Everything Everywhere All at Once reactions and reviews are in – and they praise a bizarre, unique adventure that brings to mind The Matrix.
The film sees Michelle Yeoh’s Evelyn drawn from her ordinary life into a multiverse hopping adventure, because she is the only one who can save every world in existence from an ominous threat. The movie also stars Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jenny Slate, and Stephanie Hsu, with Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (known as the Daniels) writing and directing.
Marya E. Gates, reviewing for RobertEbert.com (opens in new tab), draws comparisons with several iconic films: “Born from choices both made and not made, each universe has a distinct look and feel, with winking film references ranging from The Matrix to The Fall to 2001: A Space Odyssey to In The Mood For Love to Ratatouille. Even Michelle Yeoh’s own legacy finds its way into the film with loving callbacks to her Hong Kong action film days and the wuxia classic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”
“EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE is like THE MATRIX meets BEING JOHN MALKOVICH meets IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE meets JACKASS. I cackled & I wept & I exploded,” says Cinapse News’ Ed Travis (opens in new tab).
David Ehrlich of IndieWire (opens in new tab)echoes The Matrix comparisons, while referencing the Daniels’ earlier film Swiss Army Man: “The hows and whys of what happens next are best left for audiences to discover first-hand, but it might help to imagine if The Matrix had been directed by people who grew up watching The Matrix – more specifically, by people who grew up watching The Matrix, spent their twenties pushing the visual boundaries of viral videos in much the same way as the Wachowskis broke new ground for Hollywood blockbusters, and then spent all of the cache they’d accrued on a disorientingly sweet movie about a corpse that farts so hard it can function as a jet ski. That’s what we’re dealing with here.”
David Rooney also makes a similar comparison for The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab), though he’s not as impressed: “The extensive martial arts action calls to mind the Jet Li multiverse vehicle, The One, which already felt like a generic imitator of The Matrix. Everything Everywhere is clever and creative enough to stand on its own, but the lack of restraint dulls any poignancy in the underlying thread of a fraught mother learning to listen to her family’s needs, making it ultimately seem like hollow flashiness. The story’s intimate angle gets virtually smothered.”
Peter Debruge for Variety (opens in new tab)is similarly overwhelmed: “As much as narrative innovation typically excites me, I confess to falling in the latter category this time around, unable to grasp the movie’s overcomplicated sci-fi logic, which takes the red-pill mind-screw of The Matrix and multiplies it by infinity. It’s The OA on acid.”
Strange Harbors’ Jeff Zhang (opens in new tab) thinks the film is beating Marvel at the multiverse game: “Doctor Strange who? Everything Everywhere All at Once is a magnificent blast through the multiverse, and the most fun I’ve had at the movies in years. Sci-fi filmmaking at its very weirdest and very best. Michelle Yeoh still the GOAT.”
Critic Scott Menzel (opens in new tab) agrees: “Everything Everywhere All At Once is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. A wholly original & wildly ambitious film from the Daniels. This film is pure insanity from beginning to end. Move over Marvel, the Daniels are here to take on the Multiverse. An @A24 masterwork!”
Similarly, Adi Robertson of The Verge (opens in new tab) writes: “Everything Everywhere’s fight scenes are more entertaining, more creative, and better-shot than those of many full-fledged action movies, including ones from the very cinematic franchises it’s clearly drawing on. (They’re far more fun than almost anything in the Marvel films made by the Russo brothers, who served as producers here.)”
Other reactions to the film are simply blown away.
“EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE is the kind of movie that reinvigorates my love of the movies. A killer multiverse hook is just the cherry on top of a delirious, hilarious, emotional, and UNIQUE experience. A perfect movie, through and through,” says critic James Preston Poole (opens in new tab).
Journalist Cat Cardenas (opens in new tab)writes: “Holy shit. Everything Everywhere All At Once was the perfect start to SXSW. Wonderfully deranged, completely unexpected & a top-tier cast. Michelle Yeoh grounds a story that breaks every rule imaginable. It’s almost too big to work, but it absolutely does. Wow.”
“EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE is the weirdest, most absurd, and most brilliant film I’ve ever seen at a festival. What a triumphant return to the acting world from Ke Huy Quan,” agrees journalist Noah Levine (opens in new tab).
“So #EverythingEverywhere was absolutely transcendent filmmaking. Michelle Yeoh kicks all kinds of ass (the whole cast rules). I was thrilled, laughed a lot & teared up a bit too. Trust me when I say you’ve never seen a film like EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE before,” says Daily Dead News’ Heather Wixson (opens in new tab).
Everything Everywhere All at Once hits theaters this March 25. In the meantime, check out our guide to all this year’s major movie release dates for even more of what 2022 has in store.