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I, Robot (2004)

TOMATOMETER

Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 194
Fresh: 113
Rotten: 81

Critics Consensus: Bearing only the slightest resemblance to Isaac Asimov's short stories, I, Robot is a summer blockbuster that manages to make the audience think, if only for a little bit.

Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 18
Rotten: 19

Critics Consensus: Bearing only the slightest resemblance to Isaac Asimov's short stories, I, Robot is a summer blockbuster that manages to make the audience think, if only for a little bit.

AUDIENCE SCORE

Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 995,580

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Movie Info

Director Alex Proyas (Dark City, The Crow) helmed this sci-fi thriller inspired by the stories in Isaac Asimov's nine-story anthology of the same name. In the future presented in the film, humans have become exceedingly dependent on robots in their everyday lives. Robots have become more and more advanced, but each one is preprogrammed to always obey humans and to, under no circumstances, ever harm a human. So, when a scientist turns up dead and a humanoid robot is the main suspect, the world is … More

Rating:
PG-13 (for intense stylized action, and some brief partial nudity)
Genre:
Action & Adventure , Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Akiva Goldsman , Jeff Vintar
In Theaters:
On DVD:
Dec 14, 2004
Box Office:
$144.7M
Runtime:
20th Century Fox - Official Site


Cast



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Critic Reviews for I, Robot

All Critics (204) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (113) | Rotten (81) | DVD (48)

For all its flaws, I, Robot is arresting to look at.

Full Review… | July 23, 2004
New York Observer
Top Critic

By adeptly combining action and ideas, it proves that Hollywood can still produce astonishing entertainment.

Full Review… | July 20, 2004
ReelViews
Top Critic

Strives to be so many things that it ultimately falls away to nothing, a heap of expensive metal parts.

Full Review… | July 20, 2004
Salon.com
Top Critic

Rather than a thoughtful adaptation of a venerated piece of sci-fi lit, we get a dumbed-down litany of deliberate clichés and digital white noise.

Full Review… | July 20, 2004
Village Voice
Top Critic

... a slick, consistently entertaining thrill ride ...

Full Review… | July 19, 2004
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

For the most part, this is thrilling fun.

Full Review… | July 16, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic

Will Smith almost redeems generic man vs. machine actioner.

Full Review… | December 30, 2010
Common Sense Media

Pretty to look at but there's not much under the hood in this Isaac Asimov-based futuristic murder mystery...

Full Review… | July 11, 2010
ColeSmithey.com

It feels like an anonymous Hollywood studio film that overwhelmed the director with the demands to fashion a blockbuster vehicle for its star.

Full Review… | July 8, 2008
ESplatter

The movie is at least a bit less annoying than director Alex Proyas' previous two genre attempts.

Full Review… | September 24, 2007
eFilmCritic.com

Smith's occasional sullenness suggests he is itching for another Ali-like chance to prove his acting chops even as he slums his way through another high-tech shoot-'em-up.

September 25, 2006
Christianity Today

If you are looking for proof that Hollywood has completely run out of ideas, check out I, Robot.

Full Review… | July 25, 2005

As I, Robot details how Smith must fight for his survival against an army of white men whom he alone knows are evil, the film might have been called 'I, Hollywood'.

Full Review… | April 1, 2005
Freeze Dried Movies

For those who like their sci-fi to have the depth and breadth of comic books.

Full Review… | February 17, 2005

...passable as a vibrating escapist flick in spite of Proya's sporadically flat direction and the uneven interpretation of Asimov's wry commentary

Full Review… | January 26, 2005
Movie Eye

An enjoyable action flick.

January 12, 2005

A dull, derivative [film] with no new ideas and a main character who, while clearly simple-minded, is somehow the smartest guy in the story.

December 31, 2004
Looking Closer

Nobody is going to mistake this future noir for Spielberg's Minority Report, but for a light-headed adrenaline rush, it works pretty well.

Full Review… | November 30, 2004
Movie Metropolis

The extras begin with an intelligent, interesting and thorough audio commentary by director Alex Proyas and writer Akiva Goldsman.

Full Review… | November 16, 2004
Apollo Guide

A film so detached from Asimov's vision, it emerges as a destabilized attempt at reworking an already-polished concept.

Full Review… | November 5, 2004
Cinemaphile.org

Based on Isaac Asimov's short story collection and directed by Alex Proyas, who did much better with 'Dark City' and 'The Crow.'

October 24, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

This is jaw-droppingly juvenile and insulting to my intelligence. Perhaps its subject matter is obsolete. Asimov deserved better.

Full Review… | August 19, 2004
Star Newspapers (Chicago, IL)

An uninspired, recycled action thriller.

Full Review… | August 18, 2004

Whether there's anything substantial under the sheen and CGI of Alex Proyas' glistening future vision is debatable, but this enjoyable, engrossing picture is at least intelligently artificial.

Full Review… | August 10, 2004
BBC.com

It may or may not come as a surprise, but Will Smith is out-acted by the robots.

Full Review… | August 10, 2004
7M Pictures

Better than anyone had any right to expect.

