Review: Ready Player One

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The Steven Spielberg directed film, Ready Player One, is now playing in theaters. The film stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke and Ben Mendelsohn. Ready Player One is based on the best selling novel by Ernest Cline.


2045 is a dark time. To escape, most of the population travels into the OASIS. The deceased creator of the OASIS and its virtual universe, James Halliday, created an “Easter Egg” hunt that will give the winner his fortune and control of the OASIS. Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) joins forces with Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) and other friends to win the virtual universe before the evil corporation IOI is able to for its own selfish agenda.


  • Steven Spielberg returns to his blockbuster filmmaking roots with maybe the biggest visual spectacle of his career. The action and energy of Ready Player One plays like vintage Spielberg, but, at the same time, the movie feels unlike anything the master creator has done before. It seems like a 35 year old version of Spielberg made the film. The scope and innovation of Ready Player One is something you would attribute to a much younger filmmaker and not to one in his 70s, like Spielberg currently is.


  • The special effects that bring the OASIS alive are often overwhelming in how immersive they are. One of Spielberg’s greatest gifts as a filmmaker is how he never loses sight of character and story no matter how big the spectacle becomes. Ready Player One often becomes a cinematic rollercoaster, but we never stop caring about the characters and story.


  • The performances in the film are all strong. Tye Sheridan and Olivia Cooke really shine in the film. Their chemistry helps the film stay grounded and keeps it from becoming merely just a fireworks show.


  • The music score by Alan Silvestri is one of the best parts of Ready Player One. The score makes everything that is happening on screen feel even bigger and more eventful. Silvestri brings back a lot of elements of his Back to the Future trilogy score and it works perfectly.


  • There is a lot happening in Ready Player One and sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the plot and story. The film moves quickly and there are times when a slower pace may have helped the plot be a little more clear and concise.


  • We are told that the present day 2045 in Ready Player One is a dark and harsh place, but we aren’t shown it much. We do see how bad things are for Wade, but the dystopian future the film talks about is never really revealed to us in much detail on screen.

In Closing:

Steven Spielberg returns to the kind of filmmaking that made him a legend with tremendous success with Ready Player One. It is packed with large-scale action, but Spielberg never lets the spectacle take away from the heart and emotion of the story. Ready Player One is easily one of Spielberg’s most ambitious and entertaining films in years.

Rating: A