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Review: Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange
10.27.2016
6 10

PLOT: After his hands are destroyed in a car accident, a talented surgeon travels to Nepal in order to receive healing from a mystical sect led by the immortal Ancient One. After joining their ranks, Strange learns he's now on the front lines of a battle that spans dimensions and time itself.

REVIEW: Perhaps the most common complaint lodged against Marvel Studios current run of uber-successful Avengers movies is that they're all starting to look like one another; one film slides into the next, stylistically and tonally. It's hard to argue with that sometimes, but it's also hard to complain about, since they're all so, well, good. (Yes, currently awaiting my next Marvel check.) DOCTOR STRANGE, Scott Derrickson's attempt to bring the admittedly tricky superhero to life, is indeed a different feeling movie than most of the recent Marvel output, while still more or less following the familiar beats of an origin story. It's also one of Marvel's clunkiest movies to date.

Doctor Strange Benedict Cumberbatch Rachel McAdams Tilda Swinton

Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a brilliant, egotistical NY neurosurgeon with a knack for showing up his colleagues and alienating his onetime lover Christine (Rachel McAdams). When a violent car crash obliterates his gifted hands, the bitter doctor searches high and low for someone who can fix them, ultimately finding out about an immortal being known as the Ancient One who has the power to heal bodies through mysticism (and that's just the tip of the iceberg). Finding the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and her most trusted disciple Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofer), Strange agrees to train in these mystic arts, discovering not only that he can project his spirit outside of his body, but also see into other dimensions - one of which, the Mirror Dimension, resides just outside of our plane of existence.

There is a villain, of course, and in true Marvel fashion his motives are a bit ill-defined and perfunctory. Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen) is a former protege of the Ancient One who became disillusioned with some of her practices, forging his own sect and seeking a way to live outside of time and achieve immortality. Or something to that effect. All that matters is that he's a powerful magician who gives Strange a run for his money, especially when flanked by his several henchmen (including Scott Adkins as a particularly intimidating martial artist). Kaecilius wants to wipe out the Ancient One's order, which means destroying parts of New York (again?!), London and Hong Kong. Doctor Strange, now a slightly humbler fellow, must learn to not think of himself for once and become a hero.

As I gather the film is largely faithful to the source material, there's no doubt Derrickson and his co-writers Jon Spaihts and C. Robert Cargill had their work cut out for them making this as narratively palatable as possible while sticking to the spiritual/magical elements that make the comics stand out from the rest of the pack. The results are mixed. The film is self-aware and not afraid to frequently point out the inherent ridiculousness of its plot, and that's crucial, since things get mighty silly sometimes. (Strange's trusty levitating cloak is an example of the filmmakers feeling free to go as broadly comedic as possible.) At the same time, much of the film's first half is so exposition-heavy that it's hard not to feel bogged down in mumbo-jumbo, with very vague rules defining the metaphysical playing field. Derrickson has a bit of a rough time establishing a solid rhythm for much of the runtime; the second act is particularly troubled as it attempts to balance out all the talking with a couple cursory fight scenes. DOCTOR STRANGE might be best approached as a "shut your brain off" experience.

Doctor Strange Benedict Cumberbatch Rachel McAdams Tilda Swinton

DOCTOR STRANGE is a different beast than the other Marvel flicks, it must be admitted. The film indulges in some fairly trippy sequences, with varying degrees of success. Strange's first introduction to astral projection and other universes is admirably crazy (looks great in 3D too), while the several building-bending fight scenes are exciting and inventive, especially the one that opens the film. Not having as much success is a prolonged hospital battle between Strange's astral body and Adkins' similarly ghostly figure, which ends up looking like a deleted scene from THE FRIGHTENERS. The finale is a very odd stand-off between Strange and an interdimensional being known as Dormammu that honestly feels more like a gag reel than climactic battle of wills.

