The Island - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Island Reviews

Page 1 of 9
Super Reviewer
December 12, 2012
This film is one of those 80's gems that have been neglected by critics and filmgoers. I was pleasantly surprised that this one wasn't as bad as what everyone has claimed it to be. The film does a good job at combining certain genres of film, and it works. While combining a few different elements of various genres of film, director Michael Ritchie crafts this underrated 80's survival horror gem mixed with thrills, action and adventure. As far as I'm concerned, this one is a fun, entertaining two hours that is fairly mindless if you can forget how corny it is. The strengths of the film lie in the use of multiple genre elements to create its story, and in turn, it manages to be an entertaining ride. The film's biggest problem is that it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of a memorable plot. The good ideas were here, but it suffers due to the fact that director Ritchie tries to pack so much material that is unfinished in a two hour run time. The film goes from a survival horror flick to a thriller and action film without smooth transition and it leaves you wanting more out of the film. For what it is, it's fun, but it could also have been better considering the plot. I don't think this is a bad film, I just feel it's a tad underdeveloped. In terms of survival horror/thrillers are concerned, This one works as a pleasant time waster, just don't go expected a great film with this one as this one leaves a lot to be desired.
Super Reviewer
May 5, 2007
It takes a good hour for this movie to finally reveal it's true colors as the 70's era Michael Caine fighting 18th century pirates movie that it is.

And I'm sorry to report that it isn't nearly as cool as it sounds, mainly because Ritchie clearly can't direct traffic, let alone the action sequences in this film. Almost everyone of them is plagued with bad under-cranking (thats sped up action for those of you playing at home.) And while the film tries to walk the fine line of surreality, it constant plummets off the cliffs on silliness.

In one of the earlier scenes in the movie, Michal Caine is guilt-ed into buying his son a handgun, by his son. If you feel thats a slightly odd thing to happen, well then you are in for a treat. Because the strangeness keeps on keeping on.

There a couple of cool scenes. The William Tell-esque scene is fun, the storming of a yuppie yacht is pretty cool too. But instead of concentrating on the awesomeness of Caine fighting pirates, it instead concentrates on Caine's son becoming a pirate. the picture ends up feeling like a tarted up version of Hook with a bit of nudity.

That said, I must repeat. Michael Caine fights pirates (for about 30 minutes)
Super Reviewer
June 7, 2007
Kinda corny yet mostly charming adventure/thriller with Caine delivering his occasional deadpan humor as only he can. Other than a really terrible scene involving a would-be Bruce Lee the film is pretty cringe free considering it's a 1980 Universal film.
Super Reviewer
May 26, 2009
I haven't seen this film since I was a kid, and it holds up quite well.
The tale is based on a Peter Benchley(Jaws) novel, and tells the story of an inquisitive reporter who flys to the Caribbean to investigate mysterious ocean disappearances. Blair Maynard's(Michael Caine) plane goes down in a questionable area where he and his son are stranded on some remote island. They are soon to be captured by realistic pirates who inflict various tortures on them forcing Maynard to devise an escape that seems somewhat impossible.
The brilliant Ennio Morricone composed the score which adds to the film's eerie mood of island purgatory
Super Reviewer
March 12, 2012
Showing my son a different old school movie from my past every night of the march break and tonight's film was The Island starring Michael Caine ia movie i saw for the first time roughly when i was 12 myself. Re watching this film anytime i have seen it always seems to hook my interest as one thing i will say for movies of that decade they may have been a tad cheesy, however at least they were original. Michael Caine portrays a reporter who wants to head down to Florida to write the big story on several vessels that had mysteriously dissapeared around the Bermuda Triangle. He is soon to find out his ex wife has just dumped their son on him without any notice so he promises a trip to Disneyworld and takes him along.

Upon arriving they are told by a fisherman the exact location of the last boats and crew to go missing so they charter a plane and head out. They meet up with a british fellow who convinces Michael Caine to take his son fishing, even lending him a boat to charter. Un-beknowest to them the adventure they were about to partake in. They are taken hostage by a band of Buccanneers (18th century pirate wannabees) Caine spends the rest of the film trying to get his know brainwashed son off the island.

