Ryan Reynolds’ New Christmas Movie Is Getting Mixed Reviews

Ryan Reynolds has just come out with Spirited, a new Christmas movie, but it's sitting at 68% on Rotten Tomatoes.

By Mark McKee | Published

ryan reynolds spirited

Ryan Reynolds has entered the holiday discussion but it hasn’t all been great. . There are some Christmas holiday flicks that ring out like National Lampoon’s Christmas VacationHow the Grinch Stole ChristmasMiracle on 34th Street, and It’s a Wonderful Life are constant annual viewings worldwide. But not all Christmas movies are universally loved (or universally accepted as Christmas movies, Die Hard anyone??), and Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell’s new film, Spirited, is struggling to keep up with the pack according to its Rotten Tomatoes score. 

At the time of this writing, the as-yet-unreleased film is holding a 62% from the critics that have gotten to see it ahead of time, with most of the criticisms coming from them believing the film is doing too much at one time. There is, of course, always a little difference between the way the critics receive a movie versus the way an audience receives a film. And when the film releases, the audience score may jump up to the universally loved status.

While Ryan Reynolds is no stranger to movies that are not received well (see Green Lantern and X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Spirited is like nothing else he has ever done.  

Do we really need any more versions of Charles Dickens’s classic, A Christmas Carol? No. Are we always ready for a musical that can turn any moment or situation into a musical number and a slant rhyme? Yes. And are Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell your first choice to lead Spirited, a musical turning the Ghost of Christmas Present and jerk-mannered target into the new Fred and Ginger? Absolutely not.

But that is what they did in the new film, and if the viral TikTok of the duo singing the trend, “I can be brown, I can be blue,” is any indication of what we’re in for, they can actually carry a tune. 

Ryan Reynolds leads the cast of Spirited as Clint Briggs, owner of a company that thrives by creating controversy, panic, and mob mentality around anything they can to allow their clients to capitalize on it and make money. Will Ferrell leads a team of spirits that have been haunting people like Ebeneezer Scrooge for centuries, believing that one person changing can create ripples through society and change the world.

When the two meet, Ferrell believes that Reynolds has the ability to create the most change with his influence, and Reynolds believes that Ferrell is running from real life. 

The film also stars Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures and The Help), Patrick Page (In the Heights and Flesh and Bone), Sunita Mani (Glow and Everything, Everywhere, All at Once), and Tracey Morgan (Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock). There are dozens of reasons that critics will decide not to like a movie, and a lot of those reasons go unnoticed by broader audiences.

One thing is for certain, when Ryan Reynolds’ Spirited releases on November 11, the season of Christmas movies will be in full swing.