The Time Machine - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Time Machine Reviews

November 6, 2002
If H.G. Wells had a time machine and could take a look at his kin's reworked version, what would he say? 'It looks good, Sonny, but you missed the point.'
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
July 20, 2002
One of those staggeringly well-produced, joylessly extravagant pictures that keep whooshing you from one visual marvel to the next, hastily, emptily.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
March 12, 2002
If it's remembered at all, it will be as a time capsule of early-21st-century blockbuster cowardice and redundancy.
March 9, 2002
In the new film, it's personal tragedy that provokes the journey, not social upheaval or even scientific curiosity -- which, predictably, makes for a story that's at once more familiar and less interesting.
March 9, 2002
They gave The Time Machine a major overhaul and ended up with a clunker.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
March 8, 2002
Amazingly stilted before accelerating into its exciting finish.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
March 8, 2002
The film is weirdly disjointed and uncertain as to tone.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/5
March 8, 2002
Simon Wells, whose other films include the animated The Prince of Egypt and Balto, manages to gut all the gee-whiz from the practically foolproof time-travel genre -- despite being H.G.'s real-life great-grandson.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
March 8, 2002
Midway through the movie, just when it seems that it might amount to something interesting, we're suddenly transported to the set of a very bad remake of Planet Of The Apes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 8, 2002
... unlike the shiny machine at its center, its timing is off, and it never quite soars.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 8, 2002
... there's something wrong with a time-travel movie that allows an audience's interest to drift so that we have time to worry over where he's parked, and whether he remembered to take his key.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 8, 2002
... an agreeable time-wasting device -- but George Pal's low-tech 1960 version still rules the epochs.
March 8, 2002
The worst news isn't that this Time Machine is lacking in humanity. It's that screenwriter John Logan has been given the job of writing the next Star Trek movie, Nemesis. That is bad news for the Enterprise gang.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
March 8, 2002
Not exactly H.G. Wells, but sturdy and effective.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 8, 2002
Everything else that the filmmakers have done in their thoughtless, lazy way to 'improve' the original formula serves only to leach the drama and excitement out of the underlying story.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
March 8, 2002
The Time Machine isn't so much an adaptation of H.G. Wells' seminal novel as it is an appropriation. The film borrows liberally from the book, but doesn't treat it with much respect or affection or even understanding.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
March 8, 2002
The Time Machine is stupid -- too stupid for the impressive special effects or the competently directed action sequences to wash away the bitter taste.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 8, 2002
The far future may be awesome to consider, but from period detail to matters of the heart, this film is most transporting when it stays put in the past.
Read More | Original Score: B
March 8, 2002
Watchable if never exciting, competent yet hardly exceptional, the picture is content to assume its innocuous position in the cinematic landscape.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 8, 2002
It will delight newcomers to the story and those who know it from bygone days.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 8, 2002
Bears resemblance to, and shares the weaknesses of, too many recent action-fantasy extravaganzas in which special effects overpower cogent story-telling and visual clarity during the big action sequences.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
March 8, 2002
The Time Machine is a witless recycling of the H.G. Wells story from 1895, with the absurdity intact but the wonderment missing.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
March 8, 2002
The truth is that Wells wasn't that penetrating a writer when it came to probing character or the human heart. His speculations and gimmicks were what propelled his books. The film, given the chance to deepen its source, instead falls back on its gadgets.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
March 7, 2002
The movie obviously seeks to re-create the excitement of such '50s flicks as Jules Verne's '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' and the George Pal version of H.G. Wells' 'The Time Machine.' But its storytelling prowess and special effects are both listless.
Read More | Original Score: C-
March 7, 2002
While clever and fast-paced, a truncated ending makes this feel like a film that suffers perhaps from postproduction tweaking.
March 7, 2002
The worst thing about this very bad movie is the opportunity squandered ...
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
March 7, 2002
... the movie's climax is so under-explained and conveniently resolved that it leaves you feeling as if you've missed a few hundred millennia.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
March 7, 2002
[E]ntertaining though hardly profound...
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
March 7, 2002
This uninviting and pallid version, starring Guy Pearce, is intent on grinding all the sharp edges off the original story, in effect making the movie childproof, so no one can get hurt touching it.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
March 7, 2002
If Welles was unhappy at the prospect of the human race splitting in two, he probably wouldn't be too crazy with his great-grandson's movie splitting up in pretty much the same way.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
March 7, 2002
... surprisingly inert for a movie in which the main character travels back and forth between epochs.
March 7, 2002
Seems more like the next Star Trek movie, with Patrick Stewart doing the time warp.
Read More | Original Score: D
March 7, 2002
The urgency is gone, replaced by much high-toned silliness, especially when Jeremy Irons shows up.
Full Review | Original Score: C