With Steven Spielberg at the helm and Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant, this hugely anticipated film hits the big screen – but do critics think its worth a watch? 

The Telegraph: ***** Robbie Collin was enthusiastic saying:  “During some of Rylance’s heart-swellingly beautiful monologues here, the BFG almost feels like Jerusalem for children.”

The Evening Standard: **** David Sexton wrote: “a stunning demonstration of what is now possible in immersing children in lifelike fantasy. We never had it so good.”

The Guardian:**** Peter Bradshaw said: “A typically distinctive, eccentric and seductive star performance from Mark Rylance absolutely makes this movie what it is.”

Variety.com: Peter Debruge found that: “No matter how fantastical the tale (and it gets pretty out-there at points), this splendid Steven Spielberg-directed adaptation makes it possible for audiences of all ages to wrap their heads around one of the unlikeliest friendships in cinema history.”

The Independent: *** Geoffery Macnab was less convinced saying: ” For all its technical excellence and  surrealistic flights of fancy, this isn’t Spielberg at full throttle. The film looks gorgeous and boasts all sorts of ingenious legerdemain and special effects.”

Hollywood Reporter: “the two-hour two-hander drags with too much dialogue during the first half and never truly achieves narrative lift-off.”

Time Out: **** Dave Calhoun thought: “flaws aside, this is a superior, inventive kids’ film, and one that’s bound to make Rylance’s giant a favourite with younger audiences.”

Vanity Fair: “Something about The BFG feels lukewarm and arbitrary, like Spielberg was doing the best he could with a project his heart just wasn’t in.”

The Daily Mail: **** Brian Viner said: “It really does offer a huge treat for the whole family – with the caution that very young children might well be scared out of their wits by some of the more “murderful” giants.”

The Upcoming: ***Joseph Owen commented: “The action sequences are a marvel of skill and technical competence, and Barnhill is suitably punchy and cool playing the brave, self-sufficient little girl, strangely undeterred by the  astonishing events wrought by her chance meeting with a beautiful, frightening world of giants.”

Overall verdict: a mixed success for Spielberg, but I can’t help but wonder if the critics understood fully Dahl’s original story which was simple in plot – but filled with imagination. 

The BFG is released in UK cinemas on the 22nd July. 





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