Though full reviews won't be coming out until later this week (mine will hopefully be up before the weekend), early word on "X-Men: First Class" is that it may not only be the best in the franchise, but the best Marvel movie to date.
Drew McWeeny of Hitfix has been very outspoken of Fox's handling of the franchise in the past, and with good reason. Here though, he says "I am happier overall with "X-Men: First Class" than with any other film released so far in the "X-Men" franchise… This is ground zero, and I think Fox just got it right, really right, in a way I can't say it feels like they have on any of their Marvel films so far." He also professes his love for all things Michael Fassbender - sigh, I know that feeling all too well.
Hitfix's own editor, Greg Ellwood, is a man whose cinematic taste I admire a lot and is certainly no over eager fanboy when it comes to comic movies. His reaction? "Even better than Spider-Man 2, Iron Man or any Marvel movie so far in my opinion. Ambitious, smart and when it's good, it's very good. Not Nolan level though."
Bleeding Cool raved about James McAvoy's performance and says the film "contains some of the briskest and most efficient storytelling I've seen in any recent blockbuster," though admits some of the minor characters "get short shrift" like Riptide, Azazel, Darwin and Moira McTaggart to a lesser extent.