The Happening - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Happening Reviews

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Nigel Floyd
Time Out
November 16, 2011
At first, a great deal happens, then nothing much happens for quite some time, then something so underwhelming happens that one is left wondering, 'Did that really just happen?'
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Christopher Orr
The New Republic
September 22, 2008
[A]n astonishment, so idiotic in conception and inept in execution that, after seeing it, one almost wonders whether it was real or imagined.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
June 23, 2008
The Happening is an awful letdown, yet it leaves you with something new, as a gently waving tree -- that classical image of pastoral tranquillity -- mutates into a harbinger of doom.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
June 18, 2008
For a movie with the potential for so much global-warming electricity, it's disappointingly low on voltage.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
June 16, 2008
It almost dares you to roll your eyes or laugh at certain scenes that are supposed to be deadly serious. But, you know what, I appreciated this creatively offbeat, daring sci-fi mind-trip.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
June 16, 2008
All that's missing is the head alien of Plan 9 From Outer Space dropping by to lecture the populace for disrespecting nature: 'Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid!'
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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
June 13, 2008
Feeble gust of an environmental horror story.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
June 13, 2008
Woeful clunker of a paranoid thriller.
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Justin Chang
Variety
June 13, 2008
A patchy, uninspired eco-thriller whose R rating (a first for Shyamalan) looks more like a B.O. hindrance than an artistic boon.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
June 13, 2008
Shyamalan tries to give the events a scientific underpinning. But his logic is spotty, so what are meant to be eerie moments are not convincing.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Philip Marchand
Toronto Star
June 13, 2008
Shyamalan seems to have lost his sense of the fine line between the disturbingly grotesque and the outright ridiculous. The film even seems to be a parody of the scientific method.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
June 13, 2008
The whole solemn concoction is preposterous and not always in a fun way -- even at 99 minutes' running time, the movie provides plenty of opportunities for watch-consultation in the dark.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
June 13, 2008
The screenplay is a mess, filled with unfunny moments of intended humor and funny moments of unintended humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 13, 2008
It's an entertaining movie, which is half the game, but it's not scary, which it should be. Neither is it something to be taken seriously, though it's intended to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
June 13, 2008
Shyamalan's such an eager recycler, grinding out the same ideas and images again and again. The man who showed such promise less than a decade ago has been leaving a diminishing creative footprint ever since.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 13, 2008
We don't care. It doesn't matter if they live or die, if there's a happy ending, or some kind of twist. The Happening is a movie to walk out of, sleep through, or -- best of all -- not to bother with.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
June 13, 2008
The plot is absurdly preachy and illogical, and the dialogue uneven, with stinging lines followed by stinkers.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
June 13, 2008
If Shyamalan's ever going to do something different then he should have made something manic, dark and twisted. But that's not Happening.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
June 13, 2008
No one will watch any of Shyamalan's recent films twice. A movie that features Wahlberg suggesting everyone try to outrun the wind can barely be watched once.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
June 13, 2008
The final explanation, which comes as no surprise, is more preposterous than profound. If you want to see a scary movie about humans wreaking havoc on their planet, watch An Inconvenient Truth instead.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 13, 2008
The attention paid to [Wahlberg and Deschanel's] piddling relationship woes vs. the entire fate of humanity is absurd. We never feel persuaded that they have a bond, much less invested in seeing them patch it up.
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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
June 13, 2008
Wahlberg turns in one of his worst performances ever, but then he's saddled with preposterous scenes (like one where he tries to placate a ficus) and such lame lines as "Could this really be happening?" Funny, I was wondering the same thing myself.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 13, 2008
A subtle, measured work, which means there will be many who find it dull and pointless.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
June 13, 2008
No mere actor could possibly escape the toxic dialogue oozing from M. Night's pen -- that's merciless.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
June 13, 2008
It's downright stupid.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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David Germain
Associated Press
June 13, 2008
The shock value wears off quickly and writer-director Shyamalan strands us in a boring cautionary tale with an infantile eco-message about humanity needing to live in harmony with nature -- or else.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
June 13, 2008
Mr. Shyamalan is plagued by a bad case of Robin Williams Syndrome, characterized by a desire to inspire and change the world through mediocre entertainment " in this case, accompanied by ample and frequently creative bloodshed.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 13, 2008
Shyamalan's approach is more effective than smash-and-grab plot-mongering. His use of the landscape is disturbingly effective. The performances by Wahlberg and Deschanel bring a quiet dignity to their characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
June 13, 2008
It's also a bit sneaky of Shyamalan to set us up for a paranoid 9/11 thriller and then go all Greenpeace on us. He's trying to be socially conscious but he doesn't have the reformist's temperament. He has the temperament of a self-infatuated messiah.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
June 13, 2008
You feel like you're not watching the end of the world but the end of a career.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Bob Mondello
NPR.org
June 13, 2008
If what audiences are looking for is a thrill ride, or even a pervasive eeriness, The Happening's just not happening.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
June 12, 2008
After the insufferably dense mermaid mythology of Lady in the Water, Shyamalan clearly wanted to keep things simple. He whizzed straight past simple to simplistic.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
June 12, 2008
The Happening is a divertingly goofy thriller with an animistic bent, moments of shivery and twitchy suspense and a solid lead performance from Mark Wahlberg.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
June 12, 2008
There are scattered moments of craft throughout, but the gulf between his lofty aspirations and feeble accomplishments has seldom been wider or more chuckle-inducing.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
June 12, 2008
The Happening stutter-steps its way in this direction and that to a disappointing ending.
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 12, 2008
As for The Happening, his throwback horror flick that plays like The Birds meets The Blob, it's beyond good and evil. It's dumbfounding.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
June 12, 2008
The Happening wants to scare us without providing a cause -- a trick only Hitchcock has managed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
June 12, 2008
Instead of shocks, we get moments of tension, suspense and violence between stretches of running scared. Nothing wrong with that, except that the stretches are awfully long in places. And in the end, it all comes to not much.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
June 11, 2008
The movie demonstrates a smart movie geek's obsession with the rhythms and gory details of horror storytelling, undermined by a pompous insistence on spiritual lessons of the tritest kind.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
June 11, 2008
The movie seems more like a '50s science fiction film of extreme paranoia or an episode of "The Twilight Zone" that even at a swiftly paced 90 minutes feels padded.
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Robert Wilonsky
Village Voice
June 11, 2008
Effective nonsense, chilling nonsense, occasionally wrenching nonsense.