An erotically-charged movie about tennis? A high-energy sports drama with sex and intrigue? All directed by Call Me By Your Name and Bones and All helmer Luca Guadagnino? It all sounds so crazy that it just might work, and according to the critics, Challengers really, really, does. The reviews are stellar and some are calling it the best sports movie for years.

At the time of writing, it is at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, so in the top tier so far for 2024.


It tells the story of a former tennis prodigy turned coach whose husband, a tennis champion himself but on a losing streak, must face off against her former boyfriend and his best friend in a match.

What do the reviews say?

“Justin Kuritzkes’ script… subverts the typical stakes of each match in order to focus on the animating thrill of wanting something with every flooded sweat gland on your body.”

David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“Smart, seductive and bristling with sexual tension, Challengers is arguably Luca Guadagnino’s most purely pleasurable film to date; it’s certainly his lightest and most playful.”

David Rooney, THR

“The plot of ‘Challengers’ might sound stale, and yet, there’s an electric spark to Guadagnino’s approach that elevates the material, rendering it fresh.”

Peter DeBruge, Variety

“Operating at the peak of his powers, Luca Guadagnino has the time of his life with this practically sadistic exploration of unrelenting obsession.”

Alex Godfrey, Empire

“Right to the final exhilarating moments, Challengers plays a bold game – sports action so visceral you can feel the sweat dripping off the screen, along with the emotional rallying that occurs off the court.”

Liz Shannon Miller, Consequence

“Erotically charged, intricately plotted and breathlessly stylish, Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers delivers pleasure at every turn.”

Alonso Duralde, The Film Verdict

“It’s a treat to see three comparatively young actors nailing the kind of understated flirty gravitas that the stars of movies for grownups used to exhibit in earlier eras.”

Matt Zoller Seitz,

The movie stars Zendaya, The Crown star Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist (West Side Story).  Challengers lands in theaters on April 26th.

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