Super Mario Bros. Movie Off to Disappointing Start on Rotten Tomatoes

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Super Mario Bros. MOVIE mario hurt

As The Super Mario Bros. Movie prepares for its premiere, the first wave of critic scores on Rotten Tomatoes might be a tad disappointing for some fans.

On top of the movie's interesting premise,The Super Mario Bros. Movie also boasts an all-star cast headlined by Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Jack Black. 

Marketing for the movie has ramped up in the past weeks, with Illumination unveiling a new trailer and a collection of posters to boost anticipation for its release. 

While the first reviews of critics for The Super Mario Bros. Movie are generally positive, it looks like a momentum shift ahead of its release is on the horizon.

The Super Mario Bros. Movie Gets Poor Rotten Tomatoes Score

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The Super Mario Bros. Movie is currently listed on Rotten Tomatoes with a 46% Tomatometer score from 52 critics' reviews, meaning that just 46% of the aggregator's critics liked or would recommend the animated film. 

Some critics pointed out The Super Mario Bros. Movie's several flaws, such as the film's "basic" plot, while others have described it as a feature-length commercial rather than a full-length movie. 

io9's Germain Lussier said that The Super Mario Bros. Movie is "wholly uninteresting" despite being visually striking: 

"'The Super Mario Bros. Movie' is a visually striking, wholly uninteresting, and bland film that not even a few moments of magic can save. It’s not as awful as the 1993 live-action film, but that’s such a low bar, you don’t need a power-up to cross it."

The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw admitted that the movie is a "disappointment" and "flat in all senses:"

"This much-trailed, much-hyped new animated feature is tedious and flat in all senses, a disappointment to match the live-action version in 1993."

CinemaBlend's Eric Eisenberg offered a brief yet disappointing review of The Super Mario Bros. Movie

"The Super Mario Bros. Movie functions more like a checklist of nods to the games than a narrative feature."

Mashable's Kristy Puchko admitted that she will not watch the movie again after seeing it for the first time: 

"In the end, it feels like one long commercial. Sure, I walked away wanting to revisit my old Mario games. But I also walked away with no wish to ever again hit play on The Super Mario Bros. Movie."

ComicBook's Tanner Dedmon described the experience of watching the movie as "someone repeatedly [dying] in a Mario game:"

"The experience feels similar to watching someone repeatedly die in a Mario game and promising, "Just one more try!" as you hope to move on to something more exciting in your life, harmlessly irritating you until you see the sweet relief of a "Game Over."

Moreover, the upcoming Chris Pratt-led animated movie also received a Metascore of 48 from the first 32 critic reviews on Metacritic

Will Super Mario’s Critics' Score Affect Its Box Office?

For many, it is disappointing to see a low critic score for The Super Mario Bros. Movie, especially after the hype surrounding the movie. 

It remains to be seen if this latest development will ultimately affect the film's box-office performance. However, given the popularity of the Super Mario title and the anticipation for the film, there is still a strong chance that audiences will flock to theaters during the weekend.

Still, some of the criticisms are valid, with critics consistently picking apart its lack of depth in storytelling. It also didn't help that there is already backlash towards Chris Pratt's casting as Mario's voice in the movie.

While fans could still save the movie by watching it in theaters during the opening weekend to gain a decent box office return, it's likely that a potential sequel is not in the cards just yet. 

Hopefully, though, The Super Mario Bros. is enjoyable enough for fans so that Illumination green lights a follow-up. 

The Super Mario Bros. Movie comes to theaters worldwide on Wednesday, April 5. 

- In This Article: The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Release Date
April 05, 2023
Anya Taylor-Joy
Charlie Day
Jack Black
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.