Skip to main content

Netflix’s ‘Don’t Look Up’ Not Standing Tall in Reviews

Don’t Look Up doesn’t look bad. In fact, the anxious and slightly pudgy Leonardo DiCaprio sets off the severe, Michigan State-sweatshirt wearing Jennifer Lawrence quite well in the film’s preview.

DON'T LOOK UP | Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence | Official Trailer | Netflix

Based on reviews since its Dec. 24 release, however, Don’t Look Up falls flat.

Earning a rotten 55% critical score so far, the Netflix film earns at least an average 77% passing grade with audiences. Reviewers and the general public both appreciated Don’t Look Up’s acting performances, including DiCaprio’s Dr. Randall Mindy and Lawrence’s Kate Dibiasky. The film is getting panned, however, for a lack of depth as a one-note satire. The continuous joke about the obliviousness of people to anything that’s not fed to them via social media feeds or castigating TV talking heads comes off as hostile instead of droll.

Is Don’t Look Up Worth a Watch?

According to the film’s synopsis, Dibiasky is an astronomy grad student who makes an astounding discovery: A comet orbiting the solar system is on a direct collision course with Earth. When the pair go on a media tour to inform the world, however, no one seems to care.

This includes an indifferent President Orlean (Meryl Streep), her sycophantic son and Chief of Staff, Jason (Jonah Hill), as well as upbeat morning show hosts Brie (Cate Blanchett) and Jack (Tyler Perry). There are so many stars in the film it’s hard to believe that it’s not worth a watch.

“The actors do what they can with the subpar material,” Salon.com critic Gary M. Kramer writes. “Jennifer Lawrence makes a laudable effort as Kate, who is a voice of reason and delights in telling President Orlean that she didn’t vote for her, but her childish spats with Orlean’s chief of staff/son, Jason, are painful.”

More Streaming Guides

Don’t Look Up’s director Adam McKay helmed two snappy socio-political film’s in 2018’s Vice and 2015’s The Big Short along with several solid comedies including Anchorman and Get Shorty, but instead of fresh comedy, the jokes sound recycled and overused.

“The first hour was certainly promising, but it quickly became repetitive and verbose. The thing is, nobody likes to be hit over the head with anything, especially a topic so glaringly obvious,” FlixChatter Film Blog and Rotten Tomato-approved critic Ruth Maramis wrote.

Even 'Dune's' Timothee Chalamet (right) makes an appearance in Netflix's star-laden flop, 'Don't Look Up.'
Even ‘Dune’s’ Timothee Chalamet (right) makes an appearance in Netflix’s star-laden flop, ‘Don’t Look Up.’ Netflix

Still, a minority of critics appreciate the over-the-top plot that’s carried along by the A-list cast.

“There’s little doubt, then, that Don’t Look Up benefits substantially from an inherently compelling setup that’s heightened by plenty of laugh-out-loud funny bits of silliness and a raft of stellar, top-notch performances,” Reel Film Reviews’ David Nusair writes.

In the end, it seems that Don’t Look Up attempts to make a worthy point, but instead of hitting the funny bone, the director smacks audiences in the face.

“McKay, who wrote the screenplay as well, lets satire get in the way of social commentary. There’s something to be said for piercing reality with humor, rubbing our faces in horrible realities while confronting them with an amusing point of view. But the nastiness and negativity here just makes the filmmaker come off like a jerk,” L.A. Weekly’s Asher Luberto concludes.

Read More: ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ Is A Multiversal Mess

Editors' Recommendations

Matthew Denis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
There’s a free Super Bowl Halftime Show live stream (and it’s legal)
super bowl tickets lvii

Usher fans will be super excited to know that we’ve made it. Today is finally the day of the Super Bowl Halftime Show plus that little sports game known as the Super Bowl. If you’re confident that one of the best Super Bowl halftime shows is coming up fast, you won’t want to miss out on a second. Fortunately, there are many ways to watch a free Super Bowl Halftime Show live stream and they’re all legal options. That’s thanks to the game and the halftime show being aired on CBS which many streaming services offer. It’s the perfect chance to catch other iconic moments like the best Super Bowl commercials too. Here’s what you need to know about how to watch the Super Bowl Halftime show live stream entirely for free.
Watch the free Super Bowl Halftime Show live stream on Fubo

Fubo is a popular streaming option for sports fans thanks to being one of the best ways to watch live sports online. Because of its channel roster and the fact that the Super Bowl Halftime show is on the same station as the main event, you can easily catch CBS on Fubo. Even better, the cord cutter’s dream has a great Fubo free trial. It lasts seven days and gives you unrestricted access to whichever Fubo plan you sign up for. The only catch is you need to hand over your credit card details so it’s a smart move to make sure you cancel ahead of the seven-day expiry date so you don’t end up paying anything.

Read more
Deadpool 3: Trailer, cast, and everything else we know (so far)
The first trailer for Deadpool and Wolverine has arrived
Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool in Deadpool and Wolverine.

There's only one Marvel Studios movie coming out in 2024, and it's going to be big. Deadpool 3 is just a few months away, and the highly-anticipated sequel now has an official name: Deadpool and Wolverine. This film is a bridge between the 20th Century Fox X-Men movies and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But more importantly, it's the first on-screen team up of Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool and Hugh Jackman's Wolverine since 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The Jackman cameo from Deadpool 2 doesn't count because it just lifted footage from the earlier film.

Now that the first look at the sequel has arrived, we're sharing everything we know about Deadpool and Wolverine.

Read more
Like Argylle? Then watch these Matthew Vaughn movies
If you like Argylle, check out Matthew Vaughn's best movies
The cast of Layer Cake.

Super Bowl Sunday demolished the box office this past weekend, but Matthew Vaughn's Argylle held on to the top spot. Unfortunately, Argylle is also seriously underperforming compared to Vaughn's previous films, which may impact his future options. Regardless, Vaughn has spent two decades in Hollywood, and he's directed some truly memorable films.

But no director is perfect every time out, and even Vaughn has had some disappointing efforts along the way. That's why we're taking a look back at all seven of Matthew Vaughn's previous movies and ranking them from worst to first.

Read more