Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire Reviews Are Here and All Say the Same Thing

By Shanna Mathews-Mendez | Published

Despite a huge fan following, a star-studded cast, and genuinely witty dialogue, critics seem mostly disappointed by Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. While the film isn’t yet out for audiences to see, is it finally time to hang up those proton packs for good? 

A Second Chance For The Ghostbusters


Little White Lies tells readers that this movie is a “shoddy, rushed sequel that rides ramshod over past glories without offering anything new and exciting to this stale franchise.”

Even the reviews that aren’t terrible aren’t that good. The Washington Post reports that “The new film is professionally made, well-acted, entertaining enough, and possessed of no earthly reason to exist aside from the care and feeding of intellectual property.”

The Legendary Originals

ghostbusters frozen empire

The 1980s Ghostbusters films generated a huge cult following that had kids dressing up in suits and clicking plastic proton packs into place. Ivan Reitman, director and producer of the movies, recognized genius work when he saw it. The screenplays were written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, who star in the films as Ray Stanz and Egon Spengler, respectively. Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 were funny, fun, adventurous, and a bit gross, gruesome, and scary to boot.

The Next Generation

Then, in 2016, Paul Feig, an American Filmmaker and actor, decided to reboot the Ghostbusters franchise with an all-female cast that received mixed reviews, but it was overall received very well. And that should have been it.

Thus, many people were surprised when Jason Reitman, son of Ivan and a successful filmmaker in his own right, decided to offer yet another reboot of this franchise in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. This story picks up decades after the 80s films left off, with Egon Spengler’s family. Having recently passed, Spengler’s estranged daughter, Callie (Carrie Coon), and her two awkward teenagers, Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) arrive in a small Oklahoma town to ostensibly sell Egon’s farmhouse and end up sucked into a ghost story.  

Returning Favorites


Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire currently only has 46 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics calling it bloated, overdone, overstuffed, and “devoid of any real soul.” The primary complaint is that this movie, again written by Jason Reitman in a dedication to his recently passed father, is trying too hard. 

Like in Afterlife, Frozen Empire brings back the Spengler family and Mr. Grooberson as well as the remaining original cast members, Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Ernie Hudson. Then, it adds still more characters, packing this movie with perhaps more than it can handle.

Critics Knock The Complicated Plot

To add insult to injury, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire builds a complicated story around the adventures set back in New York City, where the Spengler family and Mr. Grooberson have set up shop. As Christy Lemire says on, the film “gets bogged down in the mythology of an ancient, evil monster, who’s accidentally freed from the metal orb in which it had been imprisoned.”

Scene-Stealing Side Characters

It’s just too much in too short a time to impress critics looking for a simple, funny, sci-fi movie on a spring afternoon. As Lemire notes, this movie “seems more interested in the wacky antics of the miniature Stay-Puft Marshmallow Men, who are even more Minion-like than ever this time, and in celebrating the cultural phenomenon of the “Ghostbusters” franchise as a whole.”

Kumail Nanjiani

Still, most critics will agree that Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire is much better than its predecessor, Afterlife. It delivers more laughs and introduces the always hilarious Kumail Nanjiani as the one who is supposed to stop the frozen empire from taking hold. How he can hope to do that is anyone’s guess. 

Of course, the movie has yet to be released, and there have been many occasions where critics and fans do not agree, creating a clear split on Rotten Tomatoes. It will be interesting to see what the website scores look like this time next week once audiences pour out of the theaters as Ray Parker Jr. asks us again, “who you gonna call?”