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.
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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.
So often, sci-fi is overproduced, but I Am Legend doesn't look like a CGI extravaganza. It looks like an edgy suspense movie shot on the fly in New York City after the fall. And because of that, it's all the more effective.
The herky-jerky script, by Mark Protosevich and Akiva Goldsman, favors vignettes and set pieces over dramatic development, and those damned zombies are everywhere, overwhelming the proceedings with their slobbering and howling.
I admire the intent of Mr. Smith, who has made it his mission to mix escapist fare with socially relevant material. Legend seems to split the difference and land in the middle of nowhere. That's a lonely place for moviegoers to be.
[Director] Lawrence is pretty good at the spectacular stuff. And he's smart enough to let Smith be Smith. But there's only so much you can do with CGI monsters that don't seem right for this kind of sci-fi scenario.
[Smith's] powerful performance is not enough to save the movie -- initially a potent meditation on loneliness and an absorbing doomsday action movie -- from taking a wrong turn and never getting back on track.
Big Willie has no problem holding the screen. In fact, trouble enters only when the script overcomplicates things in the end. Until then, especially in a growling dogfight, director Francis Lawrence keeps you squirming.
The first two thirds and change of I Am Legend is terrific mindless fun: crackerjack action with gnashing vampires barely glimpsed (and scarier for that) and how'd-they-do-that New York locations that retroactively justify the traffic jams.