Charlie’s Angels: the reviews are in, and the movie is a massive hit

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Kayleigh Dray
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The action-packed Charlie’s Angels reboot is due to hit cinemas in November – and it looks like it will definitely be worth the wait.

While there remains a great deal of affection for the Charlie’s Angels story, which follows three female private detectives living it up in LA, earlier films and TV series have also been poorly received by critics, and criticised for their one-dimensional depiction of women.

It makes sense, then, that 2019 will bring with it a feminist reboot of the 2000 film (starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu) based on a TV series that also spawned another TV series. 

But is it any good? The first reviews of the films are in, and it looks like a hit. 

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What are the critics saying about Charlie’s Angels

Good things. Very good things.

Charlie's Angels: director Elizabeth Banks with star Kristen Stewart at the Los Angeles premiere.

Collider calls the film “one of the most pleasant surprises of the year”. “Not only does Elizabeth Banks prove the brand still has great appeal, but she also adds to it by broadening the scope of the Townsend Agency and introducing three wildly charming new leads,” they added. 

The Hollywood Reporter noted: “The [film] is a grand remodel that honours its precursors while elevating itself beyond them. Banks brings Charlie’s Angels into the modern age with flair, all while unapologetically raising a feminist flag, championing female friendships and subtly making a point about the urgency of the ongoing climate crisis.”

IndieWire praised the film as “slick and super charismatic”, particularly noting star Kristen Stewart’s comedic chops. “Known for her sullen performances and fidgety mannerisms, Stewart has always been drawn to low-status parts that contradict her persona and make it difficult to forget who you’re watching. So while her puckish and sarcastic turn as an heiress-turned-Angel might seem like a major pivot away from the likes of Adventureland or Personal Shopper, Stewart is an actress who wants to be seen, and she wears each of her latest character’s disguises with the confidence of someone who’s already spent a lifetime hiding in plain sight.” 

Slashfilm agreed: “Stewart is the scene-stealing star of Charlie’s Angels, swaggering through the movie like a pure force of chaotic, extremely Sapphic energy. The wild-card Angel of the organization, Stewart may sport a trendy undercut and an infinite collection of tight leather pants, but the actress’ signature awkwardness shines through in shows of surprising physical comedy and a hilariously blasé attitude… It’s gloriously, unapologetically gay and nigh revolutionary in a franchise that has always boosted more traditional femininity.” 

The Guardian, a little backhandedly, noted that the film’s tone was pitch perfect: “Banks hasn’t decided to go the way of so many reboots and bring us a grounded, gritty take on featherlight material, and it’s her awareness of the inherent silliness of the franchise that proves to be one of the film’s saving graces. It’s never taken too seriously, and thus is hard to dislike, a disposable film aware of its own disposability.”

Elizabeth Banks and the Charlie's Angels cast
Ella Balinska, Naomi Scott, Kristen Stewart and Elizabeth Banks attend the Will Rogers 78th Annual Pioneer Dinner Honoring Elizabeth Banks.

Is there a Charlie’s Angels theme song?

There is, A snippet was featured in the first kickass trailer earlier in the year, hinting at a superpowered collaboration between Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey. Now, we finally have a music video for the brand new track.

This comes after Miley Cyrus announced that the new single Don’t Call Me Angel, which serves as the theme song for the upcoming reboot, would be released on Friday 13 September, which is the best way to start the weekend, if you ask us.

And the music video, directed by Grande’s frequent collaborator Hannah Lux Davis, who created the videos for 7 Rings and Thank U, Next, is every bit as badass as you’d expect. The three pop stars play a crime-fighting trio, and, safe to say, they’re anything but angelic. Cyrus is a fighter, Del Rey is a weapons expert, while Grande is the mastermind behind the whole operation. 

The official Charlie’s Angels Twitter account also shared a teaser of the new single, which features some serious bass-heavy instrumentation.

Earlier in the year, we got a first glimpse of the cast in action. In the trailer, the “modern and global Angels” a.k.a Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska are shown on a top secret mission, and it seems the independent women vibes are very much alive and kicking - and in the case of Stewart’s character, backflipping.

