‘Glass’ Review Round-Up: Critics Label The Film ‘Disappointing’

Glass Samuel L. Jackson M. Night Shyamalan

The first reviews of M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass are in and it seems critics all over are disappointed in the third film of the Eastrail 177 trilogy.

The last outing of M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero films hits theaters in about a week or so and the critics have already started to feel let down to what has been a trilogy of almost 20 years in the making. While Unbreakable (2000) and Split (2016) were well received at the time of their release, but critical consensus puts Glass as a thrilling movie with a disappointing ending for the stories of David Dunn, Elijah Price, and Kevin Wendell Crumb. Here are some excerpts of what the critics thought about the movie:

Heroic Hollywood‘s Nathaniel Brail:

“Glass was a major disappointment. Nothing in the film adds up. Every thread that is created in the first half of the movie disintegrates by the end. The director tries really hard to mislead the audience to believe the film will go one way and ultimately goes in a completely different direction creating a very anti-climatic ending that didn’t work for me. If you’re a fan of Unbreakable and Split, I think the film will ultimately let you down. Glass was absolutely abominable and quite possibly the worst film I’ve seen since Venom, but at least you can have fun with that one.”

Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman:

“It’s good to see Shyamalan back (to a degree) in form, to the extent that he’s recovered his basic mojo as a yarn spinner. But “Glass” occupies us without haunting us; it’s more busy than it is stirring or exciting. Maybe that’s because revisiting this material feels a touch opportunistic, and maybe it’s because the deluge of comic-book movies that now threatens to engulf us on a daily basis has leeched what’s left of the mystery out of comics. In “Unbreakable,” Elijah said, “I believe comics are a form of history that someone, somewhere felt or experienced.” He still believes that, but today’s comic-book culture looks more like a dream broadcast from corporate central. What it no longer feels connected to, even in “Glass,” is experience.”

Polygon‘s Karen Han:

“Despite an incredible performance from McAvoy, Split is just as fractious as it is fun, and Kevin and Casey’s inclusion in Glass doesn’t completely mesh, although it’s easy to follow where narrative threads are concerned. For the most part, Unbreakable and Split are like oil and water, but each time Glass seems like a lost cause, Shyamalan pulls something truly affecting — like a wrenching scene in which a young Elijah is practically rattled to pieces at an amusement park — out of his hat. I want to believe in superheroes. It’s just that Glass never quite manages to take flight.”

ScreenRush‘s  Matt Singer:

“I’m sure M. Night Shyamalan has read some comic books in his day. I do sometimes wonder how many though. His new movie Glass, for all its supposed insights into this genre and what it means, has very little to say about superheroes, and certainly nothing that couldn’t be gleaned from a casual scan of a TV Tropes page. There are no myths deconstructed, no shocking truths exposed, and barely even any excitement on a visceral level. The signature sound effect of the film is a ticking clock; while it has very little relevance on the story, it does remind you just how slowly these 150 minutes are passing.”

io9‘s Germain Lussier:

“[Glass] feels like a movie from a filmmaker who has some amazing puzzle pieces—and yet, even after almost 20 years, no clear vision of how to put them together. There are moments of greatness which are overshadowed by a vast majority of confusing and muddled scenes and intentions. The heart and thrills of Glass’ predecessors are noticeably lacking, and while there are some great surprises, it’s not easy to grasp what they mean in a larger context.”

Uproxx‘s Mike Ryan:

“Glass is a fascinating movie. Now, having said that, I should quickly point out that I did not enjoy this movie and I consider it, after a 19-year wait, one of the biggest personal disappointments I’ve ever experienced in a theater. Do you ever have those moments while watching a movie where you want to like it so bad that you start making mental deals with yourself? Like, “Okay, well, that scene wasn’t the best but I’m sure there’s a reason.” Or, “Okay, well, the movie is over halfway done and nothing significant has really happened, but I bet the ending will make this all worth it.” Or, “I really like what M. Night Shyamalan has done lately so I have no doubt this movie will turn it around.” Then, eventually, you just give up and accept what you’re seeing right in front of your face. That’s kind of what it’s like watching Glass.”

The Hollywood Reporter‘s John Defore:

“Like Unbreakable and Split, Glass wants its extraordinary feats to be as grounded as possible in the real world. The tension between wish-fulfillment heroics and realism was tantalizing in Unbreakable. Here, it’s more confused. Those of us who have steered clear of gossip sites or promotional interviews may find ourselves, after the big showdown Mr. Glass has engineered, not certain what we have seen. Is Glass the least satisfying chapter of an often enjoyable, conceptually intriguing trilogy? Or is it an attempt to launch a broader Shyamalaniverse, in which ordinary men and women throughout Philadelphia and its suburbs will discover their own inspiring abilities? Marketplace realities make the latter more likely. Here’s hoping the former is the case.”

SlashFilm‘s Chris Evangelista:

“I’ll tread carefully here to avoid major spoilers, but don’t expect Glass to be an Unbreakable sequel. This is less an Unbreakable follow-up, and more of a continuation of Split. Worst of all, it severely tarnishes the legacy of Unbreakable, dumbing-down the dark, adult-driven elements that made that film so special, swapping them for silliness. And while Willis’ character is technically present in the entire movie, but he takes a backseat to Kevin’s story. On top of that, Willis is phoning in his performance. The actor does a lot of that lately – “sleepy” seems to be his only acting style now. But Shyamalan was able to draw two of Willis’ best performances out in The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. Third time isn’t the charm, though, and Willis comes across as utterly bored with everything going on here. Then again, I can’t say I blame him.”

Here’s the synopsis for Glass:

From Unbreakable, Bruce Willis returns as David Dunn as does Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price, known also by his pseudonym Mr. Glass. Joining from Split are James McAvoy, reprising his role as Kevin Wendell Crumb and the multiple identities who reside within, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke, the only captive to survive an encounter with The Beast.

Following the conclusion of Split, Glass finds Dunn pursuing Crumb’s superhuman figure of The Beast in a series of escalating encounters, while the shadowy presence of Price emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.

Written and directed by M Night Shyamalan, Glass stars James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Spencer Treat Clark, and Charlayne Woodard.

Glass will be released in theaters on January 18, 2019.