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Here's What The Critics On Rotten Tomatoes Are Saying About King Richard

Two of the most highly anticipated films of the year are finally coming to theaters this week. Indeed, in addition to "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," audiences will soon get the opportunity to watch "King Richard." The latter film tells the story of Richard Williams (Will Smith) and his efforts to help his daughters, Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena Williams (Demi Singleton), become tennis superstars.

Of course, while many audiences are likely familiar with the Williams sisters' real-life success as professional tennis players, not everyone is familiar with the story of their rise to prominence as young athletes. The film will chronicle the ups and downs that the Williams family faces as the duo work to become two of the most recognizable athletes in the history of sports. Notably, in a trailer released for the film, Smith's Richard even responds to the suggestion that he might have "the next Michael Jordan" by insisting that he has "the next two."

With the film due to be released at the end of the week, some critics have already gotten an early look at it. Here's what they think of "King Richard."

Most critics are giving King Richard positive reviews

So far, "King Richard" is holding up very well on Rotten Tomatoes. As of this writing, less than 100 reviews have been logged for it so far, but its Tomatometer score is still sitting at an impressive 91%. That means a large majority of the critics who have already logged reviews for the film enjoyed it, while only 9% didn't.

As for what some critics have said about "King Richard," Christopher Bourne, who writes for In Review Online, noted that the film "hits all the beats one would expect from this type of inspirational sports story" but manages to avoid feeling clichéd. Elsewhere, Irving Television's Susan Kamyab gave the film an A+ score and called it "a beautiful, feel-good film everyone can and should watch."

Many of the film's positive reviews have heaped praise on Will Smith's performance as the titular character. For instance, Christopher James, a writer for The Film Experience, wrote, "To talk about 'King Richard,' one must start and end with Will Smith's towering performance." For Mat's Entertainment, Mathew DeKinder titled his review "All hail Will Smith in 'King Richard'" and wrote that Smith's performance is "about as close to a lock for a Best Actor Oscar nomination as it gets."

Notably, the handful of negative "King Richard" reviews have criticized the film for not exploring its titular figure deeply enough. In a review for Slant Magazine, Derek Smith awarded the film 1.5 stars out of 4, writing, "Rarely has a film used its foreknowledge of a happy ending as a reason to remain so uncritical and incurious of its central subject." In a similarly critical review for The A.V. Club, Jesse Hassenger wrote, "The movie keeps enough of Richard's messy past off screen to feel like a hagiography with a few concessions, rather than a true warts-and-all portrait."

Fortunately, audiences will soon get an opportunity to judge the film's merits for themselves, as "King Richard" is set to hit theaters and HBO Max on November 19.