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The Spirit (2008)



Average Rating: 3.6/10
Reviews Counted: 112
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 96

Though its visuals are unique, The Spirit's plot is almost incomprehensible, the dialogue is ludicrously mannered, and the characters are unmemorable.


Average Rating: 3.4/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 30

Though its visuals are unique, The Spirit's plot is almost incomprehensible, the dialogue is ludicrously mannered, and the characters are unmemorable.



liked it
Average Rating: 2.5/5
User Ratings: 122,227

My Rating

Movie Info

A resurrected cop does battle with a villain whose quest for immortality threatens an entire metropolis in Sin City creator Frank Miller's adaptation of Will Eisner's acclaimed graphic novel. When a rookie cop is brutally killed and mysteriously brought back to life, he assumes the guise of The Spirit (Gabriel Macht) -- a masked crime fighter who prowls the shadows of Central City on a supernatural mission to keep the urban landscape safe. Upon discovering that his arch nemesis, The Octopus


Drama, Action & Adventure

Frank Miller

Apr 14, 2009


Lionsgate Films - Official Site External Icon

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April 13, 2009:
RT on DVD: Frank Miller Talks The Spirit, Michel Gondry Releases New Music Video DVD
It's a light week for home video entertainment, but never fear -- RT on DVD is here! We'll kick...
December 28, 2008:
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All Critics (113) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (96) | DVD (4)

Every once in a while a genuine turkey escapes the coop, bereft of charm or wit, utterly lacking in technical prowess, integrity or intelligence. 'The Spirit' is such a film.

January 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What is most striking about The Spirit is how little pleasure it affords, in spite of its efforts to by sly, sexy, heartfelt and clever all at once.

December 29, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comment (1)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I thought it was sort of cool and corny simultaneously.

December 29, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Is it campy? Or is it cool? Is it stylized? Or is it corny and cheesy? It doesn't really know.

December 29, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies | Comments (2)
At the Movies
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Someone get this man a decent script.

December 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Denny Colt might have come back from the dead, but The Spirit stays cold on the slab.

December 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Frank Miller will undoubtedly make a movie worth watching one day, but it isn't The Spirit.

September 29, 2012 Full Review Source:

The Spirit feels like an extended trip through Frank Miller's personal fantasyland, and it's easy to guess how interesting a film made for an audience of one is going to be to anyone else.

April 1, 2011 Full Review Source:

I guess a movie this brassy, sumptuous, and unafraid of what-the-hell effects, gags and visuals isn't enough for a lot of people. I don't really know why.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source:

A blissfully coked-out-of-its-mind spit-take on Eisner and the modern world of superhero cinema, The Spirit is wet bag of hot breath.

June 2, 2010 Full Review Source:

If Frank Miller is aiming for camp, he's playing cricket with a sledgehammer

August 26, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Certifiably, but agreeably, insane, "The Spirit" plays like "Dick Tracy" on brown acid. Dialogue is bleated, not spoken. Artifacts are used as snuggle blankets. And it's aggressively bizarre, but it's the definition of guilty-pleasure entertainment.

June 17, 2009 Full Review Source:

No amount of flash can camouflage the career-low performances, the scaffolding where characterisation should be, the pitiful cod '40s dialogue, the monstrously fumbled comedy.

May 12, 2009 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine
SFX Magazine

More interested in being a technical marvel than a coherent story.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Soa como uma mistura desajeitada de filme noir e da série de tevê Batman produzida na década de 60.

March 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

As an action director Miller is almost as clumsy as Baz Luhrmann, but he's far from naïve, and presumably the delirium of The Spirit is exactly what he intended.

February 13, 2009 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

Miller's background as an artist was undoubtedly an important factor in achieving the striking visual effects. It's just when the human characters dominate the action that the film sinks like a stone.

February 6, 2009 Full Review Source: The Australian
The Australian

It's a plot from the 'more is more' school of scriptwriting and while the live action crossed with stylised graphic novel effect is sublime, it can't distract from the clunkiness of it all.

January 30, 2009 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

The Spirit is hollow, with a convoluted plot, and Miller has clearly opted for visual style over thematic depth.

