The Tomatometer rating – based on the published opinions of hundreds of film and television critics – is a trusted measurement of movie and TV programming quality for millions of moviegoers. It represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given film or television show.
From the Critics
From RT Users Like You!
The Tomatometer is 60% or higher.
The Tomatometer is 59% or lower.
Movies and TV shows are Certified Fresh with a steady Tomatometer of 75% or higher after a set amount of reviews (80 for wide-release movies, 40 for limited-release movies, 20 for TV shows), including 5 reviews from Top Critics.
Percentage of users who rate a movie or TV show positively.
The problem is that director Peter Berg, aided and abetted by Smith and Theron and third banana Jason Bateman, seem to have made it literally, not realizing its out-of-whack tonalities and grotesque plot twists were meant to be played for laughs.
Since The Pursuit of Happyness, actor-producer Smith has made no secret of his desire to make movies that entertain in that big-studio way but also dig deeper. Hancock is a rousing measure of that intent.
As delivered by director Peter Berg, Hancock is never as serious or funny or poignant as it could be. And despite clocking in at a reasonable running time, it has a big sag in the middle that nothing could have fixed.
It's worth it just to see a ready-made Superman-sized superhero in action without all the baggage of decades of retellings and reworkings; even looking at familiar faces working through a familiar genre, it's nice to be surprised for once.
Hancock the jaunty, jokey riff on the screwed-up inner emotional life of a traditionally ironclad superhero becomes Hancock the icky lesson in the importance of personal responsibility, loyalty, and continued family togetherness.
Credit must be paid to director Peter Berg for pulling off such a tricky balance of such diverse elements while delivering an impressive and affecting superhero adventure with as much heart and soul as sound and fury.
Leaving behind the laughs for schmaltz, Hancock chickens out at the last minute, lurching toward a cop-out happy ending that gives every indication of having been reshot at the behest of test audiences. Well, at least you won't be bored.
The final third seems all shot in a strange blue light that makes even the gorgeous Theron look consumptive, and is, in a nutshell, no fun at all. Aren't Fourth of July movies supposed to be fun? No fireworks this time, Will.
The filmmakers cannot resist embracing the conventions they were tweaking. Hancock turns from a moody, darkly funny character piece trimmed out with a bit of engaging action and veers into a poor impersonation of a standard superhero movie.