The Bourne Identity - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Bourne Identity Reviews

June 12, 2008
A first-rate thriller with grit and intrigue to spare.
Top Critic
February 9, 2006
Efficient set pieces come neatly spaced every ten to 15 minutes -- just often enough to keep you credulous -- and the trans-European settings lend a classy backdrop.
May 19, 2004
Liman can uncork leap-out-of-your-seat shocks, draw out suspense scenes with malicious finesse and even ease a touch of romance and droll humor into the yarn.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
July 25, 2002
A rollicking adventure yarn.
July 20, 2002
The Bourne Identity is no mere summer amusement park ride. It's as gray as Go was colorful and a cool contrast to its source material.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
June 26, 2002
Great fights. You wouldn't think of Damon as a tough guy, but he's worked really hard on the physical stuff here and it shows.
June 25, 2002
A film that is at best misguided, at worst stubbornly flashy, garbled and ready to file in the drawer labeled 'instantly forgettable.'
June 19, 2002
Really well done.
June 18, 2002
Liman takes a giant step toward hackdom with his banal big-budget adaptation of Robert Ludlum's 1980 espionage thriller.
June 18, 2002
It moves quickly, adroitly, and without fuss; it doesn't give you time to reflect on the inanity -- and the Cold War datedness -- of its premise.
June 15, 2002
Nicely paced and fits the bill for those in search of two hours of spy-based action and martial arts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 14, 2002
There isn't a dull or dumb moment in this movie.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
June 14, 2002
An entertaining thriller that eschews most of the usual spy gimmicks in favour of old-fashioned sleuthing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
June 14, 2002
Bourne aspires only to be a fun popcorn movie -- and, for the most part, it is.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
June 14, 2002
There are moments that feel just on the edge of silly, but that's the idea.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 14, 2002
A thriller with some brains and feeling behind it, more attuned to story and character than to spectacle.
June 14, 2002
The Bourne Identity has all the necessary components of the genre, and deploys them well.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
June 14, 2002
Liman, of Swingers and Go, makes his big-budget action film debut something of a clunker as he delivers a long, low-heat chase, interrupted by a middling car chase.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
June 14, 2002
It wouldn't be measurable in g-forces, but there is enough forward motion in The Bourne Identity to pin audiences backwards and enough nervous tension to put them on the edge.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
June 14, 2002
As the intended start of a franchise, The Bourne Identity is a bit of a bust.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
June 14, 2002
The Bourne Identity shouldn't be half as entertaining as it is, but director Doug Liman and his colleagues have managed to pack it with enough action to satisfy the boom-bam crowd without a huge sacrifice of character and mood.
Read More | Original Score: B+
June 14, 2002
Although the exposition effectively invokes cool, the gradual warming trend finally gives this film a resonance beyond immediate impact.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
June 14, 2002
If The Bourne Identity is an example of indie-movie rogue agents gone amok, then mainstream Hollywood should definitely recruit a few more.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 14, 2002
Overall, Liman has done a good job of making this old Cold War thriller seem born again.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 14, 2002
The Bourne Identity crackles with equal measures of efficiency and energy.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
June 14, 2002
The Bourne Identity, starring Matt Damon, is a blast from the past dressed up as current-day fare. But this retro thriller still packs a powerful punch.
June 14, 2002
For all its shoot-outs, fistfights, and car chases, this movie is a phlegmatic bore, so tedious it makes the silly spy vs. spy film The Sum of All Fears, starring Ben Affleck, seem downright Hitchcockian.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
June 14, 2002
With his stilted performance, Damon manages to make Bourne about the dullest spy who ever lived.
June 14, 2002
Liman adds some brash, and occasionally subtle, touches to the spy-on-the-run formula, without ever quite managing to transcend the cliches.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
June 14, 2002
A lean, deftly shot, well-acted, weirdly retro thriller that recalls a raft of '60s and '70s European-set spy pictures.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
June 14, 2002
Laced with great shock moments, Bourne moves along smartly on its own steam, drawing us confidently into its orbit.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
June 14, 2002
The Bourne Identity is what summer screen escapism used to be in the decades when it was geared more to grownups.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
June 14, 2002
Though it's clearly meant to be character-driven, the movie is thrown out of whack by a total lack of chemistry between the leads, and some great acting on the side.
June 14, 2002
Free from the encumbrances of history and of Ludlum's cloddish prose, The Bourne Identity, like its hero, triumphs through sheer unreflective professionalism.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
June 14, 2002
Doug Liman, the director of Bourne, directs the traffic well, gets a nice wintry look from his locations, absorbs us with the movie's spycraft and uses Damon's ability to be focused and sincere.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
June 13, 2002
I've seen the best cloak-and-danger exercises, including The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and the original Day of the Jackal, and in terms of story and cold-sweat suspense, I'd rank this one right up there.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
June 13, 2002
The film's greatest asset is how much it's not just another connect-the-dots, spy-on-the-run picture.
Read More | Original Score: B+
June 12, 2002
Plays like John Le Carré with a couple of burnt-out cylinders.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
June 11, 2002
A beneficiary of lowered standards, the film may be a bloodless piece of thriller craftsmanship, but at a time when craft has become a negligible quality, its streamlined efficiency and whipcrack timing are increasingly uncommon virtues.
June 11, 2002
While hurting for any sense of romance or meaty character interaction, the Doug Liman-directed movie does capture the pulp verve of those 1960s Cold War thrillers directed by the likes of Guy Hamilton and Terence Young.
June 10, 2002
In these dog days, Bourne earns what passes as high praise: It doesn't suck.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5