There are NO spoilers in this review. Well, let me rephrase that. There are no spoilers but one: The movie is awesome.
I went to see Doctor Strange last night at the first local showing last night, and despite some technical difficulties at the theater, it might just be my favorite of the Marvel movies yet.
I had bought a ticket in advance for the theater with the 3D version with Dolby Atmos sound and the leather reclining seats (you know, the ones where you can put your feet up, too?). Sadly, something was wrong with the 3D movie, so they showed us the 2D and gave us free vouchers. Ah well. BUT, if it is at all possible, Doctor Strange is one of those movies that really would be best seen in 3D. With all the warping a space and time, it's a prime example of why 3D movies exist. When I watched it in 2D, while it was still very enjoyable, I could definitely see where the extra dimension would make the effects spectacular. However, if you have little ones going to see it, it might well freak them out ;).
Storywise, Doctor Strange is not 100% action-paced but executed so well that you wouldn't notice. Even though Strange is an egotistical jerk, I got so invested in his character that the movie flowed seamlessly. I loved watching his journey, and wasn't bored for an instant during the film (and it's very unusual for me, Miss ADHD, to not get distracted/bored at the movies). But this isn't to say there is a lack of action--there is plenty of that, and lots of conflict. The fight scenes are intense and amazing, visually.
While much of this movie is serious, there are still moments with some good laughs. In fact, the humor is even more effectual because of the contrast of the deeper moments. Almost all the characters had fun moments.
The costumes were gorgeous, and the sets were convincing. And did I mention that the effects with the warping space/matter/time were AMAZING?
The actors/actresses portrayed their characters extremely well, though there were a couple moments where I was waiting for Strange to emerge onto the London street outside of 221B Baker Street. Sherlock and Strange DO have many similarities with their egotistical brilliance. Cumberbatch did an excellent and convincing job with Strange, though, and I really can't think of another actor who could currently pull it off as well as he did. He brought a great balance to the character, and really kept in the comic book spirit.
If your kids are wanting to see the movie, there were a few intense moments, and some of the visuals (think acid trip) might be enough to freak them out. There's some swearing as well. I think thematic-wise, it's more of an adult film than, say, the Avengers. There is a lot more thought and character development going on than in Avengers, but I think there is still enough action and adventure to keep a ten year old engaged. The film is rated PG-13, and I'm on the fence about letting my sensitive 14 year old see it, just because of the intensity of some of the scenes.
So, it's hard to do a really full review without spoilers, but honestly, this was one of my favorite Marvel movies yet, and I'm already thinking of ways to cosplay as Doctor Strange. I can't wait to see what's coming up next!
Melanie R. Meadors is an author and editor of science fiction and fantasy, blogger at The Once and Future Podcast, and a professional author publicist. She studied physics and astronomy at Northern Arizona University, where no day was complete without a heated debate over relativity versus quantum mechanics. You can find her at her website, melaniermeadors.com, on Facebook, and Twitter, @melaniermeadors.