Everything You Need to Know About: ‘Doctor Strange’

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Right now, we’re in the middle of Marvel Studios’ golden era. The onetime purveyors of comic books now dole out gigantic blockbusters nearly every season with impressive casts and dynamic, engaging stories that always get people talking. The fun continues this weekend with Doctor Strange, in which the titular character (Benedict Cumberbatch) is pitted against the vengeful sorcerer Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelson) in a mind-bending, special effects-laden showdown. Sound worthwhile? Here are all the details!

Who’s in it?

Cumberbatch and Mikkelson are joined by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benjamin Bratt, Tilda Swinton and more.

What’s it about?

Stephen Strange is an arrogant neurosurgeon who loses the use of his hands. In an effort to recover, he becomes a pupil of the Ancient One (Swinton) in Kathmandu, Nepal where he learns about other dimensions as well as harnessing his own power. Another of the Ancient One’s pupils has set out to bring down the mystic by releasing a powerful entity from another dimension into our world, forcing Doctor Strange to take action.

Why should I care?

Sure, it’s a comic book adaptation that’s loaded with elaborate costumes and vague struggles for the future of humanity, but Marvel has a way of always remembering not to take itself too seriously, even when the fate of the world is at stake. Besides, this would be a promising film even without its top-tier cast.

Here’s what critics are saying: 

“No affinity for superheroes or familiarity with Marvel mythology is required to enjoy the visual spectacle that is Doctor Strange. Being open to mysticism and the possibility of parallel dimensions might help, though.”

-Sandy Cohen [Associated Press]

“A kaleidoscope of weirdness and innovative visual effects successfully introduce the newest Marvel superhero in director/co-writer Scott Derrickson’s brilliantly bizarre Doctor Strange.”

-Brian Truitt [USA Today]

“Casts a few impressive spells of its own, not the least of which is the redemption of the visual-effects extravaganza. This funny, freaky adventure reminds us of how effective VFX can be when they’ve got some imagination behind them.”

-Alonso Duralde [TheWrap]

“Marvel is getting increasingly good at delivering great movies based on material that shouldn’t really work on film.”

-Britton Peele [Dallas Morning News]