'Birds of Prey' Reviews Round-Up: What Have Critics Said About the Margot Robbie Harley Quinn Movie?

Birds of Prey has a lot of pressures on it that most of DC Comics' other movies do not face. It is a follow-up to Suicide Squad, the nearly universally panned movie rated 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and is a female-directed movie fronted by a nearly entire female cast, making it a target of a certain kind of Twitter troll. However, the movie's Rotten Tomatoes score seems to bode well for the film, with its current rating being 90 percent.

Metacritic tells a different story. Birds of Prey sits at a 60 percent rating on the review aggregator, suggesting mixed reviews for the new Harley Quinn (played by Margot Robbie) movie. To understand why this is, we must understand the difference in how the two sites get to their score.

Rotten Tomatoes places reviews into two categories, fresh or rotten, with a three-star rating counting toward a 'fresh rating.' Meanwhile, Metacritic divides reviews into positive, mixed, and negative reviews, with three-stars out of five counting as 'mixed.' This lower Metacritic score suggests that the average review of the movie is three stars out of five, which counts as a 'mixed' review on Metacritic and a 'fresh' one on Rotten Tomatoes. The latter, however, is basing its rating on a bigger sample of critics (91 at time of writing) than the former (30).

birds of prey review roundup
"Birds of Prey" has been well-received by many critics DC

Though Metacritic shows a more muted reception to Birds of Prey, so far there is only one truly negative review on the site. In a zero-star slate titled "Movies don't get any worse than Birds of Prey. This is the bottom," Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle writes, "Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is more than horrible. It should not exist. Money should never have been raised for it. The screenplay should never have been filmed. Margot Robbie shouldn't have produced it. She certainly shouldn't have starred in it. It's just a terrible thing to inflict on audiences, who, after all, didn't hurt anyone and just hoped to have a nice time."

Though neither Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic have any five-star reviews for the movie from critics yet, the film has been given a number of four star ratings. The Independent's Clarisse Loughrey, for example, writes, "All the daily joys and hurdles of a woman's experience are deftly woven into the larger-than-life fabric of the comic-book film. It's as smart in its approach as it is carefree in its execution."

The film has been particularly popular with female critics. Time Out's Helen O'Hara, for example, said of the film, "Birds of Prey isn't interested in hitting all the usual superhero movie beats. It works because we haven't seen this story a thousand times before, and because it leaves behind the grim-dark posturing of Suicide Squad. It's nice to see a joker who doesn't take herself too seriously."

There were many men, however, who also gave the movie high grades. In a review Metacritic has marked at 83/100, The Wrap's Alonso Duralde called the film a "giddy treat of an R-rated comic-book movie, borrowing elements from inspirations as disparate as 9 to 5, Bugs Bunny and Modesty Blaise to create an adventure that tweaks its genre familiarity with delightful bursts of anarchy and wit."

Birds of Prey is released in cinemas on Friday, February 7.