The final film in one of Marvel Studios’ breakout franchises hits theaters this weekend in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3. As the 32nd film overall in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the third and final installment of the franchise sees the return of the core Guardians as well as writer and director James Gunn, who has helmed all three films.
Now that the highly anticipated movie is airing in theaters, let’s check in on how the critics and audiences have responded to the film.
Guardians of the Galaxy 3 Rotten Tomatoes score
As of May 5, Vol. 3’s critics score comes in at 80% with 261 reviews and is “certified fresh” according to the site’s Tomatometer. That number represents the lowest of the trilogy, behind 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy (92%) and 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (85%).
According to one consensus reaction, the justification behind Vol. 3’s score reads, “A galactic group hug that might squeeze a little too tight on the heartstrings, the final Guardians of the Galaxy is a loving last hurrah for the MCU’s most ragtag family.” From a critic's POV, this feels like a fair assessment, as the final installment definitely gives each character their respective emotional moment.
However, MCU fans are not unfamiliar with the pace and sheer magnitude of a James Gunn film, which may have been a factor as to why the audiences were much more favorable in their response.
While critics were a bit tougher on the assessment, audiences were ecstatic about Gunn’s final film of the trilogy, with its 96% audience score (1,000+ verified ratings) clocking in as the highest of all three films. For reference, Guardians of the Galaxy holds a 92% audience score while Vol. 2 clocks in at 87%.