Zendaya's new movie Challengers called "incredibly hot" in rave first reactions

mike faist, zendaya and josh o'connor sit on a bed in challengers
Zendaya's new movie gets rave first reactions Warner Bros.

Zendaya's new movie Challengers is attracting rave reactions following its premiere, with critics describing it as "incredibly hot" and "sexy".

The upcoming film, which also stars West Side Story's Mike Faist and The Crown's Josh O'Connor, comes from Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino.

It sees Zendaya play Tashi Duncan, a former tennis prodigy who coaches her husband Art (Faist) as he tries to revive his tennis career.

mike faist, josh o connor and zendaya in challengers
Warner Bros.

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To jolt Art out of his losing streak, Tashi suggests he take part in a Challenger event, where he finds himself facing off against his former best friend and Tashi's ex-boyfriend Patrick (O'Connor).

Going by the first reactions on X (formerly Twitter), Dune star Zendaya may have another big hit on her hands, with Erik Anderson of AwardsWatch describing the film as "incredibly hot" and Zendaya as a "capital S Star".

Trace Sauveur was similarly enthusiastic, writing: "Challengers is some real electric character drama. Career-best performance from Zendaya and Faist & O’Connor are no slouches either. The pulsing Reznor/Ross electro score throbs over scenes of dialogue like they’re action sequences. Really alive-feeling movie."

josh o'connor and zendaya, challengers
Warner Bros.

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"Challengers is an unbelievably well-crafted drama from Luca Guadagnino that unravels to reveal its layers with plenty of style and intensity," wrote Carson Timar.

"The biggest highlights here are the performances from Zendaya, O'Connor, & Faist who all overdeliver. One of the best movies of 2024."

Jamie Arena added: "Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers is a juicy and sexy character drama. Zendaya, Faist, and O’Connor deliver a thrilling match on and off the court, complimented by a heart-pulsing electronic score that rocks."

zendaya in challengers
Warner Bros.

While it's clear the leading trio pull off some stellar performances, many critics had high praise for the film's score, with Leo Rydel describing it as "a character itself" and Michael Cuby calling it "sexy, loud and intense".

Lauren Veneziani also said the score is "intense and elevates the story", adding that she thinks Challengers is "Luca Guadagnino’s masterpiece".

Challengers will be released in the UK on April 26.

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