Watchmen is “the best superhero movie ever made,” said Robert W. Butler in The Kansas City Star. Zack Snyder’s “mind-blowing screen adaptation” of the comic book series, about a group of superheroes forced out of retirement when one of their own is murdered, is “hypnotic, grimly amusing,” and “excruciatingly violent”—not to mention “visually arresting and dramatically involving.” (Watch the trailer here)

It’s also “constantly torn between reshaping the story for the big screen while including enough visual and verbal quotations from the original work to keep the fanboys happy,” said Alonso Duralde in In the end, Watchmen is “an awkward mishmash, with certain characters rendered extraneous while others don’t have a consistent logic behind them.”

But adapting Watchmen was a huge task, said Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times, and “it's not clear what any director could have done with the material.” Zack Snyder gave it a good shot. Unfortunately, he delivered “something acceptable but pedestrian, an adaptation that is more a prisoner of its story than the master of it.”