Upon release, the film received mostly negative reviews from critics for its content, though its visual style and cinematography was praised by some of the critics.
On review aggregation website, ReviewGang, the film scored 4.5/10 based on 10 critic reviews.
Rajeev Masand of IBN gave the film 1.5/5 and said, "Despite some eye-watering camerawork and a stunning action piece in the film's climax, the film -- especially its first half -- is a carelessly edited mess of long scenes that make little sense when strung together".
Masand: 'Raavan' is a bore of a film: Rating: 1.5 / 5
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama rated it 1.5/5 and said, "On the whole, Raavan is a king-sized disappointment, in terms of content".
By Taran Adarsh, June 18, 2010 - 08:27 IST: Rating 1.5/5
Raja Sen of Rediff rated it 2/5 and said, "Raavan truly and tragically fails us is in taking one of our greatest epics, and making it unforgivably boring".
Raja sen: Raavan is unforgivably boring: Rating 2/5
Sukanya Venkatraghavan of Filmfare rated the film 3/5 and said, "Raavan has its moments but it lacks depth. The first half is fairly riveting but the second half slowly slips into a coma".
Sukanya: Rating 3/5
Nikhat Kazmi of Times of India rated it favourably at 3.5/5 saying, "There are enough punches in the second half to keep the momentum going, but by and large, the film scores mostly on art and aesthete".
Cath Clarke of The Guardian gave the film a rating of 2/5 and found it sexist.
Cath Clarke: : Rating 2/5