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'Barbie' Movie Review: Lives Up to the Hype Most of the Time

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Barbie is the summer blockbuster that subverts expectations but has some snags that fall flat, in my opinion. Margot Robbie's Barbie and Ryan Gosling's Ken are great, with Gosling stealing the show and giving the best performance in the movie. Although I thought the movie was good, it sometimes tries too hard to get its point across and goes on for too long, even with its short runtime.

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken
via Warner Bros. Pictures

In the beginning, we see kids throwing out their baby dolls after seeing a giant Margot Robbie as Barbie. It is a great introduction shot for the movie, while everything else, in the beginning, drags on until you get about the 20-minute mark of the movie. Once they go to the real world, the movie really picks up as Barbie realizes she didn't cure all of the real world's problems and, frankly, finds out that the real world stinks. This is a hard reality to swallow for Barbie, and she wants to go back to Barbie Land, a place she is familiar with.

Another part of the movie that I didn't love was the ending. In my opinion, it was a very confusing end and, like the beginning, dragged on too long. There were multiple times in the last 15 to 20 minutes to end it better than what they landed on. While it does drag on for me and tries to force its message onto you, I still had a great time watching this movie.

Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and Simu Liu in Barbie
via Warner Bros. Pictures

It is the funniest film I have seen in a theater in a long time. There were multiple times in the movie when the packed theater let out a collective chuckle. It also doesn't go the way it expects you to go, as it's a very unpredictable movie, in the best way possible. Barbie is worthy of the praise it is getting. Barbie really embodies what it is and what it is supposed to be, and Margot Robbie makes you believe in her character and what she stands for.

The real star of this movie is Ryan Gosling, who plays Ken in the movie. Every time you saw Gosling on screen, he stole the scene and became the best part of it. Whether it was a joke, a song (which is really good), or when he is seen at his most vulnerable or when he is most in power. Any type of role Gosling is supposed to play, he plays it well. You'll feel for Ken and what he is trying to search for. Ken's character development has to be one of my favorite parts of the movie, if not my favorite part of this movie. The Oscar buzz for Gosling is warranted, and I believe he should be nominated.

Ryan Gosling as Ken in Barbie
via Warner Bros. Pictures

Barbie also has great guest performances, namely Michael Cera's Allan or America Ferrera's Gloria. Cera puts all of his quirky and weird energy into this movie, and Ferrera is the heart of this movie in the third act. The film is also very easy on the eyes, with some aesthetically pleasing backdrops in almost every scene. The whole crew put their all into this movie and had fun while doing it.

So while I would change some things about the movie, that doesn't mean I don't like the way director Greta Gerwig intended. It is a fun time at the theater, and if you had plans or want to make plans to go see this movie, you should see it at the movies. It is a good movie and definitely lives up to the hype and promotion they poured into it.

Rating: 7.5/10

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