Eternals ★★★★

25 times better than 25 versions of the Marvel formula (yes, there are 2 better movies if you're doing the maths). It's a shame that box office performance will no doubt stop Marvel from ever taking a creative swing again. Unlike any other coordinator of Marvel facsimile, Chloe Zhao finds the humanity in her characters and makes her movie about them. Their connection to the earth is shown in the beautiful naturalism with which Zhao shoots. It's finally a Marvel movie that justifies its length and uses every minute of it to create rich history for its characters that then informs who they are in the present moment and conflict.

The cast of interesting and diverse character actors have lots to work with and do well with it. Placing Gemma Chan and Richard Madden front and center in a movie that also features Angelina Jolie is testament to the interest and desire to break the status quo. The added charisma of Kumail Nanjiani, Barry Keoghan and the surprisingly welcome Harish Patel builds on the depth.

A resonant and emotionally impactful finale, characters shaded in deep greys, existential searching and the clear desire to shoot no character as good nor bad creates a [redacted] who is actually the best villain in a Marvel movie.

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