Here's What Critics Are Saying About the Long-Awaited 'F9'

'F9,' space and all, hits theaters in the U.S. next month. Many early viewers are thrilled with the return of Justin Lin, who directed 'Fast & Furious 6.'


Image via Universal Pictures


F9, which does indeed see matters of family being hashed out in space, doesn’t hit theaters here in the States until next month. Ahead of the film’s international premieres this week, however, fans have been given a glimpse at what returning director Justin Lin has in store for Dominic Toretto and company.

Positive early reviews for the long-running (and exponentially preposterous) franchise’s ninth main entry and 10th film overall suggest that fans can indeed expect to receive exactly what they want at this point in the Fast & Furious legacy, complete with a righting of the ship with regards to the arguable shortcomings of The Fate of the Furious.

David Ehrlich, writing for IndieWire, called Fast & Furious 9 “the saga’s biggest and most ridiculous movie yet” in his review.

“This is, by FAR, the biggest, wildest, gravity-defying-iest Fast and Furious installment yet, with one scene toward the end guaranteed to make your jaw drop at the gloriously brain-dead chutzpah of it all,” Ehrlich said. “Lin and Daniel Casey’s screenplay can stretch the action to farcical heights because it offsets the spectacle by drilling into Dom’s character more deeply than the franchise ever has before.”

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F9, notably, marks the first Fast & Furious film to be helmed by Lin since Fast & Furious 6 back in 2013. Lin is also aboard to direct the upcoming 10th and 11th entries in the franchise.

Alonso Duralde, writing for the Wrap, was similarly complimentary when assessing Lin’s directing in F9. Per Duralde, Lin “skillfully bounces around the globe to tell this story” while keeping the proceedings at once “exhilaratingly ridiculous” and “ridiculously exhilarating.”

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter’s John DeFore was less enthusiastic about the current state of the Fast & Furious brand. Per his review, the franchise’s latest example of what he described as “bloated results” begs the question of how the filmmakers will be able to top themselves in the future.

Last month, in promotion of the film’s pandemic-delayed debut, star Vin Diesel expressed the artistic importance of being able to safely gather in a theater to experience a film with friends and strangers alike.

“We’ve gone through a year that tested us,” Diesel said. “But we’re starting to see the promise of a new day. For more than 100 years, there’s one place where we all came together to be entertained, to escape, to go some place new: the movies. There’s nothing like that moment when the lights go down, the projector ignites, and we believe.”

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For the bulk of the early reviews stacking up on Tuesday, that sentiment—of simply being excited to watch a maximalism-centered blockbuster in a theater again—seems to be a shared one:

Watched #F9 last night in a movie theater in Los Angeles. Hearing other people laugh around me when some ridiculously over the top action happened was the best part. Thank you science.

And don’t worry, the trailers haven’t spoiled the movie. Fans will have so much fun watching.

— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) May 18, 2021

God, it feels so good to deliver good news: #f9 is a fucking masterpiece of insanity that my spirit really NEEDED. I don’t know how they keep pulling off this tightrope walk, but rest assured, come June 25, they’ll do it AGAIN and you will be LOSING YOUR MINDS it’s so fun.

— Grae Drake (@graedrake) May 18, 2021

#F9 is grandiose fun. Bombastic, brazen, bold. Supercharged stunts & ambitious action set pieces mix with combustible soap opera dramatics. It’s a cacophony car-crunching mayhem. Vin Diesel & John Cena are terrific. Tyrese is the stealth MVP. Plenty of gas left in the tank.

— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) May 18, 2021

I watched #F9 today & it’s exactly what you hope it will be. It is the perfect summer blockbuster. Massive memorable action sequences w/ lots of humor, heart, family drama, super magnets and THEY FINALLY GO TO SPACE! Longtime FAST fans will adore all the nods to previous films.

— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) May 18, 2021

As a devout Fast family zealot for 20 years now, #F9 was pure unleaded Joy. In a year of dread it was a nitro boost of glee. In a series that asks WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?! in every opening action sequence, it NEVER stops escalating while maintaining it's own very specific rules

— Coy Jandreau (@CoyJandreau) May 18, 2021

#F9 is outrageous & one of the biggest, baddest additions to the Fast family franchise. Anything is possible, there are surprises at every turn, the stunts are at their best, & Tyrese steals the whole god damn show. Everything is over-the-top & I loved every second of it.

— Shannon McGrew 🎃 (@shannon_mcgrew) May 18, 2021

#F9 had me smiling like a straight man at a sportball gathering.

It's all wink wink, nudge nudge, vroom vroom and I loved. The over-the-top set pieces you want + some old-school F1-2 vibes.

As for #JusticeForHan? There will be takes. But Tokyo Drift heads are in for a treat.

— Joel Meares (@joelmeares) May 18, 2021

I've seen #F9 and can say it's a TON OF FUN!! The action feels fresh & innovative, if not necessarily bigger. It weaves in John Cena's Jakob in a smart way that builds on the theme of family, giving it some real heart. This is ultimate Fast & Furious.


— molly freeman (@mollyrockit) May 18, 2021

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