Watchmen Reviews

Top Critic
Tom Charity
CNN.com
April 14, 2013
Watchmen the movie provides ample evidence that more is more, but less might have been closer to Moore in spirit (that is, anarchic, witty and compelling).
Top Critic
Laremy Legel
Film.com
May 6, 2011
If you haven't read the source material I think you're going to dislike it even more than I did. So yeah, it's sort of bad news around here.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
March 13, 2009
Great book, mediocre adaptation.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
March 9, 2009
Watchmen left me looking at the exit far more often than at the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
March 6, 2009
Zack Snyder's film version of Watchmen is a grim and grisly excursion into comic-book mythology.
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
March 6, 2009
[T]there are problems both with the tale, which was an awful lot more subversive 20 years ago than it is today, and the telling, which in contrast to Moore's radical experimentation is disappointingly staid and straightforward.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 6, 2009
The reverence is inert, the violence noxious, the mythology murky, the tone grandiose, the texture glutinous. It's an alternate version of The Incredibles minus the delight.
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
March 6, 2009
I think Snyder and his writers channel moments of the humanity and humor that's always present in Moore's work.
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Sara Vilkomerson
New York Observer
March 6, 2009
It wasn't that I wasn't engaged in some of the (many) story lines, it's just that there was never enough time spent with any particular one to so as to become emotionally involved ... which seem strange to say about a movie 165 minutes long.
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
March 6, 2009
Watchmen is a two-hour, 42 minute ride through a dystopian scape with appropriately twisting and conflicted story lines.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 5, 2009
Watchmen bites off more than a single film can chew, and chokes on its gluttony.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Tom Maurstad
Dallas Morning News
March 5, 2009
As transferred to the big screen by director Zack Snyder, Watchmen is often visually stunning but also confusing and scattered.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
March 5, 2009
Watchmen may be another comic-book blockbuster but, at its best moments, it's also a refreshingly provocative head trip.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
March 5, 2009
The moviemakers are too busy digitizing ice castles on Mars to bother with much in the way of meta-commentary. Or, for that matter, with personalities.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
Top Critic
James Rocchi
MSN Movies
March 5, 2009
... A bizarrely bleak blockbuster, as director Zack Snyder ("300") turns the rich, revisionist, justly praised, 12-part 1986 comic book into nothing less than an attempt to decode 20th century America through its pop culture and vice-versa.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
March 5, 2009
Watchmen has moments of greatness. It proves again that the action movie is where the best young Hollywood brains have gone to bring flesh to their fantasies.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
March 5, 2009
Watchmen fans wondering whether their graphic novel has been ruined will be thrilled to see its key scenes reproduced with storyboardlike fidelity, but those who've never read it will be unlikely to understand what the big deal was in the first place.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 5, 2009
Overall, Snyder has given us a Watchmen that's visually faithful to the original to the point of panel-by-panel fetishism, and that may be enough for many members of the cult.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
March 5, 2009
Watchmen deserves credit for staying true to the characters, plot (up to a point), and look of the original material while still generating his own kind of energy, even though that energy sometimes feels misapplied and overcranked.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
March 5, 2009
With its basic themes, structure and apocalyptic vibe intact, Watchmen turns out to be quite filmable after all, and its stylish highlights trump any quibbles.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 5, 2009
This movie will shake your windows and rattle your walls. At least it will for a couple of hours, before 40-odd minutes of draggy, comic-book exposition smother the wild, subversive superhero business that came before.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Philip Kennicott
Washington Post
March 5, 2009
Sad to say, the much-anticipated adaptation of the world's most celebrated graphic novel is long, dull and sinks under the weight of its reverence for the original.
