ever. 

So, just because Bird Box: Barcelona is not lighting the world on fire critically, does not mean the movie will not succeed on the platform. But given all the criticisms it may not be worth the watch. 

While critics had plenty of problems with the first film, Sandra Bullock's performance was something many people latched on to as one of the shining lights of a middling movie. 

As an example, Olly Richards from NME, described Bullock's performance in the first film as "riveting," while "the film she gifts it to is not much to see." This is just one of many examples of praise for Bird Box's star despite the overall quality of the movie.

This time around, Bullock is not there, and - despite featuring accomplished Spanish-speaking actors like Mario Casas and Diego Calva - it seems there is no Bird Box 1-level performance to plant a flag in. 

Bird Box: Barcelona comes to Netflix on Friday, July 14. 

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.