The Mummy scores low in early reviews

Early reviews are in for The Mummy, and things are looking quite scary for Universal Pictures. 

A lot is riding on the Tom Cruise-led flick, as it's the first film in Universal's new Dark Universe franchise, which will feature refreshes of iconic monster movies like The Wolf Man, Bride of Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. But by the sounds of critics' initial thoughts, The Mummy reboot doesn't lived up to its predecessor. Let's unwrap what they had to say. 

A handful of critics went for The Mummy's throat, digging into the film with little mercy. 

IndieWire writer David Ehrlich wrote that The Mummy is "obviously the worst movie that Tom Cruise has ever made… an irredeemable disaster from start to finish… the kind of movie that Tom Cruise became a household name by avoiding at all costs." Uproxx critic Vince Mancini made a jaw-dropping simile to describe the movie: "Watching The Mummy is sort of like going to Vegas' newest casino, where you get to witness corporate America's most cynical vision of what the average wage-earning slob should do with his disposable income."

For most, the hodgepodge nature of the film left them feeling uneasy, unfulfilled, and with a sour taste in their mouth. Peter Bradshaw at The Guardian summed up the film as "basically a mess with various borrowings," namely a few "mummified bits from An American Werewolf in London." Bradshaw's colorful mummy-themed descriptions include likening the sagging plot to "an aeon-old decaying limb," and he even calls out the "boggle-eyed 'WTF' expression" Cruise pulls when the narrative goes haywire. 

Others weren't quite as scathing, though they did find The Mummy unsatisfying overall and surely not the greatest inaugural installment in Universal's Dark Universe. 

IGN reviewer Daniel Krupa wrote, "The Mummy isn't completely rotten, but given its heritage and larger ambition, it feels frustratingly generic and unfulfilling… As the first chapter in the coming Dark Universe films, The Mummy contains glimpses of promise and potential, but it's far from the most solid foundation." The Playlist writer Rodrigo Perez called the film "a dreadful mess, tonally incoherent, and often unintentionally funny," and an awful start for the studio's monster movie universe, as Universal "[hasn't] earned an ounce of goodwill with an audience yet."

On the flip side, Cruise's performance got a nod from Chris Nashawaty at Entertainment Weekly, who called the 54-year-old actor "the film's secret weapon," a total professional at "selling narrative silliness with a straight face, a clenched jaw, and a superhuman sense of commitment." Nashawaty also mentioned that The Mummy reboot, though "aimless [and] lukewarm," is likely exactly how Universal wanted to start off its Dark Universe: "good enough to keep you curious about what comes next."

One of the few critics who appears to have genuinely enjoyed the film is Brian Truitt at USA Today, who said "The Mummy unwraps a surprisingly welcome gift for moviegoers: a film with Tom Cruise being unheroic for a change, a freaky-deaky breakthrough for Sofia Boutella and a satisfyingly nutso beginning to a grand monster revamp."

While these preliminary reviews definitely seem daunting (and not the nicest in the world), fans will have to judge for themselves whether The Mummy is simply misunderstood or cursed for good. The film is set for release this Friday, June 9. Until then, check out these reboot films that actually worked