Alita: Battle Angel

Critics Consensus

Alita: Battle Angel's story struggles to keep up with its special effects, but fans of futuristic sci-fi action may still find themselves more than sufficiently entertained.

60%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 308

93%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 32,502
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Movie Info

From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY), comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past - she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she's grown to love.

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Critic Reviews for Alita: Battle Angel

All Critics (308) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (186) | Rotten (122)

Audience Reviews for Alita: Battle Angel

  • 6d ago
    James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez team up for the sci-fi action film Alita: Battle Angel. Based on a Japanese graphic novel and adapted by James Cameron, the story follows a cyborg who's rescued from a junk yard with no memory of who she was, but after she becomes a bounty hunter she starts getting pieces of her memory back; meanwhile Nova, the mysterious leader of the sky city Zalem takes an interest in this new cyborg after she demonstrates some long forgotten fighting techniques. Rosa Salazar gives an impressive motion-capture performance as Alita, but there's an "uncanny valleyness" about the character design. And the script is kind of a mess, as it's all over the place setting up multiple story threats (several of which are never resolved). Still, the action scenes are incredibly exciting and dynamic. Also, the set and character designs are really creative, featuring a variety of interesting future tech and several different types cyborgs. Alita: Battle Angel is a visually stunning and entertaining film that reaches a little further than it can grasp.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2019
    We know the rule: no good live action films can come from anime and manga. THAT is nerd law. But the funny thing is…they used to say the same about comic books and we know how that turned out. Hell, even video games have a couple of decent or at least passable movies of the week to enjoy. As for anime itself, premium television may provide a more permanent answer, though we did get a mediocre but decent-looking picture with Ghost in the Shell. What else would it take to make it over the line into that most coveted and most jealously guarded of territories? The one they call "Good?" Alita: Battle Angel may provide the answer. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, a youthful looking cyborg is found by a kind doctor, reassembled, and taught the ropes of how the lower half lives, in the vast hellish slums under the shadow of a better world literally floating above them. But there may be a bit more going on with our young cyborg protagonist, than meets the eye… Metal will clash with metal, cybernetic parts will fly, mysteries will be revealed, balls will roll, double crosses will occur, while hitting a bunch of check marks on the cyberpunk cliché list. Does it work? F**k YES! Alita contains performances that are so damn good they almost seem out of place, considering how boilerplate the plot is. It also moves at a decent pace, with uncharacteristically restrained direction from Robert Rodriguez, opting for an almost Spielbergian tone. It's probably the best route to get general audiences invested into the material, as the fish-out-of-water, hero's journey was Hollywood's method of choice for decades. Rosa Salazar gives an admirable turn as the titular protagonist, which must have been difficult, as she had to work within the confines of MOCAP and CGI. Christoph Waltz is frakking great and his interactions with Alita are the heart of the movie. He is probably the only actor in Hollywood who could unironically say phrases like Panzer Kunst and sound authentic. Of course, the main draw is obvious. Alita is filled to the brim with RIP SNORTING, KICK-ASS ACTION. Holy crap, this movie has more punch than its title suggests. Yes, some dialogue is clunky, but few of these scenes last too long. There was a bit of controversy with the visuals, specifically Alita's face and her VERY large anime eyes. Your mileage will vary on if it crosses the uncanny valley, but odds are it will not bother you as the story progresses. And the background graphics are gorgeous, no argument there. Alita is let down by its villains to some degree and it does end on the promise of a continuing story, which is always a dicey prospect. Thankfully it's not a cliffhanger, and Alita: Battle Angel can stand on its own, regardless of future installments. Is it great? Probably not, but it's damn good. Now let's see if Cowboy Bebop can take us to greatness, once again.
    Joshua S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 03, 2019
    The movie is overstuffed with characters and plot. Even worse is the clumsy exposition which doesn't really build the world so much as tease sequels.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 08, 2019
    Zowie. One great looking film. And that's about it. That's everything in fact. Lump this one with all the other great looking films that ignore character, plot, story, arc, etc. In point of fact, it seemed to me to be an all-too-common money grab of a movie, selling the explosions, setting up the sequel, and screwing the fans.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer

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