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 poster for the film begs for a counter-punch: printed over a gloomy close-up of Depp there is the warning, "Yesterday Dr. Will Caster Was Only Human." To which we might add, "And the Day Before Johnny Depp was an Actor."
The directorial debut for ace cinematographer Wally Pfister is always watchable, but the narrative flaws and logical leaps sabotage sustained enjoyment. "Transcendence" looks and sounds like a Christopher Nolan film that got attacked by malware.
The question of whether we're too tied to technology and when or if it will prove our downfall is undoubtedly important and probably somewhat pressing. It certainly deserves a better movie than "Transcendence."
Transcendence has hints of a richly complex story, but too often feels content just dumping the pieces of its puzzle out on the table without doing much assembly - or even making sure all the pieces are even there.
In his first film as director, acclaimed cinematographer Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight Rises, Inception) has made a movie that predictably looks good but has little substance beneath its shiny, digitally enhanced surface.
Ambitious to a fault, this cautionary fantasy about artificial intelligence has so much on its muddled mind, and so little sense of dramatic grounding, that it grows ever more preposterous before lurching to a climax that's utterly unfathomable.
"Transcendence" never grapples with the concepts it introduces, sticking to an absolute-genius-corrupts-absolutely plot that was old back in the first season of "Star Trek," and ending with a muffled whimper.
It shows little interest in exploring the potentially tricky benefits of a computer-enhanced intellect; it's not even in the enjoyable realm of starkly ridiculous Cold War thrillers like Colossus: The Forbin Project.
Transcendence is a movie that's of two minds. It's well-grounded, but also over the top. It's a man-vs.-machine epic and also an intimate drama. It's quirky-smart yet sci-fi silly. And it winds up being half as good as it could be.