Critic Review - New York Times

Zack Snyder's film version of Watchmen is a grim and grisly excursion into comic-book mythology.

March 6, 2009 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comments (30)
New York Times
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Mike Tighe

Is it just me, or does this guy sound like a snobbish prick who has no idea what he's talking about? I have yet to see the movie, but I'm fairly confident this pompous, overly long piece of crap review doesn't do it justice.

Mar 6 - 09:31 PM

True Believer

Brandon Malone

Wow, I have to say, this guy is a hater. I don't mean that he hates the movie (which he obviously does) but he keeps on making snobbish comments about "nerds" and "geeks" which is pretty funny to me because his picture makes him seem like he was captain of his old high school's debate team.

Mar 17 - 05:47 AM

Dictator Fred

Dictator Fred

Being on the debate team makes him a snob. I'm a geek who loves science fiction and fantasy. There's a difference. Mr. Scott hates comic book movies, science fiction and fantasy. He's a snob, not a geek. And he's a god-awful critic.

Apr 25 - 02:56 PM


Erik Rapson

Yes. This review for a movie I have not seen is terrible and WRONG!

Mar 7 - 09:39 AM


First Last

What is is with New Yorkers and comic book movies? So many critics from New York pooped on the Dark Knight, and so many of them pooped on Watchmen.

Mar 7 - 10:54 AM


First Last

What is is with New Yorkers and comic book movies? So many critics from New York pooped on the Dark Knight, and so many of them pooped on Watchmen.

Mar 7 - 11:24 AM


jack giroux

AO Scott LOVED TDK, he even said he doesn't see superhero movies getting any better... While I EXTREMELY disagree with him, I think you guys are taking a bad review to seriously. You have already scene the movie, why do you bother with haters if you like it?

Mar 7 - 08:19 PM

jose v.

jose vega

Actually what little praise he gave Dark Knight was usually followed by some sort of petty dig. A.O. Scott is a book critic who somehow wound up reviewing movies for the Times. He doesn't know what he's talking about and the only thing he brings to the table is his "book snobbery" which is why he has such disdain for comics and anything or anyone related to them. Manohla Dargis should've reviewed this movie, she's a much better critic than he is and if you look at her bio, that's all she's ever been. Incidentally she lists TDK as a critic's choice, Scott does not. He did like A.I. though.

Mar 10 - 11:24 PM

Sam P.

Sam P

Hes right......its a pathetic movie

Mar 7 - 12:07 PM

Kassem Jaber

Kassem Jaber

you're a pathetic human being

Jul 6 - 04:10 PM


Daniel Llewellyn

"Indeed, the ideal viewer %u2014 or reviewer, as the case may be %u2014 of the %u201CWatchmen%u201D movie would probably be a mid-%u201980s college sophomore with a smattering of Nietzsche, an extensive record collection and a comic-book nerd for a roommate"

Lazy, lazy, lazy criticism. Whatever caricature of a typical or ideal Watchmen fan is of no interest or value to the reader, so don't dress up your straw man as some kind of kick at the film's modern day relevance.

Mar 7 - 07:23 PM

John Arthur Beaman

john b

And I doubt many college students have extensive record collections either.

Jun 29 - 06:18 PM

Shann B.

Shann Bride

I think why so many people take exception to reviews like this is because they judge the movie not on quality but a disagreement with the morality and/or relevence the movie portrays. To give this incredibly well constructed film the same rotten percentage as some juvenile gross out comedy is frustrating. You might ask why I care what men like this think and it's simple: men like this can often affect whether another movie like this will be made again. The tag line from his article is meant to be a strike against the film "Zack Snyder's film version of Watchmen is a grim and grisly excursion into comic-book mythology" but that's exactly what it's supposed to be. You can't hold it against a movie that it's doing exactly what it sets out to do.

Mar 8 - 08:46 AM

Keema K.

Keema Keema

I have many problems with the film but my major complaint is that there never should have been one film! I LOVE the graphic novel and while Snyder stays almost 100% true to it, he can only include so many of its pages in a two and a half cinematic interpretation. Tery Gilliam turned the project down because he said that it should have been a mini series and I agree. I really missed the portions that were left out because of the time restraint and the film suffers from a disjointed presentation. Its really too bad because these characters are incredible when you have the time to get to know them. Read the novel! its sooo much better!

Mar 8 - 11:57 AM

Jerry B.

Jerry Browning

Whats really sad is how people get to comment on what they do not understand. This GN was one of (if not the absolute) greatest stories ever told.

Now, once you can grow up and realize that "comic books" are gone. The "wham" "bang" of the 60's are gone. This is a story. It's written by one of the greates writers of our generation.

As for the movie, you don't get it, Or any movie for that matter. No movie made from a book (from The Shining to Fight Club to Bridges of Madison County) will ever match up to what you read. As a critic you would think you would know that.

This movie is exactly what it should be. There are some aspects of the comic written in 1987 that don't translate to 2009. Wake up. So they altered a few things.

It's a great movie. If you don't like it then it's not a question of your movie criticism as much as it goes to your literary ignorance.

Stay home and watch Sponge Bob.....Leave the smart stuff to smart people...

Mar 9 - 03:56 AM


Alexander Walker

"This GN was one of (if not the absolute) greatest stories ever told."

