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“Avengers: Endgame” aside, expectations for a Marvel movie have never been as high as they are for “Eternals,” which brings a brand new band of heroes to the big screen.
Originally slated to hit theaters on Nov. 6, 2020, “Eternals,” like so many other films, was delayed multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic before a firm date was set for this fall.
Directed by Oscar-winner Chloe Zhao, who previously helmed “Nomadland” and “The Rider,” “Eternals” introduces an alien race of immortal superhumans engineered by cosmic beings thousands of years ago to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
They take the form of a star-studded cast that includes Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden, Gemma Chan, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff and Brian Tyree Henry. Together, they unite against an ancient enemy known as Deviants to save human beings from certain doom.
“Eternals” had its world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on Monday. And while the reviews are embargoed until Sunday, reactions to the blockbuster epic have begun trickling in on social media.
Glowing early responses praised the film as being “on another scale that still feels unbelievably human” and “the most different entry in the MCU filmography” thanks to Zhao’s “unique visual stamp.”
Critics also noted that the movie boasts many Marvel firsts, including a deaf superhero played by Ridloff, some long overdue LGBTQ representation and even a G-rated sex scene.
″#Eternals is epic in every sense of the word. It’s a story that is more massive but simultaneously more down-to-earth than the MCU has ever been,” one reviewer wrote. “The passion everyone involved had for this movie is present in every scene and it needs to be seen on the biggest screen you can find.”
Read more of the reactions to “Eternals” below ahead of the film’s exclusive release to theaters on Nov. 5.
ETERNALS: in style & tone this is easily the least Marvel-like movie in the MCU (it doesn't look like plastic. also, sex happens) & the scale is cosmic in a way that makes the avengers arc feel like a blip. so why is it still just misfit spandex people fighting bad CG for 3 hours
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) October 19, 2021
With the sweeping visuals by Chloé Zhao and an ensemble filled with actors that feel destined for the MCU, #Eternals is unlike any other Marvel movie. So many great twists and the chemistry of the cast really make this movie one to watch
— Nora Dominick (@noradominick) October 19, 2021
#Eternals is probably the most shocking and surprising Marvel movie you’ll see. Many twists and turns. Kumail Nanjiani Is hilarious in every scene. As always, stay to the VERY end. pic.twitter.com/Z3Hm6Vxznx
— Kirsten (@KirstenAcuna) October 19, 2021
Marvel’s #Eternals is spectacularly weird & rich w/ a new MCU mythology that makes it feel separate from everything else. It’s honestly refreshing. There’s a bittersweetness to the film that you feel in its sunset shots - a definite Chloé Zhao touch. It is soulful & thoughtful pic.twitter.com/pIAFAyhJ4D
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) October 19, 2021
After 25 films Chloe Zhao incredibly took the MCU in an entirely new direction w/ #TheEternals. The franchise is matured & this is only the beginning of what is possible.
An absolutely breathtaking & epic film where @kumailn provides the laughs but @gemma_chan is the heart.
— 🍅Jacqueline🍅 (@THATJacqueline) October 19, 2021
#Eternals is DENSE & I felt the weight of the exposition often. Movie’s at its best when the focus is on the Eternals recreating their family - the humor of it & the passion when they fight for each other and the things they love. Also, Angelina Jolie in the MCU is EVERYTHING. pic.twitter.com/rMJz0U2It2
— Perrinormal Activity (@PNemiroff) October 19, 2021
#Eternals , which I really enjoyed for its tremendous ensemble, is objectively the sexiest movie Marvel has ever made. As in an actual sex scene (very G rated tho). Two men kissing. Richard Madden and Angelina's faces.
— Matt Donnelly (@MattDonnelly) October 19, 2021
#Eternals is one of Marvel’s most ambitious films. Epic in scope, lavishly shot, and totally unapologetic about how much lore it dumps on you.
Terrific cast, great direction, and delightfully comic book-y. Def not for everyone, but these are Jack Kirby’s space gods done right. pic.twitter.com/fsuexvcTwY
— Dan Casey (@DanCasey) October 19, 2021
#Eternals is a whole lot of movie.
It’s shot with a massive scope, looking visually different (and more intimate) than anything else Marvel. It has laughs, great surprises, and heart to go with the gigantic, crowded story it unpacks.
Chloé Zhao has a really unique visual stamp. pic.twitter.com/hSMtwRlabv
— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) October 19, 2021
#Eternals flirts with being "just a superhero movie" but (barely) gets by on scale, a few affable actors and some eventual intrugue. At its best, it almost plays like Marvel playing in the DCEU sandbox but coasting on comparatively generic superhero archetypes. pic.twitter.com/Im83hV6sm0
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) October 19, 2021
My favorite part of Marvel movies is how they consistently manage to find new ways to tell their stories. #eternals is beautifully shot & looks very different than previous MCU films. Story surprised me with some of the twists & turns. The 2 after the credits scenes are 👏👍🔥 pic.twitter.com/XUgxkBngeX
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) October 19, 2021
— Brian Davids (@PickYourBrian) October 19, 2021
When MCU’s first gay superhero kisses his husband. Audience cheers and claps. #Eternals
— Marc Malkin (@marcmalkin) October 19, 2021
#Eternals is epic in every sense of the word. It's a story that is more massive but simultaneously more down-to-earth than the MCU has ever been. The passion everyone involved had for this movie is present in every scene and it needs to be seen on the biggest screen you can find pic.twitter.com/CyyqPt9dfn
— Jack McBryan (@McBDirect) October 19, 2021
Ambitious. Expansive. Fashionable. Surprisingly funny!
Felt quite different than where we’ve been — almost forgot we were in the MCU at times.
Pleased every character has such a chance to shine.
Credits are WILD pic.twitter.com/Sc8gP7rnE2
— Ash Crossan 🎃 (@AshCrossan) October 19, 2021
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.