Full Review… | August 8, 2004
Film Journal International

Audience Reviews for I, Robot

½

When a prominent robotic scientist seemingly commits suicide, robot-hating detective Will Smith suspects that one of his creations is the true culprit. Well, it's a Hollywood blockbuster, so you will have to tolerate Will Smith doing his usual pec flexing, wisecracking schtick, Bridget Moynahan trying too hard to breathe life into her under-written eye candy role, and some frankly shameless product placement. However this is definitely an above par example because the script actually does not do the original Asimov stories a disservice and captures their spirit quite well; the character of Sonny played by Alan Tudyk is probably the most likeable and arguably best acted in the film and there are some pretty (if not entirely convincing) SFX. It is marred by some unnecessary visual bullshit during some cumbersome action set pieces and green screen is overly pervasive, but Smith has made a career out of being impossible to dislike and the twist to the story is actually quite clever. Although totally lacking in subtlety in the way most Hollywood blockbusters do, I, Robot definitely has its moments and I always enjoy watching a revolution. Despite its flaws, I liked it.

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garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

½

So Hollywood took a classic collection of sci-fi literature and turned it into an action packed bullet time fest for Will Smith, hmmmmm. I think this film had some incredible promise being based on Asimov's short stories and could of been a classic sci-fi offering in the realms of '2001' or 'Blade Runner' but unfortunately Hollywood decided to stick Smith in the fold as the main character just to get bums on seats in the cinemas.

The casting of Smith was really a huge let down for me, a terrible and obvious piece of soulless money spinning simply to make this film into something that would appeal to the younger mass audience. Within the first five minutes of the opening sequence you can see how bad this decision was, we see Smith acting overly masculine as he swaggers about like the film revolves solely around him, his silly looking bobble hat thing which is tipped to the side trying to be cool and trendy, ear studs and a ridiculous outfit combination of black leather pants and a quarter length black leather coat. I mean really, is this a film based on some classic science fiction short stories or just trying to make Will Smith look as slick as possible with a gun, shades and motorbike. Must also point out this film has a small role for the annoying Shia LaBeouf -_-

The film does have some very good aspects in terms of effects that can't be denied, sure we have seen it all before and there isn't anything really outstanding on offer in the sense of 'things looking flashy and futuristic' but it all looks very clean smooth and realistic. The addition of the super sleek Audi concept car looked very nice I must admit but did we really need such a blatant advert in the film? the sequences just looked like car adverts, Audi paid for it yes, fine, but was it needed?
I did also like the robot designs, the older 'protector' robots looked a bit like something from the 'Star Wars' prequels but the newer 'NS-5' robots were well crafted and do have a realistic believeable look to them.

The problems I see with this film, it attempts to compete with classic 'epic' sci-fi films, it tries to be bold and boast a strong plot by constantly referring to the Asimov laws of robotics and using character names from the books as if this will make the film better, serious and closer to the much superior source material. Most of the nine stories by Asimov weren't really action based but simply more about robotic behaviour and mainly how the laws are used to solve problems, simply errors or malfunctions that the robots encounter in their daily routines. This film doesn't follow any of the nine stories I might add, its actually based on another separate story with Asimov's 'I, Robot' notions slapped on top after the rights to the stories were acquired.

The only aspect which connects to one of Asimov's stories ('Robbie') is the way Smiths character dislikes robots, the way they replace human jobs and seem to be taking over the world. Smith of course being a black man also gives the chance to turn the tables on the prejudice hot potato with his character basically being completely against robots and their 'kind', he sees them as trouble, not to be trusted, he wants the robots to be trouble so maybe people will all turn against them. A basic angle yes but reasonably intriguing, a more suitable actor like Washington would have been the better choice to carry this across in my opinion.

This film is big, flashy with destruction, car chases, bionic arms, guns, over the top fights, an overly stupid ending which does spoil plus allot of over used slow-mo action, much focusing on the robots which looks nice but what's the point of bullet time sequences on fully cgi characters?. Whether or not Asimov would have liked this kind of approach I don't know but I'm sure a slightly more subdued slow intelligent piece of work was more in mind.
You do have classic spy novels that have been made into films/TV drama's that aren't filled with all this needless in your face action, at the end of the day this is yet again just another glossy Hollywood action/thriller film which has been thinly veiled with an attempt of serious sci-fi. Yes its a reasonable sci-fi film and better than most other offerings but if you want a film more closely based on an Asimov story then I suggest you watch 'Bicentennial Man'.

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phubbs1
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

What bothered me about "I, Robot" was how pretentious it was to have Will Smith as the main character. The humor didn't flow smoothly but the action set-pieces is entertaining. Will Smith is great like always but "I, Robot" is one forgettable movie.

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Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

Two stars, because I feel asleep; one if I had stayed awake.

More
danperry17
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

I, Robot Quotes


Dr. Alfred Lansing:
That, Detective, is the right question.
– Submitted by Andrew O (21 months ago)
Del Spooner:
[digging into pie with a spoon] Mmmm. Sweet potato pie.
Granny:
Put that on the plate.
– Submitted by Aaron L (22 months ago)
Dr. Susan Calvin:
Please tell me this doesn't run on gas. Gas explodes you know.
– Submitted by Carlo Roy R (23 months ago)
Dr. Susan Calvin:
What happened to you? Do you ever have a normal life?
– Submitted by Carlo Roy R (23 months ago)
Lt. John Bergin:
Spoon, nice shoes.
– Submitted by Carlo Roy R (23 months ago)
Lt. John Bergin:
So, what's the look?
Del Spooner:
What look?
Lt. John Bergin:
That look.
Del Spooner:
This is my face. What look?
– Submitted by Carlo Roy R (23 months ago)

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