I dug this movie and always have majorally due to the fact of it's originaility something that is definatly lacking in Hollyweird these days!!!
January 15, 2014
Another To-Watch Pile selection that I checked out in advance of listening to a podcast review. I think I might've liked this a tad more had it maintained the supernatural feel of the first attack, but knowing that it's a human force that seafarers are up against sort of demystified things a bit.

½ May 3, 2007
I think this movie is really underrated! I finally found an out of print VHS of it and im watchin it now-very cool.I like the premise and its one of Michael Caine's best.
April 14, 2008
Dated, bit slow, but the payoff's great and it's cool to see an R-rated pirate film set in modern times, with Michael Caine kicking ass and some pretty brutal portrayals of "pirate life." Enjoyable piece of genre/b-movie fun that's particularly mean and nasty in places. The .30 cal scene at the end was VERY refreshing. :)
½ May 1, 2007
I'm not usually into sci-fi, but this was a great sci-fi/suspense. Scarlet Johanson shined in this movie.
April 25, 2007
what makes this movie better than any johnny depp pirate movie is that this movie could hypotheticaly been true based on history and the numerous unexplored islands off Florida. Made really well by Benchley and holds your attention beginning to end, especially since it was done in 1980
Super Reviewer
February 18, 2007
Go Ewan McGregor!! WOW! What a ride!! Innocent clones (my best friend walked out on this movie!! but I;ll bring it over on my NEXT visit!!) MUST SEE!!
January 12, 2007
i saw this a long time ago and it was scary. it could actually happen. its gory though. its an adventure. michael caine is a good actor!
½ January 3, 2014
The Island caught my eye due to the presence of Michael Caine and the fact that it was one of the first films to be nominated for the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor and Worst Director.

Based on a Peter Benchley novel who was the author of Jaws, The Island similarly explores the darkness of the deep and opens with characters being killed while stuck out at sea, so its rather nostalgic. If this was intended to mimick the style of Jaws, then bravo Michael Ritchie. I picked up on that.
But after an excessive period of waiting with little stimulation and just a lot of crappy dull dynamics, I stood up, looked at the TV screen and said "This is sh*t".
Little goes on in The Island, and what does is generic and dull. Its all been done before in much better films, not atrocities that waste the talents of Michael Caine with some of Michael Ritchie's most inferior direction.
The Island had a cool DVD Cover and decent set up premise, but its lacking in originality, thrills and practically any good quality with the exception of Michael Caine's presence.
The script is also bland and full of excessive jokes about the ex wife and mother of the two main characters which are never funny and fall flat, just as the plot and the rest of the film does.
And for an adaptation of a Peter Benchely novel, I don't know if the book or just the film is crap but somebody is seriously to blame for this boring and overly dull atrocity which wastes out time like it wastes Michael Caine's talents and an R18+ Rating for some reason.
November 20, 2013
After a jumbled and woefully written opening, Ritchie's pirate thriller finds its feet when it arrives on the titular location. From there, some well staged, almost tongue in cheek set pieces involving pirate raids on various ships, alongside a Morricone score that goes from Williams-like whimsical to tense and unnerving, and decent performances from its adequate cast, especially the wacky & surreal mix of mad pirates, make for a fine time.
November 9, 2013
Over the years, I keep trying to find SOMEONE who has it (Block Buster, now Netflix) and have not found it....until now. I saw it when it came out and was taken by it. It really grabbed me that a low tech group of pirates could accomplish with steatlth what they did. I really loked it. Dean Olson
September 23, 2013
Great example of Michael Caine angle on life: "take all jobs". Maybe some are not worth the effort.
July 26, 2013
*Zero Stars*
Blair (Caine), and his son embark on a fishing trip, when they're suddenly attacked by insane 17 century pirates! Cain's charm is sucked dry in this no-brainer, badly scripted, bottom-of-the-barrel thriller.
June 9, 2010
It's a blooody good time.
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