Critic Reviews



Based on 50 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Charlize Theron is the hero we need right now: As devilishly self-serving and smooth as Bond, as physically dynamic and stoic as Wick, Lorraine is confidently equipped to join the legacy of great movie action heroes and she doesn’t need your permission to do it.
Atomic Blonde is one of the best action films of the year.
When you’re not shaking your head at Theron’s glass-crunching gymnastics, you’re probably soaking up Leitch’s emerald-lensed atmospheres, Luhrmann-esque set pieces, and the sensual lighting that could give Nicolas Winding Refn a seizure or two. That’s all without saying a single thing about its fabulous soundtrack.
Oscillating between the relentless energy of “John Wick” and the dense plotting of a John Le Carré novel, Atomic Blonde never quite finds a happy medium between the two. But when Theron goes back to kicking ass, nothing else matters.
Though the film adamantly favors style over substance, there’s more than enough style in every scene to make the film work, thanks in no small part to lush visuals, smart choreography, and extreme commitment on the part of Theron.
It's no rival for le Carré when it comes to the old cross/double-cross stuff; but a surfeit of style and a tasty supporting turn by James McAvoy help fill the time between fight scenes, which — this being a film by the stuntman/codirector behind John Wick — are pretty much the whole point.
Atomic Blonde strikes a deafening blow thanks to enjoyable characters, furious fight-play and Charlize Theron’s brand of screen command. She’s always in control, whether toying with feminine wilds or slugging another glass of Stoli on the rocks.
Virtuosic kick-ass filmmaking can be its own reward, but to paraphrase “Idiocracy,” you still need to care about whose ass it is, and why it’s being kicked.
To its credit, even the film realizes how ridiculous it is. After one over-the-top hand-to-hand bout, Lorraine and her Boris Badenov opponent are left literally punch-drunk, swinging wild like a couple of stumblebums.
When even momentary flourishes of action this good remind us how poorly filmed and choreographed most modern action films are, it is hard not to recommend Atomic Blonde on that basis alone.

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