‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Movie Reviews: Here’s What Critics Are Saying About the Adaptation

'Fifty Shades' Sequel
A 'Fifty Shades of Grey' sequel is totally happening.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, lovestruck couples and singletons with lots of time on their hands are all looking for something to do — and many are finding themselves at the movie theater wondering: Is Fifty Shades of Grey any good?

After a tumultuous production period and an equally problematic promotional tour, the much talked-about adaptation of E.L. James’ famous erotica is opening this Friday. Though diehard fans have already sold out multiple showings, many critics are saying that the 125-minute love story between a shy and timid college student and a BDSM-loving billionaire is quite painful to sit through. (Pun totally intended.)

So to help you decide whether or not you should head to the cinema this weekend to catch the R-rated flick, Celebuzz has rounded up all the movie reviews you need to see. Here’s what people are saying about:

The movie in general…

Fifty Shades of Grey might not be a good movie — O.K., it’s a terrible movie — but it might nonetheless be a movie that feels good to see, whether you squirm or giggle or roll your eyes or just sit still and take your punishment.” — New York Times

“This flick isn’t intended to be a polished work of high art — you just want an escapist night out. But it’s not fun enough to be enjoyed over popcorn or emotionally charged enough to be taken seriously. It’s not even campy enough make it a future cult classic. It’s just mediocre. The most damning fate of all.” — Us Weekly

“It’s not a disaster. In fact, director Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy) and screenwriter Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks) deserve considerable credit for turning James’ risible drivel into something resembling an adult romance, if not a mature one.” — Toronto Star

“Under the covers, Fifty Shades of Grey is even more square than Twilight, where a teen girl begged her boyfriend to bone her and a werewolf fell in love with a baby.” — L.A. Weekly

“Unlike the characters, the film never reaches a satisfying climax.” — BBC.com

“Maybe in future installments there will even be something that resembles a plot. For now, the entire movie is about as sexy as a root canal.” — New York Observer

The movie’s sex scenes…

“Even more frustrating to voyeurs, nobody sweats, nobody strains, nobody loses control or even fakes losing control by simulating an orgasm. Also—and this is a turnoff—every time a sex scene comes on, some lady starts singing a big, whooshy Sex Scene song.”  — Entertainment Weekly

“The sex scenes in Fifty Shades of Grey are numerous, lengthy and frank, but they aren’t smutty.” — The Guardian

“It’s a supreme relief to share that the stars do have chemistry, their fit bodies bending and twisting in a variety of pleasing ways. But – and this is strange to say about a film charged almost entirely with inserting tab A into slot B – there should be more nookie, and wilder.” — People

“Free of full-frontal nudity and excessive thrusting and, well, orgasming as this movie is, it never gets to that envelope-pushing place.” — Vanity Fair

“Both actors do strip down, and the book’s centerpiece scenes are faithfully recreated. But anyone hoping the movie would really push the S&M envelope may find Christian’s tastefully shot toy room a little… vanilla. We see a whip here, a handcuff there, but nothing that would shock even newcomers to the series.” — New York Daily Times

“Even by movie standards, the flogging is more ceremonial than sadistic.” — Time

” Their first use of his playroom is packaged in a montage-y way that feels nonthreatening and more than a little generic, complete with intrusive pop-track accompaniment. A few dom-sub contract details and a couple of online photos notwithstanding, the movie maintains an artful restraint even as it talks dirty; the sex scenes suggest more than those of the standard Hollywood drama without quite going there.” — The Hollywood Reporter

“The celebrated kinky elements in Fifty Shades are so used as a tease in this considerably less explicit film (rated no more than R for, among other things, ‘some unusual behavior’) that when the worst does take place — it’s a painful and distinctly unpleasant whipping, if you must know — it feels so out of place it seems to have come from a different film altogether.” — Los Angeles Times

The Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson’s acting…

“The inscrutable Dornan’s a pretty good fit for control-freaky Christian, though he can’t keep that Irish lilt out of his lines. Johnson, for her part, makes Anastasia less annoying than the golly-gee-whiz hayseed she is in the book.” — New York Post

“Dornan, unfortunately, never evolves into anything more than a pretty face. But Johnson is a true find: She’s so committed, she makes Ana’s every discovery — in or out of the bedroom — convincing.” — New York Daily News

“Dornan’s Christian is a humorless caricature, while Johnson’s Ana is actually quite likable, funny and strong-willed. In a film full of flaws, Johnson is an undeniable bright spot.” — Associated Press

“Dornan, a charismatic presence, largely nails (among other things) the combination of intense formality and playful lewdness that defines Christian Grey, but he proves rather less skilled at illuminating the complex inner life of a sexual deviant.” — Variety

Fifty Shades of Grey is out in theaters now. The movie currently has a 33 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.