We're so close to sweet, sweet release: "Fifty Shades of Grey" comes to theaters in mere days, and the reviews are rolling in. So is the first chronicle of Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) and Christian's (Jamie Dornan) sexual adventures a pleasure or a pain? Here's what critics have to say.
It's a comedy!
"The director is capable of pivoting from romantic comedy to erotic drama at the whack of a flogger, her dexterity allowing the tepid sex scenes to be framed by a surprisingly sensitive story of self-discovery. Substituting heartache for handcuffs, Fifty Shades is the rare studio romance in which the characters actually try to understand one another." -- David Ehrlich, TimeOut New York
No inner goddess to be found.
"Director Sam Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel have also done away with the cringeworthy parts of the novel — no “inner goddess” references here — and reduced Anastasia’s irritating verbal tic of 'Holy crap!' to one 'Holy f - - k.' There’s humor in some unexpected moments, like Anastasia and Christian negotiating the terms of his dominant-and-submissive contract. (I’m guessing most boardrooms would never encounter the kind of terms they’re flirtatiously tossing around: 'Genital clamps? Absolutely not.')" -- Sara Stewart, New York Post
You'll see Mr. Grey now.
"In his first major big-screen performance, Dornan creates a remarkable range within Grey’s tightly wound intensity. When he takes Ana up in a magnificent glider, both characters let go, and the two leads wordlessly evince very different forms of unhinged joy, equally affecting." -- Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
Like...a lot of Mr. Grey
"Both actors do strip down, and the book's centerpiece scenes are faithfully recreated. But anyone hoping the movie would really push the S&M envelope may find Christian's tastefully shot toy room a little… vanilla. We see a whip here, a handcuff there, but nothing that would shock even newcomers to the series. What Taylor-Johnson does best is balance atmosphere with action: Desks, benches, bathtubs and red leather beds are all creatively employed, as is camerawork designed to show us plenty of skin with just a few full-frontal revelations." -- Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Post
"Fifty Shades of Grey" hits theaters (with consent) February 13.