The reviews are in for “Call Me By Your Name” and “Bones and All” director Luca Guadagnino’s erotically-charged and high-energy tennis drama “Challengers” and the critics are swooning – dubbing it the best sports movie in years.

With 52 reviews counted, the film sits with an astonishing score of 96% (8.5/10) on Rotten Tomatoes which immediately pegs it as one of the year’s best films.

The response is similar on Metacritic, where it has landed an 88/100, which is easily the best score for a wide-release film this year so far – the next nearest is “Dune: Part Two” at 79/100.

On top of that, there’s a lot of commercial potential for the film as many praise its as light, smart, flirty and fresh. Here’s a sampling of review quotes:

“Smart, seductive and bristling with sexual tension, Challengers is arguably Luca Guadagnino’s most purely pleasurable film to date; it’s certainly his lightest and most playful.” – David Rooney, THR

“The plot of ‘Challengers’ might sound stale, and yet, there’s an electric spark to Guadagnino’s approach that elevates the material, rendering it fresh.” – Peter DeBruge, Variety

“Justin Kuritzkes’ script… subverts the typical stakes of each match in order to focus on the animating thrill of wanting something with every flooded sweat gland on your body.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“Right to the final exhilarating moments, Challengers plays a bold game – sports action so visceral you can feel the sweat dripping off the screen, along with the emotional rallying that occurs off the court.” – Liz Shannon Miller, Consequence

“Operating at the peak of his powers, Luca Guadagnino has the time of his life with this practically sadistic exploration of unrelenting obsession.” – Alex Godfrey, Empire

“It’s a treat to see three comparatively young actors nailing the kind of understated flirty gravitas that the stars of movies for grownups used to exhibit in earlier eras.” – Matt Zoller Seitz,

“Erotically charged, intricately plotted and breathlessly stylish, Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers delivers pleasure at every turn.” – Alonso Duralde, The Film Verdict

“Guadagnino has little feel for dramatic rhythm with the effort, often slipping into soap opera mode when he’s not crafting perhaps the most overdirected picture since Michael Bay’s ‘Ambulance’” – Brian Orndorf,

“Euphoria” and “Dune” star Zendaya, “God’s Own Country” and “The Crown” star Josh O’Connor, and “West Side Story” breakout Mike Faist star in the story of a former tennis prodigy turned coach whose husband, a tennis champion on a losing streak, must face off against her former boyfriend and his best friend in a match.

“Challengers” is set to arrive in cinemas on April 26th.

The post “Challengers” Scores Stunning Reviews appeared first on Dark Horizons.

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