First Black Widow Reactions Praise Florence Pugh as 'Standout' Star: She 'Steals the Show'

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©Marvel Studios 2021 Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh in Black Widow

The first reactions to Black Widow are in - and it seems to be an overwhelmingly welcomed addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Several critics praised the film on Twitter ahead of its long-awaited release next month, with many making a note to zero in on the performances of star Scarlett Johansson and MCU newcomer Florence Pugh.

"#BlackWidow is a tense, action-packed spy thriller that truly completes Natasha's story in a visceral & emotional way," said Fandango's managing editor Erik Davis. "Florence Pugh CRUSHES it & is an instant MCU icon. This is like the MCU's Bond movie w/ shades of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE & THELMA & LOUISE."

Davis called Stranger Things Emmy nominee David Harbour "hilarious" and "a major scene stealer" - a sentiment shared by The Verge and Polygon's Julia Alexander, who said, "Florence Pugh & David Harbour steal the show."

Alexander also called Black Widow "One of the funnier MCU movies, w/a ton of self-referential jokes for longtime fans, enough self-awareness to make the absurdity work," even if she does think it "definitely has some issues" too.

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RELATED: Rachel Weisz Says She "Lost" the List of Things Marvel Told Her She Can't Say About Black Widow

"Interlaced with the well done action and humor is some of the darker material we've seen in the MCU, which packs a punch," Fandom Managing Editor Eric Goldman tweeted. "The cast is all great with Florence Pugh a standout."

"A couple of beats near the end I could have done without but overall I really dug it," he added.

Film critic Courtney Howard called the film "an exhilarating shot of adrenaline," praising Johansson, 36, Pugh, 25, and an "absolutely terrific" Harbour, 46.

"Big action set pieces are thrilling, propulsive & capably constructed. Multi-layered thematic resonance," Howard raved.

Marvel David Harbour in Black Widow

Jay Maidment/©Marvel Studios 2020. Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh in Black Widow

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Kicking off Phase Four of the MCU, Black Widow takes place following the events of 2016's Captain America: Civil War and finds Johansson's Natasha Romanoff coming to terms with her complex past.

Rachel Weisz, who also stars, recently joked to Jimmy Kimmel about what Marvel told her she is and isn't allowed to say about the movie before its release.

"There is a list ... I lost it," said Weisz, 51, with a laugh "I know the big spoilers, which I'm obviously not gonna say, but my character's second name is [hush-hush]."

"That's out there - that's public knowledge now, so that you don't have to keep [secret]," the host said, joking, "Maybe you shoulda kept the list, I think is what I'm trying to say."

Black Widow spins into theaters and onto Disney+ with Premier Access July 9.