Reviews for Monsters University are finally starting to trickle out.
As of now, June 10, 2013 - 2:21 PM Eastern, Monsters University is currently at a rather disappointing 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. Three of its reviews are also on Metacritic.
One of the two rotten reviews comes from IndieWire, but Tomatoes counts it as a "rotten". Metacritic counts it as a positive review, but the critic goes as far as saying "Pixar has lost its edge". *facepalm*
The other one is more mixed. Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter writes that the film is a "humdrum straight of line film" and also feels that it was "alarmingly lame". McCarthy was also negative on Brave but he called Cars 2 another "Pixar winner". Hmmmm...
Now, how about the 5 positive reviews? Justin Chang of Variety was pretty positive on the film, though he does state that doesn't attempt to "scale the heights of Pixar's past" and does give it credit for other things. The Wrap's Alonso Duralde says it's "solidly average". One pretty positive review says that the film is "proof that prequels can be done right".
So far, the vibe I'm getting is this: "It's good, but not 'Pixar Good'." I fear that this will be Brave all over again... (The critical reception, not the film itself.)
Update - June 10, 2013 - 4:04 PM Eastern
On Metacritic, it's at 66, which is a cut above "mixed reception", adding The Guardian's review that's been on Rotten Tomatoes.
Going against this batch of decidedly mixed reviews are some very positive reactions from other sites. /Film's Germain Lussier gave it a great 9 out of 10, the site had given Brave a 7. A good sign right there! Bleeding Cool? Also very positive, as their Brendon Connelly says it's their "funniest and most engaging since The Incredibles, and the most emotionally affecting since Finding Nemo and possibly even Monsters, Inc."
Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic ought to count these two reviews...
Update - June 15, 2013 - 10:27 PM Eastern
Slowly but surely, the percentage went up. It's now at a very good 86%! 12 positive reviews against 2 negative. (Though that IndieWire one still gave it a B, so it's really 13 fresh.) But the reviews themselves share the same sentiment. They're saying it's just a minor effort from the Leaping Lamp, a particularly insulting review from Schmoes Know says it's a "kids movie through and through". Pixar doesn't make "kids films", people... The average score is a 7.
The Metacritic score is still a 66, since only 4 reviews have been counted.
Update - June 20, 2013 - 10:29 PM Eastern
Monsters University is now at 77% on Rotten Tomatoes... With a consensus: "It doesn't scale the heights of Pixar's finest efforts, but Monsters University is still funny and thoughtful family entertainment for viewers of any age."
Ughh, again with the "it doesn't match Pixar's best"... At this rate, people and critics will have to accept that not every Pixar film is going to be WALL-E or Up. Like I've been saying, they're not gonna churn out A+/perfect/10-out-of-10 films forever... And that's totally alright. A 77% is better than a 67% anyway, which also applies to Brave.
But I get the sense that the "Pixar is dead" bandwagon baddies will say that this film (since they did so with Brave) is another sign of Pixar's downward spiral... Get ready for another wave of that garbage, folks...
Metacritic has it at a positive, but not so great 63 with a total of 30 reviews: 17 positive, 13 mixed... No negatives whatsoever.
More updates to come...