According to Rotten Tomatoes’ tomatometer, 85 percent of "Avatar’s" critical reviews have been positive, earning the movie a “Certified Fresh” designation. Additionally, Metacritic accords "Avatar" universal acclaim on the basis of 35 critics’ reviews.
According to IMDb, which rates the film at 7.9 out of 10, "Avatar" was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning the awards for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. The film was also nominated for four Golden Globe awards, winning the awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director.
Renowned movie reviewer Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave "Avatar" four out of four stars and compared the groundbreaking nature of its use of visual effects to that of the original "Star Wars" in the 1970s. The New York Times listed "Avatar" as a top critics’ pick and praised the film’s compelling narrative and spectacular visual experience as “glorious”.
The film’s Metacritic page includes a quote from the New York Post’s reviewer stating that despite its nearly three-hour runtime, "Avatar" was “never boring”. However, another reviewer praised the film’s technical innovations more than its content, admitting that "Avatar" may not be a great movie by conventional standards but is nonetheless “a great step forward in moviemaking.”