Zack Snyder's Justice League Reviews: First Reactions Praise Action & Character Moments

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
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It's been a long road to the highly-anticipated release of Zack Snyder's Justice League, but the film is finally set to drop on March 18 on HBO Max.

With Joss Whedon's original cut of the film releasing to great controversy in 2017, many fans are wondering if The Snyder Cut will mark a great improvement. That question seems to have finally been answered, as today saw the embargo lift for the long-awaited film meaning reactions are starting to pour in from critics.


With the embargo having finally lifted for Zack Snyder's Justice League, critics have begun publishing their first thoughts on the film, and the overall response seems to be very positive.

The Wrap's Umberto Gonzalez described the film as “FREAKIN' AWESOME” based on his three times watching the film so far. He went on to particularly praise the amazing score produced by Junkie XL and noted it's “action-packed” despite the four-hour time.

A reaction from Fico Cangiano noted that the several “story arcs follow-through” from previous films while “every character shines” in a film that is “so, so worth the wait.”

Meanwhile, Nathaniel Brail from Heroic Hollywood noted that Snyder's vision is the “perfect companion” to its predecessors, Man of Steel and Batman V Superman .

Eric Davis of Fandango particularly noted that Snyder's cut is “far superior to the original theatrical version,” describing improvements to action, character development, and story.

Davis compared the film to the original based on multiple viewings noting the difference as significant “tonally, visually, musically, [and] action-wise.”

However, Eric Francisco from Inverse noted the film does suffer from “verbose plotting and world-building” and is a “rare personal piece in the impersonal superhero movie complex.”

However, several reviewers concluded that Snyder's cut of Justice League is largely the same story that was released years ago with an excessively long run time.

The Voice Of Reason described on Twitter that “the movie is an improvement” but “it’s mostly the same story as the theatrical version.”

The Emmy-winning journalist concluded that overall “It’s not drastically different except for character expansion” and does mostly feel “like something for the hardcore fans.”

Germain Lussier agreed the film is “both very different, and eerily similar” with “better motivations” and “bigger stakes.”

Fandom's Eric Goldman noted Zack Snyder's Justice League is "better than the theatrical cut" and has "some visually cool moments and impressively grand beats."

However, Goldman did surprisingly say there's “a lot more of Snyder’s footage in the theatrical cut than the narrative has come to suggest.” Overall the Fandom editor concluded the film is ultimately “a fascinating film school type look” at how a variety of modifications can “greatly change a film’s tone.”

Forbes' Scott Mendelson emphasized this is largely “the same core movie we saw in 2017 w/ two hours of deleted scenes.” However, he did note the main reasons to watch are a greatly improved action climax and Cyborg finally being given the “deserved spotlight.”

Unfortunately, based on Mendelson's comments the “first 110 minutes are torturously stilted, stagnant and dull” and there's little reason they “couldn't edit this down to 2.5-3 hours.”


The overall consensus of these brief first reactions seems to come to a conclusion that Snyder's vision is a massive improvement on the original version of the DC film.

Critics generally concurred the expanded run time has offered the director extra time to explore characters and develop on the story of Man of Steel and Batman V Superman . Snyder has always had an immense talent for creating huge visual spectacle and this seems to shine in some greatly improved action sequences.

However, many of the reviews reached the same overall conclusion that the four-hour length may be excessive with upwards of an hour of unnecessary footage that could easily be deleted scenes.

As expected, it seems Zack Snyder's Justice League will be a title that the hardcore fans of the DCEU and Snyder's work will greatly enjoy, however, casual viewers may find the film drags a little.

Zack Snyder's Justice League releases on March 18, exclusively on HBO Max.

- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.