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 5, 2009
Part conscious and part unconscious, Watchmen tells us of a world without hope and then makes us wonder if we're already living in it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 5, 2009
As much as it respectfully copies the comic book, the film can't quite measure up.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
March 5, 2009
The most pleasant surprise in the movie adaptation of Watchmen is the pop-art fusion set off by placing superheroes in a 'real' world.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Tom Long
Detroit News
March 5, 2009
Mammoth, mangled, violent, confusing, dazzling, dark, excessive and occasionally brilliant.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
March 5, 2009
The film still offers an arrestingly dark vision.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Noah Berlatsky
Chicago Reader
March 5, 2009
The result is oddly hollow and disjointed; the actors moving stiffly from one overdetermined tableau to another.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
March 5, 2009
Watchman plays as if the filmmakers were afraid to make their own mark. It's a transliteration rather than a translation from one medium to another; a too-often lifeless homage.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 5, 2009
Against considerable odds, Snyder has directed a movie that should satisfy fanboys while engaging adventurous newcomers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
March 5, 2009
Snyder has been unable to create a satisfying tone for the proceedings. While the graphic novel played everything as realistically as it could, the film feels artificially stylized and inappropriately cartoonish.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 4, 2009
Another bold exercise in the liberation of the superhero movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
March 4, 2009
It should have remained what it was from the start: a masterpiece of vicious Cold War paranoia, completely and gut-churningly rendered on the printed page.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 4, 2009
As the story proceeds, however, it grows plodding, convoluted and forgettable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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David Fear
Time Out
March 4, 2009
What the film rightfully retains, and often nails, is the book's commitment to seriously digging deep into the psychic debris of these archetypes.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
March 4, 2009
You have to go back to the comic to learn that the freaks in Watchmen are not only for geeks, maybe that's not so bad. Just sayin'.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 4, 2009
Watchmen is a perfect example of how material, no matter how reverentially treated and massaged, often loses something critical in translation.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 4, 2009
Zack Snyder's bloated screen adaptation will go over best with fanboys, fangirls, fanmen and fanwomen who give high marks for slavish fidelity to the source material.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
March 4, 2009
Other fantasy movies are playing checkers. This one plays chess, with grandmaster panache.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
March 4, 2009
A (mostly) faithful re-creation of the comic. But it could have been so much more.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
March 3, 2009
Its failure is one of imagination -- although faithfully approximating Dave Gibbons's original drawings, the filmmakers are unable to teleport themselves to the level of the original concept.
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 2, 2009
Watchmen isn't boring, but as a fragmented sci-fi doomsday noir, it remains as detached from the viewer as it is from the zeitgeist.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
March 2, 2009
Yes, I've read Watchmen... It moved me, too. And still -- or, rather, because of that -- I found director Snyder's adaptation hugely disappointing, faithful as it is to the 1986 graphic novel.
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Tom Huddleston
Time Out
March 2, 2009
There's something admirable about the entire enterprise: its ungainly size, its unrelenting weirdness, its willful, challenging intensity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 2, 2009
A work that's easier to ponder than enjoy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Devin Gordon
Newsweek
March 2, 2009
Snyder has appropriated Moore's doomsday themes without any sense of how to animate them. That's the trouble with loyalty. Too little, and you alienate your core fans. Too much, and you lose everyone -- and everything -- else.
Top Critic
Ben Mankiewicz
At the Movies
March 2, 2009
I think this movie does a really terrific job of sort of establishing and adhering to the tone of the book.
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Ben Lyons
At the Movies
March 2, 2009
The slowed down pace of the combat sequences is intoxicating to watch.
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
March 2, 2009
Incoherent, overblown, and grimy with misogyny, Watchmen marks the final demolition of the comic strip, and it leaves you wondering: where did the comedy go?
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
March 2, 2009
They've made the most reverent adaptation of a graphic novel ever. But this kind of reverence kills what it seeks to preserve. The movie is embalmed.
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
February 26, 2009
The real disappointment is that the film does not transport an audience to another world, as 300 did. Nor does the third-rate Chandler-esque narration by Rorschach help.
Top Critic
Justin Chang
Variety
February 26, 2009
The movie is ultimately undone by its own reverence; there's simply no room for these characters and stories to breathe of their own accord, and even the most fastidiously replicated scenes can feel glib and truncated.