The reviews for the Wizarding World sequel Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore have arrived, so does this newest episode have the magic touch? The simple answer is, “kind of.” While many believe that Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is a step up over previous installments in the spinoff series, there are still plenty of flaws to be identified as Dumbledore gets closer to confronting his friend-turned-enemy Gellert Grindelwald.

Of course, there are still a lot of things to admire in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, so let’s start with the positives, starting with our own Julian Roman, who thought this third installment was a “mature return to Hogwarts” that regretfully may leave some people perplexed.

“The Secrets of Dumbledore is a vast improvement from the last film. Mads Mikkelsen brings a cold calculation and reserved anger to the villainous Grindelwald. There may be varying levels of confusion depending on your grasp of Harry Potter lore.”

Den of Geek’s Laura Sirikul rates Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore a solid 3/5, even suggesting that the film may serve as a fitting finale to Newt’s saga.

“Although there are two more films of the Fantastic Beasts franchise in the works, the writing team needs to figure out a better way to incorporate Newt and his friends into this overarching story of Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s eventual legendary duel. Otherwise, The Secrets of Dumbledore perfectly polishes a happy conclusion for the magizoologist and his colleagues, so if this story marked the end for Newt and his Fantastic Beasts, it would be enough.”

“Manages to right the ship with a focus on people and ties to the rest of the Wizarding World,” Patrick Cavanaugh of ComicBook.com said of the third Fantastic Beasts, “but digging itself out of the hole caused by its predecessor still only makes this barely a success.” While it “doesn’t quite cast a Potter-like spell,” the “solid action and moments of genuine heart” deliver “a little light in the Wizarding World’s darkest hour,” Empire’s Ben Travis echoed many of these sentiments, giving the film a 3/5 and saying that, while it “doesn’t quite cast a Potter-like spell,” it “delivers a little light in the Wizarding World’s darkest hour.”

Unfortunately, despite the excellent reviews, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore has received a lot of flak. The Hollywood Reporter’s Lovia Gyarkye even called the sequel a “slog.”

“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” has finally arrived, and it’s more of a slog than an event.”

These feelings were mirrored by IGN Movies’ Siddhant Adlakha, who gave the wizard sequel a brutal 4/10.

“It looks dull and seems like it was designed by individuals who want to get rid of the series’ magical concept, despite the fact that the series refuses to contain anything like adult politics or opinions.”

Similarly, Bleeding Cool’s Kaitlyn Booth found nothing to enjoy in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, believing that the film has a lot of build-up with little return.

“Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is yet another vexing installment in the series. It seems like 142 minutes of setup with nothing in the way of plot or character development at the end.”

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, directed by David Yates and starring Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston, and Mads Mikkelsen, will be released on April 15, 2022 by Warner Bros. Pictures.

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