Box Office - 05/25/2011 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "[The film has] the tone and rhythm of the original comic books. Vaughn creates a story that seems like it could come out of the funny pages, offering small, engaging subplots..."
Wall Street Journal - 06/03/2011
"This prequel draws new energy from supersmart casting, plus the shrewd notion of setting the beginnings of the X-Men saga in the early 1960s."
USA Today - 06/03/2011 3 stars out of 4 -- "This X-MEN is indeed first class....Exciting, bold and thoroughly enjoyable..."
New York Times - 06/02/2011
"[T]his new X-MEN indulges in period nostalgia as it gazes into the future, using the backdrop of the cold war to explore how the past informs the present."
Washington Post - 3 stars out of 4 -- "FIRST CLASS belongs to one actor, and that's Fassbender, whose Erik/Magneto emerges as one of the most nuanced, conflicted, genuinely antiheroic protagonists in recent comic-book-movie memory."
Movieline - 06/02/2011
"X-MEN: FIRST CLASS is anchored by two superb actors, McAvoy and Fassbender..."
Entertainment Weekly - 06/17/2011
"[D]irected by KICK-ASS' Matthew Vaughn with characteristic knockabout energy....Rejoice in the triumph of McAvoy and Fassbender." -- Grade: B+
Rolling Stone - 06/23/2011 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Vaughn delivers a fireworks display of action, smarts and fun, plus a touch of class from actors who can really act."
Hollywood Reporter - 05/30/2011
"[A] massive and very well cast origins extravaganza....Audacious, confident and fueled by youthful energy..."
Total Film - 06/01/2011 4 stars out of 5 -- "[F]ast, fresh and fun....It's intelligent and emotionally resonant, explosive and eye-dazzling."
Sight and Sound - 08/01/2011
"[T]he film is period-apt in its clean lines and dovetailing of subplots..."
Set in the era before Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr became mortal enemies as Professor X and Magneto, respectively, director Matthew Vaughn's X-MEN: FIRST CLASS follows the two former allies as they lead a powerful team of mutants on a mission to save the planet from nuclear annihilation. Charles (James McAvoy) and Erik (Michael Fassbender) were just young men when it began to appear as if the world was careening toward destruction. As the Doomsday Clock ticks faster toward midnight, the time comes to take action. Realizing they could use their unique powers to avert a global thermonuclear war during the Bay of Pigs crisis, the two powerful mutants launch an intense recruitment campaign with the support of Dr. Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne) and the CIA. Before long, Charles and Erik have assembled a crack team that includes Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Angel (Zoe Kravitz), Havok (Lucas Till), and Darwin (Edi Gathegi). Meanwhile, the malevolent Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) plots to plunge the world into war with the help of villainous mutants Riptide (Alex Gonzalez), Azazel (Jason Flemyng), and Emma Frost (January Jones). In the process of saving humanity, however, Charles and Erik clash, setting the stage for Professor X to lead the X-Men in the fight for good as Magneto and the Brotherhood spread chaos and destruction on a global scale.