Total Recall Reviews

Top Critic
Tom Huddleston
Time Out
August 28, 2012
'Total Recall' is Hollywood at its worst: pointless, witless, and so very unnecessary.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
August 5, 2012
"Total Recall" is a toned-down, smoothed-out version of an amped-up, bug-eyed classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
August 3, 2012
This is a taut, serviceable sci-fi thriller with a couple of neat visual ideas, and if you're not familiar with either the Schwarzenegger version or the original story, the brain-bending twists alone will take you a reasonably long way.
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
August 3, 2012
Casting and visuals are an upgrade, but we get far too many action sequences and not enough of the mind games.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
August 3, 2012
I was no particular fan of the first Total Recall, but I confess that this flat, by-the-numbers remake made me a tad nostalgic for its bombastic preposterousness.
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
August 3, 2012
Whatever tug Total Recall has on the imagination comes from the vague sense we've seen it all before. And seen it better: from Christopher Nolan's Inception to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
August 3, 2012
Director Len Wiseman is good on action, and Patrick Tatopoulus's dystopic production design is within hailing distance of Blade Runner, his chief influence. But essentially this is a big-screen video game.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Chris Packham
Village Voice
August 3, 2012
Where Paul Verhoeven's original was testosterone-stupid and, therefore, fun, Wiseman's film is just boring-stupid.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
August 3, 2012
Farrell is confident and competent regardless of the situation; there never seems to be any real threat of him coming out alive.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
August 3, 2012
Those who buy a ticket to Total Recall may not go in expecting a generic Bourne sequel, but that's about what they'll be getting - just set in a Blade Runner universe made of giant gray Lego blocks.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
August 3, 2012
The effects look great, but is that even worth noting when smart high-schoolers can make monsters on their laptops? What movie's effects don't look great these days?
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
August 3, 2012
Today's Total Recall does nothing to tarnish the image of yesterday's - 22 years from now, I expect it to be hailed as a classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
August 3, 2012
If you share its desire for straight adrenaline, the ride works.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
August 3, 2012
I kept thinking: "Yes, that was surprising to me in 1990."
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Jen Chaney
Washington Post
August 3, 2012
While it may not be a fully realized take on Dick's forward-thinking work, it's still a far better film than the Verhoeven version.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
August 2, 2012
For all of its dazzlingly rendered cityscapes and nonstop action, this revamped "Total Recall" is a bland thing - bloodless, airless, humorless, featureless. With or without the triple-bosomed prostitute.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
August 2, 2012
The fun is fun while it lasts, it just doesn't last long enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
August 2, 2012
Soulless, bombastic and numbingly repetitive...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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James Rocchi
MSN Movies
August 2, 2012
Wiseman directs his film as if it's a shark... But really, it's more of a carp, shiny and pretty but fat and dopey, fed on nothing but scavenged leftovers.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
August 2, 2012
The remake has no grace notes, or grace, no nuance, no humanity, no character quirks, no surprises in the dialogue and no humor ...
Top Critic
August 2, 2012
The new Total Recall is a series of set pieces whose CGI environments trump narrative logic.
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 2, 2012
Strip away the video-game visual effects, the endless chases and zero gravity shootouts, and Total Recall comes down to this: What is reality?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
August 2, 2012
"Total Recall" is a doggone good time, with a bunch of nifty technical and visual flourishes, competently managed plot twists and elegant, Wachowski-esque action choreography ...
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
August 2, 2012
This premise contains the seeds of an interesting economic and political allegory, but the ambitions of the filmmakers - Len Wiseman directed a script by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback - lie in the direction of maximum noise and minimum sense.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 2, 2012
There's plenty to excite the eye, but the mind remains unboggled. It's all visuals and no vision.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
August 2, 2012
The new Total Recall fails on the most basic levels: Its characters are dull, and its action is duller.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
August 2, 2012
There's something sadly poetic about a movie dealing with disappearing memories that vanishes from your mind while you watch it.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 2, 2012
In the end, here's the worst sin of this slick, high-octane memory play: It's forgettable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 2, 2012
The Total Recall reboot is a futuristic fiasco, two hours you'll never get back - and every minute is a bad memory.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Justin Lowe
Hollywood Reporter
August 2, 2012
Engaging enough, although not entirely satisfying from either a genre or narrative standpoint, lacking both substance and a degree of imagination.
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 2, 2012
The richly constructed first hour is so superior to any feat of sci-fi speculation since "Minority Report" that the bland aftertaste of the chase finale is quickly forgotten.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
August 2, 2012
Questions, questions nip at Len Wiseman's Total Recall like so many rats at the feet of a sleeping hobo. The big Why is Why bother?
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Drew Hunt
Chicago Reader
August 2, 2012
The new version, with its humorless dialogue and Farrell's smoldering performance, suffers from a self-seriousness that undercuts any genre pleasures. But the action is thrilling and the futuristic setting superbly realized.
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Justin Chang
Variety
August 2, 2012
Crazy new gadgets, vigorous action sequences and a thorough production-design makeover aren't enough to keep Total Recall from feeling like a near-total redundancy.
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
August 2, 2012
Wisemen's film is a soulless mess, reminiscent of the unwatchable "Matrix" sequels, while Verhoeven's movie remains a dazzling carnival.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
August 2, 2012
Its only evident passion is for excessive lens flares.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
August 2, 2012
The talented and fiercely physical Biel's musculature is more expressive than most of the dialogue.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 2, 2012
"Total Recall" is well-crafted, high energy sci-fi. Like all stories inspired by Philip K. Dick, it deals with intriguing ideas. It never touched me emotionally, though, the way the 1990 film did, and strictly speaking, isn't necessary.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
August 2, 2012
Like a novelty cover band, Wiseman's "Total Recall" [goes] through a checklist of "things you have to do if you do a 'Total Recall.'"
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
August 1, 2012
It's big and it's loud, but ultimately not much more than that.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
August 1, 2012
One of the great advantages of remaking a movie is being given the opportunity to correct problems - something not attempted here.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
August 1, 2012
After a rousing setup, this visually striking remake falls back much too heavily on its action roots, with one chase scene after another and another. After a while, it's tedious.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4