Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic announced their critic scores for Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King from director Jon Favreau.
The Rotten Tomatoes score currently sits at 59% on the Tomatometer from 111 reviews.
Here’s what the critics are saying:
Michael O’Sullivan at The Washington Post gives the film a 3.5/4. He writes, “Yes, this movie is a safari to the shadowland… And it’s just deep enough to give a cat who’s come of age something to sink his teeth into.”
Dana Stevens at Slate gives the film a rotten review. She writes, “Pairing off romantically to produce a legitimate heir to the throne is nice and all, but it’s getting destroyed by the minions of your own venal ambition that’s the real circle of life.”
John Wenzel in the Denver Post gives the film a 2/4. He writes, “It hangs together better than the horrid, live-action Aladdin remake that came out in May. But that’s not saying much. Most viewers will find this Lion King to be either eye-candy or uncanny valley. There’s so little in between.”
David Ehrlich at IndieWire gives the film a D rating. He writes, “A well-rendered but creatively bankrupt self-portrait of a movie studio eating its own tail.”
Mara Reinstein at Us Weekly gives the film a rotten score. She writes, “For all the remake’s technological majesty, that special mystique unique to the 1994 original lies far beyond where the light touches.”
Kevin Maher in the Times gives the film a 4/5. He writes, “The Lion King is dead. Long live The Lion King.”
Matthew Razak at Flixist gives the film a 7/10. He writes, “This movie is a non-stop visual orgasm (put that one on the poster, Disney).”
Brian Viner at Daily Mail gives the film a 4/5. He writes, “This is a terrific film in its own right, and fully deserves to be lionised.”
Jamie East at The Sun gives the film a 5/5. They write, “The quintessential Disney movie presented to you in industry defining clarity. A game-changer.”
Joi Child at MTR Network gives the film a 7/10. she writes, “This Jon Favreau-directed adventure aims to bring the much-loved animated world into the new age. And while it succeeds in that objective with transformative animation, it fails to have the emotional weight of the OG.”
The Metacritic Metascore is surprisingly similar to the Rotten Tomatoes score. The film currently sits at 57 from 35 reviews. It has 16 positive reviews, 15 mixed, and 4 negative.
Here’s what the critics on Metacritic are saying.
Soren Anderson in The Seattle Times gives the film an 88. He writes, “The new version amplifies and deepens all that is good in the original. The key is in the visuals. Photorealistic computer-generated imagery renders its African landscapes and animals with astonishing realism.”
Richard Roeper in the Chicago Sun-Times gives the film an 88. He writes, “While the musical numbers don’t match the impact of the originals and there’s a bit of a lull in the second act where not all that much seems to be happening, The Lion King is on balance a solid and at times stunningly beautiful film.”
Leah Greenblatt at Entertainment Weekly gives the film an 83. She writes, “The story and the songs, with a few notable if hardly unexpected updates, are fondly faithful to the original; the magic mostly intact. Another reboot was never terribly necessary, maybe — but it’s good, still, to be King.”
Mike Ryan at Uproxx gives the film an 80. He writes, “The Lion King is a monumental achievement of technological advancement. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”
Peter Debruge at Variety gives the film an 80. He writes, “Favreau’s most important responsibility in overseeing the remake was simply not to mess it up. Which he doesn’t. Then again, nor does he bring the kind of visionary new take to the material that Julie Taymor added when staging the Broadway musical. That makes Favreau’s “The Lion King” an undeniably impressive, but incredibly safe entry to the catalog — one whose greatest accomplishment may not be technical (which is not to diminish the incredible work required to make talking animals look believable), but in perfecting the performances.”
Samantha Incorvaia at the Arizona Republic gives the film a 70. She writes, “Despite minor hiccups, it really comes down to an entertaining time with no worries — er, “Hakuna Matata.”
Megan Navarro at Consequence of Sound gives the film a 58. She writes, “In the end, it’s less the Circle of Life and more the Line of Indifference.”
Rodrigo Perez at The Playlist gives the film a 42. He writes, “Without a marriage of inspired storytelling, straight up regurgitation doesn’t elevate new tech. Also, thinking about could and should, one needs to consider good taste, but that’s clearly not driving any of the decisions here.”
Stephanie Zacharek at Time gives the film a 40. She writes, “And while the new Lion King is slightly easier to take—maybe because these heavily CGI-enhanced “real” lions don’t have the same cartoon humanity of the earlier version’s animated ones—the picture still has a manufactured, preachy sheen. This is calculated virtuousness masquerading as imagination, though it’s easy to be sidetracked by how adorable the cub Simba is.”
Michael Phillips at the Chicago Tribune gives the film a 38. He writes, “The new music helps, a little. But the movie is a karaoke act, re-creating the original movie’s story beats beat-by-beat-by-beat.”
Pat Brown at Slant Magazine gives the film a 25. They write, “There’s something very cheap at the core of this overtly, ostentatiously expensive film, reliant as it is on our memory of the original to accentuate every significant moment.”
What do you make of these critic scores? Do you plan on seeing Disney’s The Lion King from Jon Favreau?