Project Almanac

Critics Consensus

Project Almanac isn't without wit or originality, but its thin story and irritating found-footage camerawork ultimately make it difficult to recommend.



Total Count: 94


Audience Score

User Ratings: 28,713
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Movie Info

A brilliant high school student and his friends uncover blueprints for a mysterious device with limitless potential, inadvertently putting lives in danger. (C) Paramount


Jonny Weston
as David Raskin
Sofia Black-D'Elia
as Jessie Pierce
Sam Lerner
as Quinn Goldberg
Virginia Gardner
as Christina Raskin
Amy Landecker
as Kathy Raskin
Michelle DeFraites
as Sarah Nathan
Gary Weeks (II)
as Ben Raskins
Macsen Lintz
as David, Age 7
Gary Grubbs
as Dr. Lou
Joshua Brady
as Break Up Guy
Onira Tares
as Lotto Woman
Andrew Benator
as Ace Hardware Employee
André Nemec
as Newscaster
Aaron Marcus
as History Teacher
Mychael Bates
as Car Salesman
Daniel Platzman
as Imagine Dragons
Ben McKee
as Imagine Dragons
Dan Kay Reynolds
as Imagine Dragons
Wayne Sermon
as Imagine Dragons
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News & Interviews for Project Almanac

Critic Reviews for Project Almanac

All Critics (94) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (60)

  • The genre dramatizes the identity formation that goes on during the digital technology-glutted adolescent years, which are filled with screens and captured images, whether from smartphones, cameras, vlogging, or pictures on social media.

    Jan 21, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Enough already with the "found footage" movies.

    Mar 9, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • The 106 minutes between the opening scene and the end credits still feels like an eternity.

    Mar 6, 2015 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • [It] is a "found footage" movie. This gimmick may have run its course: not only does Israelite use the method inconsistently, he never shows why it's needed to tell this particular story.

    Feb 27, 2015 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Group chemistry is moderately diverting but story offerings are as scanty as the shorts and skirts sported by the female leads.

    Feb 19, 2015 | Rating: 1/5
  • The premise has been done to death, but screenwriters Andrew Stark and Jason Pagan give it a fresh and pleasant spin by using it as a vehicle for adolescent wish fulfillment

    Feb 5, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Project Almanac

  • Sep 06, 2015
    Produced by Michael Bay, Project Almanac is a rather generic found footage, sci-fi thriller. While rummaging through some of his father's old papers David Raskin comes across a design for a time machine, and (with the help of his friends) attempts to build it. The plot is pretty ridiculous and none of performances are very good. Additionally, there's no real reason why these kids would be filming themselves; at least outside of the time travel experiments. Yet when the actual time travel plot kicks in, some interesting things are done with causality and paradoxes. Project Almanac delivers a few entertaining thrill, but overall it's a poorly made film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 01, 2015
    You start out thinking it's a little dumb, and then the more you objectively think about it, the stupider you realise it actually is. But a movie doesn't have to be Logic-Prime to be entertaining, and Project Almanac, more or less, fits the "entertaining" bill. It's nice to see the "Found Footage" archetype being used for something other than Horror, but it's not nice to be seeing it at all. It's constantly being used as an excuse for poor acting and dodgy effects, when in reality it makes those things *more* obvious, on top of the fact that it's just plain annoying, and contrived.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 11, 2015
    This is a film that has some pretty decent ideas about time travel. Perhaps it doesn't offer anything that you haven't seen in any time travel film you've ever seen, but it offers some fairly interesting scenarios about the ripple effect one small change could've caused. I think they do this in a fairly dramatic and over-the-top fashion, but it does illustrate its point fairly well. I will get to that later. First things first. The problem is that the film, for the first 70 minutes or so, feels like every teen comedy had sex with time travel. I get the reasoning behind choosing to go this route, but it's not like it was actually any interesting to watch as a viewer. They go back to win the lottery, they go back to pass an oral exam, they go back to give their bullies their comeuppance. They travel back to go to a Lollapalooza festival show. The reasoning behind this is that they're doing completely trivial and useless things with what is the most important invention, probably, in the history of mankind, instead of doing things that will change the world for the better. There's this subplot where David and Christina's father died in a car crash when David was 7 and part of David's happiness in succeeding to build this machine is so he can go back to prevent his death. This is actually paid off in a fairly poignant moment near the film's end when future David, upon meeting his father, tells him that there are no second chances. It's probably the only moment of the film with some real emotional resonance and you wonder what might've been if they spent a little more time on building character as opposed to focusing so much on things that don't really matter in the long run. Like I mentioned, the first 70 minutes of the film are fairly pointless. Then comes the Lollapalooza show, which is when everything changes. Essentially, David screws up with Jessie and he decides to go back, alone, to try and fix things. He does succeed and he gets the girl. After this happens, however, a pretty terrible plane crash happens that and other horrible events across the world happen and that, they surmise, it dated all the way back to when they went to the Lollapalooza show. So the group decides to go back in time to before the show so they can miss it and set things right. David, selfishly enough, disagrees with this and he decides to go back in time on his own, again, something they agreed to not do, to fix something that would've negated the plane crash. Ok this is fine and good. But, out of all the things they did, why did the Lollapalooza show cause this? It just seems like they're picking and choosing because they are, essentially, changing the past. So why did that not cause a ripple effect? Why did them winning the lottery have no ripple effect? They changed things so much and yet none of that caused anything to go wrong. The Lollapalooza show, however, did. They're assuming that you know it's because David traveled alone and change the course of his relationship with Jessie for the better. The group made it one of their rules to never go back alone, it's not like the machine knew this. Why did David going back and changing one small thing have this huge effect? And that's the butterfly effect theory, one small thing can change the course of the future, but they do so in this film in an incredibly over-the-top manner. I didn't find it to be satisfying storytelling at all, cause they just assume that you'll just go with it without asking any questions. It doesn't even make sense in its own context. But, fine, whatever. David keeps going back when things keep getting more and more complicated and his mind if blurring all of the things that he's done during his travels in trying to fix things. This is where the film is at its best. It's not like it's great, but it is, at least, a highlight of the film. The film is found footage style, so you know what to expect from that. The writing is not particularly good, they're just hoping that the concept will intrigue you enough to overlook that fact. It didn't. It's certainly a watchable film, at best, but it has some pretty huge flaws that definitely hold it back. The first 70 minutes being teen wish fulfillment bullshit didn't really do much for me. The last 40 minutes were ok, but it's far too late by this point to truly make anything of it. It's fine and watchable for what it is, but this certainly won't age well as the years go by. You won't be missing anything if you decide to skip this, trust me.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2015
    Interesting and powerful movie, yet so many references from movies like Back to the future, Cloverfield.. almost felt like a rip off at some points.. how ever I didn't really mind because the film really entertained me.
    Shawn M Super Reviewer

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