Film criticism is itself a highly political process, particularly WRT films that purport to deal with social issues/social history--and some amount of slanting of those issues, whether directed at the film itself or at various aspects of the critical response is inevitable.
SPIKED's review, as is customary for that publication, is a libertarian "meta-critique" aimed largely at left-leaning precepts--and, as is usually the case, it fails at providing anything more than such a takedown.
Speaking as one who clearly values quantitative methods in the service of analyzing film, I hesitate to embrace the Metacritic aggregate score by itself, preferring to see it as a rough guide to critical response. Reading the various reviews of ONCE UPON A TIME... will reveal many carefully crafted accounts that are a good bit more qualified in their praise of the film than the individual scores they've been assigned will reflect. A really good example of this can be found in Jim Hoberman's review at the New York Review of Books site (I'm presuming it may also have appeared in the most recent print version).
For possibly the best example of the bifurcation that many publications practice with regards to a film by a celebrity director can be seen in the current issue of SIGHT & SOUND, where Kim Morgan really should have been wearing a cheerleader's uniform during her conversation with QT about aspects of the film that escalate precipitously in their wonkiness. This is, as we'd expect, a featured interview in the most accessible area of the magazine; in the deeper recesses of S&S's September edition is an actual review of the film--one that is much more guarded in its assessment of the film.
Similar bet-hedging can be seen at many other publications, ranging from THE NEW YORKER to the THE NATIONAL REVIEW.
Rather than talk about the critics--at least at the outset--let's all see the film and discuss it. It's not noir, but we have no "moderator" here at this point, so we can do what we want.