The Island Reviews

Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
September 26, 2005
As usual, Bay stages the action at a breakneck pace that's never frenetic enough to obscure his film's plot holes and logical lapses.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
July 28, 2005
What the clone lovers find is a new world -- it's 2019 -- of highway collisions, flying motorbikes, exploding buildings, bad acting and moral incoherence, very much like old Bay movies.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
July 28, 2005
Since Michael Bay never knows when enough is enough, every chase is restaged over and again and the narrative matrix is as simplistic as it is repetitive.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
July 25, 2005
You have Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson, these terrific actors reduced to saying, 'Go, go and duck' and hanging from buildings and all that stuff. And it just falls apart.
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
July 22, 2005
The Island is nothing so dull as a total failure. But it has enough surprises up its clingy white sleeve to make you wish it were better.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
July 22, 2005
If you find yourself at The Island I have only three words of advice: Vote yourself off.
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
July 22, 2005
If The Island qualifies as cheese deluxe even by Michael Bay standards, it's because it's the only one in his lavishly decadent oeuvre that actually pretends to trade in ideas.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
July 22, 2005
Once they're outside -- in a dispiriting vision of our near-future -- Bay falls back on his old playbook, creating more mayhem per square inch than in all his other movies combined.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
July 22, 2005
On its own terms, The Island is just fine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
July 22, 2005
Bay's action is flashy enough to compensate for some of the shortcomings of the script.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
July 22, 2005
The story splicing isn't any smoother than the movie's own awkward bio-engineering, and by the film's finale it's hard to care much about any of it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
July 22, 2005
[Bay's] best film since The Rock.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
July 22, 2005
Theaters showing Michael Bay's futuristic thriller The Island won't be offering any money-back guarantees. They just need to be sure they have enough popcorn on hand.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
July 22, 2005
The Island grows dumber as it goes along, gradually disintegrating into a generic good-versus-evil spectacular that not only defies all known laws of gravity and physics, but also suffers from the lack of morality that plagues Bay's films.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
July 22, 2005
Its tale was more tame and thoughtful when Steven Spielberg, having done the related Artificial Intelligence, pitched it to Bay. But Bay, being Bay, punched it up, hiring script doctors to mainline some action.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
July 22, 2005
Like War of the Worlds, The Island is essentially a chase movie where the actors' job is to look good and keep moving.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
July 22, 2005
The Island seems like the movie Michael Bay was born to make.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
July 22, 2005
As is inevitably the case with Bay films, The Island goes on long after we have become exhausted from all the breathless fun to be had in high-speed chases and dodging fireballs.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
July 22, 2005
This mixture of sci-fi musing and crash-and-burn chaos packs a wallop only when metal crashes against metal.
| Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Michael Booth
Denver Post
July 22, 2005
Like the first half of Minority Report, Bay's movie creates an entire new world, making us believe it and dread it at the same time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
July 22, 2005
Frequently thrilling.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
July 22, 2005
The Island isn't the best sci-fi thriller out there this summer but it's enjoyable.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
July 21, 2005
Despite all the firepower, the movie is only sporadically exciting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
July 21, 2005
Degenerates into a fearsome chase movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
July 21, 2005
A high-concept movie that director Michael Bay turns into Bad Boys III: Send in the Clones.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
July 21, 2005
As pretty, very human stars, McGregor and Johansson put the main sizzle into The Island, since we've seen this plotline, and this Brave New World, in better sci-fi films.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
July 21, 2005
The Island could be read as a metaphor for societal ills if it weren't so shamelessly dumb.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
July 21, 2005
This lavish, exhaustingly kinetic film is smarter than you might expect, and at the same time dumber than it could be.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 21, 2005
As futuristic nightmares go, The Island is pretty appealing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
July 21, 2005
Michael Bay has made a movie that makes you ponder matters more meaningful than how cool that last car chase looked.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Allison Benedikt
Chicago Tribune
July 21, 2005
Classic Bay, except it's missing the crass director's fine-tuned rhythm, his feel for adrenaline, his breakneck edits and sense of humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
July 21, 2005
The first half of Michael Bay's new film is a spare, creepy science fiction parable, and then it shifts into a high-tech action picture. Both halves work. Whether they work together is a good question.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
July 21, 2005
The Island, which belabors itself for about 45 minutes before you have any idea what's afoot, is a clone itself - of Coma, a '70s medical thriller that once seemed so far-fetched it had to be sci-fi.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
July 21, 2005
A loud, steroidal adrenaline-pumper in which Bay proves yet again that when it comes to smashing, crashing and blowing things up real good, he has few equals.
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
July 21, 2005
At its best, The Island is like a Michael Crichton movie without Michael Crichton's smarts.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
July 20, 2005
The Island begins with a whimper of interest as a cool-hued, cautionary exploration of the ethics of cloning, and ends, in a hail of product placement, with a dumb bang.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
July 20, 2005
Calling The Island a 'popcorn, old-fashioned summer movie' is fair, but it's also sad, since it could have been more. But movies that aim low rarely achieve any kind of altitude.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Dennis Lim
Village Voice
July 19, 2005
For Bay, restraint means not dropping a fireball on a large urban center within the first act.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
July 14, 2005
Starts off an aggressively derivative sci-fi thriller, then morphs into an above-average chase melodrama.
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
July 14, 2005
In his latest exercise in sensory overkill, producer-helmer Michael Bay takes on the weighty moral conundrums of human cloning, resolving them in a storm of bullets, car chases and more explosions than you can shake a syringe at.