“Avatar: The Way of Water” First Reactions: A Stunning Visual Masterpiece

Never bet against James Cameron. This seems to be the overriding theme of the first reactions to his long-awaited sequel Avatar: The Way of Water, which arrives 13 years after his groundbreaking Avatar arrived in 2009.

The initial reactions are more or less uniformly positive, with critics and viewers alike marveling at how, once again, Cameron has seemingly reinvented what’s possible on screen. The staggering visuals, especially the scenes set underwater, come in for major praise, but so too do the emotional stakes. Cameron is a master world builder, and here he has built out the alien planet of Pandora, and its native inhabitants, the Na’vi, to incredible effect. The Way of Water is being hailed as a superior effort to the original Avatar in every way, which is, of course, the highest-grossing movie of all time.

We’ll need to wait until December 13 for the full reviews from critics once the review embargo is lifted, but here is a glimpse at the first social media reactions from critics who saw advanced screenings and the folks who attended the premiere on Tuesday in London. If you were only mildly interested in seeing Avatar: The Way of Water when it hits a theater near you on December 16, you mind find your mind about to change:

For more on Avatar: The Way of Water, check out these stories:

“Avatar: The Way of Water” IMAX Featurette Focuses on Jake & Neytiri’s Family

New “Avatar: The Way of Water” Teaser Reveals the Deadly Return of Humans to Pandora

New “Avatar: The Way of Water” Trailer Reveals the Battle for Pandora’s Oceans

Featured image: A scene from “Avatar: Way of Water.” Courtesy 20th Century Studios.


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The Credits is an online magazine that tells the story behind the story to celebrate our large and diverse creative community. Focusing on profiles of below-the-line filmmakers, The Credits celebrates the often uncelebrated individuals who are indispensable to the films and TV shows we love.