BLACK WIDOW (2021) Reviews and overview

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Black Widow is a 2021 American superhero action film about Natasha Romanoff who must deal with her history as a spy.

Directed by Cate Shortland (Lore) from a screenplay written by Eric Pearson from a story co-written by Jac Schaeffer and Ned Benson, based on the Marvel comics by Stan Lee, Don Heck and Don Rico.

The Marvel Studios production stars Scarlett Johansson, Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, William Hurt, Olivier Richters, Yolanda Lynes and Ray Winstone.


Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, confronts the darker parts of her ledger when a dangerous conspiracy with ties to her past arises. Pursued by a force that will stop at nothing to bring her down, Natasha must deal with her history as a spy and the broken relationships left in her wake long before she became an Avenger…



“The movie does suffer from the Marvel villain problem. Ray Winstone’s Dreykov is a generic evil genius with plans to control the world […] Overall, Black Widow is the summer blockbuster that gives a proper swansong to a character so impactful in the MCU. It has all the loud, fun action and comedy you’d want while providing a deeper peek and different side of Natasha Romanoff.” AIPT

Black Widow ends up like most MCU endeavors, trapped in a noisy finale with plenty of explosions and daring rescue attempts, this time taking Natasha and the gang into the sky to pursue the bad guys. It’s all familiar but that’s basically the idea at this point, with Marvel unafraid of formula to pack a climatic punch. Black Widow remains potent enough in its first half to cover for a lackluster second half…”

” …things do degenerate somewhat into a familiar Marvel climax — huge object crashes to Earth while superheroes do superhero things in mid-air, with a few Moonraker nods sprinkled in for good measure (someone on this film really likes Roger Moore). But it does maintain the fun and there’s plenty of creative action along the way…” Empire

“Shortland, known for modestly budgeted dramas, directs the $200 million superhero blockbuster with absolute confidence, and it’s clear that she’s as invested in the character as the fanbase is. All killer, no filler, Scarlett Johansson’s swan song as Natasha Romanoff is fun, thrilling, and surprisingly poignant.” First Showing


“The movie moves at too much of a lightning-quick zip to allow Weisz to fully explore her intriguing role, with too many moving parts flying around for Shortland to be able to make the best use of such a marquee supporting player. None of this is too much of an issue, though, given the prominence of the sisterly bickering between Johansson and Pug…” Flickering Myth

“There is no doubt fun to be had with Black Widow and it will play wonderfully on the big screen to audiences, however, there still feels a lot missing to this one and I can’t seem to shake the feeling that we missed out on so much more from the title character […] It’s worth your time for some Marvel fun but won’t capture you if you’re looking for anything more.” Nerdly

” …if a loose plot manages to get Johannson, Pugh and Harbour in a room together to do Marvel’s dirty work, maybe it wasn’t such a waste. The fight choreography remains top-tier and Shortland stages an exhilarating prison escape sequence midway through that is a breathtaking reminder of the studio’s caliber. Does it all feel a bit awkward considering we know the inevitable outcome of Romanoff’s fate? Absolutely.” The Only Critic

“While serving up a fun outing and an interesting direction for Marvel, Black Widow feels like it’s five years too late. It’s still a fun ride but in terms of its placement in the universe – and the inclusion of a bland and forgettable antagonist – Widow isn’t as effective as it could have been had it been released at the height of this character’s popularity.” The Review Geek

“It delivers by exploring Natasha’s history and introducing memorable new characters whose journeys are equally interesting. The biggest disappointment is perhaps that it doesn’t do enough to focus on Natasha, opting to set up Yelena as her successor. There is just enough Black Widow, however, to make this a distinct film, one that is […] more interested in exploring the lengths of human cruelty, perseverance, and the ties that bind despite everything.” Screen Rant

” …the opening scene is good, and breaking Alexei out of a Gulag is fun, but there’s nothing really in terms of a combination of tension, stunt choreography and emotional stakes that the best Marvel set pieces have had to distinguish this from any other Marvel film. Black Widow is about giving Scarlett Johansson and Natasha Romanoff her own story at last, and wrapping up her story…” Sonic Cinema

Black Widow reminds us of the pleasure that can be offered by an MCU movie that isn’t having to do the legwork of setting up the next five chapters […] Comics fans will revel in the introduction of recognizable gizmos and character names, as always, but even non-dabblers can enjoy the film for Johansson’s tough-as-nails star quality and the scene-stealing by her overqualified supporting players.” The Wrap

Main cast and characters:

Scarlett Johansson … Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow
Florence Pugh … Yelena Belova
Rachel Weisz … Melina Vostokoff
David Harbour … Alexei Shostakov / Red Guardian
O-T Fagbenle … Mason
William Hurt … Thaddeus Ross
Olivier Richters … Muscular Gulag Inmate
Yolanda Lynes … Widow
Ray Winstone … Dreykov

Filming locations:

Budapest, Hungary

Technical details:

133 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.39: 1
Audio: Dolby Atmos | Dolby Digital | IMAX 6-Track

Teaser, trailer and featurettes:

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