I think most people's reactions to the film will depend on how Cumberbatch-as-Strange strikes them. Personally, I'm not so crazy about him. As written, he's cocky and often passive-aggressive in the vein of Tony Stark; there's little doubt that Robert Downey, Jr.'s Tony was the mold from which this Strange comes from. But Cumberbatch - impressive screen presence that he is - is not one for effortlessly delivering quips and wise cracks. When Strange gets sardonic (or, God help us, prone to pop culture references), the result is very stale. Overall, Cumberbatch is fine (certainly physically he's a perfect match), he just isn't a very energetic personality, and the movie seems to want him to match RDJ in the charismatic rogue department. Suffice to say, there's no competition as far as that goes. When compared to the other Marvel heroes that are already so well established on the big screen, Strange is basically a bore, very much relying on all those mystical powers to make him an engaging protagonist.

Luckily, the supporting cast is aces. The controversy regarding her casting aside, Swinton is reliably excellent as the Ancient One, feeding Strange (and us) the requisite exposition with endearing slyness. Ejiofer is also a powerful supporting player, and though his character is still a bit of a mystery to me, Mikkelsen can play an intellectual villain in his sleep at this point. Benedict Wong also provides sturdy backup as Wong, Strange's colleague in the mystic arts.

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

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6:46PM on 10/30/2016
I saw this yesterday. Before i say what I say, note that I never ever got in to Dr Strange during my comic book days...I never got it - too much mumbo jumbo for me (the Strange DLC in Lego Marvel Avengers plays on that very well lolzzz) so I stayed well away from the character. However, I have seen the animated movie and that was done very well indeed...so I had high hopes for this movie (limited myself to seeing only one trailer which was okay). In the end, my thoughts are, if this this
I saw this yesterday. Before i say what I say, note that I never ever got in to Dr Strange during my comic book days...I never got it - too much mumbo jumbo for me (the Strange DLC in Lego Marvel Avengers plays on that very well lolzzz) so I stayed well away from the character. However, I have seen the animated movie and that was done very well indeed...so I had high hopes for this movie (limited myself to seeing only one trailer which was okay). In the end, my thoughts are, if this this wasn't a Marvel movie, I'd give it a harder time than I'm about to. It has nothing on the animated movie. In fact, what saves it from a harder bash is that, like all MCU movies, it's part of a bigger thing...and in that regards I appreciate that we got this movie and will probably even enjoy it a bit more at a later date (it wouldn't be the first MCU movie I've changed my opinion on after repeat viewings, having taken in more of the MCU universe following it). I was already forgetting plot points a few minutes after leaving the movie - not that it was overly complicated ...just ...I kind of found it, more on the boring side...which is strange (pun not intended)...some of the fights were exciting...though one of them definitely left me with a little motion sickness. The movie has it's moments (what do you expect, it's a MCU movie) but probably my least favourite MCU movie by a bit of a distance at this point in time (for reference, Winter Soldier/Civil War are my favourites... by a considerable distance - Incredible Hulk was my favourite, prior to Winter Soldier) .
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6:46PM on 10/29/2016

93% on RT but 6/10 hmmm

8.1 imdb
93% RT
74% MetaCritic
Literally one of the best reviewed Marvel movies but this guy gave it a 6. Sounds like he's tired of comic movies movies in general regardless of their quality. Eric is a chode. It's alright cause your opinion doesn't matter anyway.
8.1 imdb
93% RT
74% MetaCritic
Literally one of the best reviewed Marvel movies but this guy gave it a 6. Sounds like he's tired of comic movies movies in general regardless of their quality. Eric is a chode. It's alright cause your opinion doesn't matter anyway.
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4:01AM on 10/29/2016

He scored Ouija & Blair Witch better than this...

...I question this guy's credibility.
...I question this guy's credibility.
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2:19PM on 10/29/2016
Sounds like he is butt-hurt about some low reviews for DC movies, and this is his chance to stick it back to marvel. This review is seriously the lowest from a critic I wcould find.
Sounds like he is butt-hurt about some low reviews for DC movies, and this is his chance to stick it back to marvel. This review is seriously the lowest from a critic I wcould find.
6:36PM on 10/28/2016

Lowest review I found online

I feel like this score is lower than deserves based on the lowest i found online other than joblo being 7.8. Even at a 6 thats like 50% better than the reviews for the last batman/ suicide squad movies.
I feel like this score is lower than deserves based on the lowest i found online other than joblo being 7.8. Even at a 6 thats like 50% better than the reviews for the last batman/ suicide squad movies.
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4:06PM on 10/28/2016

Just going to leave this here.....

