The Bourne Legacy Reviews

Nigel Floyd
Time Out
Top Critic
August 14, 2012

Shares crucial DNA with the earlier films but is drawn from the shallower end of the gene pool.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
Top Critic
August 10, 2012

Perhaps the most interesting question arising from The Bourne Legacy is just how long the filmmakers hope to trade on the Bourne name without any, you know, Bourne.

Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
Top Critic
August 10, 2012

Renner and Weisz work well together as two hunted souls who initially need each other for utilitarian reasons.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
Top Critic
August 10, 2012

Gilroy's a fine writer - he also penned Michael Clayton - but without the discipline of an action veteran like Greengrass to rein him in, he indulges his weakness to over-explain things.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
August 10, 2012

It's twists and turns and nothing else. And fast and furious as it may be, if this is the best this once-smart series has to offer, this is no legacy.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
August 10, 2012

The Bourne Legacy is one of Alfred Hitchcock's "refrigerator movies," in that it succeeds pretty well "in the moment" but starts to fall apart when considered in retrospect.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Dana Stevens
Slate
Top Critic
August 10, 2012

The movie's last hour or so squanders these rich narrative possibilities in an incoherently plotted, generically action-packed anticlimax.

Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
August 10, 2012

Gilroy keeps the Bourne mythology firmly intact while moving it forward, and leaves the door open for just about anything in the future.

Full Review | Original Score: B
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
Top Critic
August 10, 2012

This is a talky, draggy thriller, muddled by flashbacks and woefully low on action.

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
August 10, 2012

Bourne fans will find much to enjoy about The Bourne Legacy, even if they are forced to do without the title character.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic
August 10, 2012

Renner and the audience deserve better.

Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
Top Critic
August 10, 2012

Gilroy has brought characteristic taste and skill to a nearly impossible task: embracing the past without completely erasing it, thereby creating an invitingly complicated and open-ended future.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

It all but squanders Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, although with actors less appealing, "The Bourne Legacy" would be even worse.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

Complex, unexpected and dazzling, alternating relentless tension with resonant emotional moments, this is an exemplary espionage thriller that has a strong sense of what it wants to accomplish and how best to get there.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

A brisk and challenging film.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

Can a Bourne-again movie succeed without Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, without Bourne himself, and without a Robert Ludlum book as the production's turn-by-turn guide? Yes, it can.

Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

"The Bourne Legacy" makes the most of its inheritance and sets the stage for a long, rich genealogy to come.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Mark Jenkins
NPR
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

Gilroy, who's had a hand in writing the previous three films in the franchise, cleverly overlaps the events of this chapter with those of The Bourne Ultimatum.

Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

Seeing a Bourne film for the plotting feels like reading Playboy for the articles, but if that's your thing, this is your movie.

Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

A momentum-driven thriller that depends less on star power than on epic action sequences.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

The Bourne Legacy is dwarfed by the three smash Bourne movies that preceded it. But for summer movie night escapsim, you could do worse.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

The best thing that can be said about "The Bourne Legacy" is that Renner will survive it.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

By the time Rachel Weisz, as a scientist called Dr. Marta Shearing, showed up in a lab coat, I stopped trying to parse every plot twist and just went with the action flow.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

He won't erase any memories of Damon, but Renner's turn is strong enough to stand on its own.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

Structurally, yes, it's loaded with all the lies, schemes and high-tech trickery that are staples of the espionage genre. But a deeper, more individualistic source of tension propels the film along.

David Denby
New Yorker
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

The new movie continues the Bourne tradition of exciting, reality-based thrillers, but when the series lost its star it lost most of its soul.

Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

Gilroy has been around the franchise from the start, and he finds a satisfying medium between the previous directors' disparate styles, the cool jazz tones of Doug Liman and the shaky-cam faux-documentary approach of Paul Greengrass.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

Taken on its own terms, "The Bourne Legacy" is a pretty good action thriller.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

The overall tone is familiar, refried, redundant.

Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

It bodes well for the future of the franchise that Renner and Wesiz share not only a gripping predicament but something more important: chemistry.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

"The Bourne Legacy" is a lean, clean killing machine that supplies some dark, late-summer thrills and chills and breathes new life into a seemingly extinct franchise.

Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

...there are excellent performances and a few really first-rate suspense-set pieces...

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

The last half-hour of the film is one enormous action sequence in Manila that must have been exceptionally difficult to shoot and even harder to edit together. It's also hard to sit through.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

Narratively it's a pretzel, half-baked.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

It's ultimately not quite satisfying. It's a quick, tense trip, rather than a thrill ride.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Scott Tobias
AV Club
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

The Bourne Legacy rebottles much of the chemistry that Damon and Franka Potente shared in the first film, like an us-against-the-world Stockholm syndrome.

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
August 9, 2012

"The Bourne Legacy" is always gripping in the moment. The problem is in getting the moments to add up.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
William Goss
Film.com
Top Critic
August 8, 2012

One analyst spits out that "he's Treadstone without the inconsistencies." It seems that Legacy is Bourne with some added in.

Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
August 8, 2012

Gilroy, who as a screenwriter has shaped the movie saga from the beginning, trades the wired rhythms established in the past two episodes by Paul Greengrass for something more realistic and closer to the ground. The change is refreshing.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
Top Critic
August 7, 2012

The verbal heavy-lifting gets ridiculous in light of the silliness of the story's X-Men-ready genetic-mutation plot.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
Top Critic
August 7, 2012

The Bourne films have more than just overstayed their welcome and outlasted the Ludlum books -- they've been Van Halenized, with an abrupt change of frontman and a resulting dip in personality.

Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
August 6, 2012

The series's legacy is lessened by this capable but uninspired fourth episode.

Peter Debruge
Variety
Top Critic
August 6, 2012

Subbing character actor Jeremy Renner into a franchise that requires Matt Damon-caliber magnetism, series scribe Tony Gilroy takes over the helming duties with an overlong sequel that features too little action and an unnecessarily complicated plot.