‘IF’ Fans Are Not Remotely Agreeing With What Critics Have Had To Say About The Movie

‘IF’ Fans Are Not Remotely Agreeing With What Critics Have Had To Say About The Movie

One of the latest family films to hit theaters is IF, which is directed by John Krasinski, and features the ever-charming Ryan Reynolds, and it has sparked a serious debate. Believe it or not, said disagreement seems to be between critics and general audiences. While IF hit solid numbers at the box office during its first weekend, critics aren't too impressed by Krasinski's latest. On the other hand though, audiences are flooding social media with emotional praise, showcasing a stark divide in reception.

On Rotten Tomatoes, as of this writing, IF has notched a modest 55% critic score, with the film being described as "predictable" and "overly sentimental." In stark contrast, the audience score soars at an impressive 88%, underlining a significant disparity between the two groups. So what exactly are both sides saying? Let's talk it out.

What Do Critics Have To Say About IF?

NPR's Bob Mondello didn't hold back in his critique of the film. He wrote:

… The filmmakers detour, decorate and digitize their story rather than telling it, and that doesn't mesh well with the real-world stuff — dad's surgery, for instance, and Bea's wandering all over Brooklyn without her grandma seeming to notice. And yes, I know: IF is a kid-flick, but it still needs grounding. We're in Brooklyn, not Willy Wonkaland.

Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune shared a similar sentiment. The critic stated in his write-up: 

IF reminds us how certain key ingredients — charm, wit, clarity, emotional tact and resonance — cannot be willed into narrative existence, or fixed in post.

Long-time film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper, also didn’t have much positive to say about the flick. He noted: 

This well-intentioned and intermittently clever blend of live action and animation is so murky and slow-paced the grown-ups will get restless, while it falls short when it comes to creating truly memorable CGI characters and providing a true sense of joy.

So, as a whole, it simply seems that a number of film pundits think the movie simply lacks a number of the elements that were necessary to pull off this kind of story. It tells the story of a young girl, who discovers she can see imaginary friends (or IFs) and alongside her neighbor, she seeks to help the misplaced beings. It's fascinating to see critics' reactions, especially if you're aware of how general viewers perceive the flick.

How Do General Audiences Feel About The Film?

In stark contrast, audience members are passionately defending the film. Social media platforms, particularly X (formerly Twitter), are brimming with heartfelt testimonials from viewers who found IF profoundly moving and relatable. For instance, as if explicitly responding to Bob Mondello, user @RaphaelKormos posted:

Just watched Ryan Reynolds new film IF…. Bro I was not prepared to cry!! If I watched it by myself I would’ve cried harder… god it was such a good movie with a message I really needed. Don’t grow up too fast and take a breath. Slow down and breathe… kids movie my ass XD

@fundraiserheidi shared an adorable gif from one of the movie’s main characters, Blue, along with a caption. Said text highlighted how the feature film “hit every emotion” for them:

In her post, @Bedatri said there should be a “rule” about making people her age as emotional as the movie did. They wrote:

Wow [John Krasinski] I'm sure there's a rule against making me a 35 yo critic ugly cry during a morning show of 'IF'

These tweets capture the broader sentiment among viewers deeply connecting with the film’s emotional narrative. CinemaBlend writer Mick Joest echoed this feeling, sharing that he was emotionally devastated when he watched the film with his child. And, in her IF review for CB, our own Riley Utley praised John Krasinski's creativity in this heartwarming tale, giving the movie 4 out of 5 stars.

Clearly, there's a significant divide between critics and average viewers regarding IF. But, of course, what's most important is what you think about it when you get to screen it for yourself. If you haven't seen it, catch John Krasinski's first children's movie and join the conversation, as it's now playing in theaters. You can also check out our 2024 movie schedule to see what else is heading to cinemas near you.