Moonfall first reactions: here's what the critics thought

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Roland Emmerich's new blockbuster Moonfall is in cinemas from today (February 3), but critics were only given the chance to see the film last night – perhaps because producers knew what was coming.

The disaster movie stars Halle Berry, Aquaman key man Patrick Wilson, John Bradley, who you might know best from his role as Samwell Tarly in Game Of Thrones, Michael Peña and Donald Sutherland. 

The blockbuster, which despite being independently financed away from major studios has cost over $140 million to make, opens with the discovery that a mysterious force has knocked the moon from its orbit around Earth and put it on a collision course with our planet. 

Berry plays Jo Fowler, a NASA executive and former astronaut who realizes what’s happening and desperately scrambles to get people to take her seriously. Sadly, only one astronaut from her past, Wilson's Brian Harper and a conspiracy theorist named K.C. Houseman believe her.

This unlikely trio then embark on a seemingly impossible last-ditch space mission to try to save humanity from being wiped out. 

The first critical reactions are now in – they’ve been scathing. 

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Jake Wilson was less than impressed with the film’s tone and found it very hard to take seriously, writing: “...the sheer silliness would make it impossible to take the threat of global destruction seriously even for a moment. Tidal waves sweep in and skyscrapers crumble, but it all feels like watching a screensaver.” 

Blu-Ray’s Brian Orndorf also gave the film a kicking, calling it a "...dopey tale of planetary survival with wretched screenwriting that gets worse the harder it leans into its ludicrous ideas." 

Alternative Lens’ Jennifer Heaton wasn’t any kinder, criticizing every facet of the movie, from its “bloating runtime” to a design “...just awash in dull, pale colours and bog standard design choices. Anything that doesn’t look boring is a visual idea stolen from another movie.” 

 Uproxx senior entertainment writer Mike Ryan savaged the film's dialogue, in particular this exchange...  

On the flipside, the Evening Standard's Charlotte O'Sullivan rather liked it, describing Emmerich's new effort as "...less elegant than Dune and takes fewer risks than Don’t Look Up. Still, it’s a force to be reckoned with.

TechRadar will be checking out Moonfall for itself later today, so stay tuned for our full, spoiler-free review tomorrow.  

Tom Goodwyn
Freelance Entertainment Writer

Tom Goodwyn was formerly TechRadar's Senior Entertainment Editor. He's now a freelancer writing about TV shows, documentaries and movies across streaming services, theaters and beyond. Based in East London, he loves nothing more than spending all day in a movie theater, well, he did before he had two small children…