Gaga and Al Pacino get raves while the film gets a range of critic reactions, from a "mess" of tones to "powerhouse" performances.

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The first reactions for Ridley Scott's highly anticipated murder drama have blessed the cast and crew with a wild, diverse batch of reviews that, for better or worse, run the tonal gamut in the name of the father, son, and House of Gucci.

As the social media embargo for the film lifted late Tuesday, journalists who attended screenings shared their initial thoughts on the starry true-crime epic, which follows the real-life murder-for-hire plot to assassinate fashion mogul Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), as orchestrated by his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga). EW critic Leah Greenblatt was among the first to tweet an impression of the project, writing that, while the film is "a mess" in "many ways," its aesthetic — including "camp accents" and "pure bonkers Ridley Scott melodrama" — felt like a "balm" for the soul in trying times.

We Live Entertainment's Scott Menzel wasn't as impressed, amplifying Greenblatt's sentiment about the film's messiness even further by calling it "bloated & uneven" before criticizing the performances as disjointed from one another. Still, he singled out Al Pacino, who plays former house chairman Aldo Gucci, as the film's "MVP" because the veteran actor "understood the assignment."

Variety awards writers Clayton Davis and Jazz Tangcay, on the other hand, praised Gaga's work in particular; the former speculated that the film will "divide" critics, but that Gaga "eats every morsel of her role up." Tangcay went on to call Gaga a "tour-de-force and a powerhouse" and labeled the film a "spectacle" of celebrity and aesthetics.

House of Gucci
Lady Gaga in 'House of Gucci.'
| Credit: MGM

Vanity Fair's David Canfield also touted Gaga as a potential Best Actress Oscar contender, calling her work "funny and fearless," but noted that the structure of the movie itself "lets her down" in focusing its back half on Driver's Maurizio, which could impact her chances at a nomination.

Longtime awards prognosticator and IndieWire writer Anne Thompson projected that, given the film's inconsistency, it won't be supported by critics, but is a "crowdpleaser" thanks to performances from "scene-chewers" Gaga and (a barely recognizable) Jared Leto.

Leto previously told EW that he approached his portrayal of family outcast Paolo Gucci with "a lot of humor" on top of what was already baked into the script, which further helped him amplify an "immediate connection" to the character's outsider status as a maverick bucking tradition within the stuffy brand's trenches.

Jared Leto stars as Paolo Gucci in Ridley Scott’s HOUSE OF GUCCI
Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci in 'House of Gucci.'
| Credit: Fabio Lovino/MGM Studios

"I immediately saw [Paolo] as a dreamer, the black sheep of his family, someone never really heard," Leto said of portraying the eccentric, color-obsessed dandy, adding that he had to fight back tears on his last day of shooting because the process touched him so deeply: "I was successful in holding them back," he finished. "I didn't want to embarrass the entire set, but it was a really warm and wonderful experience — collaborative, creative, full of risk and reward, just incredibly special."

House of Gucci debuts Nov. 24 in theaters. Read on for the first social media reactions to the film.

Check out more from EW's The Awardist, featuring Oscars analysis, exclusive interviews, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's movies and performances.

Related content:

House of Gucci (2021 Movie)

Lady Gaga and Adam Driver front Ridley Scott’s grim-and-glam retelling of Patrizia Reggiani’s orchestration of her fashion mogul ex-husband’s murder — and it’s all dressed in jaw-dropping costumes that’ll have you praying to the Father, Son, and House of Gucci.

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  • Ridley Scott

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