On the positive side,
- I consider it a blessing I didn't have to endure the Odetta/Detta/Susannah/Mia character from the books.
- I'm always glad to see Idris Elba, and Matthew McConaughey plays it up well.
- Roland is the main character in the books while the boy is just one of several supporting characters, but the film focuses on the boy and begins and ends with everything revolving around him and his "shine";
- The Man in Black is a motivating force in the background in the books instead of the scene-chewing CEO of Evil Bad Guys he's turned into in the film;
- The film is short and lacks the depth of the books, leaving out major motivating plot points that drive the books; and
- The iconic beginning in the first novel with Roland in the wilderness seems like the perfect way to begin the movie, and it seems such a wasted opportunity to neglect that.
The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Guardian have negative reviews.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 19%.