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The Wolverine Reviews

Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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It's a relief to come across a blockbuster that finds a location and stays there, rather than hopping desperately from one place to the next ...

Full Review Source: New Yorker

August 9, 2013
Wesley Morris
Grantland
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Getting [Wolverine] to the movie's above-average finale required three writers - Christopher McQuarrie, Mark Bomback, and Scott Frank - to pad the plot.

Full Review Source: Grantland | Original Score: C+

July 29, 2013
Geoff Pevere
Globe and Mail
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It restores the tarnished lustre to this most fan-beloved of Marvel characters by doing precisely what Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's near-sacred 1982 run did: It pumps some feeling into the guy along with his muscles and steel talons.

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

July 26, 2013
Christy Lemire
RogerEbert.com
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Director James Mangold's film features some breathtakingly suspenseful action sequences, exquisite production and costume design and colorful characters, some of whom register more powerfully than others.

Full Review Source: RogerEbert.com | Original Score: 3/4

July 26, 2013
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York
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Too quickly the random fights pile up -- so many yakuza thugs who forgot to wear chain mail that morning -- and you yearn for the film that might have been.

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

July 26, 2013
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Mangold front-loads the action, but near the end there's a first-rate fight atop a bullet train between Wolverine/Logan and some especially pesky ninjas. It puts the train fights in the recent The Lone Ranger to shame.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B

July 26, 2013
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Just as comic-book movie fatigue was starting to set in, along comes The Wolverine to revive a moribund summer of superheroes.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

July 26, 2013
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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The idea of Wolverine fighting off waves of yakuza and ninjas amid shoji screens is tantalizing, but Mangold bungles the staging and cuts so fast that you can't ever savor their silhouettes.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

July 26, 2013
Raju Mudhar
Toronto Star
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It's a credit to the production team that these elements somehow work, with the movie at its best as a superhero/Asian crime drama mash-up.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 26, 2013
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Although The Wolverine eventually falls back on a comic-book formula and CG effects (the climactic face-off between Logan and a giant silver warriorlike thing is totally generic), Mangold and his team find time to explore more nuanced realms ...

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

July 26, 2013
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
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This is a serious, sometimes dark and deliberately paced story.

Full Review Source: Richard Roeper.com | Original Score: 3/5

July 25, 2013
Ian Buckwalter
NPR
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A handful of bold ideas brought down by the need to regress to a blander, more box-office-friendly middle ground.

Full Review Source: NPR | Original Score: 5/10

July 25, 2013
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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The Wolverine represents a strain of faux gravitas that squeezes nearly all the fun out of blockbuster moviemaking. Here we have multimillion-dollar proof that slow and unsure can be just as dull as hyperkinetic chaos.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: C-

July 25, 2013
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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A refreshing summer cocktail of action-movie staples, The Wolverine combines the bracingly adult flavor of everyone's favorite mutant antihero with the fizzy effervescence of several mixers from the cabinet of Japanese genre cinema.

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

July 25, 2013
Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
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It has a more absorbing story and intriguing sensibility than Iron Man 3 or Man of Steel, and even when its action falters, this film is more original and exotic.

Full Review Source: Orange County Register | Original Score: B

July 25, 2013
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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"The Wolverine" is an erratic affair, more lumbering than compelling, an ambitious film with its share of effective moments that stubbornly refuses to catch fire.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

July 25, 2013
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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Instead of expounding a tedious origin story or staging an epic battle for apocalyptic stakes, "The Wolverine" focuses on a specific and self-contained adventure in a richly imagined place.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

July 25, 2013
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
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Like most superhero films, "The Wolverine" depends mostly on sheer mechanics -- both in front of and behind the camera -- and on that level it's a resounding success.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

July 25, 2013
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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The film is a misconceived misfire, over-solemn for its first two acts and overstuffed with BLAM! POW! TEDIUM! at the climax.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

July 25, 2013
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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A movie so unspectacular and meaningless it might be mistaken for an old episode of "The Incredible Hulk."