January 29, 2009 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia) | Comment (1)
FILMINK (Australia)

As it went on, I discovered that it had a kind of appealingly dumb, playful quality.

January 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Comment (1)
Combustible Celluloid

Miller's directing chops, er, chop, is non-existent, offering up a muck of amateurish posturing, weak storyline and tedious characters. As for the title? Ouch, that's some irony.

January 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Indie Movies Online
Indie Movies Online

Eva Mendes is the new Raquel Welch but even Raquel/Eva can't make this movie work

January 6, 2009 Full Review Source:

Is it trying to be a parody of itself?

January 6, 2009 Full Review Source: The Cinema Source

Now that they've gone and made Batman all serious and good, the campy comics hero movie mantle has been taken up by The Spirit.

January 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News | Comment (1)
Los Angeles Daily News

In their first battle, The Octopus smashes a toilet over The Spirit's head, laughs maniacally, and declares, "Toilets are always funny!" This movie would know: It clearly deserves to be flushed down one.

January 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing | Comments (2)
Creative Loafing

Displaying admirable love for pulp material and striking enviably sexy poses, but missing the emotional resonance, zeitgeist-catching populism and mainstream thrills which found movie franchises.

January 5, 2009 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for The Spirit

March 17, 2014
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

I understand why many didn't like The Spirit. It's fair to say it's not the greatest comic book adaptation ever made, surprising as it was directed by one of the greatest comic book authors of all time but I guess that answers the question 'Do great comic book authors make good film directors'. That said, it's not a bad debut for any director and it's certainly not the visuals that let it down. I think what really lets it down is that it is never clear what kind of film it's supposed to be. I appreciated the quirky humour but was this film meant to be serious with a few jokes or is it 100% spoof? I guess some things just don't translate well from comic to screen. Still, I quite liked it, it really isn't anywhere near as bad as everyone says, dissapointing because of what it could have been but give me this over The Fantastic Four any day of the week. Looking forward to Sin City 2 but my dream come true would be to see Martha Washington made into a film!
June 14, 2012

Super Reviewer

When you start watching this you get feelings of 'Batman', 'Darkman', 'The Shadow' and 'Dick Tracy' with a splash of 'The Crow' in the looks department, yet all these things cant make it any good. I'll be honest, I really didn't follow this film much atall lol the plot is very messed up, it jumps around with so many characters leaping in and out you dunno where you stand or what they mean to the story.

The cast is good but cant save the film, Jackson is soooo very camp he could be in the next Schumacher Batman film hehe leading man Macht is nothing special, pretty non descript really and Dan Lauria (Wonder Years fame :) where the hell has he been?) plays the usual cliched up tight, rough, grumpy police chief. The ladies though are all delicious for sure, Eva Mendes being scrumptious ;) and Johansson looking really dominant n naughty in a Nazi officers outfit.

The film looks good, don't get me looks damn fine just like Sin City but it falls way short of that film, waaaay short. I think many people are simply assuming and saying this is good because its Frank Miller and it looks like 'Sin City', yep it looks nice but its nothing compared to 'Sin'.
Spirit is a strange combination of the old serial superhero comics (Spirit was created in the 40's) but has a violent undercurrent not as harsh as 'Sin' but much harder than 'Tracy', Shadow etc...yet also slightly camp and off the wall on the villain side, almost another 'Joker' really. Jackson is too much of a modern day man to fit into this old 40's/50's type of background, he's too hip n cool haha he just doesn't fit the bill.

Quite a cocktail that doesn't really work in my opinion, all style and no substance, just hot on the heels of Sin and trying to reap the benefits. Could of been so much more.
February 9, 2012

Super Reviewer

Boy....this was the shits. It's like Frank Miller learned something while watching Robert Rodrigues work his magic on Sin City. And then...he did the exact same thing here...but without the director skills of Robert Rodriguez. And with a boring plot. The visuality is the only impressive thing about this...some of it very impressive if you feel me ;) overall...MINUS FIVE STARS!
September 18, 2011
Martin Sahlin

Super Reviewer

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