Speed Reads

the streak is over

Eternals earns the MCU's lowest Rotten Tomatoes score ever

Eternals represents a number of firsts for the Marvel Cinematic Universe — including one the studio won't exactly be touting. 

Ever since the MCU began in 2008, it's been relatively consistent when it comes to earning favorable reviews. From 2008's Iron Man through 2021's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, all 25 MCU movies earned a "Fresh" rating on the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes. This means at least 60 percent of critics gave the film a positive review, or at least a mixed review that leans positive. 

But this 13-year streak may be over. Eternals is currently the first film in the entire MCU with a "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the dreaded marker a movie gets when its percentage of positive reviews dips below 60. As of Nov. 2, Eternals' Rotten Tomatoes score stands at 57 percent. This number may increase or decrease as more reviews are added, so it's possible the film could move back into "Fresh" territory. But it appears likely to end up with the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score of an MCU movie, a designation previously held by 2013's Thor: The Dark World with its 66 percent rating. 

Eternals revolves around a group of immortal beings played by actors including Angelina Jolie and Richard Madden, and with so many characters to juggle, the film's critics have argued it's "rushed and unsatisfying" and even a "disaster." It has earned plenty of positive reviews, though, with The Atlantic calling it Marvel's "most poetic" film. 

But it was especially surprising to see Eternals become the first "Rotten" movie in the series given its director, Chloé Zhao, won Best Director at the Oscars this year while her film Nomadland won Best Picture. Now, whether audiences still turn out for Eternals in droves despite it revolving around largely unknown characters and being divisive among critics could serve as a test of whether Hollywood's biggest franchise truly is unstoppable.