Ian Fastert’s review published on Letterboxd:
Completely forgot how low-key this is; I suppose thinking about it with the added context of Split and Glass made me think it was more in line with those in terms of tone. What a weird series of films this is. I can't believe this had a budget of 75 million too-where did that money even go?
It doesn't matter though, because as a small contained story, this still absolutely rips. It's slow, it's focused, and it's beautiful. If we're counting this as a superhero film, then it's easily the best directed superhero movie ever. M. Night's shots blow me away; each composition looks like it took a day to plan out, he really knows how to make the most out of his space. That curtain shot toward the end in particular was stunning-he's absolutely brilliant. This script is fantastic too, which is weird to look back on considering how those have become the weakest part of his films. I wish he'd start working with other people's scripts, First Man-style, but I don't see that happening at this point. Oh well! At least this one worked out. That ending still gives me chills, and this might be SLJ's best performance? He really gets the tragedy of the character, and I can see why he think he's in the right. Here's hoping he's just as good in GLASS.
I don't really have any problems with this movie! It's a large-budget oddity, the kind of movie that would only get made under the circumstances that came before it. It, like its main character, is a miracle. Thank god this exists. It's a really solid deconstruction of what superheroes mean to us as well as the theory of destiny, and I'm pretty sure nothing will use this setup in as smart a way for a long time to come. Completely different from the "franchise" it has become, but also better than Split at the very least (which I like, but really isn't trying to be deep in the ways this is). Watch it!
Oh also this is almost as brilliant a way to use Bruce Willis's stone cold nature as Moonrise Kingdom and Looper. Definitely a career best for him.