Stewart told ET that the trio are “proud of our bruises” that they gained from doing their own stunt work. “I’ve never laughed more,” she said. “I feel like my face hurts at the end of every day. I’m like a pig in shit.”

Elizabeth Banks gave us a first look at her Charlie’s Angels reboot earlier in the year, sharing an exclusive preview with Entertainment Weekly who posted the picture on Instagram. 

Joining Kristen Stewart are Aladdin star Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska, while director Elizabeth Banks will star as Bosley.

We imagine your excitement levels are through the roof at the prospect of seeing these three kick-ass angels back on the big screen, so to sate your appetite, here’s everything else we know. 

Elizabeth Banks is directing the reboot…

… and we couldn’t be happier about it, to be honest. Why? Well, it seems more than safe to say that Banks, who as an actor has stolen the show in everything from The Hunger Games to Modern Family, will make a safe pair of hands behind the camera. She set a world record in 2015 when her directorial debut, Pitch Perfect 2, took £53 million ($69m) at the box office on its opening weekend – the highest ever figure for a first-time director. She was also a producer on the original Pitch Perfect film, and the 2017 ‘threequel’. 

Charlie’s Angels, for me, is one of the original brands to celebrate the empowered woman since its debut in the Seventies,” Banks said in a statement. “This film honours the legacy of Charles Townsend and his agency while introducing a new era of modern and global Angels. I couldn’t to bring this chapter to fans around the world.”

Banks will also star in the new Charlie’s Angels movie as Bosley, who is the communication between the Angels and Charlie. Although, unlike previous Charlie’s Angels films, Banks will be one of many Bosleys. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, she said: “All of the Angels have been played by different women and have had different names, but the Bosley character was always named Bosley no matter who played him. We thought, ‘Well, that must mean it’s more than a name.’”

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Elizabeth Banks is directing a Charlie’s Angels reboot

Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott will take the lead

As in, yes, Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame, Ella Balinska from Midsomer Murders, and Power Ranger-turned-Princess-Jasmine star Naomi Scott. Phew!

Banks recently gave Instagram a sneak peek at her Angels on set and, in the photo, the leading ladies can be seen covered in dirt and grime and talking to Banks (who also happens to star in the movie as Bosley).

“So much love and gratitude to these Angels,” the Pitch Perfect star captioned the candid photo. 

She added: “Why did I wear such a big hat?”

Who else is joining the cast?

Other stars who will be appearing in the new Charlie’s Angels movie include Livia Matthes, Sir Patrick Stewart, Chris Pang, Djimon Hounsou, Nat Faxon, Luis Gerardo Méndez and Sam Claflin. Netflix breakout star Noah Centineo (as in, yes, he of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before fame) will also star, although his role in the movie has yet to be revealed.

Will the characters be the same as those seen in the original Charlie’s Angels?

While the first series of movies, back in 2000 and 2003, tried to focus on creating Angels that had the same names and/or traits as in the original television series, it is thought that Banks will take a different approach.

This time around, Charles Townsend is now said to have a security and intelligence organisation with teams stationed around the world, comprised of a new generation of Angels. And, while we will naturally follow one group of women from this organisation, it’s believed they will all have different names and personalities from previous Angels.

Who wrote the script?

Banks and Jay Basu (whose most recent work includes The Girl In The Spider’s Web and Monsters: Dark Continent) wrote the screenplay for the Charlie’s Angels reboot. The early drafts were completed by Identity Thief’s Craig Mazin and Semi Chellas, who helped pen award-winning television series The Eleventh Hour.

Who will produce the film?

As well as directing and acting, Banks is producing the Charlie’s Angels reboot with her husband Max Handelman via their Brownstone Productions company.

Doug Belgrad, of 2.0 Entertainment, and Elizabeth Cantillon, are also reported to be helping to finance the movie going forward.

When will Charlie’s Angels hit cinemas?

29 November in the UK, and the film is already in cinemas in the US now. 

Image: Getty


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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