“Nightmare Alley,” “West Side Story” Reviews In

“Nightmare Alley,” “West Side Story” Reviews In

by Sue Jones
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Nightmare Alley West Side Story Reviews In
20th Century Studios, Searchlight

Critics reviews have started gushing out for both Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” and Guillermo Del Toro’s lavish noir “Nightmare Alley,” both remakes of iconic classics and both set to debut before year’s end.

Raves are flooding in for ‘West’ which sits at a stunning 94% (8.3/10) on Rotten Tomatoes with praise all round for everything bar its leading man Ansel Elgort who was repeatedly cited as the film’s Achilles Heel. The film seems set to be both a major awards contender and a potential big crowd pleaser.

Reviews are also praising Del Toro’s “Nightmare Alley,” albeit with more caveats. Sitting at 75% (7.3/10) on Rotten Tomatoes, there’s plenty of praise for its cast and production albeit less for the script and runtime.

Here’s a sampling of quotes:

West Side Story
“Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” has a brash effervescence. You can feel the joy he got out of making it, and the kick is infectious.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“It feels like a rare achievement to even attempt to scale the unscalable and still, after more than half a century, be able to make it sing” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

“I had no idea I needed this West Side Story until I saw it. This, possibly, is the best kind of movie, the stealth achievement that has been hiding in plain sight all along.” – Stephanie Zacharek, TIME Magazine

“Spielberg’s West Side Story is loaded with stellar choreography and powerhouse performances — Ariana DeBose and Mike Faist in particular. But one significant weak spot causes the film to fall short of being a total knockout.” – Perri Nemiroff, YouTube

“Individual elements work, but just flat and stiff in the main. And Elgort a dead weight right at the center.” – David Jenkins, Little White Lies

Nightmare Alley
“Nightmare Alley pays tribute to noir. But it’s also its own dark snow globe, luminous and finely faceted, and one of del Toro’s most fluent features.” – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter

“Watching del Toro try to render his negative image is never boring, but people can only find so much detail in their own shadows.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“Like Crimson Peak before it, Nightmare Alley has no qualms leaning into the mawkishness and melodrama, pining this gloomy story of carny ambition atop stalled romances and family misgivings.” – Matt Oakes, Silver Screen Riot

“Bloated at nearly 140 minutes with Bradley Cooper clearly miscast in the lead, “Nightmare Alley” struggles to maintain any urgency.” – Marya E. Gates, The Playlist

“The results play more like an empty impersonation; while the remake occasionally delivers R-rated gore, sex, or language, the older one still registers as the more shocking, more intense film” – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

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