Doctor Strange

2016, Fantasy/Adventure, 1h 55m

385 Reviews 100,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Doctor Strange artfully balances its outré source material against the blockbuster constraints of the MCU, delivering a thoroughly entertaining superhero origin story in the bargain. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Dr. Stephen Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he looks for healing, and hope, in a mysterious enclave. He quickly learns that the enclave is at the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying reality. Before long, Strange is forced to choose between his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.

Cast & Crew

Benedict Cumberbatch
Dr. Stephen Vincent Strange
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Baron Karl Mordo
Rachel McAdams
Christine Palmer
Tilda Swinton
The Ancient One
Michael Stuhlbarg
Dr. Nicodemus West
Benjamin Bratt
Jonathan Pangborn
Scott Adkins
Lucian, Strong Zealot
Zara Phythian
Brunette Zealot
Alaa Safi
Tall Zealot
Katrina Durden
Blonde Zealot
Jon Spaihts
Screenwriter
Louis D'Esposito
Executive Producer
Victoria Alonso
Executive Producer
Stephen Broussard
Executive Producer
Charles Newirth
Executive Producer
Stan Lee
Executive Producer
Ben Davis
Cinematographer
Wyatt Smith
Film Editor
Michael Giacchino
Original Music
Charles Wood
Production Design
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Critic Reviews for Doctor Strange

