John Wick: Chapter 4 first reactions call it one of the best 'action movies ever made'

Keanu Reeves fights with nunchucks in John Wick: Chapter 4
Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4 (Image credit: Murray Close/Lionsgate)

March is truly the first big movie month of 2023, with a number of high-profile new movies coming out. But perhaps none are more anticipated than John Wick: Chapter 4, the latest entry in the hugely popular action franchise that stars Keanu Reeves as the world's greatest assassin constantly forced to go up against other highly-skilled killers.

John Wick: Chapter 4 premieres for general audiences on Friday, March 24, but the action movie held a premiere in London on March 6, as well as some satellite screenings where many critics got to be among the first to lay their eyes on it. While official reviews are currently embargoed, they were allowed to share some initial reactions on social media and they are almost all universally positive, with many saying that John Wick: Chapter 4 is one of the best action movies they’ve seen in years and an early contender for best movie of the year.

Molly Edwards, writing for What to Watch's sister site Gamesradar, called John Wick: Chapter 4 "NEXT LEVEL" with some of the best action sequences of the series helping to make it her favorite movie of the year so far.

She is not alone in that sentiment, as many were blown away by the action and the epic scope of the movie:

Part of that epic scope is the nearly three-hour runtime that John Wick: Chapter 4 has (the movie officially clocks in at 2 hours and 49 minutes). Many movie fans complain that movies are just getting longer and longer, but those who sat through the most recent John Wick believe that it earns just about every minute, including Cinemablend's Eric Eisenberg. 

One of the few reactions that isn’t a flat out rave comes from Total Film's Jordan Farley, who still praises the movie’s action sequences, but more that they lacked a variety and some of the action isn’t believable. 

John Wick: Chapter 4 sees Keanu Reeves, joined by a massive ensemble of allies and enemies, including Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård, Hiroyuki Sanada, Rina Sawayama, Shamier Anderson, Lance Reddick, Scott Adkins, Natalia Tena and Clancy Brown. Chad Stahelski returns to direct as he has all of the John Wick movies.

The official synopsis for John Wick: Chapter 4 reads: "John Wick uncovers a path to defeating The High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes."

John Wick: Chapter 4 premieres March 24 around the world exclusively in movie theaters.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.