Fifty Shades Of Grey - The Reviews Are In!
See what the critics thought of the year's most-eagerly awaited movie...
There's been enough hype to fill a sex dungeon, and an early screening for fans went well - but now the reviews are finally in on Fifty Shades of Grey.
And they're... not bad at all actually.
The Hollywood Reporter's Sheri Linden was qualified in her praise for the movie.
"It's a slow build to the smutty bits, and one that's disappointingly devoid of tension.
"Even so, the movie is, by definition, a stronger proposition than the book because it strips away the oodles of cringe-inducing descriptions and internal monologue that tip the text heavily toward self-parody."
She claimed that the film: "Wants to have it both ways: Informative and nonjudgmental about bondage and discipline, it distances itself from such pursuits with shard-sharp slivers of backstory, indicating that Christian's desires are expressions of trauma-induced pathology.
"He's supremely dreamy damaged goods, ripe for the saving."
Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News was clear that the movie is a big improvement over the source material.
"Credit goes to director Sam Taylor-Johnson and her screenwriter, Kelly Marcel, who've stripped the first book of its biggest flaws, while still honoring its essence.
"The filmmakers earn points just for cutting the novel's many excesses. (Rejoice, readers: There's not a single reference to either inner goddesses or tampons.)"
Jordan Hoffman of The Guardian singled out female lead Dakota Johnson for attention.
"The real find in Sam Taylor-Johnson’s better-than-it-has-to-be adaptation of the risibly written and ludicrously popular softcore novel is Dakota Johnson," the critic declared.
"Reminiscent of only her mother Melanie Griffith's best characteristics, Johnson's Ana squeezes believability out of one of the more silly romantic entanglements in recent popular culture."
Time Out New York was impressed with the characterisation and its critic David Ehrlich seemed to find the movie genuinely romantic.
"Substituting heartache for handcuffs, Fifty Shades is the rare studio romance in which the characters actually try to understand one another.
"As this is the first instalment of an epic trilogy, how much there is beneath the surface remains to be seen, but Taylor-Johnson seems genuinely interested in finding out. Fifty Shades may not make you come, but you'll still be glad you went."
Justin Chang of Variety thought the movie bore comparison to some of the classics of literature - while bemoaning the formulaic elements.
"Relying on the performances of two appealing, fresh-faced leads with little prior onscreen baggage, the filmmakers have turned their version of Fifty Shades of Grey into a sly tragicomedy of manners – Jane Austen with a riding crop, if you will, or perhaps Charlotte Bronte with a peacock feather – that extracts no shortage of laughs from the nervous tension between Ana's romantic dream come true and the psychosexual nightmare raging just beneath the surface.
"The final half-hour or so is punishing in more than just a literal sense, bringing us to a less-than-scintillating cliffhanger in the now de rigueur manner of book-based, fan-driven franchise fare."
Screen Daily's review was chiefly focused on the smutty bits - and was pragmatic about the movie as a whole.
"Not unlike the tentative agreement entered into by the film's dominant-and-submissive lovers, Fifty Shades of Grey makes a pact with its audience: Accept this genuinely sexy, somewhat silly, relatively timid romantic drama on its own escapist terms and you'll find sufficient pleasure.
"Based on the titillating 2011 literary sensation from author EL James, who brought sadomasochism and bondage into the mainstream, this adaptation commendably pushes the envelope in terms of the amount of onscreen sexual explicitness seen in a major studio release.
"With that said, though, Fifty Shades still tends to be rather chaste, director Sam Taylor-Johnson giving us an elegant, sanitised version of unconventional sexual proclivities."
Now go and make your own mind up!