Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 review roundup: What the critics are saying about James Gunn’s final MCU film

Six years later and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is finally arriving in cinemas on 5 May.

In the trilogy’s final film, Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill and his team of heroes must unite to protect the universe and defend one of their own. If they fail, it could potentially lead to the end of the Guardians.

The movie not only marks the end of a key Marvel franchise, but also director James Gunn’s final farewell to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Although this lands as a “loss” for Marvel, according to The Independent’s chief film reviewer Clarisse Loughrey, she argued Vol 3 should “make audiences thrilled about what comes next for Gunn in his new position as co-head of DC Studios”.

Loughrey’s praise for Gunn’s final MCU outing certainly isn’t the only laudatory review for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, but it’s perhaps the highest.

Find a roundup of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 reviews below.

The Independent – four stars

Chris Pratt in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3' (Marvel/Disney)
Chris Pratt in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3' (Marvel/Disney)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 is fully invested not only in how its core characters have evolved so far, but how they can continue to evolve. No one is sidelined. No one is wasted. It is, on top of its main plot, a break-up movie about the hollow feeling of bumping into an ex and realising they’ve moved on.”

Empire – four stars

“[Vol 3] isn’t perfect. There’s bagginess around the middle, thanks to a welter of new characters and a laudable determination to give each member of the ensemble something worthy of their considerable talents, plus a couple of fight scenes are cut so fast as to be little more than brightly-coloured blurs. Then there’s the all-too-common superhero thing where monumentally horrible things happen only to be brushed aside for another quip, another scrap, another heart-to-heart. But the love that Gunn has for these characters is overwhelming, and that carries it through the rougher and slower patches. He successfully balances his tendency towards occasional snark by letting that love shine through every frame, to often heartbreaking effect.”

The Guardian – three stars

“Now Guardians of the Galaxy has reached the threequel stage: overlong, yes, and finally reaching for an importance and emotional closure (perhaps inspired by Gunn’s own emotional corporate redemption) that it doesn’t quite encompass, while leaving the GOTG brand open for a next-gen reboot. But it’s still spectacular, spirited and often funny.”

BBC – three stars

Guardians Vol 3 is two and half hours long, and it's so chaotic and convoluted that it feels twice that long. Watching it is like flicking channels between a whole Star Trek TV series and a whole Star Wars TV series. There are always some fun aliens to look at, but you might not follow or care what's happening,” Nicholas Barber writes.

Film Summer Movie Preview (© MARVEL 2022)
Film Summer Movie Preview (© MARVEL 2022)

“But in the final scenes, Gunn’s sincere love for his characters, and their love for each other, becomes infectious. The actors deserve much of the credit. They all sell the relationships more convincingly here than in either of the previous Guardians instalments. This one may be the most unruly and excessive of the trilogy, but it is as sweetly touching as any film with so many slimy, tentacled monsters in it could be.”

The Telegraph – two stars

“The plot is a mess, with little sense of meaningful cause and effect behind its wrigglings. And it’s also wildly overlong: regular flashbacks involving Rocket’s former cellmates (an otter with spindly metal arms, a walrus with wheels instead of flippers, and so on) never quite manage to drum up the desired misfit-toys pathos. It’s more worthwhile than Ant-Man 3, Doctor Strange 2 and Black Panther 2, at least – and mercifully, I don’t think the multiverse is ever mentioned. But it’s still hard to see the series’ formerly perkiest heroes looking like such a spent force.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 releases in cinemas on 5 May.