Next week, fans of The Sopranos will receive their first glimpse into David Chase’s world of wise guys, family, and gabagool since the HBO series ended back in 2007. However, this glimpse is not a new series or season; it is a 2-hour movie exploring the origins of Tony Soprano and the man that made him, Dickie Moltisanti. For many fans, the wait for new Sopranos content has lasted over a decade. So, how does it stack up? Is the movie worth the wait? This is what the critics are saying in their early The Many Saints of Newark reviews:
David Rooney — The Hollywood Reporter
According to David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter, The Sopranos movie is “more of a diverting footnote than an invaluable extension of the show’s colossal legacy.” Rooney praises the film’s direction by Alan Taylor. However, Rooney ultimately laments that The Sopranos creator, David Chase, is not able to expertly create and explore complex characters and compelling storylines in the movie format.
Chris Evangelista — SlashFilm
Compared to some of the other The Many Saints of Newark reviews, Chris Evangelista seems to enjoy the movie. Evangelista specifically remarks that the brutality and ugliness of the mob world are brought to life brilliantly. However, he does note that the fan service in the movie can be a bit much at times, stating:
This is great stuff, but ‘The Many Saints of Newark’ is also a ‘Sopranos’ prequel, and the script, by ‘Sopranos”‘creator David Chase and Lawrence Konner, often gets way too cute with its winking references to the show. It’s as if someone, somewhere, suggested that this film follow the lead of modern popular blockbuster entertainment and overload itself with easter eggs.”
Chris Evangelista ultimately gave The Many Saints of Newark a score of 7.5/10.
Owen Gleiberman — Variety
Owen Gleiberman from Variety also had words of praise in his review, stating, “It’s a sharp, lively, and engrossing movie, one that provides a fascinating running commentary on how the world of “The Sopranos” came into being.” Gleiberman also commends the film for feeling authentic. However, he notes that The Many Saints of Newark is different in tone. He attributes this difference to the fact that the characters seen in the movie feel less fun and less like a family than in The Sopranos TV series.
A.A. Dowd — AV Club
Of the many The Many Saints of Newark reviews, A.A. Dowd from AV Club appears to have enjoyed it the least. Dowd poses several, valid questions in response to the movie, asking, “Where’s the prickly psychology, the gaspingly funny midnight-black humor, the dimension Chase brought to every corner of a corrosively amoral criminal empire?” Much like other critics, Dowd notes a sense that while this movie is set in The Sopranos world, it does not feel entirely like that world. Ultimately, A.A. Dowd gave the movie a “C” rating.
The Many Saints of Newark Reviews
Overall, when reading The Many Saints of Newark reviews, it appears there are some glaring issues with the movie. However, despite problems with the tone, abundant fan service, and a lack of depth that the original series had, most critics still seem to be enjoying The Sopranos movie. As of September 21, 2021, The Many Saints of Newark holds a score of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes‘ Tomatometer.
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