Disney's Artemis Fowl Reviews Are In, And They're Not Good

The long-delayed fantasy adaptation Artemis Fowl finally hits Disney+ this week.


The young adult adaptation Artemis Fowl finally arrives on Disney+ this week. The film has taken a while to get here--it was shot back in 2018 and originally set to be released theatrically last summer. It was first delayed until May this year, and then the COVID-19 pandemic led Disney to bypass a theatrical release altogether and release it straight to streaming.

The movie is an adaptation of Eoin Colfer's popular fantasy series about the adventures of a 12-year-old genius, and is directed by Kenneth Branagh (Thor, Murder on the Orient Express). The movie stars Ferdia Shaw, Colin Farrell, Josh Gad, Tamara Smart, Judi Dench, and Nonso Anozie. The movie has now been seen by critics, and the first reviews are online.

Artemis Fowl

  • Directed By: Kenneth Branagh
  • Written By: Conor McPherson and Hamish McColl
  • Starring: Ferdia Shaw, Colin Farrell, Josh Gad, Tamara Smart
  • Release Date: June 12 (Disney+)

Below, you'll find a sampling of reviews from Artemis Fowl. Additionally, there are links to the full reviews if you want to learn more about that critic's opinions on the film. Spoiler: the reviews are not good.

Empire - 2/5

"But the real problem here is that the script, based on the first two books, shows signs of having been cut to ribbons and woven back together. Artemis Fowl deserved a little more edge and a lot more coherence than this effort, and Irish kids deserve a better class of anti-hero." -Helen O'Hara [Full review]

Variety - No Score

"What a waste. Screenwriters Conor McPherson and Hamish McColl have taken a not-very-good book and turned it into a downright awful movie. How could Branagh--whose projects remain so firmly grounded in character, no matter their scale--have lost sight of the fact that a movie named 'Artemis Fowl' should have focused on making the character someone audiences wanted to be around?" -Peter Debruge [Full review]

Games Radar - 2/5

"It's not clear who the film is even for. Anyone who grew up reading Colfer's novels over a decade ago will have moved on. And unlike later Potter films, there's none of the darkness or depth to appeal beyond the youngest viewers. Barely serviceable as a lockdown time-filler, this is a major (Arte)misfire." -Jordan Farley [Full review]

The AV Club - D+

"The only interesting thing about this irritatingly smug and cheaply campy adaptation is how uninterested it is in its own source material. Artemis Fowl is bland and incoherent, with paper-thin character development, unimaginative world building, and a lot of daddy issues." -Roxana Hadadi [Full review]

The Guardian - 2/5

"Images and characters bounce around like shapes on a screensaver and only McDonnell and Gad's performances have any fizz. This is a YA-franchise by numbers." -Peter Bradshaw [Full review]

The Hollywood Reporter - No score

"This long-in-development adaptation, directed with misplaced bravado by Kenneth Branagh, has enough plot for four or five movies, none of which you will want to see. The idea of bringing a popular YA franchise--more than 25 million copies sold worldwide---to the screen is to expand the fan base, not shrink it." -David Rooney [Full review]

Collider - No score

"More attention was clearly paid to the production design than anything resembling a three-dimensional character or a lived-in relationship. All Artemis Fowl has to offer is hollow plotting and bad VFX. Even as a film that's available as part of a Disney+ subscription, you would be hard pressed to endure this joyless slog." -Matt Goldberg [Full review]

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Now Playing: Artemis Fowl (2020) - Official Trailer

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