‘Stranger Things 2’ Review Round-Up: What The Critics Are Saying

Stranger Things 2 IllustratedWarning: this article contains (very) minor spoilers for Stranger Things 2.

With the embargo lifted, the first reviews for Stranger Things 2, the highly anticipated sequel season to Netflix’s smash hit series about the mysterious disappearance of a young boy in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana have hit the web.

For Things 2, series creators Matt and Ross Duffer looked to the sequels of James Cameron and aspired to pivot, with a bigger, darker follow-up that expands the mythology established in the first season. The adventure continues one year later in the fall of 1984 as it explores the consequences of the time Will spent in the Upside Down with the characters set to face a much greater evil all while the world itself is now turning upside down.

Fans of the series will be relieved to hear that while not perfect, the first reviews are extremely positive. The second season has debuted on Rotten Tomatoes with a 94% and The Duffer Brothers being praised for avoiding the sophomore slump and delivering nine new episodes that live up to the first season and are packed with plenty of surprises that have made the long wait worth the while. You can check out a round-up of what the critics are saying below.

Brian Tallerico of RogerEbert.com:

A show that was primarily influenced by the Stephens (King and Spielberg) is layering that nostalgia cake with a frosting of James Cameron. Fans are going to eat it up.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Daniel Fienberg:

The Duffer Brothers avoid sequel bloat as Eleven and the Upside Down return for a satisfying second season.

Variety’s Maureen Ryan:

The show’s core cast remains an extremely versatile and effective ensemble, and once the story kicks into a higher gear about halfway through the nine-episode season, a lot of the old magic returns.

E! Onlne’s Lauren Piester

And then there’s Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), who might actually do the most growing out of everyone this season. There’s nothing much to say about her without spoiling anything, but just know she has a lot of seriously emotional work to do, and it makes for some moments that feel incredibly earned and super satisfying, both for her and for us.

USA Today’s Kelly Lawler:

Overall, the new season has a stronger character focus, and some of the supporting roles from Season 1 are fleshed out to great effect, particularly Lucas, Dustin and Steve (Joe Keery), who may end up being the fan-favorite breakout of the year (sorry, Barb).

The Daily Telegraphs Catherine Glee

The pressure has been on to create a season that could match the staggering hype eventually poured onto the first. This second outing more than lives up to it.

Collider’s Allison Keene:

The Duffers have managed to recapture what made Season 1 so good while still moving the story forward in necessary ways, with a smartly written and cleverly-plotted script. Like that first season, not everything works perfectly, but its cumulative effect is one that is again joyous, emotional, satisfyingly spooky, and most of all, makes us care deeply about the fates of these outsiders who band together as heroes.

IndieWire’s Ben Travers:

“Stranger Things 2” remains the series it’s always been, only bigger. Though repetitive in places and absolutely bursting with plot, the reference-heavy, nostalgia-driven “2” still succeeds at bringing families together for nothing but a good time.

Den of Geek’s Michael Ahr:

Overall, Stranger Things season 2 hits just the right mark, and rabid fans are sure to binge all nine episodes with fervor when they drop on Netflix on October 27th.

Stranger Things 2 stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, and Noah Schnapp. The series has also added Sean Astin (The Goonies), Paul Reiser (Aliens), Brett Gelman (Jobs), Dacre Montgomery (Power Rangers), Danish actress Linnea Berthelsen, and Broadway star Sadie Sink into the mix as well. Here’s the official synopsis:

It’s 1984 and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

Stranger Things 2 hits Netflix this Friday, October 27.

‘Stranger Things’: Top 11 Moments Of Season 1

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Netflix’s smash hit Stranger Things became an instant pop culture phenomenon after its debut last July. The Netflix Original not only pays homage to ’80s pop culture, Stranger Things actually lives up to its predecessors and deserves a place next to them on the shelf. Chances are you, or someone you know is completely obsessed with the show.

Now that we’ve seen the teaser, the wait is going to be even more arduous. To help fill the void as we begin the long wait for Stranger Things season 2, I’ve put together a list of the top 11 moments from the show.

Click Next to start the list! (FULL SPOILERS, OF COURSE)

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Michael Mistroff

Michael Mistroff

Michael Mistroff is a Film/TV Reporter and the News Editor at Heroic Hollywood.