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The film is a gem, especially for anyone yearning for a superhero film that gleefully torches the familiar “good versus evil” formula and introduces far more sinister sensibilities.
Brightburn doesn't take its satire to any kind of satisfying extreme – although a mid-credits stinger does include a larger joke at work – but as a superhero murder thriller, it is perfectly entertaining.
It’s a film that’s good enough that you want it to be better, a rare genre example of less not proving to be more.
The film’s bent towards revisionist superhero history is certainly compelling, but stuck in the confines of the horror genre, it flames out far more than it flies.
The Hollywood Reporter
While not exactly original, the premise is certainly effective enough. But Brightburn lacks the visual stylization or wit to elevate it from the realm of the crudely effective B-movie.
Consequence of Sound
It’s a nasty piece of work, and one that at the very least stands as an active interruption of the escapist, family-friendly superhero fare currently dominating the industry.
The A.V. Club
Throwing in some gnarly gore—and Brightburn indulges a couple of truly gruesome flinches—doesn’t change the plodding inevitability with which Brandon goes super-evil.
A watchable but super-silly mix of superheroics and evil-child horror that mashes together singularly uninspired ideas from both.
While we can perhaps be grateful that the superficiality of Brightburn probably kept it from opting to exploit elements of disturbed-kid narratives that have been all too common in our more tragic news stories, what remains is still never terribly entertaining as either popcorn or a bent take on superhero myths.
The way the film shuttles through its 90 minutes, it’s as if it’s been stripped of its most crucial narrative parts.
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