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John Carter (2012)



Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 219
Fresh: 111 | Rotten: 108

While John Carter looks terrific and delivers its share of pulpy thrills, it also suffers from uneven pacing and occasionally incomprehensible plotting and characterization.


Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 43
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 27

While John Carter looks terrific and delivers its share of pulpy thrills, it also suffers from uneven pacing and occasionally incomprehensible plotting and characterization.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 112,447

My Rating

Movie Info

From filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes John Carter-a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). John Carter is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic

Jun 5, 2012


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All Critics (219) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (111) | Rotten (108) | DVD (5)

A mess.

March 26, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker | Comments (75)
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The most indelible performance in the film is not, strictly speaking, a performance at all. Rather it is Woola, a six-legged Martian hound who rather resembles a cross between a bulldog and a fetal gila monster.

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: The Atlantic | Comments (20)
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The reported $250 million price tag for John Carter gives one pause. I suppose one could argue that masterpieces have no price. Then again, John Carter is no masterpiece.

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Comments (57)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Where John Carter continually gets it right is pacing, levity, and breadth of story.

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: | Comments (3)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Whenever the fighting stops and two people have to stand and talk, all the air goes out of everything. Suddenly it feels as if we're in an empty theater, watching a dusty old sword-and-sandal epic.

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Comments (42)
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It isn't bad so much as innocuous, $250-million worth of innocuous, framed by a decent start and a solid finish but sagging through the long middle like a cheap mattress.

March 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comments (16)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even if Edgar Rice Burroughs' 11-volume series is adapted by its three screenwriters into a nonsensical mess, then it should at least be a visual feast, right? Hardly.

September 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Trespass

This wannabe epic is forgettable, bland and way too long.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: John Hanlon Reviews
John Hanlon Reviews

They should have just let their freak flag fly and said, "To hell with it, here's 100 minutes of John Carter punching aliens."

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin

"John Carter" is certainly an interesting idea for a film, with a power struggle on an alien world and an outsider affecting the balance, but sadly it never ends up fully working.

September 16, 2012 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

If Cecil B. DeMille were alive today and given the chance to direct a special effects-laden fantasy adventure on Mars, he might have made something similar to Andrew Stanton's visually stunning epic "John Carter."

September 10, 2012 Full Review Source:

A mightily entertaining, oft-cheesy, oft-soaring spectacle packed with more pulp than Florida's finest fruit.

August 25, 2012 Full Review Source: NECN

One of the best sci-fi fantasy films in a long, long time.

August 22, 2012 Full Review Source: CraveOnline | Comments (4)

Once John Carter gets past laying out the specifics of the various Martian cultures and tensions, it settles into a pleasant groove that recalls the old Saturday afternoon serials.

August 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

It's one of those big-screen enterprises that doesn't leave much residue (not to mention pleasure) once its moved on to conquer its next audience.

July 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Knight at the Movies
Knight at the Movies

Not as bad as you've been lead to believe . . .

July 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page | Comment (1)
Sci-Fi Movie Page

John Carter is a visual delight at times, but the classic story is tiresome and the characters are largely unmemorable, leaving a cold, only occasionally thrilling experience.

June 7, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD | Comments (2)

An undeniable disaster...of marketing. Join me on a tour of media headaches, and why they don't necessarily reflect the quality of the movie itself. [Blu-ray 3D]

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

Under Stanton's care 'John Carter' is the kind of tremendous fun-filled film that's worth going to the theater to see.

May 23, 2012 Full Review Source: Lyles' Movie Files | Comment (1)
Lyles' Movie Files

John Carter is for fans of pure, joyous, escapist, adventure cinema. Seeing John Carter unfamiliar with the text; it's very clear that the original text has influenced a hell of a lot of Sci-fi flicks that we've seen before.

April 26, 2012 Full Review Source: 2UE That Movie Show
2UE That Movie Show

OK, they botched the title. But not the movie itself.

April 21, 2012 Full Review Source: Quad City Times (Davenport, IA) | Comments (2)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Ambitious and often unwieldy, but savory in its construction and earnestness. John Carter is sadly undeserving of its flop status.

April 20, 2012 | Comments (5)
Projection Booth

Nothing here as inspired as the Lightsaber, but there's no Jar Jar Binks either.

