Eternals’ Abundance of Heroes Can’t Fight Through Its Dense Exposition: Review

Chloé Zhao's poetic eye and stellar cast can't save a dull script

eternals review marvel cinematic universe movie chloe zhao

Directed by

  • Chloé Zhao

Release Date

  • November 5, 2021


  • Gemma Chan, Richard Madden, Angelina Jolie, Kumail Nanjiani, Salma Hayek, Brian Tyree Henry


  • Marvel Studios

    The Pitch: For millennia, intergalactic beings known as Eternals have defended humanity from the predatory Deviants. Once their mission is complete, however, they’re left stranded on Earth, living amongst humans through the ages as they watch our evolution while holding firm to their code of non-interference.

    That is, until their ancient enemies return, signaling the emergence of an even graver threat. With their family separated across the globe, Eternals Sersi (Gemma Chan), Ikaris (Richard Madden), and Sprite (Lia McHugh) must bring the team back together to resume their purpose. This may not be the happy reunion they’d hoped for, though, as revelations about their own pasts may redirect their future — as well as our planet’s.

    Sir, See the Potential: On paper, there’s a ton to be excited about with Eternals, Marvel’s first big-screen, terra-bound superhero team that isn’t Avengers. Fresh off her history-making Nomadland, filmmaker Chloé Zhao brings her poetic lens to capture a stellar cast in the most diverse comic book movie ever produced. The pedigree is as epic as the scale, with a story crossing centuries and a plot stretching to the very center of the actual Marvel Cinematic Universe.


    A fair amount of that actually comes through on the screen. Zhao paints beautiful scenes in the movie’s intimate moments, the glare of a setting sun washing these super-powered beings in humane romance. When we’re able to take a breath and spend some quiet time with the Eternals, their family dynamics and desire to reconnect resonates. And if you’re able to pay attention, the story’s implications for the scope of the MCU are tantalizing.

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