Are....are you serious? You can't be. One of (if not the absolute) greatest stories ever told? Wow. My first gut instinct is to tell you to read more as that'll give you an actual frame of reference for Watchmen and where it falls in the literary world. Sure, it's good. But in the top tiers of storytelling? No, my god, no. If Watchmen and some harlequin romance novel were all you'd ever thought had been written - then okay - I'd accept that out of ignorance. But I'd still berate you.

Hell, don't just read more. Even go watch some classic films. The story of Watchmen isn't unique in its elements, like any story written it borrows from themes of the past. It combines some of them masterfully - but it's still a flawed story. Nevermind the horribly flawed film that comes from it.

Better yet, you joined RT to post that comment. Just wow.

Mar 13 - 11:17 AM


Paul Counelis

Internet cliche I wish would go away forever: "Just wow".

Mar 18 - 12:55 AM


Catherine Johns

1. Yes this critic is a snobbish prick and when I read his article from the New York Times all I could think was that his argument was circular and he has no idea what he's talking about.
2. Tragic Villain, it sounds like you need to actually READ the story not just skim through it on Wikipedia. This IS one of the highest rated storylines in recent history which is why Time Magazine rated it in its top 100 greatest novels list!

Sep 11 - 05:36 PM

Giof O.

Giof Oh

I read Eco, Wilde, Tolkien, Kafka, Poe, King, Conan Doyle, Lovercraft, Verne, Hemingway, Asimov, Joice, Conrad...just to menion the most wll-knowed that I can remember right now, and I still thinking Watchmen is one of the higthest poin of XX century narrative.
Should I stop reading more?

Sep 26 - 04:03 PM

Josh K.

Josh Kleiman

The New York Times could have really helped change its image of being a paper only of "liberals and intellectuals and smooth talkers" by giving this movie a better review. A.O. Scott has undone himself with this review because he proves himself to be over-the-hill as a film critic - a person completely out-of-touch with today's film audience. He may continue to review movies for the disconnected senior citizen audience of the Times, but if the paper wants to appeal to a new generation it would do well to get rid of this stale critic and replace him with someone more contemporary.

Mar 9 - 07:05 AM

Sooper D.

Sooper Dooper

This reviewer is an idiot, and is too busy trying to make himself sound smart, rather than trying to enjoy an incredibly well constructed, dark, gritty, and entertaining movie. He spends way too much time looking through a thesaurus, and using big words in his mouthy little review, and slags this movie simply because it's about superheroes. He wants us to believe that he's way too grown up to take a comic book movie that takes itself seriously, seriously. The Watchmen rocks.

Mar 9 - 11:23 AM

Peter L.

Peter Lajoie

Watchmen is a well told existentialist yarn that (at the time of its publication) humanized "costumed heroes" like no other story had. Most superhero stories just feel like an overblown sandbox daydream, whereas the Watchmen novel wonderfully illustrates the psyche of each character so honestly that I often forgot I was reading a story about superheroes. This movie really has no deep meaning for people who haven't read the novel because the plot is so circuitous. The winding narrative and the juxtaposition of perspectives, although brilliantly laid out in the book, are not conducive to a succinct film plot. I thought they did the best script adaptation possible but they had to trim such characters as the New York Newsstand owner, Rorschach's troubled psychoanalyst, and the insidious reporter, all of whom fleshed out the world of Watchmen so well and made the book's stranger characters believable. (The effect Rorschach has on the psychoanalyst really made me buy-in to Rorschach's brand of insanity.) I would ask all of you: If Marvel had used Spider-man's source material the same way Snyder used Watchmen could it have possible been any good. Considering the enormity of Snyder's challenge I thought he did a great job and (having read the book) I did enjoy the film. 3/4 stars.

Mar 12 - 07:34 AM

Chris B.

Chris Baker

Scott is just mad because he didn't see Dr. Manhatten body enough. I'm sure blue naked guys turn him on.

May 9 - 10:50 PM

Chris B.

Chris Baker

Scott is just mad because he didn't see Dr. Manhatten body enough. I'm sure blue naked guys turn him on.

May 9 - 10:51 PM

Bow Ties are Cool

The Holy Rainbow of Awesomness

Wow how long did you take to you to come up with that oh so genius insult.

Jun 4 - 08:19 AM

Steve Gibson

Steve Gibson

Every now and then if I am unsure about someone, I ask them, " Have you ever seen a movie called "Watchmen?" If they say yes and don't wince or cry a little, I know they are to be avoided. If they say "Yes Loved it" I back away slowly, facing them at all times until I have covered enough distance to be safe. Then I go home and take 4 showers.

Jan 28 - 03:20 PM

Kadrick Ninness

Kadrick Ninness

An example of a film that doesn't make you wince or cry would be?

Jun 24 - 11:18 AM

Kadrick Ninness

Kadrick Ninness

An example of a film that doesn't make you wince or cry would be?

Jun 24 - 11:18 AM

Ryan Wilson

Ryan Wilson

I just rewatched the movie. It's so fucking bad! Coming from a guy who loves the graphic novel. It's a bone-headed adaptation. Zack Snyder slams bad slow motion and stupid violence every chance he gets. It's corny as hell

Jun 12 - 12:38 AM

Kassem Jaber

Kassem Jaber

FUCK YOU!!!!!!!! this movie is one of the most underrated film of all time

Jul 6 - 04:12 PM

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