Rotten Tomatoes: 83% (30 reviews) with 7.1 in average rating
Metacritic: 73/100 (40 critics)
Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, Avatar: The Way of Water begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive, and the tragedies they endure.
- James Cameron
- James Cameron, Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver
- James Cameron, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Josh Friedman & Shane Salerno
- Simon Franglen
Stephen E. Rivkin, David Brenner, John Refoua & James Cameron
- $350-400 million
- December 16, 2022
- Sam Worthington as Jake Sully
- Zoe Saldaña as Neytiri
- Sigourney Weaver as Kiri
- Stephen Lang as Colonel Miles Quaritch
- Kate Winslet as Ronal
- Cliff Curtis as Tonowari
- Giovanni Ribisi as Parker Selfridge
- Edie Falco as General Frances Ardmore
- Brendan Cowell as Captain Mick Scoresby
- Jemaine Clement as Dr. Ian Garvin
- CCH Pounder as Mo'at
-David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
-David Ehrlich, IndieWire: A-Does it matter if “The Way of Water” doesn’t elicit the same response when I watch it at home? Not really — I know that it won’t. Does it matter that Cameron is continuing to “save” the movies by rendering them almost unrecognizable from the rest of the medium? His latest sequel would suggest that even the most alien bodies can serve as proper vessels for the spirits we hold sacred. For now, the only thing that matters is that after 13 years of being a punchline, “going back to Pandora” just became the best deal on Earth for the price of a movie ticket.
-Owen Gleiberman, VarietyEvoking that movie (Titanic) is a tactical mistake, because it reminds you that “Titanic” was a jaw-dropping spectacle with characters who touched us to the core. I’m sorry, but as I watched “The Way of Water” the only part of me that was moved was my eyeballs.
-William Bibbiani, The WrapBy the time it crests, whatever the film’s many other flaws may be, we are invested, and we are ultimately rewarded with a truly spectacular, awe-inspiring finale. All’s well that ends well, I guess. Even if all was a pretty mixed bag beforehand.
-Tom Jorgensen, IGN: 8.0 "great"Avatar: The Way of Water is a thoughtful, sumptuous return to Pandora, one which fleshes out both the mythology established in the first film and the Sully family’s place therein. It may not be the best sequel James Cameron has ever made (which is a very high bar), but it’s easily the clearest improvement on the film that preceded it. The oceans of Pandora see lightning striking in the same place twice, expanding the visual language the franchise has to work with in beautiful fashion. The simple story may leave you crying “cliché,” but as a vehicle for transporting you to another world, it’s good enough to do the job. This is nothing short of a good old-fashioned Cameron blockbuster, full of filmmaking spectacle and heart, and an easy recommendation for anyone looking to escape to another world for a three-hour adventure.
-Nick De Semlyen, Empire: 5/5James Cameron has surfaced with a cosmic marine epic that only he could make: eccentric, soulful, joyous, dark and very, very blue. Yes, he’s still leagues ahead of the pack.
-Tomris Laffly, The A.V. Club: AThe whole package here is so ambitious, yet intimate and gently tempered in its quieter moments, that it feels heartening to be reminded of what a big-budget Hollywood movie can be when it refuses to get crushed under pointless piles of rubble and noise. Confessionally, this critic wishes that Cameron had room in his schedule to put out more than one film in over a decade and original movies in addition to the ones that belong to this big beautiful franchise. Still, it’s significant to have him back with a picture that feels like a theatrical event to be celebrated, nowadays a retro idea occasionally reminded by the likes of Nope and Top Gun: Maverick. These are Cameron’s own waters, and it’s significant to see him effortlessly swim in them again.
-David Sims, The AtlanticMaintaining a sense of stakes will be necessary for the series going forward, especially if it plans on rolling out new entries at a quicker pace. But for The Way of Water, the decadence is more than enough—for cinemas that have been starved of authentic spectacle, finally, here’s a gorgeous three-course meal of it.
-Brian Truitt, USA Today: 3/4While Cameron is a master of franchise sequels, “Way of Water” doesn’t measure up to his classics, “Aliens” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” But thanks to new personalities and vivid wildlife, on the whole, this latest trip does prove, perhaps surprisingly to some after such a long period between movies, that there’s still some gas in the “Avatar” tank after all.
-Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian: 2/5And what do we find aside from the high-tech visual superstructure? The floatingly bland plot is like a children’s story without the humour; a YA story without the emotional wound; an action thriller without the hard edge of real excitement.
-Robbie Collin, The Telegraph: 1/5Will it end up making $2 billion, as Cameron claims it must in order to inch into profit? With a Chinese release date secured, it may, though I suspect British audiences will find their patience tested. For all its world-building sprawl, The Way of Water is a horizon-narrowing experience – the sad sight of a great filmmaker reversing up a creative cul-de-sac.
-Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly: A-The movie's overt themes of familial love and loss, its impassioned indictments of military colonialism and climate destruction, are like a meaty hand grabbing your collar; it works because they work it.
-Keith Uhlich, Slant Magazine: 3/4For all the genuine thrills provided by its pioneering pageantry, Way of Water ultimately leaves you with a soul-nagging query: What price entertainment?
-Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times: 3.5/4If I had two separate categories to judge James Cameron’s motion-capture epic “Avatar: The Way of Water,” I’d give it four stars for Visuals and two and a half for Story, and I’m in charge of the math here so I’m awarding three and a half stars to “TWAW” for some of the most dazzling, vibrant and gorgeous images I’ve ever seen on the big screen.
-Richard Lawson, Vanity FairThere is, really, no one else who does it like Cameron anymore, someone who so (perhaps recklessly) advances filmmaking technology to make manifest the spectacle in his head while staying ever-attentive of antiquated ideals like sentiment and idiosyncrasy. Watching The Way of Water, one rolls their eyes only to realize they’re welling with tears. One stretches and shifts in their seat before accepting, with a resigned and happy plop, that they could watch yet another hour of Cameron’s preservationist epic. Lucky for us—lucky even for the culture, maybe—that at least a few more of those are on their way.
-Matt Singer, ScreenCrush: 7/10His meticulous craftsmanship shows in every amazing sequence like that final battle at sea. If the story occasionally seems a bit all over the place, well, there are worse things in the world than a filmmaker throwing every last morsel of creativity into his work. You can’t say The Way of Water doesn’t give you your money’s worth, especially in the visual department. This thing’s got enough eye candy to give you ocular diabetes.
-Stephanie Zacharek, TIMEAvatar: The Way of Water is both more extravagant and dorkier than Avatar, which was pretty dorky to begin with.
-Jordan Hoffman, PolygonCameron leans all the way into manic mayhem, smash-cutting from one outrageous image to the next. The final act of this movie shows off a freeing attitude he’s never fully embraced before.