Ready Player One

Out Now On-Demand

A better reality awaits.

A billionaire Massively Multiplayer Online game creator posthumously challenges his game's players to find his Easter Egg - his entire fortune - in this pop culture-saturated Spielberg sci-fi thriller, based on the hit novel of the same name. Set in the dystopian society of the year 2045, vast numbers of the planet's population escape the awfulness of reality by entering OASIS, the MMO in which the Easter Egg is hidden. All are able to compete, and it's an eager Wade Watts (Tyler Sheridan) who finds the first clue.

Steven Spielberg, master of 1980s pop culture, helms Ernest Cline’s rollicking sci-fi adventure tale, in which young heroes take on big corporation IOI inside the virtual universe of The Oasis, seeking three keys. These lead to the ultimate prize, an Easter egg granting ownership of late trillionaire James Halliday’s (Mark Rylance) magic kingdom in which everything’s a reference. The plot is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Halliday is Willy Wonka, and then there’s the huge array of nods to 1980s pop culture. It’s so meta it’s basically South Park’s taco, within a taco, inside a taco.

But deep inside, this taco is empty. With ample opportunity to contrast the virtual utopia with the real world of the impoverished Stacks (towering trailer parks amidst dystopian Wall-E landscapes), Spielberg cuts between realities, with little of the flair of his far superior sci-fi Minority Report. In a virtual realm where your avatar can be literally any thing you like, references to gender or race are reduced to quick gags. The greatest confusion lies in the “real is good” and “big corporations bad” morality, which seems to want to critique the use of entertainment to distract the populace from real world politics and economics, but then says forget that, let’s just have some fun!

Aside from Rylance, the entire cast (even Ben Mendelsohn) struggle with two-dimensional characters and dialogue served with a whopping side-order of cheese. But is it bad writing or sly-satire of clunky 1980s teen movie dialogue? Still, this is Spielberg, and whilst it’s over-puffed, over-stuffed and over-long, he delivers one stand-out sequence, serving up an amazing tribute to Stanley Kubrick, which also plays on how books and films are very different things indeed.

Confused tone, message and target audience (it wants to be a family movie, but has a mature rating, with a few scenes that’ll likely scare little ones, and a smattering of adult language), but the special effects CGI bonanza looks great. No drama or tension, but in terms of bold, brash, unashamed blockbusting popcorn munchers, Ready Player One entertains.

IndieWire (USA)


It runs too long and drags a bunch in its final third, but make no mistake: This is Spielberg’s biggest crowdpleaser in years, a CGI ride that wields the technology with an eye for payoff.

Hollywood Reporter


A rollicking adventure through worlds both bleak and fantastic...

Variety (USA)


It’s an accomplished and intermittently hypnotic movie. Yet you may feel like you’re occupied more than you are invested.

Guardian (UK)


Others may want to unplug from the paint-by-number characters and shallow plot.

FilmInk (Australia)


This may be the worst film of Spielberg’s career…

TimeOut (London)


You're left with the overriding sensation of a master playing someone else's greatest hits.

The Telegraph (UK)


Its vision of a world fixated on cultural nursery food has a spiky topicality and an occasionally piercing satirical bite.

Empire (UK)


Spielberg balances sugar-rush nostalgia with an involving story to create a pure, uncynical, cinematic ride that recaptures the magic of his early films.

Total Film (UK)


Spielberg gets his game face on with spectacular results. One extended scene - no spoilers! - is as fun as cinema gets.

Sydney Morning Herald


Spielberg looks at legacy in virtual tribute to himself. (Darren Bevan)


A film that's as superficial and hollow as one of the season's chocolate treats, but looks as shiny and welcoming.


From the point of view of an avid Ready Player One book fan, Steven Spielberg's rendition of it deviates heavily from the book. While this is not necessarily a bad move (since original screenplays are a rare breed now), the story misses much of what made the book so great. Given the time limitations and the urgency to get the movie out, Spielberg has done an admirable job but surely you would expect a reboot or another rendition to be released on a platform like Netflix which would delve into the depths of Blade Runner, Wargames and Monty Python easter eggs




Expectations and How to Deal With Them

I loved Ernest Cline's novel and had doubts that even Spielberg could bring it to the screen. So I decided to try and take the film on its own merits, and I think it worked.

While the book still wins (hands down in my opinion) this is a really well done version of the story. Things have been changed that I didn't necessarily agree with but the seamless manner the narrative moves between real world and inside the Oasis is very, very good. And the special effects are superbly done.

Not brilliant but incredibly enjoyable.

Not an oscar winner, but a great experience

Whilst Ready Player One will not become a classic, it is a thorughly enjoyable film with stunning visuals and a compelling plot. The one aspect that I did feel was lacking was the developments of the 'real' world (as opposed to the virtual reality oasis) although this should steer no viewers away. As far as references go there is something for everyone and not getting one will not at all effect your experience; they are there on a 'you get them or you don't' sort of basis.




Ready Player One Review

I Think That Ready Player One is simply astonishing and amazingly uplifting in every way.

I really like the idea that Steven Spielberg Managed To slip in a Bit Of Chucky The Doll, Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger and the most Popular Scenes From 'The Shining'.

I Suggest Really Well Suggest This Movie anytime




Why can't we go backward

If you're in the thick of a mid-life crises and your knee pain is slamming you, go see Ready Player One.

It won't provide answers or joint relief but will whisk you away from it all for 2 hours. Which is after all, what I love about movies. As the oldest and dateless gunter in the theatre, I enjoyed immensely the pop culture references and easter eggs as they washed over me and having not read the book, the thrill of the unfolding adventure was reminiscent of the first time I saw Back to the Future. I was kicking myself for not seeing it in imax-3D as the neato visual effects and film score - which never got in the way - also took me back to the enchanted wonderment of seeing Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Seriously, I completely regressed back to the latchkey kid I was back in 1978. And I teared up a little here and there too. Thank you Steven Spielberg for reminding me I still have a pulse and some innocence left.

Though I could've done without that squirmy Saturday Night Fever dance scene, dude.

Surprisingly good.

It's rather enjoyable at times, with it's dazzling visuals, bland characters and pop-culture filled adventure.