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Transcendence (2014)

tomatometer

19

Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 187
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 151

In his directorial debut, ace cinematographer Wally Pfister remains a distinctive visual stylist, but Transcendence's thought-provoking themes exceed the movie's narrative grasp.

14

Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 44
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 38

In his directorial debut, ace cinematographer Wally Pfister remains a distinctive visual stylist, but Transcendence's thought-provoking themes exceed the movie's narrative grasp.

audience

41

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 52,360

My Rating

Movie Info

Sci-Fi Thriller. Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently

PG-13,

Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Jack Paglen

Jul 22, 2014

$23.0M

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

Cast

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All Critics (187) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (151)

The movie is rhythmless, shapeless, and, with the exception of a few shots, cheesy-looking.

May 5, 2014 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Remember when paycheck-hungry actors were accused of phoning in a performance? Johnny Depp spins that for millennials in Transcendence by Skpying in his performance.

April 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

When it's all over, you will turn on your iPhone and ask Siri to find you a good restaurant for a bite to eat near the theater. And you will have learned nothing.

April 21, 2014 Full Review Source: ChristyLemire.com
ChristyLemire.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Transcendence" is a moronic stew of competing impulses - bad science meets bad sociology meets bad theology ...

April 20, 2014 Full Review Source: Salon.com
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of those "control technology or it will control you" sermons that nonetheless enlists the usual heap of technically advanced special effects.

April 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Transcendence doesn't induce paranoia, wonder, or suspense. It's the most incurious film you could make about something as simultaneously preposterous and promising as Johnny Depp the Internet.

April 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Grantland
Grantland
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Parece năo fazer a menor ideia acerca das ideias que pretende defender, dos conceitos que quer apresentar ou mesmo da natureza de seus próprios personagens.

June 19, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

With its overriding fears of artificial intelligence and technology in general, "Transcendence" feels like it was made at least 15 years too late.

June 19, 2014 Full Review Source: Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

"'Transcendence' winds up being in the position of being the first - but certainly not the last - big disappointment of the 2014 Summer Movie Season."

May 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinephiled
Cinephiled

Transcendence neither thrills nor illuminates. In fact in many respects it is downright cowardly in its failure to pursue its many themes, with threads of ideas never woven into a whole.

May 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

Here's yet another example of a high-concept mega-movie that appears to have gone into production a draft or two too early.

May 2, 2014 Full Review Source: 3AW

It is streets ahead of most of what we get that is labeled science fiction. It's intelligent. It explains its premise -- within reason. Its dialogue isn't chuckleheaded.

May 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Nevertheless, Transcendence is superior to most other sci-fi films these days; it's briskly paced, consummately made and never boring. Puzzling and occasionally challenging it may be, but it's made with style and imagination.

May 2, 2014 Full Review Source: The Australian
The Australian

Transcendence is a film where, when the world's first ever human brain upload doesn't work, the people responsible fix it by turning the computer off and on again.

May 2, 2014 Full Review Source: The Vine
The Vine

With a script as loopy as this one, it pays to cast intelligent-looking actors. They can delude you into feeling as if you're watching something interesting.

May 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

With actors this good, we'll go almost anywhere, even unto that silliness.

May 2, 2014 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

built on a set of intriguing moral and ethical conundrums involving our relationship with rapidly evolving computer technology, but it finds virtually no dramatic traction

May 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

A relatively entertaining way to upload your consciousness for 119 minutes.

April 30, 2014 Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz
Flicks.co.nz

Transcendence is a movie without villains, thrills or, after Nolan fanboys show up, much of an audience.

April 29, 2014 Full Review Source: Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay Times

What an empty and misguided movie this is.

April 29, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

[A] pallid and self-serious genre trifle.

April 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

A genuine artificial intelligence would've completely redesigned this film.

April 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

Anyone with a fondness for broad canvas, ideas-heavy sci-fi should ignore the negative scuttle and give Transcendence the benefit of the doubt.

April 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

...no doubt there's an interesting movie to be plotted along [these] lines. But for all its pretension, Transcendence isn't it. It's just a big dumb popcorn muncher.

