"Prometheus" doesn't arrive in U.S. theaters until June 8, but the film debuts overseas this week in France, England, Russia and Belgium (among other countries), meaning critics are sorta free to weigh-in on Ridley Scott's epic.
There's still an embargo in place on U.S. writers, but both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety published spoiler-heavy takes on the film, while a handful of U.S. journalists tweeted vague opinions in lieu of full reviews.
"Ridley Scott's third venture into science-fiction, after 'Alien' in 1979 and 'Blade Runner' in 1982, won't become a genre benchmark like those classics despite its equivalent seriousness and ambition," wrote THR critic Todd McCarthy, "but it does supply enough visual spectacle, tense action and sticky, slithery monster attacks to hit the spot with thrill-seeking audiences worldwide."
Variety reviewer Justin Chang was a bit more harsh, noting that "Prometheus" is "earthbound in narrative terms" and doesn't live up to what "Alien" was able to accomplish in terms of scares.
"Incongruously backed by an orchestral surge of a score, the film conspicuously lacks the long, drawn-out silences and sense of menace in close quarters that made 'Alien' so elegantly unnerving," Chang wrote. "The picture's very structure serves to disperse rather than build tension."
That lack of genuine horror doesn't mean "Prometheus" fails, however, wrote Mark Adams for Screen Daily.
"While 'Prometheus' has some striking chilling moments it never plays the all-out horror card, instead developing the science alongside the action and punctuating the film with moments that jolt and amaze."
On Twitter, writers were more forgiving:
"I just saw #Prometheus last night -- it was AWESOME," posted Alex Billington from FirstShowing.net. "Loved it. Truly breathtaking, incredible, spectacular, thrilling sci-fi at its best."
Check out more reactions to the film below. Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Logan Marshall Green and Guy Pearce, "Prometheus" is out in U.S. theaters on June 8.