April 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah) | Comment (1)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Isn't the disaster some industry observers predicted, but it's not the high-gloss masterpiece some of us hoped for either.

April 5, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenCrush

I understand John Carter likes being on Mars (superpowers + hot, intelligent princess). I just don't want to be there with him.

April 1, 2012 Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review | Comments (2)
The Scorecard Review

The film is far from perfect. Sometimes it's silly. But, the action and the atmosphere make this a world worth exploring. Paul Chambers, CNN.

March 29, 2012 Full Review Source: CNNRadio | Comment (1)

Audience Reviews for John Carter

A US cavalry officer is accidentally transported to Mars where he encounters a warring civilisation who require his help to end the conquest of their world by a brutal warlord. When talking about cynical marketing campaigns, it's usual to point to terrible films that become big hits through licensing, advertising and sponsorship deals, but the other side of the coin is John Carter. To say that this film bombed at the box office would be an understatement of the highest order. Those responsible for the marketing of this film fumbled the ball on such a colossal scale that it couldn't hope to recoup the reported budget of $250,000,000 despite the fact that it really isn't all that bad. It's fair to say that you can see where the money was spent; it's a very attractive film packed with nice production design, spectacular set pieces and a quality cast. The problem with John Carter is that it doesn't really capture the imagination in the way a large scale sci-fi adventure should. The culture created in the form of Barsoom is rather charmless and there's little in the way of chemistry between what should be the big romantic leads at its centre. There are also too many supporting characters who get too little screen time on their own making it hard to care about any of the protagonists. But by far the biggest blunder is in how seriously it takes itself; a little campiness and a self-deprecating sense of humour would have gone a long way to making the film a lot more likeable. The result is a po-faced cross between Flash Gordon and Xena: Warrior Princess with a big budget but having said all that, the pacey if somewhat episodic plot and large scale battle sequences maintain the interest for the duration. As a whole it's rather too clinical and soulless but John Carter didn't deserve to sink without a trace and I'd much rather sit through it again than The Phantom Menace or Attack Of The Clones.
July 29, 2014
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

I like science fiction, and enjoyed the movie. Perhaps not having read "A Princess of Mars" is a good thing, as I didn't have the book to compare to.
April 27, 2014

Super Reviewer

Its a rainy Saturday afternoon movie for tweens.
That said, Edgar Rice Burroughs isn't too badly served by this leave-your-thinking-cap-off glorioski extravaganza, with miles and miles of CGI animation used to get ... meh.
Yer gonna need more popcorn. Its fun.
March 29, 2014

Super Reviewer

John Carter must've been pretty cool at the time the books were released, but so many things since, including Star Wars and Dune - have been ripped off or inspired by John Carter -- so revisiting the John Carter tale in these modern movie times, seems dull and tired. The beginning was weighted down by the backstory wild-west setting on Earth - when viewers simply wanted to get to Barsoom and begin the excitement. The arena scenes were soo much like Attack of the Clones on the Geonosis planet. I tried several times, but just couldn't get into this movie, even when re-watching in 3D. Most of the creatures were icky. Poor Disney lost money on this thing - maybe they can re-use some of the sets and costumes in the next Star Wars movies.
January 4, 2014

Super Reviewer

    1. John Carter: The Jeddak of Zodanga means to quash Helium this very night, and if Helium falls, so does Barsoom. We must throw out the thought of old hatreds. Tharks did not cause this, but by Issus, Tharks will end it! We ride for Zodanga!
    – Submitted by Adam O (16 months ago)
    1. Dejah Thoris: No. It is your will. When I was little and we would look up at the stars, and you would tell me of the heroes whose glory was written in the sky. How there was a star up there for me. Is this what you imagined would be written on it?
    – Submitted by Adam O (16 months ago)
    1. Dejah Thoris: I'm getting away!
    – Submitted by Adam O (16 months ago)
    1. Tars Tarkas: Did I not tell you he could jump!
    – Submitted by Adam O (16 months ago)
    1. Dejah Thoris: Let me know when it gets dangerous.
    – Submitted by Tom L (18 months ago)
    1. Dejah Thoris: He shot me out of the sky!
    – Submitted by Tom L (18 months ago)
View all quotes (47)

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