When this type of review is written for a DC property, it usually gets a much lower score than 6; just saying. Tell anyone watching Batman that they have to "turn their brain off" to enjoy it, and people pull out their pitchforks. I will not being seeing this in theaters, literally out of spite. I've stopped paying Marvel......... except for Guardians of the Galaxy because, well, its awesome......and maybe Deadpool lol. But, I'm done with Avenger...so formulaic, bland, and sugary. Saw Ant-man
When this type of review is written for a DC property, it usually gets a much lower score than 6; just saying. Tell anyone watching Batman that they have to "turn their brain off" to enjoy it, and people pull out their pitchforks. I will not being seeing this in theaters, literally out of spite. I've stopped paying Marvel......... except for Guardians of the Galaxy because, well, its awesome......and maybe Deadpool lol. But, I'm done with Avenger...so formulaic, bland, and sugary. Saw Ant-man once, yawn. saw Avengers 2, yawn, ....and the latest Captain America, yawn. Bring on Batman, The Flash, Aquaman, Superman and Wonder woman!!!!!
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11:12PM on 10/27/2016
Gotta give it the +2 treatment since Eric reviewed it, so 8/10 guys.
Gotta give it the +2 treatment since Eric reviewed it, so 8/10 guys.
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8:07PM on 10/27/2016
I'll take this review with a grain of salt. I admit I am a huge Marvel and comics fan in general. Marvel has done some wrong, but mostly right in my opinion. Yes they have villain problems, and I take that seriously in your review as I believe it. The exposition I expected because this is a totally new direction. Some things in your review I take issue with though. The whole part about him being cocky and arrogant and passive aggressive, to me is almost like you missed the point. He is supposed
I'll take this review with a grain of salt. I admit I am a huge Marvel and comics fan in general. Marvel has done some wrong, but mostly right in my opinion. Yes they have villain problems, and I take that seriously in your review as I believe it. The exposition I expected because this is a totally new direction. Some things in your review I take issue with though. The whole part about him being cocky and arrogant and passive aggressive, to me is almost like you missed the point. He is supposed to be all of that. He's and the MCU aren't copying Tony Stark's personality, that's who Stephen Strange is, or was. A lot of high end surgeons are cocky and arrogant because they feel like they are playing god by nature of what they do. The whole process of losing all that is what humbles Strange and brings him down to earth more. He is always lets just say "confident", but pre-crash he is supposed to be basically a dick.
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8:33PM on 10/27/2016
Yeah, that description sounds spot on like the Stephen Strange from the comics whereas Robert Downey, Jr's Tony Stark, while an amazing character is pretty different from the comics' Tony Stark (or at least the comic's Stark before the movies came out).
Yeah, that description sounds spot on like the Stephen Strange from the comics whereas Robert Downey, Jr's Tony Stark, while an amazing character is pretty different from the comics' Tony Stark (or at least the comic's Stark before the movies came out).
+1
7:47PM on 10/27/2016

On Metacritic it's one of Marvel's best reviewed films yet

With a lot of critics praising the character development, non-traditional action scenes and the fact that it just doesn't feel like anything else in the MCU. So I wonder if the reviewer just had different expectations for it than most critics did? Anyway, most people seem to agree it's one of Marvel's best so I'm still stoked for it at this point.
With a lot of critics praising the character development, non-traditional action scenes and the fact that it just doesn't feel like anything else in the MCU. So I wonder if the reviewer just had different expectations for it than most critics did? Anyway, most people seem to agree it's one of Marvel's best so I'm still stoked for it at this point.
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7:15PM on 10/27/2016

6/10

So it's not as good as Ghostbusters. Got it.
So it's not as good as Ghostbusters. Got it.
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8:37PM on 10/27/2016
HEY that's my schtick!

But you have to make that comment to Chris Brumbay, because he's the one that reviewed Ghostbusters, not this dude.
HEY that's my schtick!

