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The Bourne Legacy Reviews

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

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

August 14, 2012
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
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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.

Full Review Source: The Atlantic

August 10, 2012
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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Renner and Weisz work well together as two hunted souls who initially need each other for utilitarian reasons.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 10, 2012
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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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 Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/4

August 10, 2012
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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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 Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2/4

August 10, 2012
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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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 Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 10, 2012
Dana Stevens
Slate
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The movie's last hour or so squanders these rich narrative possibilities in an incoherently plotted, generically action-packed anticlimax.

Full Review Source: Slate

August 10, 2012
Tom Long
Detroit News
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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 Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

August 10, 2012
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
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This is a talky, draggy thriller, muddled by flashbacks and woefully low on action.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 1.5/4

August 10, 2012
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
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Bourne fans will find much to enjoy about The Bourne Legacy, even if they are forced to do without the title character.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

August 10, 2012
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Renner and the audience deserve better.

Full Review Source: New York Post

August 10, 2012
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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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 Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

August 10, 2012
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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It all but squanders Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, although with actors less appealing, "The Bourne Legacy" would be even worse.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 1/4

August 9, 2012
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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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 Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

August 9, 2012
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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A brisk and challenging film.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2012
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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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.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

August 9, 2012
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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"The Bourne Legacy" makes the most of its inheritance and sets the stage for a long, rich genealogy to come.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

August 9, 2012
Mark Jenkins
NPR
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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.

Full Review Source: NPR

August 9, 2012
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
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Seeing a Bourne film for the plotting feels like reading Playboy for the articles, but if that's your thing, this is your movie.

Full Review Source: TheWrap

August 9, 2012
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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A momentum-driven thriller that depends less on star power than on epic action sequences.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2012
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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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 Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 9, 2012
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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The best thing that can be said about "The Bourne Legacy" is that Renner will survive it.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 9, 2012
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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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 Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3/5

August 9, 2012
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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He won't erase any memories of Damon, but Renner's turn is strong enough to stand on its own.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

August 9, 2012
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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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.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

August 9, 2012
David Denby
New Yorker
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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.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

August 9, 2012
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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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 Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: A-

August 9, 2012
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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Taken on its own terms, "The Bourne Legacy" is a pretty good action thriller.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3/5

August 9, 2012
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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The overall tone is familiar, refried, redundant.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

August 9, 2012
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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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 Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3/4

August 9, 2012
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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"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.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

August 9, 2012
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
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...there are excellent performances and a few really first-rate suspense-set pieces...

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 3.5/5

August 9, 2012
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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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 Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2/4

August 9, 2012
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Narratively it's a pretzel, half-baked.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

August 9, 2012
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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It's ultimately not quite satisfying. It's a quick, tense trip, rather than a thrill ride.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 9, 2012
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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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 Source: AV Club | Original Score: B-

August 9, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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"The Bourne Legacy" is always gripping in the moment. The problem is in getting the moments to add up.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 9, 2012
William Goss
Film.com
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One analyst spits out that "he's Treadstone without the inconsistencies." It seems that Legacy is Bourne with some added in.

Full Review Source: Film.com

August 8, 2012
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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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 Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

August 8, 2012
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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The verbal heavy-lifting gets ridiculous in light of the silliness of the story's X-Men-ready genetic-mutation plot.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/5

August 7, 2012
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
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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.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

August 7, 2012
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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The series's legacy is lessened by this capable but uninspired fourth episode.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

August 6, 2012
Peter Debruge
Variety
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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.

Full Review Source: Variety

August 6, 2012
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