Audience Reviews for Doctor Strange

  • Mar 11, 2021
    Christopher Nolan wants to make an MCU movie. No, seriously. Stay with me as I map this out. After Doctor Strange's director Scott Derrickson riffed on Inception with the city scapes folding over each other, I think Nolan decided do him one better after watching the finale and was like "Eureka -- backwards time fights! I think I'll call it -- Tenet!" Joking. Maybe. Anyway, Doctor Strange again beats expectations by taking one of the more fantastical Marvel characters and making his origin story interesting. I actually think that's the formula for the more "out-there" comic adaptions. Similar to Guardians of the Galaxy, make the characters and cinematography so captivating you don't need to suspend disbelief as we're just riding along with the eye candy. Benedict Cumberbatch get's to go FULL ASSHOLE as Strange, a guy so narcissistic he gives Donald Trump a run for his money. Tilda Swinton is always great as the bald headed "master." And then there's Mads Mikkelsen who is so underutilized in his glitter eye-makeup its criminal. As pointed out by Mads expert @harlenquincade, he did have a good look in that S&M metal body cage. "Forget Everything You Think You Know."
    Mark B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 01, 2019
    Cool fantasy sorcery and some of the best special effects I've ever seen in a movie. Wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did, but this is one of the best lone superhero movies! I read a great post by K.M. Weiland about why the character development wasn't as good as it should've been – Stephen Strange's interpersonal relationships never really evolve in the story, but I guess I don't expect much in the way of char development from superhero movies.
    Letitia L Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2017
    Doctor Strange magically continues Marvel Studios' proven A-Level winning streak in birthing a tortured surgeon-turned-mystic-Demi-God, going all Inception on a Swinging '70s superhero with a predictable but hugely entertaining origin story. In this case, casting is half the battle. In this PG-13-rated fantasy adventure, a brilliant neurosurgeon (Benedict Cumberbatch) is drawn into the world of the mystic arts while on a journey of physical and spiritual healing. In putting Benedict Cumberbatch, who has already perfected his tortured genius schtick with The Imitation Game and BBC's Sherlock, into the bulbously flowing red cape of Steve Ditko's hippie dippie funny book cult classic hero, this movie has zeroed in on the perfect Strange bedfellow. Granted, Ant-Man already bore the brunt of successfully introducing a second-tier superhero into mainstream blockbusterdom (again, chiefly because the casting works) but Doctor Strange proves a considerable step up in regards to story and spectacle. Granted, Ant-Man seemed to be aimed more at a general audience and often skewed more toward comedy than drama but it also felt too polished and manufactured. Oh, Doctor Strange feels quite polished and manufactured as well, but a great deal more inventiveness is used in its execution. Our hero predictably comes up against a Big Bad in an overblown Third Act set piece but the whole magic show is ultimately a mindbending piece of escapism. It's not enough that Strange and Company fight evil. They do so while buildings and city streets fold into each other like an E.M. Escher sketch realized with 9-figure visual effects. The film also focuses on Eastern mysticism without getting too bogged down too much in the spiritual and philosophical touchstones. Appropriate to the genre and audience, the writers keep it breezy and somewhat light while not entirely forsaking some core beliefs. After turning out the dark and stylish but often rote Sinister horror series, Scott Derrickson didn't seem like the obvious choice to take on this long Strange trip, but his direction (under the strict supervision of Marvel Studios and parent company Disney, of course) definitely charts another win for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The only player who gets short shrift is Rachel McAdams in the role of Christine Palmer, the latest less-than-Marvelous obligatory love interest in a thankfully short line of under-served cookie cutter companions that also "boasts" Liv Tyler in The Incredible Hulk and Natalie Portman in Thor. To Sum it Up: Sorcerer Supreme
    Jeff B Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2017
    You know, I really didn't wanna have to write this review right now (at 11 in the morning). But then if I leave it for later, then I'm racing to get it done before dinner, which is when I watch the movies. I just felt lazy for one reason or another, because the fact that I don't wanna write this out now is not a reflection of what I thought about this movie. In all honesty, I thought this was a very good movie. Not one of Marvel's best, particularly when compared to Civil War (which I still think is the best movie in all of MCU). But let's move on. I remember Scott Weinberg saying on twitter (he's a film critic I follow on that site) that he's impressed by how much work it takes to put together a movie (or a television series) that fits within Marvel's Cinematic Universe. Not only does it have to be a good standalone film, it also has to fit in within that same continuity. There's so many details that have to be kept track of that what Marvel has managed to accomplish with its cinematic universe is nothing short of amazing. Admittedly speaking, though, I think this film manages to exist in its own little cocoon without having to adhere too much to the rest of the continuity from other established franchises. That's not saying that they ignore it, because they don't, but what I mean is that there's not connectivity to other franchises in Marvel's Universe as, say, in Captain America or Iron Man's respective films. And that's a really smart choice, because you're introducing a brand new character to audiences. You need to establish this film's characters and world first before you have Doctor Strange interacting with the Avengers. As far as world building, this isn't as effective a movie as, say, the first Guardians of the Galaxy. And the narrative itself is very basic. Parts of it remind me of Thor in that Doctor Strange is certainly a very arrogant and self-centered individual. He doesn't look at his job (he's a neurosurgeon) as a way to save people, he sees it as a way to elevate his own status in life. This all changes when he gets into a pretty bad car accident in which he loses the use of his hands. After exhausting all methods in the West, he is told of this man, who was completely disabled, who is now able to walk again. This man tells him of this place called Kamar-Taj, where he learned all he needed to heal himself, and he tells Strange to go there. Strange goes to this place, in Nepal, and meets the Ancient One, the Sorcerer Supreme, who opens his eyes and mind to a world of magic that he never thought humanly possible. The narrative is fairly simple and straightforward, it's just an origin story, how this man became the superhero people know and love today. There's also a thinly-written villain, Kaecilius, that is elevated by the badassery of one Mads Mikkelsen. Basically, this villain wants to bring this multi-dimensional being from the Dark Dimension over to earth in order for it to enslave us and, in theory, give us eternal life. The film, to be perfectly honest, doesn't do a great job exactly at explaining what it is that Dormammu exactly does. He is called the destroyer of worlds, of course, and that gives you pretty much everything you need to know about him, but if it wasn't for that, then you wouldn't really know much about him. And, another thing, I know Dormammu is an evil fucker from another dimension, but why is he collecting worlds? What is his reasoning? There really is nothing there, as everything you know about Dormammu is told to you by other people and not the actual being itself. So there's certainly some weaknesses with the scripting. It's your basic good vs evil story with a few twists. Those few twists relate to how the visuals in the film play out and the fact that we also deal with some very intriguing issues relating to time loops and how certain actions Strange takes weren't manipulating space-time continuum, they were breaking it. But let's move on to the visual style of the film. Let's just say that this is, certainly, the trippiest film in Marvel's Cinematic Universe. That's really just the best way to describe it. Kaecilius, and other sorcerers in the mirror world, can distort the world around them. For example, they may stretch out hallways, or bend and twist buildings. One of the coolest scenes in the entire film sees Strange and Mordo escaping from Kaecilius and his zealots while they distort the world around them, removing streets entirely or completely changing the direction of their path. I don't really know how to describe it in great detail, but it's really freaking cool. There's no way my words would be able do it justice, even if I could find a way to accurately describe the insanity. But I think that is what, to me, pushed the film to getting 3.5 stars. Well that and the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch is pretty fucking great in the film. The action is good, though it's not great. I will say, though, that the climactic battle sequence that plays out in reverse, as Strange has manipulated time to ensure that an attack by the zealots doesn't happen, is pretty fucking great. Perhaps it might not be as great as something you would see on, say, The Raid or Mad Max, but it gets extra points for creativity. The casting is strong all around, no complaints on that front. Personally speaking, while I understand that this is an origin film, I just wish that the narrative would have been a little more interesting than it was. I think the fact of the matter is that they were able to get away with maybe not having the most compelling of narratives because of the fact that the film is so trippy and surreal with its visuals. And there's something to be said about that, but I think that's a major part of the reason why I don't feel comfortable giving this 4 stars. The narrative just falls behind everything else. I'm not saying that it's bad, it's not, but it could have been so much better. I will say, however, that they do set up potential sequels fairly well and, it seems obvious to me, that Doctor Strange will play a big part of Thor: Ragnarok, so they're clearly already gearing up Doctor Strange for his inclusion in the next Avengers movie, Infinity War. I don't know what else to say, really. This review, at least from when I started writing it, went by quicker than I would have imagined. I'd say this was a very good movie, but I'd put it in the second tier (out of five) of Marvel movies. It's a very fun popcorn movie, but I don't think it strives to be anything more than that. This is a positive because it allows the uninitiated to join in without having to have followed the MCU from the start. It's a negative in that, after Civil War, this movie just doesn't explore as many interesting concepts as the former. I'm sure the sequels will make up for that. But, I digress, I would recommend this movie for the visuals and for Benedict's performance. I had a lot of fun watching this, in spite of its flaws.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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