But you have to make that comment to Chris Brumbay, because he's the one that reviewed Ghostbusters, not this dude.
4:01PM on 10/27/2016
Still gonna check it out I guess. Maybe #2 will be better.
Still gonna check it out I guess. Maybe #2 will be better.
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3:54PM on 10/27/2016

still looking forward to it

I haven't seen the movie yet, and have tried to limit how many previews I've seen so far, but I disagree on what you say about Cumberbatch's ability to effortlessly deliver quips, while being charismatic yet still passive aggressive and alienating. That's almost the definition of his Sherlock character. That being said, just because he has the capacity for it doesn't mean that the director was able to bring it out of him in the film, and I could see how certain pop culture references might
I haven't seen the movie yet, and have tried to limit how many previews I've seen so far, but I disagree on what you say about Cumberbatch's ability to effortlessly deliver quips, while being charismatic yet still passive aggressive and alienating. That's almost the definition of his Sherlock character. That being said, just because he has the capacity for it doesn't mean that the director was able to bring it out of him in the film, and I could see how certain pop culture references might sound stale. That also sounds like it's a problem from the writing room though, not just the actor. It's funny to me that yet again he's being compared to RDJ, since they both are Sherlock in different worlds and use different acting styles, each to great effect in their own way.
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1:10PM on 10/27/2016
Honestly, this type of comic book hero and the world he lives in was always going to be a difficult transition and challenge for Marvel at this point. But judging from the trailers, and clips, it's looks like a hell of a lot of fun and will be just as good as Marvel's other films at this point.

But I've said before that Doctor Strange was the movie and character making his debut I was looking forward to most in phase three and I'm excited to finally see this film and how great Cumberbatch
Honestly, this type of comic book hero and the world he lives in was always going to be a difficult transition and challenge for Marvel at this point. But judging from the trailers, and clips, it's looks like a hell of a lot of fun and will be just as good as Marvel's other films at this point.

But I've said before that Doctor Strange was the movie and character making his debut I was looking forward to most in phase three and I'm excited to finally see this film and how great Cumberbatch is in the role AND what kind of supernatural/black magic impact it will have amongst the rest of the established MCU going forward.
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1:05PM on 10/27/2016

I like Marvel but they need a kick in the ass

That villain problem has been lingering for years and I'm tired of seeing New York at the brink of destruction. They're "winning" the superhero movie war because WB can't get its act together but they need a shakeup if they want to keep their edge.
That villain problem has been lingering for years and I'm tired of seeing New York at the brink of destruction. They're "winning" the superhero movie war because WB can't get its act together but they need a shakeup if they want to keep their edge.
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4:02AM on 10/29/2016
they're doing fine
they're doing fine
1:03PM on 10/27/2016

