Note: We're pushing this back up top now that we've updated with more substantial reviews. You'll be seeing our review(s) -- as well as so much more coverage (trust me when I say this sucker is totally worthy of it) -- in the coming days.

While the official Avatar Day took place back in August, the unofficial Avatar Day is today, as critics from across the country (and in London) will be seeing James Cameron's Avatar for the first time, one week before its official debut. As I write this, the film's premiere is getting underway in London and the first press screenings are letting out. The London critics had to sign a piece of paper promising not to review the film until Monday, but with so many screenings here in the states, it's a bit sketchy as to what precautions are being taken here. Needless to say, reactions are beginning to pour onto the web. Will Avatar really change the way we watch movies? Let's take a look ...

"... the terrible film that some had been anticipating had not materialised. It was good ... There is, though, a certain amount of suspension of disbelief needed when watching Avatar. Cynics might sneer at the plot ... There is more shock and awe in this movie than almost any other." - The Guardian

"It's a world, not to give too much away, that Cameron clearly fully intends to return to and further explore. When he does, our bags are already packed." -- Empire

"An epic film born entirely of Cameron's imagination, Avatar uses tailor-made technology to create the most astonishing visual effects yet seen on screen and blends them seamlessly into a mythical sci-fi story." -- Screen International
One critic who wished to remain anonymous for now: "Was not as thrilled by Avatar as my colleagues; eye-popping visuals, but story is Dances w/Wolves + District 9; I preferred District 9."

"In years of development and four years of production no detail in the pic is unimportant. Cameron's collaborators excel beginning with the actors. Whether in human shape or as natives, they all bring terrific vitality to their roles." -- The Hollywood Reporter

"Avatar is all-enveloping and transporting, with Cameron & Co.'s years of R&D paying off with a film that, as his work has done before, raises the technical bar and throws down a challenge for the many other filmmakers toiling in the sci-fi/fantasy realm. " -- Variety

Twitter reactions after the jump ...
categories Cinematical