April 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Far too slow-paced to work as a thriller and too shallow to properly challenge us as science fiction, this film is unlikely to please many audience members.

April 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com
Contactmusic.com

Audience Reviews for Transcendence

Unfocussed on it's story and pretty much every theme it is trying to explore, "Transcendence" is one of the most confusing films I have seen in a very long time. The first 30 minutes of the film seems interesting and simple enough, but once the main event occurs and sends the story into full swing, it becomes so convoluted in it's messages that I became very lost. There were quite a few times where I had to stop and think about certain aspects, because they had not been set up beforehand and it seemed like it was being made up as they went along. The cast is top-notch, but not even they can save this sloppy script from falling apart on screen. From it's poor writing, to it's unfocussed narrative, to it's overly ambitious plot, "Transcendence" could have been great, but it ended up being one of the worst films of 2014!
July 3, 2014
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Yesterday Dr. Will Caster was only human.

Very Good Film! This film will most likely split down the middle because of it's religious tones of God and evolution. Some people will love it and some will hate it because it might go against their belief system. While its cons might be the lack of characters development this doesn't change the fact that the story line and concept is better than a lot of other movies and it is presented well. The story might feel a bit stretched but it give us more time to think and enjoy the development of the movie. Overall, it's a great movie that's enjoyable, thought provoking, challenges some beliefs, and foreshadows some future realities we will all have to soon deal with. If you love thoughts provoking movie which leave you with a lot of thinking, you will definitely like this movie.

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed-to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can...but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will's thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.
July 1, 2014
MANUGINO
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Stealing liberally (I realised suddenly) from a ton of films on the same subject, a smart computer getting sassy ( like Terminator, 2001: A Space Oddyssey, and even most recently, Her) and still this clunker goes nowhere, like sitting in the family car and pretending its moving. Does Depp simply not give a damn anymore?
June 6, 2014
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

Transcendence is a chore to watch. It's an overly elaborate, unconvincing, joyless bore. A lot of really great actors are wasted by standing around not doing much of anything. Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, Cole Hauser and Morgan Freeman are particularly useless. Not because they give bad performances but because they are given awful parts. All four could've been taken out of the story and it would've made matters much simpler and less convoluted. Rebecca Hall and Paul Bettany fare better. You'd think Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan's cinematographer (The Dark Knight, Inception), would at least have the presence of mind to create a visually impressive film. Unless you enjoy watching numerous scenes of electronically charged water droplets moving in slow-motion, it's a downer there as well. At the core, the saga is merely a series of uninteresting standoffs between good vs. evil. Ultimately the drama's big idea is: Technology Is Bad. At the end of this turgid ordeal, I wasn't even convinced of that. But this movie sure is.

fastfilmreviews.com
April 23, 2014
hobster1

Super Reviewer

    1. Agent Buchanan: Your Determined To Stop Any Attempt At What You Call Transcedence.
    – Submitted by joseph j (16 days ago)
    1. Dr. Will Caster: We're not going to fight them we're going to transcend them.
    – Submitted by joseph j (16 days ago)
    1. Evelyn: We can upload his consciousness. We can save him...
    2. Max Waters: Not like this... Assuming that this works, if we miss anything, a thought, a childhood memory, how would you know whom we're dealing with?
    – Submitted by Lorand K (2 months ago)
    1. Evelyn: It is you.
    2. Dr. Will Caster: It always was.
    3. Evelyn: I?m sorry I didn?t believe.
    – Submitted by Kristína C (2 months ago)
    1. Dr. Will Caster: You?re surprised to see me, Joseph?
    2. Joseph Tagger: Hmmm, that depends. Can you prove that you are self-aware?
    3. Dr. Will Caster: Well that?s an interesting question. Can you prove to me that you are?
    – Submitted by Kristína C (2 months ago)
    1. Max Waters: I'll need to put a few more guys on this job.
    – Submitted by Paul S (2 months ago)
View all quotes (15)

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