7/10 I'm my books

pretty good but nothing great nor special
the after credit scene was pretty nice though
pretty good but nothing great nor special
the after credit scene was pretty nice though
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12:48PM on 10/27/2016
I'm as "Marvel fanboy" as it gets and I respect JoBlo for giving this a 6/10. No hate from me. I trust the reviews on this site and will wait to see it before I form a final opinion or give anybody a hard time. Thanks for raising my interest even higher, JoBlo!
I'm as "Marvel fanboy" as it gets and I respect JoBlo for giving this a 6/10. No hate from me. I trust the reviews on this site and will wait to see it before I form a final opinion or give anybody a hard time. Thanks for raising my interest even higher, JoBlo!
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12:18PM on 10/27/2016
Looking at reviews it's sounding like Marvel knew they had something different so tried harder than usual to make it fit their usual mold for films.
Looking at reviews it's sounding like Marvel knew they had something different so tried harder than usual to make it fit their usual mold for films.
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12:15PM on 10/27/2016
I'd give it a solid 8/10 imho. I enjoyed all the main characters (except Rachel McAdams weak love interest), action and fx were awesome and trippy, and most importantly I did laugh a lot which is why I generally like the marvel films. Oh and the mid credits scene.... YES!
I'd give it a solid 8/10 imho. I enjoyed all the main characters (except Rachel McAdams weak love interest), action and fx were awesome and trippy, and most importantly I did laugh a lot which is why I generally like the marvel films. Oh and the mid credits scene.... YES!
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12:13PM on 10/27/2016
As a massive marvel fan boy and comic book films in general, I'll be giving it my customary 10 to see it. I guess DS was always going to be a big gamble, I'd actually wager bigger than guardians as at least you can detach from Earth and the rest of the Avengers with GOTG but fair play, perhaps we can aim to improve. I agree with johngotti and king Brent below - there is all most too much superhero stuff out there at the moment you worry about points of saturation. I agree Gotham, DD, AOS,
As a massive marvel fan boy and comic book films in general, I'll be giving it my customary 10 to see it. I guess DS was always going to be a big gamble, I'd actually wager bigger than guardians as at least you can detach from Earth and the rest of the Avengers with GOTG but fair play, perhaps we can aim to improve. I agree with johngotti and king Brent below - there is all most too much superhero stuff out there at the moment you worry about points of saturation. I agree Gotham, DD, AOS, Agent Carter have all become a bit bland. (I know carter is now off the table) but you worry about Jessica Jones and Luke Cage in terms of audience, I genuinely think Flash has Been fantastic but even early signs in season 3 are not encouraging.
Personally I always look forward to a good marvel film I can watch with the family, I just wish they weren't as predictable. Bad guy - redeems himself, finds power, shit villain, has to prove he is hero. End - I'd like thee films to stop following this proedictable pattern as the reviewer himself has said, you almost go into them knowing what to expect now
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12:09PM on 10/27/2016
Wow, 6/10. Still, so far it has received good scores from Rotten Tomatoes. I'll decide for myself soon.
Wow, 6/10. Still, so far it has received good scores from Rotten Tomatoes. I'll decide for myself soon.
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12:00PM on 10/27/2016

Just saw movie. Was okay.

What are next?
What are next?
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11:47AM on 10/27/2016

A Marvel Movie With a 6/10?

There are gonna be some angry comments today. How dare you!
There are gonna be some angry comments today. How dare you!
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11:16AM on 10/27/2016

Just about superhero'd out at this point anyways.....

The movies are fun but are losing their appeal. With the CW, Netflix, ABC, the movies, and now legion which is on FX or Spike..........I'm almost burnt out on these characters. I'll wait for it on HBO or whatever....
The movies are fun but are losing their appeal. With the CW, Netflix, ABC, the movies, and now legion which is on FX or Spike..........I'm almost burnt out on these characters. I'll wait for it on HBO or whatever....
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11:27AM on 10/27/2016
It's crazy the amount of stuff that's on tv these days. I watch the flash and I'll watch daredevil when it's on but that's it. I know people that watch pretty much every comic book show on and it's just sad tbh. They can't even admit Gotham is awful.
It's crazy the amount of stuff that's on tv these days. I watch the flash and I'll watch daredevil when it's on but that's it. I know people that watch pretty much every comic book show on and it's just sad tbh. They can't even admit Gotham is awful.
12:52PM on 10/27/2016
I agree there's too much superhero-y stuff out there. Sorry to sound super pro Marvel here but I wish more studios did it like they do. At least with Marvel the films have different genres/ themes (sci fi, magic, mythology, military) - but all this shit like Supergirl and whatnot is just more of the same dry [link] shit.
I agree there's too much superhero-y stuff out there. Sorry to sound super pro Marvel here but I wish more studios did it like they do. At least with Marvel the films have different genres/ themes (sci fi, magic, mythology, military) - but all this shit like Supergirl and whatnot is just more of the same dry [link] shit.
10:51AM on 10/27/2016

More of the same

Agree with the score, is maybe even go to a 5. The first half of the flick is pretty good but the second just become another run of the mill marvel film. I've come to not expect much from marvel films anymore apart from the odd one, I expected this to be more fun like gotg but it's more of a chore to sit through like the last two iron man films.
Agree with the score, is maybe even go to a 5. The first half of the flick is pretty good but the second just become another run of the mill marvel film. I've come to not expect much from marvel films anymore apart from the odd one, I expected this to be more fun like gotg but it's more of a chore to sit through like the last two iron man films.
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