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 2/4

July 25, 2013
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
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It may be a streamlined, 21st-century take on the Frankenstein story, but it's not an improvement; for a 3D adventure, this noisy action fantasy falls as flat as cardboard.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

July 25, 2013
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Hugh Jackman, in his sixth time up as Wolverine, still has the juice. This pissed-off man of Adamantium claws is stalking new ground (Japan), and his fight with yakuza on top of Tokyo's speeding bullet train is a wowser.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 25, 2013
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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Somewhere along the line somebody must have had a crazy idea, that The Wolverine required a decent script, and shouldn't rely only on action, audience goodwill and the sight of Hugh Jackman with his shirt off. The team delivers with this one.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

July 25, 2013
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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Finally - a superhero movie that doesn't feel like every other superhero movie.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

July 25, 2013
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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"The Wolverine" won't change anybody's mind about the character, or about what Jackman can do with it. It's simply a more focused scenario than usual, full of violence done up with a little more coherence and visceral impact than usual.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

July 25, 2013
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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Hugh Jackman doesn't sing in The Wolverine.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

July 25, 2013
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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Taken on its own terms "The Wolverine" is the cleanest, least pretentious and most satisfying superhero movie of the summer.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

July 25, 2013
Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
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A Wolverine tale that's more loaded with psychological questions (his immortality is seen as a curse) and makes the haunted character more interesting.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B-

July 25, 2013
Tom Long
Detroit News
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Too many ninjas, too few mutants.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: C

July 25, 2013
Soren Anderson
Seattle Times
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"The Wolverine" just might be the best comic-book-based superhero epic since Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises."

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

July 25, 2013
Tom Russo
Boston Globe
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"The Wolverine" dispatches its hero to Japan to grapple with a sinister criminal element and his own virtual immortality. For the uninitiated, the scene shift is surprising - and an effective way of dramatizing and accentuating the hero's dual nature.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

July 25, 2013
Jocelyn Noveck
Associated Press
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At this point [Jackman] could play the role in his sleep - but he doesn't, and the nuances he and director Mangold bring to the character lift this enterprise up from the usual blockbuster-sequel fare.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 25, 2013
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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"The Wolverine" is the best superhero film since "The Avengers" - maybe even since "The Dark Knight."

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3.5/4

July 25, 2013
Stephanie Zacharek
Village Voice
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The Wolverine -- despite being an improvement on Gavin Hood's muddled 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine -- isn't worthy of Jackman's gifts.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

July 24, 2013
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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It's a good effort. Just not an entirely successful one.

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

July 24, 2013
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Cliches seep into what could have been a fascinating glimpse into a multifaceted character. Still, this X-Men spinoff is a marked improvement over 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 24, 2013
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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There's teeming bombast and great gushers of villainy, but we've seen it all before and we'll see it all again, probably next week.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 24, 2013
Laremy Legel
Film.com
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In the mood for a giant cup of "who cares?"

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: 3.1/10

July 24, 2013
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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There's the usual villain problem (too many of them -- and none of them memorable) and a tone that may take parents of young Wolverine fans by surprise.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/5

July 24, 2013
Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
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For a sturdy 90 minutes, one of Marvel comic's most intriguing creations is served well by director James Mangold's "The Wolverine."

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 24, 2013
A.A. Dowd
AV Club
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It doesn't payoff prior installments or set up future ones, but seems to exist almost out of time, for the simple, quaint purpose of pitting its iconic mutant superhero against samurais, ninjas, and vicious yakuza thugs.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

July 24, 2013
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
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Moments in The Wolverine rank among both the franchise's best and worst, but there's enough in the positive column to make the movie a must for fans and entertaining viewing for casual observers.

Full Review Source: TheWrap

July 23, 2013
Guy Lodge
Time Out
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It's the stuff of Saturday-morning cartoons, but Mangold - who, as in the appalling 'Knight and Day', edits all action sequences on the shaky frappé setting - hasn't the visual pop or lightness of touch to make it bounce.

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

July 23, 2013
Peter Debruge
Variety
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Though Wolvie comes across a bit world-weary and battle-worn by now, Jackman is in top form, taking the opportunity to test the character's physical and emotional extremes.

Full Review Source: Variety

July 23, 2013
Megan Lehmann
Hollywood Reporter
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Until a third act that collapses in a harebrained heap, the director largely succeeds in keeping the more cartoonish aspects at bay, roughing up the surface with organically staged fight scenes and, crucially, raising the stakes.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

July 22, 2013
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