Film review: X-Men’s DARK PHOENIX


HNS got to see an advanced screening of X-Men’s DARK PHOENIX. Check out our film review below and be sure to hit the theaters to see the film this Friday, June 7th! 



In Association with Marvel Entertainment
Release: June 7, 2019
Writer/Director: Simon Kinberg
Producers: Simon Kinberg, p.g.a., Hutch Parker, p.g.a., Lauren Shuler Donner, Todd Hallowell

Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Evan Peters, and Jessica Chastain


This is the story of one of the X-Men’s most beloved characters, Jean Grey, as she evolves into the iconic DARK PHOENIX. During a life-threatening rescue mission in space, Jean is hit by a cosmic force that transforms her into one of the most powerful mutants of all. Wrestling with this increasingly unstable power as well as her own personal demons, Jean spirals out of control, tearing the X-Men family apart and threatening to destroy the very fabric of our planet. The film is the most intense and emotional X-Men movie ever made. It is the culmination of 20 years of X-Men movies, as the family of mutants that we’ve come to know and love must face their most devastating enemy yet — one of their own.

I’m going to start this review off by saying, when it comes to Marvel movies, I tend to go against the grain. There’s a lot of Marvel films that get loads of praise that I couldn’t get invested in whatsoever, and the few films that don’t fare as well (generally speaking) with audiences tend to be the ones I fall in love with. X-Men Dark Phoenix is a prime example of that. I’ve heard a lot of criticism behind the film from my fellow press friends, and it’s criticism I just don’t understand. I really loved the film.

I’ve been highly anticipating the film since I saw some first look clips at Wondercon earlier this year, and I am very pleased with the finished product. I thought the storyline, the action, the high stakes, and the characters all did a terrific job forming together to make a cohesive storyline that never felt slow or rushed or unrealistic. It felt more personal in a lot of ways than the previous X-Men films, and I enjoyed getting to see other sides to these well established characters we all love.

We see some unlikely alliances forming this time around. This X-Men film is the first film in which we see some building tension and subsequent fallout between Professor X and Beast. We essentially have a very divided group fueled with emotional rage and despair. Ultimately, in typical X-Men fashion, they all band together to help save the world, but it wasn’t easy getting to that point.

But what’s also interesting this time is that it’s a bigger look at the impact the X-Men, and mutants in general, have on the world. It raises a lot of questions, and how each feels about it is extremely divisive. There’s a struggle of power, a moral question of how much the mutants should step in to help the same humans who have also hurt them at times. It’s very political. Some, like Professor X, do not hesitate to jump in and be the hero. Others, like Mystique, question at what cost does this fall. Is putting themselves in danger to help humans worth it? These are humans who would not do the same for them, after all. Professor X is determined to keep the peace, and enjoys the fame and notoriety this newfound heroism brings. Others see the problem with this mindset and the fragility of it all.

All the performances are top notch and it’s always fun to have these characters back on our screens. One compliant I have is there’s not enough Quicksilver. I feel like he could have been more involved, and would have made a great asset during the epic end battle. Admittedly, I have not read this comic, so there is probably a reason he’s not more involved, but I feel this is one place it could have been improved upon. The quintessential Quicksilver scene with slo-mo and an epic song was cut drastically short this go around, but I also felt it appropriate given the context and also that we as audiences were expecting it a little too much. (Though these are usually my favorite scenes.) Sophie Turner is clearly the standout of the film, as it largely centers around her character Jean. She plays Jean with great emotional depth and her inner turmoil and conflict drives the film in a heightened, emotional way we haven’t seen in previous X-Men films. Speaking of emotional performances, Kodi Smit-McPhee gave his best performance yet as Nightcrawler, and his character’s dismay at times and not being able to help everyone at the same time, and the turmoil he had as a result, is what got me the most.

The film brings great cinematography, kick ass action, emotion, and the characters we all love so much. For these reasons and more, I highly recommend you go see the film in theaters on the largest screen possible!


DARK PHOENIX Official Channels
HASHTAG: #DarkPhoenix