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Surrogates (2009)

tomatometer

39

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 112
Fresh: 44 | Rotten: 68

Though it sports a slick look and feel, Surrogates fails to capitalize on a promising premise, relying instead on mindless action and a poor script.

50

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 12

Though it sports a slick look and feel, Surrogates fails to capitalize on a promising premise, relying instead on mindless action and a poor script.

audience

38

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 294,129

My Rating

Movie Info

The filmmaking trio behind the hit sci-fi sequel Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines re-team to explore a future in which humans live in isolation while only communicating with their fellow man through robots that serve as social surrogates and are better-looking versions of their human counterparts. Bruce Willis stars as an FBI agent who enlists the aid of his own surrogate to investigate the murder of the genius college student who invented the surrogates. As the case grows more complicated,

Jan 26, 2010

$38.5M

Touchstone Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (115) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (68) | DVD (11)

Surrogates is an A-list blockbuster that would fit, damn proudly, on the lower half of a double bill.

September 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Whatever the reason, Surrogates was shielded from the eyes of critics before its opening, and that's a shame. Because, whatever its flaws, it is a good movie.

September 27, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelViews | Comments (2)
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If the whole point of this surrogate society is to appear as a perfectly beautiful avatar, why would Bruce Willis choose that ludicrous blond wig that looks like he plucked it off a mannequin at Boscov's?

September 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Comments (4)
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Surrogates is entertaining and ingenious, but it settles too soon for formula.

September 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (4)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The premise for this sci-fi actioner makes sense for about four seconds, after which you begin to wonder why everyone on the planet would willingly become a shut-in, how the poor are supposed to shell out for these high-tech androids, etc.

September 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (3)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Give credit to filmmaker Jonathan Mostow for keeping the movie on track; give credit to star Bruce Willis for keeping a straight face.

September 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately, Surrogates isn't going to break any records, but it's the kind of movie I'd stop at while channel surfing and watch the whole thing on a Saturday afternoon.

July 21, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Underneath its typical Hollywood exterior there is a decent movie waiting to shine through. But so much else is just typical of the genre, it's hard to summon any more enjoyment from it.

March 30, 2011 Full Review Source: ComingSoon.net
ComingSoon.net

Fails to land a killing blow that pays off the simplified mystery with any distinct urgency. It's a flawed film, but far from unbearable. Nothing a DVD director's cut couldn't fix.

June 2, 2010 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com
BrianOrndorf.com

A film that raises many interesting ideas but follows through on few of them.

February 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Views

I wish I had a surrogate to watch it for me.

February 15, 2010 Full Review Source: 3BlackChicks Review | Comments (7)
3BlackChicks Review

A smart little genre outing, an endangered species in modern Hollywood. [Blu-ray]

February 4, 2010 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Surrogates establishes an intriguing premise for exploring a world in which virtual life trumps physical reality, but the thematic potential is squandered in favor of a by-the-numbers police procedural.

January 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

Yetta nudder cautionary tale issuing dire warnings about the pitfalls of technology run amuck.

January 22, 2010 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze | Comments (3)
NewsBlaze

Sure, it's made capably, in a technical sense. But it's banal, utterly predictable and often quite stupid.

January 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

I would have liked to explore this world more and not keep slamming into some convoluted scheme that defeats its own purpose. I had fun watching it, but I actually thought the movie was smarter than its plot.

December 15, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinerina

full review at Movies for the Masses

December 10, 2009 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

Seems less like a 21st Century would-be blockbuster than a lost 80's relic only just rediscovered. Either way, we're lucky to have it.

November 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

The end result is somewhat underwhelming. It's more of a novella than a novel, and hardly the science fiction action blockbuster audiences were expecting.

November 17, 2009
fantastiqueZINE

...viewers with even a passing interest in science fiction will find something worth embracing here.

November 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Good ideas rub up against bad ideas, and the result is a movie that is worth a look but could have been much more.

October 31, 2009 Full Review Source: Christianity Today
Christianity Today

This predictable flick executed in a numbingly pedestrian fashion, has slapped a nifty conceit onto its threadbare mystery-thriller plot, but has somehow managed to miss every opportunity to take advantage of it

October 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Killer Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Killer Movie Reviews

Has all the get-up-and-go of a dead battery.

October 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness | Comment (1)
Lessons of Darkness

Its humanity, some cool technology and Bruce Willis save this film from simply being a compilation of a zillion similarly themed "too much technology" lessons.

October 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

SF chillers of the past that warned about dehumanization -- 'Invaders from Mars,' for example -- posited an outside threat; now, in a 21st-century world of plastic surgery and online avatars, the danger comes from within: the dehumanization is voluntary.

October 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Semi-plausible and semi-watchable futuristic (but still looking like today's world) dystopian 'save the world' sci-fi thriller.

October 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Surrogates

In the near future, the population has taken to living their own lives vicariously through the use of robotic avatars but when an assassin starts destroying the machines and their users with a top secret weapon, a lone FBI agent begins to question the value of his isolated, second hand life. The premise of Surrogates has a lot of promise; it's clearly a parody of the logical conclusion of social media and the obsession with superficial appearance and the decreasing face to face interactions of everyday life. In this it is reminiscent of the work of Philip K. Dick with a dash of Isaac Asimov. In fact the story plays out like a darker, seedier version of I, Robot but in a lot of ways it just isn't quite dark enough. Bruce Willis brings the same kind of desperation and vulnerability he brought to Twelve Monkeys which works really well but the studio's desperation to snag that 12 certificate compromises the script somewhat, leaving a halfway house between clever social commentary and generic sci-fi action thriller that makes it feel a little uneven. It's certainly not bad though, and it's certainly a lot smarter and more entertaining than the average Michael Bay debacle.
September 26, 2013
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Decent enough movie, just nothing special. Could have been so much better.
January 13, 2013
stuartb1234

Super Reviewer

Surrogates is a sci-fi thriller very much in the style of Phillip K. Dick but is much better than most of the films based on his work, certainly the ones of recent years. It's had a lot of bad press, most of it unfair in my opinion. Maybe many felt let down because of the low budget vs. huge potential but then I think you can spoil a story like this with overblown budgets, for me the balance was right. Many people still haven't forgiven Jonathan Mostow for Terminator 3 but then again, I also didn't think that deserved the bad press it received. It's better than most of the garbage Hollywood churns out trying to master this genres.
November 22, 2011
SirPant

Super Reviewer

    1. Peters: This is agent Peters, I've found Greer, he's been in an accident at Market Hanover.
    – Submitted by James W (2 years ago)
    1. The Prophet: Look at yourselves. Unplug from your chairs, get up and look in the mirror. What you see is how God made you. We're not meant to experience the world through a machine.
    – Submitted by rob g (2 years ago)
    1. Male Newscaster: Still no official word on when, or if, surrogate services can be restored. It appears, at least for now that we are on our own.
    – Submitted by rob g (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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