Ryan Conde’s review published on Letterboxd:
Actually better than I remember it being. I know people are split on this movie but I had a really fun time with it. It does have a lot of problems but also retains many of the great things the first one had. The cinematography is great, the musical score is fantastic, the direction is amazing, the editing is solid, the humor gets some really good laughs out of me, the atmosphere creates some pretty chilling moments. the scares that work are effective, creepy, and shocking, the characters are still all likable with each having their standout moments, a lot of the imagery is fucking disturbing and scary to look at, the effects half of the time look pretty solid, the emotional moments, particularly at the end, are effective and strong, and the best thing about this film is the acting with a truly stellar cast. Bill Skarsgard is still great as Pennywise and is given a lot more to do here, but the best thing about the movie is the acting from all of the adults. James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Jessica Chastain, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, and Andy Bean all were perfect in their roles, still have the same chemistry with each other, and each feels like their respective characters from the first film. The kid actors in the first film were still amazing but the adult cast here also did just as well as the kid cast. All of these things made this movie absolutely worth watching. However, this film has a lot of problems that kept me from liking it as much as the first movie. The story is predictable and not that engaging, half of the effects don't look very good and rely on so much CGI, the length of the film could've very easily condensed and didn't need to be close to 3 hours long, and just like the first movie, many parts were unintentionally funny. There still were many moments that were disturbing, creepy, and even scary to look at because of the imagery but just like the first movie, there are moments rather with Pennywise or even some of the imagery that made me laugh more than scare me. Also because the movie relies on so much CGI you can tell which effects look good or not and sometimes it can look so ridiculous that you have to laugh at it. These issues in no way ruin this film but they do keep me from calling it great. Thankfully the movie still is really entertaining from beginning to end. For an almost 3 hour movie, I was never bored watching this which made it a lot easier to get through. Objectively speaking the first movie is better but if you would've given me the option to watch the first movie or this one I would pick this one. Not because it's better but because it's just so much fun and got some really good laughs and scares out of me. Overall if you liked the first film then you might enjoy this one but definitely temper your expectations for this one.