Critics have rarely had anything positive to say about installments of the X-Men franchise, but they're fairly approving of the latest one. X-Men First Class , writes Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post , "happily delivers on the escapism and rich narrative texture the best of its predecessors have promised. With action, atmosphere and mixed feelings to burn ... it seems well on its way to giving the well-traveled X-Men franchise a resuscitating breath of genetically superior, nuclear-powered life." Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News says it's the "kind of movie that goes great with extra butter." She adds;"It's big, bright, savvy, and so expansive you'll undoubtedly leave feeling you got your money's worth." It "isn't a masterpiece" Joe Morgenstern sums up in the Wall Street Journal , "but it's summer entertainment of a very high Grade that leaves you with an appetite for more of the same." Several critics simply give the movie a C grade -- "moderately engrossing," Michael Phillips calls it in the Chicago Tribune -- and all suggest it's a major improvement over the last X-Men edition. But Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times is unimpressed. "It would take a brain far more telepathically powerful than that of Professor X to untangle what went wrong with X-Men First Class, " she writes, "but misplaced and misplayed ambition, to say nothing of a massive misspent budget, comes to my nonmutant mind."